Sinus infections are among the most common infections known to mankind. Although not necessarily dangerous, they can be painful and irritating. Even worse, they are quite difficult to treat as antibiotics are not always effective. Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies that can help. When suffering from a sinus infection, everyone would like to fix the problem as soon as possible. However, the symptoms are a bit of hard to neutralize, even if you use conventional medications.
What Exactly is a Sinus Infection?
In medical terms, sinus infections can be described as inflammation and blockage in the sinuses. During the infection, the nasal passages fill with fluid which is like a magnet for germs. The germs in the sticky fluid can trigger inflammation and swelling, resulting in stuffiness, coughing, and other symptoms. The most common causes of sinus infections are nasal polyps, colds, allergic rhinitis which is very common, and finally, a deviated septum.
Although many people mistake sinus infections forcolds, they’re not one and the same. The symptoms differ by a lot- colds, for example, will pass in a week, but the sinus infection can’t pass on its own.
Although colds do not directly cause a sinus infection, they do provide ideal conditions for germs to multiply. Also, during colds our immune system is down, allowing more and more bacteria to enter the sinus cavities.
The most common symptoms of a sinus infection are a stuffy nose, facial pain, feeling pressure behind the cheeks, tough headaches, mucus discharge from the nose and a reduced sense of smell. It’s a painful condition unlike a common cold, and it can’t be treated with antibiotics.
How Can Natural Remedies Help?
Natural remedies can target the inflammation and obstruction in your sinuses and neutralize the infection without any side-effects. Below you can see a list of the most effective remedies for sinus infections. They may take a while to work, but they won’t cause any side-effect and work better than most drugs.
Home Remedies For Sinus Infection:
1. Saline Rinse
The simplest way to eliminate a sinus infection is a saline rinse. Pour a cup of warm water and add half a teaspoon of salt in it. Now, rinse your nose with the mixture 2-3 times per day and you should feel immediate relief. The good thing about saline rinses is that they also prevent the infection from recurring.
ACV is a popular home remedy for a lot of health problems, including a sinus infection. It has been used to neutralize infections for quite a long time and is among the most effective remedies for the problem.
Apple cider vinegar should be a part of your diet thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a large group of vitamins and minerals that will support your immune system and prevent bacteria from harming your body.
To use ACV, put a few drops in a glass of water and rinse your nose with the solution. It will reduce the amount of mucus and eliminate the infection in just a few days.
3. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation is a simple process that will loosen the mucus in your airways and open up your nasal passages. Boil water in a big pot, then add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil. Now, lean over the pot and inhale the steam. About 10 seconds should be enough for you to feel it work. Do the same a few times per day and the infection will pass soon.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper can easily boost your blood circulation and open up your airways. Thanks to the presence of capsaicin, it will boost your blood flow and soothe the infection right away. What you need to do is put a bit on a cotton swab and apply it inside your nose. Yes, it will burn, but it will help you breathe normally right away.
5. Magnolia and Similar Herbs
Traditional Chinese medicine has long been using magnolia, angelica root, chrysanthemum, and mint to treat sinus infections. Just make a cup of tea from any of these herbs and drink it warm – it will help you breathe normally again in just a few minutes.
Horseradish is a flavorful plant that will open up your nasal passage and relieve the infection. Grate a small piece of radish nicely, then put it in your mouth. The flavor should enter your sinuses and provide instant relief. Swallow the pieces of horseradish in the end to clear the mucus stuck in your throat as well.
7. Grapefruit Seed Extract
A powerful natural antibiotic, grapefruit seed extract can destroy a variety of bacteria and fungi and easily treat sinus infections. Just purchase some in the form of a nasal spray and use it as advertised. It should provide relief right away.
Tips for Treating and Preventing Sinus Infections
Besides the aforementioned remedies, you can also apply hot and cold compresses on your sinuses to loosen up the steam. You also need to make sure you’re hydrated when suffering from a sinus infection. At that time, the body will use most of its fluids to fight the infection, so you may end up dehydrated. Drink more water in this case, but stay away from caffeine and alcohol as they will worsen the dehydration.
The best way to prevent sinus infections is to prevent colds. This can be done by keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. To do this, you’ll need to follow a healthy lifestyle, meaning plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. By eating properly, your body will have the nutrients it needs to fight viruses and bacteria, lowering the risk of sinus infections.
Additionally, make sure to reduce your stress and get adequate sleep. Both stress and insomnia have been identified as potential causes for a weakened immune system, which, as we mentioned, won’t be able to help the body fight viruses and bacteria. Once you implement these lifestyle changes, you should significantly cut down the risk of any type of infection.