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Cure a Sinus Infection with Natural Remedies

Last Modified on Apr 18, 2014

Sinus infections are a very common but highly curable condition that causes pressure in the nasal cavity. Effective natural remedies can relieve the symptoms and limit the duration of the condition. Different rinses can be used to clear the nasal passages while effective nutritional passages work to clear the lymphatic system and boost immunity.

What is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection is defined as the inflammation and blockage of the sinuses. During a sinus infection, the nasal passages become filled with fluid that contains germs and cause infection. Symptoms include facial pain, nasal stuffiness and discharge, loss of smell and a cough. Conditions that result in sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps and a deviated septum.

Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections

Treating an infection of the sinuses hinges on relieving inflammation, clearing the passageway and eliminating infection. A variety of nasal cleanses can be used to achieve these results including apple cider vinegar and saline. Nutritional supplements, such as cayenne, also help clear the sinuses and maintain an active, effective immune system.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic apple cider vinegar can be used as both a nasal rinse and nutritional supplement. Taken before or at the onset of a sinus infection, apple cider vinegar delivers a number of nutrients to the body that support overall immune health and prevent infection. Once an infection has developed, the substance can be diluted and used as a rinse to thin mucus almost immediately and to eliminate infection.


A saline rinse is another effective treatment option that can be used to irrigate the nasal passages. A tonic of sea salt and water functions to eliminate infection naturally. The mixture also helps loosen the mucus that is blocking the nasal passages and prevent recurrence of the condition.


Cayenne is also effective for treating sinus infections in that it naturally promotes circulation in the body. Cayenne is comprised of a potent amount of capsaicin – a stimulant that encourages blood flow and boosts the functioning of the nasal passages. Cayenne can also be used as a swab for the nasal passages; however, the treatment burns.

A sinus infection can be a painful condition that involves inflammation and blockage of the nasal passages. Effective treatments, however, deliver almost instantaneous draining and relief.

Additional Pages of Interest:
Sinus Headache Remedies
Ice Cream and Sinus Infection Connection
Sinus Congestion Remedies
Chronic Sinusitis Remedies


Apple Cider Vinegar214 YEAS
Saline Rinse51 YEAS
Cayenne31 YEAS
Hydrogen Peroxide and Sea Salt24 YEAS
Hydrogen Peroxide21 YEAS
Grapefruit Seed Extract17 YEAS
Neti Pot15 YEAS
Garlic12 YEAS
Oregano Oil12 YEAS
Steaming With Apple Cider Vinegar12 YEAS
Oil Pulling9 YEAS
Colloidal Silver9 YEAS
Multiple Remedies6 YEAS
Dietary Changes5 YEAS
Coconut Oil5 YEAS

Ice Cream, Flu Symptoms and Sinus Infections

"Read Earth Clinic's theory about certain brands of ice cream, flu symptoms, and sinus infections. Over 150 people have confirmed our findings!

Click here."

Pain Reliever and Sinus Medication Link

"Click here to read Earth Clinic's theory about how pain relievers, OTC allergy and sinus medications can exacerbate sinus conditions!"

09/27/2012: Tiki Storm from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada replies: "Hello Sinus Suffers, I won't get into my whole story with you here, but suffice it to say, my doctor has recently decided my sinus infections are chronic. I have very little success with any otc or antiboitic perscription (btw, the studies on using antibiotics for sinus infections is dismal at best - about a 10% success rate).

So... today is my first day doing the apple cider thing. Of course the stuff has a natural acidic and quite unpleasant taste. I used a recipe from a fellow user on this forum (cinammon, honey, ginger, whole cloves, etc. ), but I added a unique twist which makes the flavour more bearable. I thought I'd pay-it-forward here. I add a single teabag of Cinnamon Apple Spice herbal tea to the hot concotion (hot stuff is better for you anyways since you probably have a viral form of Sinusitis anyways (I've been told by serveral doctors and specialists including ENTs that in 90% of the cases, they are viral). I find it blends all the flavours nicely and there is nothing "bad" in this herbal tea.

