Type the words “sinus infection” in any browser and you will soon find yourself literally inundated with resources. From WebMD to the New York Times you will notice that each resource shares one thing in common: everyone agrees that sinus infections are just AWFUL!
They are miserable. They linger on and on. They clog your head and your mind They make mucus by the gallon. Worst of all, sinus infections have traditionally been very hard to cure.
Or at least they have been hard to cure until now. One of the biggest problems with treating a sinus infection is that the typical method, prescribing antibiotics, often works poorly if at all.
But now, armed with this list of 15 highly effective sinus infection remedies, you can learn how to get rid of a sinus infection for good!
Send mucus packing with spices.
Cayenne, wasabi (that green stuff they serve at sushi restaurants), curry and horseradish can all throw open the closed doors of your swollen sinuses fast.
What to do: If you love spicy food, pile it on high and deep. And even if you are less fond of the hot stuff, your muted sense of smell taste likely won’t notice an extra dose until the spices have worked their magic.
Sanitize your sinuses with salt.
The University of Florida Health Communications Department highlighted a study by the Mayo Clinic stating that simply gargling salt water is an effective soother and sanitizer for cold symptoms. The symptoms highlighted were very similar to common sinusitis symptoms, including sore throat, swollen sinuses, mucus and infection.
What to do: Of course you can’t gargle with your sinuses, but you can do the next best thing by flushing them with salt water. Warmed water is best as a soother. You can use a Neti pot or a spray bulb. Afterwards, you can gargle with warm salt water for good measure.
Put sinus pain on the spot with pressure point activation.
Acupressure is actually a form of acupuncture that doesn’t use needles. Dr. Oz’s website recently highlighted the best acupressure point for relieving sinus pain and congestion.
What to do: The acupressure point is called “Welcome Fragrance” and there are actually two pressure points, one on either side of your nose. The point is right where your nose and the skin of your cheek meet up. Just place one index finger on each point and hold for three minutes to get instant relief.
Soothe irritated sinuses with steam and warm compresses.
One thing a sinus infection doesn’t give you is a lot of free time. Either you are worrying about your swollen sinuses or you are fretting over your aching head. Luckily, one of the most ancient of all remedies can ease your concerns about both – good old-fashioned warmth!
What to do: The best way to deliver soothing warmth to the places that need it most is to use a combination of steam and warm towel compresses. The best way to get steam is to boil water and then breathe in the steam, being sure to breathe it in as deeply as you can and hold your breath for a few seconds so the steam can break up the mucus.
When you are finished, warm up a damp towel and place it over your eyes and sinuses for extra relief.
Eat an immune-strengthening diet.
It is easy to forget about the power of whole foods when you are feeling miserable. But your body needs nutrition now more than ever, which makes this one of the most perfect of home remedies for sinus infection.
What to do: Focus on steamed veggies, broths and soups, whole grains, lentils and beans, lean meats.
Blend up a curcumin smoothie.
According to Natural Society, turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin can bring a wealth of infection-fighting helps into the fray just when your sinuses need them the most.
What to do: Blend up a tasty smoothie using water or juice, 1 banana, 1 lemon, 1 to 2 tablespoons of local honey, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a 4-inch piece of fresh turmeric root. Drink one smoothie per day for three days.
Call on pineapple for backup.
Pineapple is not just tasty, but it is also loaded with bromelain, a naturally occurring protein long touted by championship fighters for its ability to quickly reduce swelling. WebMD also highlights bromelain’s ability to ease inflammation in the sinuses.
What to do: You can always eat pineapple or juice a fresh pineapple, which will also give you plenty of vitamin C, which your immune system will suck up right away. Or you can take bromelain directly in supplement form.
If you decide to take bromelain supplements and are already on other medications, just check with your doctor first about whether there are any interactions!
Inhale essential oils to open up your respiratory system.
Two particular essential oils can provide immense relief for the swelling, inflammation and blockage that often comes with a persistent sinus infection. These two essential oils are peppermint and eucalyptus.
What to do: You have a number of options here depending on what you have on hand and what you prefer. You can boil water, add a few drops of your preferred essential oil and then inhale the steam.
You can also add either essential oil to a clean humidifier and breathe it in. You can also drink the tea made from brewed peppermint or eucalyptus leaves.
Ward off sinus infection with a clove of garlic.
Perhaps there is something to the old myth that a clove of garlic can ward off evil spirits. After all, it certainly works for sinus infections! If you are a garlic lover, you are going to enjoy this remedy. Even if you aren’t a huge fan, you will surely enjoy the results it brings!
What to do: You can view this YouTube video by Dr. Eric Berg and learn how to make a garlic nasal rinse. Or you can chomp down on a raw garlic clove and feel the pure, raw power cleansing your besieged sinuses.
Another option that might be soothing in more ways than one is to brew a tea out of a fresh garlic clove. You can then inhale the steam and drink the tea.
An apple a day….
Here, just substitute apple cider vinegar and you’ve got all the makings of a natural sinus infection remedy.
The big power punch that apple cider vinegar brings to the table is its ability to thin out that thick, globby mucus that gets trapped in between the walls of your swollen sinuses. When the mucus finally begins to thin out, it can drain and you can breathe again.
What to do: You can drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar straight, or you can mix in one tablespoon of local honey for taste.
Make a warm cup of spicy tomato soup.
Sinusitis that drags on can become extremely debilitating. So you really need to keep your strength up by choosing the healthiest meals that are packed with inflammation and infection-fighting nutrients. This spicy tomato soup can be sipped like a tea and will give you strength to get better.
What to do: If you can, boil the juice of a fresh tomato (as an alternative, you can use tomato juice). Add in a chopped garlic clove, one to two tablespoons lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, mix and sip.
Learn why gingers have more fun.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory root that has long been touted for its healing properties. WebMD reviews the long history of ginger as a healing agent that stretches back past the 16th century.
What to do: You have plenty of options for taking in ginger. You can steep fresh ginger root into a tea, grate it and add it to soups and smoothies and even take a ginger bath. This will reduce inflammation and get the mucus moving in your sinuses and/or chest.
Dose your body with echinacea.
According to Dr. Axe, echinacea taken at the time the first symptoms of a sinus infection appear can reduce the duration and severity of the infection.
What to do: You can take echinacea as a supplement or a tincture, either plain or in a few tablespoons of water.
Try some grapefruit seeds on for size.
Grapefruit seed isn’t actually a seed at all, but is a citrus extract renowned for its anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties. Called GSE, Care2 Healthy Living outlines its power to defeat parasites and bacteria.
What to do: One of the best ways to take in GSE is as a nasal spray. You can also use a few drops in warm water as a nasal rinse or to inhale in steam form.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
When you have a sinus infection, it is easy to get dehydrated (an equally serious health issue). According to Harvard Health, if you want to heal quickly, you must stay hydrated.
What to do: Drink pure filtered or spring water – you will know you are drinking sufficient quantities when your urine is pale or clear.
You Really Can Feel Better Starting Now!
Kicking a persistent case of sinusitis to the curb can feel like torture when all you really want to do is curl up with a pillow over your head for one more day. But don’t let your sinus infection bully you into feeling worse for wanting to feel better.
You don’t have to try everything on this list today, but just pick out one thing – maybe the one thing you know you have stocked in your cupboards right now.
By taking one step at a time to boost your immune system, your body will get its second wind to fight off the infection at its core. Also, by giving your mind something concrete and practical to do, you will be able to beat back the mental fog and take charge of your health again.
Best of all, since these remedies are all natural, you will be setting your body up for success in resisting sinusitis in the future!