Not to state the obvious, but a sinus infection (also known as sinusitis) is an infection of the sinuses. The sinuses are small air-filled pockets located around your eyes, nose, and cheekbones. They contain little hairs called cilia, which are lined with mucous. The cilia and mucous warm, moisten and filter the air you breathe before it reaches the lungs. Sometimes colds or allergies can cause the sinuses to swell and become clogged and infected. 4
During the night, mucous can drip down your throat, causing coughing. This is known as "post-nasal drip".
If your sinus infection is caused by a cold, check out natural cold remedies, and these cough home remedieswill help with that coughing. Sinus infections can also be caused by allergies, in which case you will want to check out allergy home remedies.
The symptoms of a sinus infection include headaches and pain/pressure around the nose, cheeks, teeth and eyes. A sinus infection may or may not be accompanied by a fever and thick, greenish-yellow "snot". 4
Warning: See a medical professional if you or your child still has symptoms after 4 days of home treatment. 4
However, try these sinus infection home remedies and you just might avoid a trip to the doctor and a round of antibiotics.
Note: If you are using TAP water in a saline rinse or neti pot, DO be sure to FIRST boil the water and then allow to cool BEFORE using in any type of nasal solution. There have been cases of dangerous microbes being introduced into the brain via the nasal passages from a nasal rinse, so just to be on the safe side, first boil the water and then allow to cool.
- Think humidity...steam those sinuses to clear them out. Take hot showers during the day, inhale a cup of hot coffee, tea or soup or lean over a steaming pan (with a towel draped over your head to form a tent). Running a humidifier in the home is also useful, especially at night. 4,5 If you do the steaming tent trick, adding a few drops of Eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary or peppermint essential oil will be even more effective. 1,2 If you don't have essential oils, you can use fresh or dried thyme, rosemary or Peppermint. Put the oil, leaves or herbs into a large bowl and pour boiling water on top. Use just a few drops of oil, or 1 large tablespoon of each herb. 2 Click here to learn more about thyme oil and mint herb.
- Homeopathy to the rescue. Try Sinus Soothe..an awesome homeopathic remedy that relieves symptoms of sinusitis. Sinus Soothe for Sinus Congestion or Nelson's Sinus remedy that can be found in most natural food stores.
- Thyme, together with fenugreek are superb sinus infection home remedies. Take equal amounts of each tincture, or combine equally into a tea. 1 Learn more about thyme tea and more about fenugreek tea and fenugreek herb.
- Try Breathe Easy Scent Inhaler with Pure Essential Oils
- Make you own saline nasal spray. Combine 2 teaspoons of salt with 2 cups of water. Add a pinch of baking soda. Use a squirt bottle or medicine dropper to spray into your nostrils. Spray one nostril at a time and close the other nostril with your finger, then gently blow that nostril. 4,5 Another variation of this remedy involves mixing 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with 2 ounces of tap water. Use a nose dropper to apply to each nostril.
- You can also dissolve Vitamin C powder in water and use as a nasal spray. 12This works really well at clearing the sinuses and is a terrific natural cure for sinus infection.
- Naturally garlic cures many sinus infections. Chow down on raw garlic; or take garlic supplements. 2,4,12
- Take Deodorized Garlic and Cayenne. These easy to use tablets combine the power of both garlic and cayenne...both strong fighters against sinus infections.
- Onions are another terrific sinus infection home remedy. 12
- Horseradish and chili peppers are two sinus infections home remedies that will help you breathe easier. Chile peppers contain capsaicin, which is a natural decongestant.
- Moist heat provides quick pain relief! Apply a warm compress or warm washcloth to the sinuses. Ginger tea bags can also be used as a warm compress, and will help unclog the sinuses.2. Learn more health benefits of ginger.
- Essential oils, such as eucalyptus, thyme or oregano also work when massaged onto the sinuses. Add 4 drops of essential oil to a base consisting of either olive, coconut, sesame or almond oil.
- These sinus infection home remedies not only provide relief, but the essential oils will cure the inffection! 1
A hot foot bath is also said to work wonders at clearing a sinus infection. Exercise is especially valuable...the movement and increased circulation will drain your sinuses. So, get outside and take a walk. 4,5
- Use acupressure! The acupressure point is right at the inner edges of your eyebrows. Press down for a few seconds. Other acupressure points include the sides of your nose and the bone below your eyes.5
- Vitamin C foods along with other foods rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin A, 12 beta carotene and glutathione are particularly important. Mucous producing cells need Vitamin A to function properly. Vitamin C is necessary for many body functions, especially immune function.
- Try probiotics...and look especially for Lactobacillus GG. Studies show that people who drink foods containing Lactobacillus GG reduce their incidence of sinus infections. Other types of probiotics did not have this same effect. These probiotics are typically found in "drinkable" form..not so much in yogurt. 5
Many people have had success using Vitamin E to treat sinus infections. Cut off the end of a Vitamin E 400 I.U. and drop a few drops of oil in each nostril. 12 Do this as needed, up to 4 times a day. What does Vitamin E do?
- Echinacea is another common sinus infection home remedy. Drinking Echinacea Tea is especially effective for sinus infections. Drink six cups of tea a day, using 1 teaspoon of dried echinacea for each cup of boiling water. Let the herb simmer for 15 minutes, then strain. If you don't like tea, you can also take capsules. 2 Learn more benefits of echinacea. Echinacea can also be combined with goldenseal. These sinus infection home remedies are oftentimes sold together. Always follow package instructions of course. 1 Learn more benefits of goldenseal.
- Oregon grape is another sinus infection home remedy. It is suggested to take 1 teaspoon of tincture, three times a day. 2
- Drinking elder flower tea will also work. Aim for around 2 cups a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is immensely beneficial. It is my favorite home remedy for sinus infection. Apple cider vinegar thins mucous so all the gunk will drain out. Drink several tablespoons a day (spread throughout the day), mixed with water. You can also sweeten it with honey. Learn about apple cider vinegar and honey.
Kid tips: Children can benefit from steam treatment (just be careful the steam doesn't burn them of course), with or without essential oils. Sinus massage with essential oils will also be highly beneficial (watch out for the eyes of course). If you can get your child to eat garlic, horseradish or onions, they will recover faster. Of course, this isn't easy. Some children may be willing to drink apple cider vinegar and honey (although mine aren't). Elder flower is suggested for children 1 (sweeten the tea with honey), as are echinacea and goldenseal (just be careful not to overdose). Children will also benefit from vitamin C. It is easy to sneak Vitamin C powder into food or drink. Saline or hydrogen peroxide nasal sprays are fabulous sinus infection home remedies when it comes to children. Use a nose dropper or nose bulb to squirt the spray in each nose.