I hope that helps some of you out there. I know just how miserable it can be."


Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  10/20/2006: Cherry from Cayman Islands: "Tried neti pot but that only facilitated the mucus to leave my sinuses. Tried acupuncture and that helped a lot, but when on a course of Phellostatin and that was my first real relief...along with one capsule of Cayenne pepper which took away the post nasal drip...this should not be taken too often as it moves the blood and really clears the system. Chronic sinusitis with digestive was felt by myself and my acupuncturist that fungus was my problem even though I had take Diflucan almost 2x a month. Acupuncture really helps me along with the Phellostatin and the Cayenne Pepper. Acupuncture assists the body to do the clearing and healing needed. Acupuncture was my final and last straw to try as I had tried most conventional medicine doctors and their treatments. Nasal sprays and prednisone. I do stay away from dairy products, but am now noticing that even if I have some I do not react with inflammation as I did before! I can eat cheese and not sneeze or get stuffy anymore. Wish I had gone this route from the beginning."

[YEA]  06/05/2013: Wendy from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia replies: "Yes- acupuncture is VERY helpful. I'm a chronic sinus sufferer and to some extent just have to live with it. BUT when it gets really bad, I see my acupuncturist 2 or 3 times over a week and the problem is much alleviated. There are good and bad acupuncturists so get a recommendation...."

Air Conditioners and Sinus Infections

Approval Ratings

05/16/2012: Goose from Pittsburg, Pa: "When a air conditioner is running it removes all most all the humidity in the room. The air conditioner coil gets so cold that it dawls in moisture from the air. Similar to how a cold drink will sweat on a hot day. I think the absence of all this humidity dry out the nasal cavity and makes you more prone to infection."

02/20/2012: Art from Everett, Washington: "Well there is enough from high end doctors and scientist air conditioners do cause sinus problems in a lot. Spewing mold spores, viral parisites, ect. the cooling unit is a toxin waste site. Repairman who do not handle correct can get very sick. Most don't know the connection 40 years ago I learned this and avoid like a plague and that's what it is. My sinus do still get infection of course my cures have been1- 2tbl sp ACV in large water 3x day, good results. 2- baking soda 1tsp in warm water and nettie pot and 1tsp in large water 3x day. Good results 3- 1tsp food grade activated charcoal in glass of water 3x day good results. At 70 I've never used pharmacuticals as they all weaken the immune system and most likely cause something else to go wrong. Let's face it, if they get you well, they make make no money."

10/23/2011: Faithinhealing from Cincinnati, Ohio: "NOPE, I think the CAUSE IS MOLD... somewhere in the ducts or window a/c's..."

02/10/2013: Amanda from Virginia Beach, Va replies: "Try garlic juice -- one drop up each nostral hold it in as long as possible then blow everything out. Repeat as needed"

09/16/2011: Arica from Columbus , Usa: "I've had 4 sinus infections in my 32 year life and every single one I can tell you was a result from sleeping in a direct air path from an ac unit. EVERY ONE! I told my husband it was the ac's fault I get these infections and he thinks I'm crazy. Well, it's good to read that others have the same experience. I know it's from the ac but I didn't understand fully why until now."

01/21/2011: Marie from Nashville, Tn: "I have had sinus surgery and have struggled with these sinus infections for over ten years.

Air conditioners are related to sinus infections, and having any type of heater on is even more related. Sinus infections develop when there are irritants in the sinus cavities that your body normally flushes out, but if there is not enough moisture (or other reasons like a deviated septum) they will not flush out like normal. So even just being dehyrdated can help a SI to flourish, but air conditioning and heating systems remove humidity from the air so if your body is used to having humidity help regulate the nose, and it is removed, it can cause bacterial growth in the form of infection.

Every year when the heat gets turned on in our house, I battle them and throughout the winter. That's why Doctors tell people with chronic sinusities to get to (or move to) the beach where the humidity and salt can help naturally."

