12 Sinus Infection Home Remedy Options and Treatments
Whether it’s an actual bacterial or viral infection or a sinusitis caused by allergens or other irritants, there are few other things which can make you as miserable as sinus inflammation and congestion can. The conventional approach is to treat these conditions with anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, antibiotics or much more rarely, through surgical intervention.
Sometimes these methods are warranted and may even be necessary to resolve a sinus infection or other sinusitis. However, these treatments can sometimes cause more harm than good and in many cases, they’re not needed. For the most part, home remedies and other natural treatments can provide results which are as good as or better than conventional medical treatments. If you’re suffering from a sinus infection or other sinus problems, the following sinus infection home remedies should be your first line of treatment before you resort to pharmaceuticals.
Finding Relief From Sinus Infection Symptoms
Obviously, you want to treat the underlying condition, but first and foremost, you’d like to get a little relief from your symptoms. Once you’re feeling better, you can work on boosting immune function and trying to minimize your exposure to environmental factors which could be triggering your problem.
Just as you would when trying to fight off any other kind of illness, make sure to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, hot tea and natural juices (without added sugar). Being properly hydrated helps to drain your sinuses. You can also improve your symptoms by keeping your caffeine intake low and avoiding sugar and alcohol, since these can either dehydrate you or cause further inflammation of your already inflamed sinuses and airways.
Staying hydrated and giving one of these 12 sinus infection home remedy options will help you get through your day that much better. These are natural treatment options that have worked well for tons of people before, myself included. However, if you find that your infection is not clearing up in a few days or getting worse, be sure to speak with a medical professional.
You can relieve congestion by adding a few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam. For the best results, drape a towel over your head and the bowl while you inhale. If you have a humidifier, you can also add a couple of drops of one of these oils to the water in the humidifier to provide some relief from the congestion that accompanies sinus infections.
You might want to invest in a Neti pot if you suffer from sinus infections frequently. These are a decidedly low-tech but very effective way to flush out your nasal passages with salt water. It’s amazing how much relief that this can provide from the symptoms of a sinus infection and you can use a Neti pot twice daily – just make sure to clean it thoroughly with soap and water in between uses.
You might not ordinarily think of massage as a home remedy for sinus infections, but a quick facial massage which stimulates the right pressure points can provide some immediate, if temporary relief from congestion.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Whether as part of the mixture mentioned above or added to a cup of tea or glass of water, apple cider vinegar can help to relieve congestion and reduce the pressure. For best results, use 2-3 tbsp two or three times daily.
Ginger and Turmeric
Turmeric and ginger are closely related to one another and both have a wealth of health benefits. Turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune booster; when combined in a hot tea with ginger’s sinus-clearing and throat soothing properties, it can really help you feel better. Ginger can also relieve the upset stomach which often accompanies sinus infections, which is another plus.
Heat it Up
You can fight back against mucus by adding hot peppers to your meals (hot peppers are also excellent sources of vitamin C, as an added bonus) or better yet, mixing cayenne pepper with lemon or lime juice and a little apple cider vinegar for an immune boosting and sinus clearing home remedy. Other spicy foods such as curry, horseradish, and wasabi also have the potential to help clear of nasal passages. If you can stand spicy foods and hot spices you might consider adding some to your food to open your nasal passages and breath better.
You can try a warm compress to help keep the nasal tissues moist and follow up with a cold compress, which may help relieve sinus pain.
Now that you’re feeling a little better thanks to these sinus infection home remedies, it’s time to give your immune system a hand and knock out the infection a little sooner. There are several different natural ways of boosting your immune function and there’s a good chance that you already have at least some of these on hand.
The immune boosting properties of vitamin C are well known and whether in capsule, liquid, chewable or any other form you prefer, you likely have a vitamin C supplement handy for when you come down with a sinus infection. You should begin taking vitamin C at the first sign of symptoms for quicker relief.
Oregano oil is a powerful natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal which you can take daily to improve your immune function and overall health. Add a few drops daily to a glass of water, juice or tea. You can also add it to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam or use it topically to treat dandruff, cold sores and fungal infections, among other minor issues.
Bromelain is a protein found in pineapple stems and as a supplement is used to reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Bromelian may interact with other medications you’re taking so be sure to talk to your doctor prior to taking it. And be sure to follow exact dosing instructions.
Reducing Your Exposure To Potential Causes
If you frequently have sinus infections or sinusitis, it may be due to environmental factors. The following are a few of the most common and suggestions for avoiding or minimizing your exposure.
Keep Airborne Allergens Away
Mold spores, dust, pollen and pet dander are the most common causes of sinusitis. While you can’t do anything about these outside, you can use air filters in your home to reduce the amount of them in the air. Change your filter monthly to minimize the amount of these allergens in your home and vacuum frequently. You might also want to have your air ducts cleaned if you have a forced air HVAC system.
It’s possible that your sinusitis may also be triggered by something you’re eating. If you’re sensitive to or allergic to sugar, dairy or other foods, these could be causing your sinus issues. You may want to consider eliminating these foods from your diet one by one to see if this improves your symptoms.