Sinusitis is an ailment that usually affects almost 37 million individuals in the U.S. only. Sinusitis often begins with cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, and facial pain/headache. Sinus swelling and blockage can create pressure that causes a serious agonizing pain inside the nasal passages and adjacent areas. The pressure can sometimes be too much, making people feel like their head can burst.
Causes of Sinus Infections
There are many causes of sinus infections, but the primary causative agents are viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Complications such as allergies, sinus polyps, and deviated septum usually occur. Infection, as a result of allergies or polyps, can be cured through natural medication, but only after the infection is under control. Supplements and immune-improving herbs can also be incorporated into your everyday diet.
Natural Medications for Sinus Infections
- Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV is rich in potassium, which helps break down the clogged mucus and provides tremendous relief from a stuffy nose. You can take ACV twice or once a day. Alternatively, you can dilute ACV in hot water, and then inhale its aroma to help loosen the clogged mucus.
- Colloidal Silver – usually binds the protein structure of the bacteria or virus, inhibiting its replication. It works well when orally taken and helps to moisten the nasal passages.
- Olive leaf extract – is a very potent anti-inflammatory agent that works best when inhaled or orally taken.
- Vitamin A, D, C, and essential fatty acids – are all immune boosters. They are very effective remedies for a sinus infection. It is also important that you incorporate eggs, pumpkin seeds, kale, and chili peppers to your diet as they contain the necessary vitamins to improve your condition. Getting vitamin D through sunlight is also essential.
- Saline rinse - is also a natural way to clear your nasal passages. This solution can give you an effective relief. Flushing your nasal passages with a saline rinse drains unwanted pathogens instantly. Before using, always dilute the solution using warm water.
- Povidone-iodine (Betadine) and sea salt – is a great combination that helps you clear your sinus infection. It has a remarkable effect on swelling, congestion, and pain. Aside from being effective, it is also safe.
- Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) – can be used to help treat many infections. In sinusitis, GSE will get rid of the mucus and other harmful microorganisms that are responsible for the infected and swollen sinus tissues. It can be diluted and taken orally.
- Using a neti pot – a neti pot resembles a teapot. The best way to provide a soothing cleansing directly to the source of infection is by using a neti pot. It will give the sinuses the moisture it requires.
- Castor oil – can be applied on the face over the sinuses, and is absorbed through the skin. The immune system reacts by releasing more lymphocytes (cells that fight off infections) to speed up the recovery process. Castor oil is also beneficial if you have wrinkles. The oil can be quite stubborn to remove, so it is better to use an old cloth for its application.
- Probiotics – bacterial and fungal infections often compromise the body’s good bacteria. To get back the required balance in the body, take an effective probiotic supplement.
Important Oils for Sinus Infections:
- Eucalyptus essential oil – eucalyptus is a great remedy for thick mucus. For it to be very effective, pour warm water into a basin and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. With your face looking downwards into the bowl, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. Your nasal channels will open up after a short while.
- Peppermint essential oil – for peppermint essential oil, follow the eucalyptus oil steam procedure above. You can also incorporate one drop of oil in your tea.
- Cayenne – helps alleviate your sinuses from swelling and discomfort. You can either sniff a very small amount or use cayenne powder in your food. Although it’s a challenging method, it works remarkably quickly. If you don’t get the desired relief using its powdered form, go for cayenne capsules instead.
- Garlic – so far, garlic is one of nature’s finest antibiotics. Garlic has allicin, an element that has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Allicin makes garlic a good antibiotic. Garlic will surely get rid of your sinus infection in no time.
- Oregano oil – apart from being expensive, oregano oil is a useful natural remedy for sinus infections. You can either apply two drops under your tongue twice or thrice a day or put a couple of drops into a boiling water and breathe its vapor.
- Ginger – can be taken as a tea. Always use fresh and thinly-sliced ginger when making tea. Ginger slices can also be chewed to drain your sinuses.
- Cinnamon - over the century, cinnamon has been used as a medication for respiratory problems like clogged sinuses and sore throat. Cinnamon also helps in mucus breakup and its removal.
- Turmeric – turmeric is an antioxidant that has an anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin. Turmeric is also effective if combined with ginger. Almond or coconut milk can be mixed with turmeric as a remedy for inflammation. Plenty of liquids should be taken with turmeric to avoid constipation.
- Mullein tea – helps break the mucus. The tea has a pleasant taste and is usually mild. It also goes well with other natural medicine.
- Elderberry – is a type of plant used to treat respiratory infections. This herb can be bought or prepared at home. It is very good in improving one's immune system. It also goes well when honey is added.
- Astragalus root – is suitable for people with repeated sinus infections. Take astragalus root daily in a solution or capsule form to strengthen your immune system.
Vitamin Supplements for Sinus Infections
Vitamins are very important to help fight off infections. There are several supplements that will sustain your body if you are ill with sinusitis. They are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B-complex
Hydrotherapy for Sinus Infection
- Steam bath hydrotherapy – a warm bath using Epsom salt or baking soda (1 cup) can go a long way in healing your sinuses. When having a steam bath, close the bathroom door, so you can inhale the steam. If you have a eucalyptus essential oil, you can add a few drops of it to your warm water.
- Facial hydrotherapy – you can do this therapy by preparing two bowls of water, one with hot and the other with cold water. Put a soft cloth to each bowl. Get the first cold cloth and put it on your face for one minute and alternate it with the other warm soft cloth leaving it for thirty seconds. Do this procedure for several times, but finish with the cold cloth.
- Herbal Sinus Steam - mix the following herbs in equal proportions:
- Dried minced onion
- Dried minced garlic
- Caraway seeds
- Cinnamon chips
All you need is a pan with boiling water, and then add two to three tablespoons of the mixture. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. The steam can also relieve your cough, if you have one. A jar of these dry herbs can last for a long time.