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Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies

Last Modified on Nov 15, 2015

What is Sinus Congestion?

Sinus Congestion (also referred to as Nasal Congestion) occurs when the membranes lining the nose get swollen from inflammed blood vessels. Home remedy treatments for sinus congestion can help! Home remedies to alleviate congestion, plus hundreds of others from our worldwide contributors as reported below, include food elimination, neti pot rinsing, and warm compresses on the face.

A stuffy nose can seriously ruin your day! All the nose blowing, the sneezing, the red and raw nose is just miserable. And if the cause is allergies, the flu, or a cold then this is only one of your symptoms. Sometimes, though, congestion seems to occur in the sinuses even without an obvious illness - but you still get that congested feeling, perhaps accompanied by a sinus headache and runny nose.

Home Remedies for Sinus Congestion

You want your home treatment for congestion to address the cause and symptoms from several directions. A neti pot or other cleansing option and antiviral foods or herbs can wash away the infectious or allergenic cause of congestion. Analgesics can relieve pain and headache. Aromatherapy can open up the sinus passages, and steam or spicy concoctions can help flush out the congested sinuses.

Also check out our page on Sinus Headache Relief from Folk Cures.

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Most Popular Sinus Congestion Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar83
Neti Pot Remedy8
Oil Pulling7
Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne6
Hydrogen Peroxide4
Tomato Tea4
Fresh Ginger Root3
Multiple Remedies3

User Reviews

Sinus Congestion
Natural Cures

Jean's Famous Tomato Tea
  User Ratings Treatment

Posted by Earth Clinic

Jean's Famous Tomato Tea is so popular (197 YEA and counting), we put it on its on page! Read the considerable reader feedback on Tomato Tea here:, including Jean's updates.

Replied by Brockmanxiii
Azzano Decimo, Pordenone, Italy

Within an 15 minutes of drinking one cup of "Jean's Famous Tomato Tea" I could breath again. I used the original recipe and it worked wonders. I am already planning on a secound cup this afternoon. Thanks Jean! I found Earth Clinic by chance and now I'm addicted to searching common issues. What a wonderful site."

01/12/2011: Marie from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "I, like the many others who tried this, is thankful for this site. This worked so well for me. I got a sinus headache and wasn't sure what to do. I remembered earth clinic and found the tomato tea recipe. I went out and bought everything I needed and made it right away. I felt relief after an hour. I made more the next day and the day after that. By the second day of taking it I was back to normal. Now I just make the tea because I love eating it and I know its good for me. It has all good stuff in it. Also I make it for my friends and they love it too. Thank you Jean!!!!!"

01/23/2011: Heather from Greensboro, Nc replies: "This really works! Thank you."

03/03/2011: Gojus from Alameda, Ca replies: "Just drank a cup and feeling much better! Thanks for the receipe!"

03/16/2011: Cnlk from Plymouth, Wi replies: "Tried the tomato tea, great stuff. Didn't provide me with immediate relief, but does help. I spiced it up a bit by adding some vinegar from a jar of jalapeno's and one diced jalapeno slice. Also added a little cumin and used a 5.5oz can of low sodium V8 juice."

03/20/2011: Jmb from Beaufort, Sc/usa replies: "My left sinus was completely congested in the upper area (I can breathe fine just extreme headache and eye pain) for the last 2 days due I believe due to the extreme pollen we are experiencing this year. I just tried tomato tea 5 minutes ago for the first time and I am already feeling the benefits. I think one more cup in the morning and I will be back to normal. Thanks so much!!!"

04/15/2011: Leslie from Milwaukee, Wi replies: "It is unbelievable how good this remedy works. I made this tea after taking cough medicine 4 hours before with absolutely no relief. Halfway through drinking a cup, I could breath through my nose as though I had no cold. Thank you for sharing this natural "cure". I feel a lot better."

05/13/2011: Ryley from Vancouver, British Columbia replies: "It worked and all my sinus worries are gone. Thank you so much!

