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Natural remedies for a sinus infection

February 17, 2016 16:11 IST
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Suffering from sinusitis? Here's what to do.

You know the time when you had a cold and it never really seemed to go away? The ones which get better before getting progressively worse?

Well, you were actually suffering from sinusitis. Not only can it be a great source of irritation, but also debilitating for some people.

Sinusitis is an inflammation or the swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses, which are hollow cavities on either side of the nasal cavity, helping to filter the air from unwanted dirt and dust when we inhale.

There are many reasons why one gets a sinus infection. They could vary from environmental allergies, food allergies, eating too many dairy products or nicotine irritation.

Other causes could include fungal infection in the sinus cavity and dental infection. Since sinusitis leads to inflammation of the sinuses, doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and other prescription antibiotics.

Sometimes, some patients need to take five different medications at the same time.

The build-up of mucous on the sinuses can lead to congestion and not only cause trouble breathing, but also lead to sinus headaches, which is a slow, throbbing pain on the sides of the head.

When you feel congested, one of the first steps that you should take is to avoid foods that aid in developing mucous like eggs, dairy, sugar and processed food.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and stay away from caffeinated drinks as they are likely to make you dehydrated.

It is also advised to add certain herbs like ginger, onion, lemon juice, horseradish and wasabi to your foods while cooking. All these herbs are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and hence will prove to be quite helpful as you try to decongest.

Another thing that could be useful during sinusitis would be grapefruit seed extract. It contains natural antibiotics that can stop bacteria, parasites and viruses and even the yeast Candida that can cause sinusitis.

Here's a homemade recipe that can help remove congestion:

You will need apple cider vinegar, raw honey and water.

Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 6 ounces of water and a teaspoon of raw honey.

Drink this three times a day for five days to prevent the buildup of mucous.

You can also use a Neti Pot to remove mucous.

Pour two cups of warm water and a teaspoon of rock salt into the pot.

Then insert the tip of the spout into one nostril and tit your head so that the water runs through the sinus and comes out of the other nostril.

Don’t tilt your head a lot because then the water will go down your throat.

Repeat the exercise on the other nostril. Nasal irrigation will help clear the sinuses faster and will significantly improve the quality of your life.

Do it just once a day. The nasal solution will help in clearing away the allergens and bacteria from the nasal passage and help in thinning the mucous.

Hot water vapour can also help in tackling the inflamed sinuses.

A few drops of eucalyptus or menthol will do wonders in clearing up the nasal blockage.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Lindy/Creative Commons

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