06/03/2011: Travis from Houston, Tx replies: "Marie's point above (sinus infection caused by the dry air from the a/c) agrees with my experience. Christina's points (dirty filters, left wing propaganda) sound crazy and do not agree with my experience. I just changed the air filters on my system, and I bought the most expensive, smallest micron filters available. I slept with the a/c on 2 nights ago, and sure enough, I came down with a terrible sinus infection. This has happened countless times throughout my life, and if the a/c is blowing directly on me, I'm almost guaranteed to get a sinus infection. The dehydration point is very interesting, I think there is something to that."
02/23/2012: Kathryn from Kitchener, Ontario replies: "Marie from Nashville said "Sinus infections develop when there are irritants in the sinus cavities that your body normally flushes out, but if there is not enough moisture (or other reasons like a deviated septum) they will not flush out like normal. " Most infections are bacterial. Sinus infections are not caused by irritants themselves, the body uses mucus to remove irritants and when the sinuses do not drain properly this mucus can become a breeding ground for bacteria. The sinuses mainly can't drain properly because of inflammation. The opening (ostia) from the sinus to the nasal passage is very small so if there is a lot of inflammation and the mucus is on the thick side it won't be able to come out of the opening. The openings are also at the top of the sinuses so it's important to bend over often. It's important to consume things that thin mucus so it can drain. It's the mucus staying in the cavities that will lead to bacterial growth."
03/13/2012: G from Atlanta, Georgia, Usa replies: "Its worth noting that not all A/C units are the same.

Down south here, where the climate is humid, the soil is slimy and clay like, and summer drags on for almost half the year, mold is a huge issue. It can grow everywhere in the house, including, yes, the A/C. I work in housing, and we have found that crawlspace installations are especially prone to mold. Installations in wet or dirty basements are just as bad. We think that down here, an installation in an attic, in an area kept clean and dry , works best. Also use good filters and clean the ducts periodically.

I've no doubt that some people use their AC with no issues at all. I'd be willing to bet that they live in climates that are not mold prone, or have houses located on dry hill tops, or the like.

Blanket statements that AC systems either do, or do not, cause problems, miss the complexity of the situation entirely."

10/07/2013: Americana from California replies: "For those of you who don't believe the A/C is the cause of the sinusitis, have you considered what lives inside your ductwork? It's not necessarily the air conditioner causing the problem, it's the mold, dust, and bacteria living in the ducts. These are easily cleaned. In my region, I call a local carpet cleaning company who also cleans ductwork with their steam equipment. Works beautifully to clean them."

[SIDE EFFECTS]  09/30/2007: Tina from Lake Luzerne, NY: "Out of curiosity, I read your theory about ice cream and have to disagree. I have eaten ice cream ( all kinds ) since I was a kid ( I'm 43 ). I never had sinus problems...until, 7 years ago, when I met my husband, and started sleeping in an air-conditioned room. He practically "lives" on chocolate milk, and loves his air conditioner. He constantly has sinus trouble. I believe the air conditioner is the culprit."