Replied by Adrienne

[NAY]   I really wanted this Tomato Tea to work but it hasn't. I even tried it twice -- real hot so that I could inhale some of the vapours. Sadly, like most things on this site, I think it's just another old folk remedy. It's been several hours since my first cup of the tea and still I am blocked in both sinuses. I will probably just go to some regular Zyrtec now.
Replied by Prue
Malaysia, Pj

Hi, may I know what is hot sauce?
Replied by Amanda
Dallas, Tx

Person from Malaysia - hot sauce is like american sri acha sauce... Its chili powder and vinegar mostly.
Replied by Rosali
Mumbai, India

This might give relief to some but not to everyone. Unless and until the cause is treated one will not find long lasting relief. The treatment should have the anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce congestion and draining out the mucus. It should also boost the immune system so that the hypersensitivity to allergies will decrease.
Replied by Scott
Indianapolis, In

[NAY]   I like the way it tastes, but it didn't do a lot for my congestion, but loved the taste and it sure didn't hurt.
Replied by Tony
Alabaster, Al

[YEA]   This helped! I went heavy on garlic and hot sauce - nasal passages may not be all this clears - but I am better in 5 minutes. Thank you! I was miserable!
Replied by Gottacloggedschnaz
Downers Grove, Il

The only ingredient missing is Vodka and a stalk of celery. I'm in!!!!

ACV, Garlic, Oregano Oil, Sea Salt
  User Ratings

Posted by KIM (MARINA DEL REY, CA) on 01/09/2008

[YEA]  Over the holiday I took a bus trip and It seemed that the person on the side, back and front of me was coughing and sneezing. I had a turtle neck and a scarf to cover my mouth and nose but when I returned home I kept feeling like I was going to catch a cold for a week. When it finally manifested it was by way of my sinus cavity and throat with a dry cough. I took an over the counter med. and Motrin and was still miserable. I finally could not take it any more and typed in cures for sinus in my computers search engine and your site was at the top of the list. When I clicked on the site the testimonial page popped up first. In Los Angeles we have a store called that delivers organic groceries. On their website they didn't have the ACV but when I talked to the sales assoc. She checked the shelf and they not only had ACV but it was organic with "mothers veil." It has been 3 days and my cough is completely gone and my sinuses no longer drip. My mixture is:
2 garlic cloves
2tsps. oregano oil
2 tbs. organic ACV
dash sea salt
8oz water
microwaved for 2 1/2 minutes
in a coffe mug

Replied by Linny
St. Louis, Missouri




Replied by Cindy
Paradise, California, Usa

First of all - it had to have been 2 drops because that is the way O of Oregano is normally recommended, by a drop at a time. Second, it has to be diluted by olive oil or another carrier oil if it was concentrated. That is very important. If you buy it at a store make sure if it is already diluted or if you need to dilute it. It works wonders for many things. I use 2 drops on my toothbrush and have saved myself hundreds of dollars at the dentist.
Replied by June
Pasadena, California

Hi Linny,

I have taken large quantities of oregano oil when I've been sick and never had any side effects! I took 3-4 supercritical capsules at at time and up to 4 doses a day. I currently have oregano leaf herbal extract in my cupboard and just looked up the dosage on the bottle after reading your thread: it says 30-40 drops per dose. Not sure what kind of Oregano leaf oil you were taking but I think you'll be okay.

Replied by Marta
Louisa, Va

Linny, Thanks for the warning/correction. June - the 100% pure undiluted organo oil (origanum vulgare) is wayyyy strong. It's very different from pills or extract which is not as strong. Still great and useful, but the pure essential oil burns even on your skin if undiluted. The 1-2 drops of the oil is the safe way to do it (diluted in something else). Hope this is helpful, and thank you for the tips!
Replied by Kim
Marina Del Rey, Ca

update: the Oregano oil I uesd was the cooking variety.
Replied by Sadie
Kapa'au, Hawaii

The difference is Linny was using undiluted oregano essential oil which my Dr. says to put one drop on your tongue. It's something you'll never forget! Use at least a tablespoon of oil per drop to dilute, which makes the two teaspoons in the recipe a more reasonable dose.
Replied by Rbrooke
Port St Lucie, Florida

Biotics Research makes a great Oil of Oregano in pill form... Easy to take. It's called A.D.P.
Replied by Suzy
Belford, Nj

Could someone please explain to me what ACV is? Sorry, I must not have seen it in the post..THX

EC: ACV= Apple Cider Vinegar

Replied by Louise
Petawawa, On

Please note that microwaving food kills any nutrient value in it - by heating the raw ACV you are killing the mother cultures and negating the trouble you went to to buy it. Raw ACV might be OK if heated gently, but high heat literally kills the living organisms that give it its healing properties.
Replied by Jb
Atlanta, Ga

Thank You Louise! WHY, anyone interested in good health would entertain the idea of using a microwave for anything, including heating water is beyond me! I gave mine away about a decade ago. Felt guilty passing on the Death Machine. If one is interested in faster cooking times, invest in a convection oven. Much safer. Makes me crazy when I read heating/cooking directions on supposed organic/natural foods, when directions call for a microwave. PA-LEEEZ! Those foods are usually produced by the Big 4 Corporations & I doubt whether they are truly organic/quality products.
Replied by Gw_berge
South Florida

If you are concerned about Microwave; Better to heat the water in microwave 1:45 - 2:00 minutes, then add to ingredients, Cover and let stand for a few minutes. That will gentle heat heat your ingredients without damaging it's integrity.

