Sinus pain and swelling is enough to make anyone miserable, but traditional methods of treating this problem like prescription antibiotics, anti-inflammatory meds, steroids or even surgery, don’t always help and typically come with a long list of unwanted side effects that can make it difficult to function. The good news is that there are a number of natural ways to treat this painful problem.
Drink plenty of fluids
As sinus passages and thick mucus in the nose can form crusts that prevent sinus drainage and trap viruses, getting more fluid into your body can naturally help to thin the mucous and get things moving again. Drink lots of liquids like water and herbal tea. Thyme tea is known to be especially effective for battling sinus problems. Taking steamy showers and using a humidifier also helps to thin mucus and allows it to drain more easily.
Apple cider vinegar
At the first sign of sinus pain or infection, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s) into a cup of water. You can add a teaspoon of raw honey to sweeten it if you’d like. Drink this concoction three times a day for five days to thin congested mucus.
Acupuncturist Roberta Roberts Mittman advises massaging each side of the nose at the bottom edge of the nasal bones, as well as the grooves at the widest point of both nostrils to the count of 10, three times each day. This helps to improve circulation and release pressure in the congested area. To enhance the effects, you may want to massage with an essential oil like peppermint, tea tree, lavender or eucalyptus.
Alter your diet
If you’re eating an unhealthy diet that consists of things like processed foods, fast food, fried foods and/or soda, it can harm your immune system, rendering it too weak to fight off an infection. Avoid nutrient-deficient foods as well as alcohol and sugar, and cut back or eliminate dairy foods which can contribute to more congestion. Eat plenty of organic vegetables – steamed veggies are especially good, as well as nutritious, hot soups. Use spices like ginger, turmeric and coriander liberally.
Use a neti pot
If you don’t already have a neti pot, they’re available for less than $20 on sites like Amazon.com and can be a great investment, particularly if you’re prone to sinus problems. Just dissolve one teaspoon of sea salt into 2 cups of warm water. Stand over the sink, fill the neti pot with a cup of water and place the tip of the spout into one nostril. Tilt your head to the side and allow the water to run out through the opposite nostril, making sure you don’t tilt your head back and up or the water will run down your throat instead. Refill the neti pot and repeat with the other nostril.
Hot and cold compresses
Lay back and place a hot washcloth over your eyes and nose to warm the nasal passages and loosen secretions. Alternating warm and cold compresses helps to relieve the pressure and sinus pain. Leave the hot washcloth on your sinuses for roughly three minutes, and then place a cold compress across your sinuses for 30 seconds. Alternate three more times, repeating this treatment four times a day.
You may want to try combining several natural treatment methods for maximum relief in the quickest period of time. Adding deep breathing exercises as well can be especially helpful for chronic or recurrent pain that’s often seen with sinus pressure.
-The Alternative Daily