Sinus, as such is not an infection but a hollow cavity that functions, along with the nasal membrane to trap dust, bacteria, etc. from the inhaled air. These trapped substances are sent back in the form of mucus into the stomach, where its components are destroyed by digestive enzymes. However, when these nasal passages get inflamed due to inhalation of air pollutants, allergens or by bacterial or viral attacks like flu, they swell and secrete excess amounts of mucus. What makes it worse is, the swelling of the sinuses promotes the blockage of its openings and prevents the mucus from flowing out, thereby making a protective chamber for the bacteria to grow and flourish.
This leads to the dilation of blood vessels that creates a lot of pressure on the forehead, thus giving rise to sinus headaches. Even though, over-the-counter nasal decongestants, antihistamines and antibiotics aid in shrinking the tissues in your nose and in alleviating the symptoms of a sinusitis, over dosage of these medicines can lead to a “rebound swelling” that is extremely difficult to treat. This makes home remedies an attractive alternative to cure sinus attacks.
Best Home Remedies For Sinus
The best way of treating a sinus headache is to target its underlying cause, which is to eliminate the nasal congestions that block your sinuses and nose. Use normal saline by mixing half a teaspoon of kosher or sea salt in warm water, as a cleansing solution. Tilt your head towards one side and flush your sinuses by squirting the saline up into your nose through a neti pot or a bulb syringe. An inner ear pain or gaggling indicates that you are administering the solution with too much force. So relax for a while and then resume decongesting your nose gently.
Place your head over a pot of boiling water and cover yourself with a towel or a sheet. Add a few drops of lavender oil, olive oil or eucalyptus oil to the water and inhale the steam for about 5-10 minutes. This vapor therapy not only aids in decongesting your nose but the heat kills the bacteria and the viruses, which are responsible for causing the infection.
Lean back on a comfortable surface and keep your head elevated using two pillows. Squeeze the forehead and the back of the head simultaneously by placing your thumbs on the forehead and your fingers at the back of your head. Hold for about 15 seconds. Now apply tiger balm, which contains clove oil, camphor and menthol, all of which are involved in tightening the blood vessels, cleansing the sinuses and reducing the swelling and pain associated with sinusitis..
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which eliminates free radicals, thus acting as an immune stimulant for enhancing the immune system to fight the infection better. It also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent by reducing the inflammation and the swelling of sinuses, thus allowing the free passage of mucus. Hence, consumption of foods rich in vitamin C like citrus, kiwi, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, etc. exert their anti-histamine effect in fighting inflammation caused by sinus infections.
Known for its anti-inflammatory abilities, garlic acts as a natural anti-microbial agent that kills the bacteria or viruses that inhibit the sinuses. Adding garlic to your soup, boiling garlic cloves, inhaling its vapors 2-3 times a day or drinking garlic juice can bring a quick relief from sinus infections by boosting your immune system to fight the infection at a faster rate.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium fortified foods like spinach, tofu, melons, nuts, flax seeds, oats, wheat, etc., not only serve as natural tranquilizers for healing sinus headaches but also energize your body to walk for about 90 minutes a day, which in turn, boosts your energy levels and alleviates the symptoms of a sinus infection. Try taking multivitamins that are rich in calcium and magnesium, if your diet is not providing you with these two essential minerals that release stress and tension that aggravate the symptoms of sinusitis.
Fenugreek Seed Tea
Fenugreek has been used for curing sinusitis since a very long time because of its anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to reduce inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages. Boil a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water and drink it when it’s hot to allow the heat to dissolve the mucus, thus allowing it to pass out at a faster rate. However, fenugreek seeds can cause side-effects like wheezing, coughing, facial swelling, which are all symptoms of asthma. Hence, consult your doctor before starting this remedy.
Through its anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint soothes the mucus membrane and brings a quick relief from nasal congestion and sinus headaches. Apply peppermint oil externally on your temples by mixing one part of peppermint oil in 9 parts of water for about 15-30 minutes and then relax for some time. You can also sip peppermint tea, which elicits a soothing effect by calming down your nerves and by reviving your energy. Yet another alternative is to use it as a natural decongestant by dabbing a drop or two of peppermint oil under your nose to alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis.
Considering the fact that eucalyptus oil acts as both an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic agent, it is a common ingredient of most of the over-the-counter decongestants, cold and cough syrups. It acts by blocking the action of histamines and leukotrienes, the signaling molecules of the immune system that trigger dilation of blood vessels, leading to a runny and a congested nose.
Hence, external application on the cheek bones, oral administration of supplements containing eucalyptus extracts, bathing in water diluted with a few drops of eucalyptus oil or inhalation of vapors from eucalyptus oil helps to thin the mucus and relief sinus headaches.
Rich in water and anti-oxidants, pineapples keeps you well hydrated and improves the strength of your immune system. It contains an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the inflammation, swelling and headaches associated with sinusitis. Hence, consumption of pineapple can help you exploit its medicinal properties and reduce the severity of your sinus headaches.
Hence, a healthy lifestyle involving regular exercise and the incorporation of the above mentioned remedies in your diet, promotes nasal drainage that can in turn, restore the normal size of your sinuses and cure sinus headaches. However, most often, people confuse headaches that arise due to migraine, stress, etc., as headaches that result from sinusitis.
Hence, before using any of the aforementioned remedies, ensure that the headaches are primarily because of inflamed sinuses by getting a proper diagnosis done. Once you know the actual cause of your headaches, seek advice from a medical practitioner before using these remedies to avoid possible drug interactions that can lead to fatal consequences.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.