But microwave does not have nutrients, per say. ALL cooking destroys nutrients in foods. Microwave, using shorter cooking time & less water in cooking can be better than cooking/ boiling. Just like over cooking you can over microwave. Read the Instructions, use the proper power %. time, etc.

The anti microwave "movement" was started with the original, 1st microwaves that were said to give off harmful radiation. A facade. Now the movement is more of anti anything that is not organic/natural. Hippie mentality, I know, I lived it. Get ALL the facts.

Replied by Kevin
Victoria B.c.

You may be mistaken on using two teaspoons of oregano oil. More like 2 drops is sufficient.

Ajwain Seeds
  User Ratings

Posted by Johnathon (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 04/17/2008

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I tried the ajwain seeds a couple of times yesterday and didn't see any results, i followed the instructions to the T, didn't experince any of the sensations that i read from other peoples testamonials, so i then tried the spicy tomato tea and only got minor results. So i made another tea about three hours later and still only minor results, it did however help me sleep better, without having to take my any pills which i normally take to help me sleep.. I woke up without any pressure in my sinuses, and no headache, so this morning a dank another tomato tea, and a couple more througout the day. Along with drinking the tea i decided to steam with apple cyder vinager which really helped loosen up my stuffy sinuses, i added thyme and fenugreek to the cyder, not sure if that helps? im going to try a few more cures from your site, and continue with the tea and steam, and keep searching till i find what works best for me...

Posted by Mamta (Indiana) on 10/27/2006

[YEA]  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 chineses food store . Ajwain is indian oregano but very strong. everytime 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 , quiclky 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 concaction 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
  User Ratings Treatment

Posted by Chloespeaks (Nyc) on 11/08/2015

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I came home last night with a serious bout of sneezes after walking the dog through windy fall leafy weather. Immediate massive congestion accompanied by runny nose. I neti'ed immediately which helped the sneezing but everything else still present. I even took a Zyrtec, which again, helped but still massively congested after 3 hours.

Drank a warm glass of 8oz water, 2 Tablespoons honey, 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar and it immediately cleared one nostril. Felt like 50% better but my sense of smell was still gone for about one hour. Then I took another, milder dose, 1 Tablespoon each of honey/ACV. I got less noticeable relief but went to bed and slept soundly (snoring though which only happens with congestion). Woke this morning with one side still congested, but now 2 hours later completely 90% clear with sense of smell back.

Posted by Carolyn (Idaho) on 04/10/2015

[WARNING!]  Do not use 2Tbls. Vinegar in a cup of water for the sinus wash as the introduction will badly burn your sinuses, throat and nasal passages! I think an appropriate amount would be closer to 1/2 - 1 tsp in a full cup of water. The first use of the 2 Tbs dose in a sinus irrigator burned badly but went away quickly, the second sent my husband into severe pain (burning, awful headache) for several hours. I doubt I'll ever get him to try the lesser amount. He's very tough...put the cayenne in the sinus wash earlier this week...that burned, but not like this! It did get his mucous really running though.

Posted by Paula (Mississauga, Canada) on 02/13/2015

[YEA]  Just got back from vacation in Hawaii and I got really sick 3rd last day. Head and sinus congestion. My eye sockets hurt as well as my teeth. Every bone was sore and I was so stopped up I thought my head would explode. Developed a sore throat than a cough and my ears were plugged. Lots of sneezing, nose blowing And very weak.

I have often taken Apple Cider Vinegar as a health supplement and have taken it on faith it does me lots of good but never noticed anything different. Well, after landing at the airport and 2 air planes later, my voice sounded like it was inside me. The congestion was as bad as I have never experienced. I made myself an Apple Cider Vinegar drink. About 3 tablespoons added to warm water and a little cayenne, a couple of light shakes.

