With cold and flu season in full swing, it’s also the season for sinus infections. Stuffed up sinuses can make your whole day agonizing; unable to focus on anything but the pressure in your face.
When this happens to you, it may be tempting to run to the doctor and grab a course of antibiotics. However, the problem of antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasing concern, both in the US and around the world, so it is prudent to only use these medications when we really need them.
Depending on your individual sinus condition, a doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or steroids. These, however, have a long list of side effects, and some may make you feel groggy and even more out of commission.
If your sinus infection is severe, or persists for more than several days, seek medical attention. If it’s milder, however, there are a few things you can try at home first.
At the first hint of sinus pressure or pain, turn to raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV). Mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of ACV into a cup of purified water. Add a teaspoon of raw honey if you wish. Drinking this blend 2 or 3 times per day, for about 5 days, may help to thin mucus and clear out the infection.
Now, take a hot shower or bath. Not hot enough to burn your skin, but a really nice steamy one. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a loofah or a washcloth and hang it in the shower, or add the oil directly to the water if you’re taking a bath. Eucalyptus, used in many decongestant rubs, is great for soothing some of the discomfort.
Next, make yourself a pitcher of thyme tea. Use fresh or dried organic thyme, and allow it to steep in boiling water. Inhale some of the aroma while the tea steeps. Thyme has a long history of traditional use for sinus ailments. Drink this tea throughout the day, along with plenty of water.
As an alternative, or an addition, to thyme tea, you may try the following concoction, based on some recommendations from Ayurvedic medicine. Steep a tea with freshly-sliced ginger root, an organic cinnamon stick, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Once it cools to a drinkable temperature, sweeten with a tablespoon or so of raw honey.
Another great way to naturally combat the infection is to add some fresh, raw garlic to your smoothies for the day. Garlic has potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and may help get that infection to go away in no time.
-The Alternative Daily