07/19/2009: V V from Three Rivers, Texas replies: "I think the airconditioning is most of the problem, molds from the A/C Units, I live in South Texas and we use A/C practically 9 months out of the year. Then I live by a lake with allgie and mold growth, I also have a deviated septom (crooked nose) that is not bad enough for surgery so I am prone to problems. I have run a low grade fever for several years, freezing just freezing when everyone else is hot. I did all the prescribed nose sprays, allergy meds and antibotics approx.every 2 months are so. Always tired sickly doctors can't find anything. I am healthy other than sinus infections. My daughter told me about oregano oil. I researched a little about it after her advise and choose oregano leaf (juice) 20 drops in a 4 oz of destilled water in a 8 oz nasal wash container, morning and night. At first I only put 4 drops because it burns. I finally after years of fever and antibotics now don't freez. This is the only thing that keeps the fever away.I still feel a bit weak when I have had a hard day are molds are high. I think my body is trying to fight the infections. I am reading more and think maybe I should use the nasal wash more though the daY?? I also was having vertigo the last 4 years and think that it is sinus (fungal/mold) related.I am trying to research more when time allows. I stay super busy as most people these days."
[SIDE EFFECTS]  01/06/2010: Jen from R replies: "I agree 100 percent that air conditioners give sinus infections. Every summer i get a sinus infection when air conditioners are in full swing everywhere you go. I avoid them at all costs in the summer."
06/24/2010: Christina from New York, Ny and St. Petersburg, Fl replies: "It is totally ridiculous that air-conditioning makes people sick. What is probably making people sick is that cheapskates don't change or clean air filters as often as they should be, or use the air-conditioning infrequently, causing mold to form inside and circulate around the car once turned on. I have had tremendous problems with sinus infections in the past (until the past two years), due to a blocked sinus and now that I do my absolute best to keep my sinus cavity open (unblocked) on a daily basis, I very rarely if ever get sinus infections anymore, even though I use my air-conditioning everyday year-round. Actually, when I don't use air-conditioning, I have serious problems because of outside pollutants (pollen, cigarette smoke, truck fumes, etc) entering the vehicle. I firmly believe this myth about air-conditioning making people sick is propaganda from the left wing environmentalists, to scare people into not using air-conditioning. Change your air filters everyone!!!"
10/27/2010: Smith Johnson from Trenton, Nj replies: "Christina, You agreed with the people above saying that the NOT CLEANING THE FILTERS IN THE AIR CONDITIONING UNIT ARE THE PROBLEM, and yet you still blamed a political group for spreading propaganda against using ac? Using air conditioning at all was never the problem- it's making sure it's clean on a regular basis. There's no reason to attack a political organization on a medical website, and if you feel that insecure about yourself, you shouldn't be online."
06/22/2012: Gtodd from Powhatan, Va replies: "You are right about AC and sinus infections. I am a HVAC contractor with chronic sinus issues. My wife is now fine because of this---->

I installed UV lights in our home 7 years ago.

However because of my job, the places I crawl and this infection is going on 6 months I am just going to have the corrective surgery and pray it works."

[SIDE EFFECTS]  02/09/2013: Patrice from Nashua, Nhl replies: "I Just had to add my two cents re Air Conditioning filters. My mother lived in this very expensive, assisted living facility in Florida for 5 years. I only saw them change filters once and it was disgusting all the debris. As a result she was sick constantly with frequent URIs and ended up in the ER 3 times. Moved her to another facility less expensive without all the entertainment frills etc. But filters were mandatorily changed every 3 months. It has been 4 years and she has not been sick once since she has moved there and she will be 90 this April. So this was certainly an eye opening experience for me. Check those AC filters often!!!!"
02/15/2013: Michael from San Jose, Ca replies: "Your Air Conditioner (AC) theory is completely correct. I work in the HVAC industry and can tell you I learned a lot about health during my training. For example on the west coast we use large heat exchangers called cooling towers. The work by running water down a veined surface and pass air over it to evaporate water like a giant air humidifier. At the bottom of the tower is a large (500-1000 gal.) basin of water. Anytime you have a large pool of stagnant water exposed to atmosphere and moving air, bacteria, mold, and viruses will accumulate. And one species begets the other. Mold carry bacteria, bacteria carry viruses. So on occasion these tanks must be cleaned. It's is emptied of all water and refilled with a biocide of extreme toxicity. The reason being if anyone catches a breathe of the dried mold, you WILL get Legionnaires Disease. Care must be taken when designing the air duct system for the building to keep the air intake vents away from the cooling tower. Otherwise the entire building could be infected. Which has happened, btw. Conditioned air also is very dry. Most buildings rehummidify the air to a relative humidity of 40-50%. I always run a cool mist humidifier in my home with my AC during the summer. During winter, the air will naturally be dry. Cold air is denser. Think of squeezing a sponge. There just isn't room for the moisture. Then when the air is heated again and pumped into your home, is is even dryer. There is room for the moisture, and it is going to get it one way or another. It will pull it right thru your skin. So run a warm mist humidifier in the winter with your heater. Be careful not to over do it. That can cause mold issues. If you see condensate on your windows, it's time to turn off the humidifier."


Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  07/22/2006: Paula from Virginia: "I moved to Northern Virginia in Oct of 2005 from New England. Ever since I arrived, I feel like I have been sick. I had a touch of bronchitis in Nov. My first ever Sinus infection happened in February, following bronchitis. My doc gave me a great antibiotic - and everything was fine until March when the Washington DC area pollen begins in full force. New pollen for me, so I was mildly sick with my allergies.

By the end of March I had another Sinus Infection. I got an antibiotic for that, and struggled with more allergies as new pollens were released - pollen that apparently we don't have in New England since I never reacted to this degree there (and so I've been told by others here)... In June Mold Spores came out just as pollen was winding down. (Another new irritant for me it turns out) I got yet another Sinus infection - this time it has lasted for two months and I have tried everything to alleviate the symptoms. Had two different antibiotics over the course of the month and still have the infection. I tried fresh garlic cloves every day, Vitamin C, Grapefruit Seed extract (which when taken with Vit C usually cures me of most things) , even Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda nasal washes. The infection part of it was fought by the antibiotic and a cortisone prescription nasal spray reduced the swelling. The only natural remedy that helped in conjunction for me to help make my mucus thinner and congestion less thick was Airborne. (Teacher's remedy). Try it and see if you get relief. Some of those other home remedies are great for other things, or when things just start before they get a hold of you, but once you are sick or have to contend with continuous allergies and sinus infections, nothing short of waiting for the allergy season for Mold Spores to end, taking a vacation away form the allergen and relieving the symptoms with a product like this will help."

06/06/2008: Ralph from Orlando, Florida replies: "Funny you mentioned all those symptoms, moving from the north. i moved to florida from new york. i have been hospitalized with pneumonia and asthma. 53 years in new york and i never had that. 2 weeks ago, i developed a chest, throat and sinus infection with asthma. i am a vegan. i tried to take care of these things without meds. no dice. had to get two types of antibiotics, in addition to asthma meds. i hope the body gets used to this new environment."
09/29/2009: Melissa from Deadwood, South Dakota, Usa replies: "I moved here to South Dakota in April of 2008, from New Orleans, Louisiana. Back home I would get a sinus infection maybe twice a year; since moving up here I have gotten one every month (not exagerating). My children suffer from the same thing, but not as often. Usually I just go and get antibiotics, but not this time, I'm going to try to go the natural way. Being allergic to Penicillian (?) there are few things the Dr. can perscribe to me, and I'm afraid of becoming immune to them due to constantly being on them. So far, I tried the Nasal flush last night and woke up feeling so much better than before; and I had gone to bed with horrible sinus pressure. I know different things work for different people, so I'm going to keep trying things till I find some that work really well for me to knock this out naturally."
09/29/2009: Bunny from Santa Ana, Ca replies: "I would go on a mold hunt in your new house. Check the attic, basement, and look for spots on the walls and ceilings that might indicate leaky pipes. Even old carpet that was shampooed but didn't dry out properly can harbor mold spores. It might need to be pulled out altogether. I know a few people who had all sinus issues resolve when the carpet was removed. Toxic fumes from new carpet, pergo and paint can also cause problems. Being in the north, this house is likely insulated for winter and has less air circulation than your old home in the sunny south. Hope that helps!"

