what is gustatory rhinitis why does my nose run when I eat

What is Gustatory Rhinitis? Runny Nose During Eating May Not Be an Allergy

In Antihistamine Addiction, Food Allergy Natural Treatment by Anthony7 Comments

Rhinitis is a classification of a nasal disorder categorized as inflammation of the nasal passage. The irritation inside the nasal passages causes rhinitis symptoms like runny nose and congestion. Some people find that when they eat certain foods, particularly spicy or hot foods, dairy or alcohol, they have to deal with these annoying symptoms. They often mistake these symptoms as some sort of allergic reaction. However, it is a non-allergic condition. For a while, I have wondered “why does my nose run when I eat? Am I allergic to spicy foods?” But this is actually a condition called “gustatory rhinitis.” What is gustatory rhinitis and how can you deal it?

What is Gustatory Rhinitis?

Hay fever is usually what you’d think of when you hear the word “rhinitis.” However, this is a term that classifies many sinus issues, allergic and non-allergic.

Gustatory rhinitis has nothing to do with a systemic allergic reaction, it is simply an overreaction of the vagal nerve in the nervous system of the person consuming the particular type of food. It will cause nasal drip of a clear liquid and sometimes congestion and runny nose. (1)

This can affect children or adults and seems to be more prevalent in people that suffer from hay fever or other environmental or food allergies.

It also seems to be a problem for people that smoke.

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Smelling peppermint oil is great for preventing runny nose while eating. Click the image for a great price I use!

Which Foods Cause Gustatory Rhinitis?

This type of rhinitis is usually triggered by consuming hot and spicy foods. However, any food can trigger these symptoms, from fresh vegetables to well done meat.

People who are not allergic to dairy seem to sometimes experience gustatory rhinitis. Personally, I know that I am not allergic to dairy, but I experience runny nose when I drink milk or eat yogurt.

In some allergy sufferers, alcohol seems to be a trigger for gustatory rhinitis as well. (2)

Food preservatives and some additives may also trigger the non-allergic symptoms of gustatory rhinitis.

what is gustatory rhinitis and why does my nose run when i eat

Why Does My Nose Run When I Eat Certain Foods?

Gustatory rhinitis is a completely non-immunological reaction to food. Recent evidence suggests that stimulated nerves in the sinuses may produce this reflex. The foods that trigger it, mostly spices, may be the reason for the running of your nose. (3)

Prevention and Treatment of Gustatory Rhinitis Symptoms

The best way to treat these annoying symptoms is to simply avoid the food and drinks that cause it in the first place.

People like myself, however, love spicy food and want to continue eating it. Some doctors may recommend that you use a nasal spray before you eat, but this will actually do nothing and might make your nose even more runny.

Since this condition is not caused by a histamine response by the immune system, antihistamines will do nothing to treat gustatory rhinitis. Typically, it can be treated effectively with mucolytic drugs and anticholinergic agents. The treatment will be unique for each patient and their cause of the symptoms. (4)

Consulting an otolaryngology specialist may be the best course of action if this condition bothers or embarrasses you at mealtimes.

Homeopathic drugs that may help with the symptoms include:

  • Silicea
  • Rumex
  • Pulsatilla
  • Drosera
  • Allium cepa

These drugs will naturally resolve the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis in about 3 hours. This treatment may taper your symptoms so that it may be cured completely. It’s important to talk to your health care provider before you self-medicate. (5)

Natural Remedies for Gustatory Rhinitis

If you are still asking “what is gustatory rhinitis?” and don’t want to bother your doctor, you can try these home remedies that work great for controlling the annoying symptoms of gustatory rhinitis.

  • Ginger: Ginger contains gingerols in its root and can perform as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Reducing the inflammation in your sinuses will ease sneezing and nasal drip. Try to boil some pieces of ginger and drink it as a tea with honey. These will get rid of your symptoms.
  • Mint: This is very beneficial for those that suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Mint will relieve the lining of the intestines, prevent vomiting and soothe symptoms of rhinitis. Again, drinking this as a tea is a great method of consumption.
  • Cardamom: This spiced tea is very effective in treating rhinitis. It will prevent sneezing, nasal drink and congestion. You can drink this tea with honey or milk.
  • Basil and Honey: This is a great herb that boosts your immune system to cure the symptoms of rhinitis. Honey in this tea will soothe the nose and throat.
ginger and peppermint tea for gustatory rhinitis treatment

This is a tea with mint and ginger. Just add a little honey and you’ll be perfect. Click the image for the best price on Amazon.

If you suffer from gustatory rhinitis when you eat certain foods, do you have to avoid them altogether? The answer is no because they are not causing inflammation to your organs like an allergic reaction. However, if the symptoms are annoying or embarrassing, there are some treatments. (6)

I am always here for you, so if you have a comment or question, please leave it below.


What is Gustatory Rhinitis? Runny Nose During Eating May Not Be an Allergy was last modified: November 8th, 2018 by Anthony


  1. Hi, Anthony. I stop up sn violently sneeze 15-20 times after i eat any meal. No particular foods seem to cause this. Its gotten so bad that I’ve stopped eating in public all together. Help!

    1. Author

      Hey Kathy,
      There are a few supplements that I mention throughout my other blog posts that prevent sneezing and nasal drip while eating with gustatory rhinitis. My hypothesis is that this occurs when intestinal yeast is exposed to carbohydrates. Perhaps it releases compounds that you are allergic to as it spreads and gets ready to consume your food. What do you think?

  2. Hi Anthony,

    My Dr.s nurse just informed me that this is what I have but this isn’t happening when I eat spicy or hot foods, its mostly happening when I eat my salad for lunch and this is something that just started happening about a year ago. I understand about the spicy goods but do you think this is possibly what I suffer from also? I’ve sent back a response to the nurse to see what she says.

    Thank you

    1. Author

      Hey Kristy,
      Yes, gustatory rhinitis is what you have then. If you get a runny nose while you eat something in particular, you have gustatory rhinitis and that food is the trigger for it. In the article, I tried to outline that it is most common to react this way with spices. However, many other foods, even fresh produce, can trigger this allergy-like rhinitis. It’s not an allergy though. Let me know what the professional says!

  3. Anthony,
    Never heard about Gustatory Rhinitis until I came across your site.
    One of my best friends definitely have this kind of of rhinitis as he usually experience runny nose everytime he eat spicy/deep fried food. The symptom can last for about a day or two.
    I will tell him about the ginger treatment and the other as well. He loves eating basil also, so it shouldn’t be a problem getting rid of this allergy.

    1. Author

      Hey Marvin,

      Most people recognize this problem as what happens when you eat something spicy or hot, but it has a medical term that has treatments. These people don’t understand that this reaction isn’t usually normal and usually indicates that you have legitimate environmental allergies whether they are apparent or not.

      In regards to natural treatment, I think that ginger is your best bet. I’m not sure I notice much personally when I consume basil, but maybe everybody reacts differently to things. Hope the best for you and your friend.


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