Approx. 1/2 to 3/4 hour later lying in bed, my left stopped up ear was making a sound than all of a sudden it popped clear open. Than all else, other ear, runny nose and phlegm in throat all stopped and I could totally breath again after 4 days of misery. Never had I experienced this before. I always wished I could be one of those people who claimed after consuming Apple Cider Vinegar had a reversal or a miraculous Turn around.

I can now claim such an experience And timing couldn't have been more perfect. I was really suffering.

Posted by Texascannas (Texas, US) on 09/16/2014

[YEA]  Tried 5% Apple Cider Vinegar from Walmart; some local produced honey to taste and hot water. I felt congestion relieve in my sinuses within 10 minutes. Thanks for a great tip!

Replied by Sunny
Delhi, India

Hi, does apple cider vinegar cure the problem permanently or is it effective on sinus attack?

Posted by Sarah (Us) on 05/29/2014

[YEA]  I get really bad allergies a couple of times a year and I'm usually just resigned to suffering through swollen sinuses and copious amounts of mucus, but it's really wearing thin. I just tried apple cider vinegar and much to my surprise, it actually helped. I'm still congested but the throbbing itchy feeling in my sinuses has finally subsided, and the congestion has lessened. Sitting here with eucalyptus oil in my burner now and hoping that will help with the remainder, but at least I have something I can take to make sleeping easier (that isn't a benadryl - that stuff really wrecks me). Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Acvworks! (Atlanta, Ga) on 08/10/2013

[YEA]  Wow... 4 days of being completely 100% stuffed up. I had been drinking tea with ACV and honey.. But obviously not ENOUGH. Measure it out... 2 TBS of ACV and 1-2 TBS of honey and 6 oz of water. Within a couple minutes BOTH nostrils completely clear... Ahhhhh! :) Now.. what to do for earaches that came from being stuffed for 4 days.

Replied by Jill

[YEA]   I just read on this site, mix equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar with alcohol. Drip a few drops into clogged ear, while laying on opposite ear. Allow to remain a few seconds then turn over to drain a little then lay back on unaffected ear so the liquid can keep working. My ear had been clogged from traveling on plane 24 hours prior! It was so frustrating! This totally cleared it-finally after taking a decongestant with no results, per the pharmacist!

Jill in Sunshine State

Posted by Sowm (Bangalore, India) on 07/07/2013

I have been having sinus congestion for the past 2 months. None of the medications worked, neti pot gave relief for an hour or so. I tried 2tsp Apple Cider Vinegar with honey and hot water and within 30 min the nose was clear. I was able to breathe freely. I still have have lots more to clear up. Thanks a lot to all the people for sharing their experiences.

Replied by Peace

Hi Sowm, The ACV u used in local made or imported one. Could you please provide me the name of the ACV u used. Thanks & Regards Mohammed, Hyderabad, India.

Posted by Suntater (Danville, In) on 05/26/2013

Apple Cider Vinegar for Sinus Congestion: Just a side note, my grandfather drank a glass of apple cider vinegar and honey every day as a daily preventative. I remember him staying home from work for only one day with a cold when I was a kid, and I even lived with him for awhile.

Posted by Sandi M (El Dorado Hills, Ca) on 05/23/2013

[NAY]  I'm so disappointed. I've had nasal congestion for 3 days now and have tried a few OTC and natural remedies, but everything only temporarily helped. Then I came across this site and gave ACV a try. I've now sniffed it, gave myself a facial steam with it and drank it with a mixture of honey and hot water.... Nothing. Well, maybe not nothing; on a scale of 1-10 (10 being able to breath clearly without obstruction and 1 being completely blocked) I'm about a 3. I can sort of still breath through my nose, but it's only mildly better. Bummer. I was really hoping this would work. :-(

Replied by Karen
Hayfork, California

I had that problem also and went to a ENT who discovered my sinus was full of polyups (benign). You may want to have it checked

Posted by Rosie (Artesia, New Mexico ) on 05/15/2013

[YEA]  I was having such a hard time breathing so I googled home remedies and came across this one using ACV. I heated 6oz of water, 2 tblsp ACV and 1 tblsp honey on the stove and drank it warm. It was actually not bad tasting and worked great. In a matter of minutes I could breath. I will definitely do it again.

Posted by Lori (Chicago Heights, Il) on 02/25/2013

[YEA]  I have been drinking the Apple Cider Vinegar tea for about 3 weeks 16oz a day. With that I have experienced loose stool and drainage from sinuses. Today I do not feel the greats but I am able to breath out of both nostrils and that feels great. I will continue to use ACV and the tea. Thank you