10 Home Remedies for Sinus Infection
Sinus problems are something very unpleasant to live with at best, and can be life threatening in the worst cases. Over 30 million people in the US have been diagnosed with some form of sinus infections on any given year, the most common sinus problem being sinusitis.
For most people, sinus issues start with a cold, a virus or fungus that turns into a bacterial infection or a nasal allergy. In most cases it can be treated without a doctor’s visit or antibiotics. But it’s important to remember that sinus issues left untreated may actually put your life in danger.
Left too long, sinus issues can cause meningitis, a brain abscess or even a bone infection. It’s also important to pay attention to your symptoms, and even though most sinus problems can be treated using home remedies or natural homeopathic methods, if you have some, or all of these symptoms, you might have serious sinusitis and should probably see doctor.
* Pain in your sinuses
* Nasal discharge (constant)
* Sinus headaches
* Cough due to throat irritation
* Sore throat and a hoarse, dry voice
If your symptoms aren’t too bad and you want to tackle your sinus issues naturally, here are 10 great natural remedies that will help get rid of your stuffy nose.
#1 – Sinus Rinse This is a therapy that uses a salt and water solution to clear out your sinuses. You’ll be able to find a rinse kit at any pharmacy or drug store and do the rinse at home. This might be a little intimidating for the first timer, but once you tried it once it really isn’t as bad as it seems. Here’s how to flush out your sinuses:
* Stand in the bathroom with your head over the sink.
* Tilt your head to one side.
* Use a squeeze bottle, bulb syringe or neti pot
* Pour or squeeze the saline solution into your upper nostril
* Let the saline solution pour out of your other nostril and into your sink.
* Repeat these steps with the other nostril.
* Blow your nose gently to clear out the left over mucus.
#2 – Steam Up Your Sinus A very effective home remedy for dealing with sinus infections is to moisturize and warm up your sinus passageways. This is also one of the easiest things you can do. All you need is a big bowl, a towel to cover your head and a kettle to boil some water. Pour some boiled water into the bowl, place it on a table, put your head over it and cover your head with a towel, then breathe in and out for at least 10 minutes. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil, which has strong anti-bacterial properties, is also a good idea. Make sure to only add a drop or two, because the fumes can be quite overwhelming. Some other essential oils that work for helping clear up your sinuses are:
#3 – Yoga Yoga can be quite effective when it comes to helping you drain excess mucus from your sinuses, the Cobbler’s Pose is the most highly recommended position for this.
#4 – Exercise This may come as a bit of a surprise to the people who’ve never experienced how quickly your sinuses can be cleared with a bit of physical exercise. During exercise, your body temperature rises which stimulates the flow of mucus, and the production of white blood cells3. Although exercise most certainly can help with your sinus infection, it’s important to remember that:
* Not to exercise if you have a fever.
* Your ability to breath and take in a sufficient amount of oxygen is reduced with sinus blockage.
* Reduce the intensity of your exercise.
* If you feel dizzy or light-headed, stop your exercise, sit down and relax until you feel recovered.
#5 – Bromelain Bromelain is a natural enzyme derived from the pineapple plant, it has been found to help with sinus inflammation and other symptoms associated with sinusitis. It can be bought in tablet form as a supplement, a powder or a cream. For sinus issues it’s recommended to be taken in tablet form with a dosage of 500 mg – 1000 mg5. Some people take 2000 mg and don’t report any negative side effects.
#6 – Quercetin – Herbal Derived from onions, apples or green tea, this is an antioxidant that stabilizes the cells in the body which are responsible for the release of histamine. Histamine is responsible for mucus secretion in your sinuses. Quercetin is most common in tablet form, and 400 mg – 500 mg is recommended to be taken three times per day.
#7 – Keep Hydrated Drinking water, juices or tea can go quite a long way in helping with sinus problems. Having a sufficient amount of fluids in your body helps thin out the mucus in your sinuses and can help calm irritation as well.
#8 – Avoid These There are foods and drinks you should avoid to decrease the symptoms of a sinus infection.
* Coffee, alcohol and nicotine. These all dehydrate your body and magnify your sinus problems.
* Cold drinks and foods.
* Sugar and any products with sugar. Sugar weakens your immune system which you need to fight a sinus infection.
* Fatty foods. These foods can trigger inflammation.
* Dairy products as they help thicken the mucus in your sinuses
* Tomatoes are very acidic and this helps increase your levels of histamine.
* Red meat and protein rich foods, protein can accumulate as mucus and make your symptoms worse.
#9 – Foods and Drinks that Help Eat and drink these foods to assist in reducing your sinus infection:
* Spicy peppers help clear up your sinuses
* Horseradish is full of nutrients and has natural antibiotic properties which reduce inflammation, and like spicy peppers help clear your sinuses.
* Garlic reduces inflammation, is a natural antibiotic, has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can help kill viruses as well. It can be added to most of the foods you eat.
* Probiotics foods such as yogurts, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and other fermented foods help your overall gut health, on which your immune system relies to keep itself functioning properly. Although it’s a good idea to avoid dairy based probiotics during a sinus infection.
* Ginger contains antioxidants, antihistamines and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps reduce swelling and congestion and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all types of cold and flu symptoms. Turmeric has very similar properties as well, and can be used in the same ways as ginger.
#10 – Reduce Stress Stress is probably the worst thing for the human body and it’s also bad for your sinuses. Stress creates oxidative compounds and it also limits the regular functions of our bodies. Therefore, it’s important to do the things which help you relax when you’re experiencing a sinus infection, whether it’s meditation, yoga or just taking some time to lay down on the couch and read a book.
Natural methods and techniques are the most permanent, safest and healthiest ways of solving all types of health problems. But it’s also important to remember that a sinus infection can lead to some serious complications with your health. If you’ve tried all the methods above and/or your sinus issues have been persistent for a longer period of time, then it’s a good idea to go see a doctor.
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Sinusitis References and Sinus Infection Information
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sinus-infection-symptoms
* Scientific Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1097
* Alternative Medicine Study: http://archive.foundationalmedicinereview.com/publications/11/3/196.pdf