Ajwai Seeds

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  10/27/2006: Mamta from Indiana: "i haven't taken any off the counter medicines for colds since 5 yrs !! and my condition was pretty bad when i came to the US. we got Ajwain seeds from an indian store or you will find it in the indian section of a chinese food store . Ajwain is indian oregano but very strong. every time i get a cold and chest is congested...i take one tsp of ajwain and roast it on a flat pan. once it starts to smoke , quickly put in a kitchen tissue and take deep inhalations, it makes you sneeze since all the nerve in the nose are raw from the cold....but in 5 minutes it all peaceful, no more colds. and RELIEF...esp. helpful in asthmatic attacks.....also have a strong concoction of ginger,black pepper, clove, basil and cinnamon...boil it in water for 5-10 min and after it cools a bit put a tsp of honey and have it hot. honey should not be heated. according to Ayurveda all these thing reduce phlegm in the body.... enjoy"

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Approval Ratings
YEA (3)
NAY (1)

[NAY]  09/15/2011: Twin-mummy from Miami, Florida: "Hey, meanwhile I am desperate. Since more then 4 weeks I have a sinus infection. I have tried prescription medicine, the recommended tomato juice, oregano oil and acv. The pressure in my head (sinus area) is not getting less and on top, since I have been taken Apple Cider Vinegar (2 ts on 16oz over the day) for about a week I have a "crawling" headache up the back of my head. Any recommendations?"

[YEA]  09/15/2011: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "I hope you are taking the honey with the ACV as they work together."
10/28/2011: Suziq from Haslett, Mi Usa replies: "Does the honey work together with ACV the same way the stevia would? Since it's a sugar substitute I hope so."
11/15/2011: Alpen Mom from South, Usa replies: "Honey is naturally antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial. No, Stevia doesn't have any of these properties. Even for those avoiding sugar, one spoon of honey has many benefits and less affect on blood sugar than a spoon of sugar. Unless type 1 diabetic or poorly controlled type 2, small amounts of RAW honey are very good for you."
[YEA]  02/04/2012: Deborah from Coeur D Alene, Id replies: "Raw honey is a natural antibiotic, so it is important to use it in conjunction with the ACV."

[YEA]  11/01/2009: Gary from Kulpmont, Pa: "sinus infections: I find acv & honey help a lot.I use only acv with the "mother" in it and raw honey if you can get it. I saw a doctor on tv yrs ago who said he found out that it was a fungus that lies deep in the back of the head, which is dormant most of the time. I use olive leaf extract which is anti-fungul and I also use olive leaf nose spray plus a neti pot. Ask your DR. for anti-fungul medicine. Olive leaf kills many viruses and bad bacteria and fungae. Use according to directions on olive leaf products. I use 1 tbls acv & 1 tbls honey."

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne

Approval Ratings
YEA (2)
NAY (1)

[YEA]  05/27/2012: Mama T from Sparks, Nv: "I was working at a job site where the receptionist had a sinus infection. She told me she was on antibiotics. She was coughing a lot and blowing her nose. I was exposed to this for about 3 days. Two days after I finished the job I was working in the garden and had an overwhelming sinus attack. I thought it was spring allergies and treated it as that. It did not abate. As I continued working at a different job sight, I got worse and the sinus infection turned green! Then I got larengytis.

I looked up on EC how to treat laringytis and did the vinegar and cayenne pepper gargle. Within minutes I coughed up a lot of gunk! I felt a lot of relief from the pressure in my voice. But it was not over. I had also seen a post about the Tomato Tea. I looked it up and made some that night. Drank it again the next day. While I was still working I was not really taking care of myself and I got worse!

When the weekend came I made more Tomato Tea and drank it often. I kept it in a pot on the stove and would drink 1 cup every couple of hours. By the end of the day the green had turned to yellow. By the next day it was gone! Faster than anti biotics(when you do what you need to do! ) I also use the netti pot with a change after checking on EC, I use 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/4 tsp baking soda with warm water to rinse my sinuses. I think this is even more comfortable to use than salt. I keep getting out a lot of the yellow stuff.

I am getting better so fast, I am so thankful. I still have a plugged internal ear but my nasal passages are clear so continue the netti pot. I have now developed a dry cough and have drank organic apple cider vinegar with agave syrup because I am allergic to bees/honey. Again the EC has suggested this and the cough has already calmed down. Tomorrow I have to go back to work, and in one weekend I have learned so much and healed a lot! Thank you all for your contributions."



DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.


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