Last Modified on Nov 25, 2015
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.
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[YEA] 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....
[YEA] 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 problems...it 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.
Air Conditioners and Sinus Infections
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|SIDE EFFECTS (3)||100%|
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[SIDE EFFECTS] 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.
[SIDE EFFECTS] 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.
Replied by Patrice
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[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 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
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[YEA] I have had really bad sinus pressure & pain for a couple days & knew it was a sinus infection. I have been reading all the sinus remedies & thought the baby shampoo sounded crazy, but I tried it anyway & it worked immediately! Since I'd been reading a lot ... I made my own concoction of 3 oz saline, 2 drops baby shampoo, a pinch of baking soda & 2 drops raw honey...shook it up & inhaled it. Within minutes the sinus pressure & pain started to give way & cleared out. I could function again. I just used it a 2nd time before bed to make sure I can breathe clear thru the night. No burning or negative affects. I thought I was going to the doctor for antibiotics & now I know that I am not. Thank you for this odd but effective bit of wisdom. I love earthclinic and all the kindred spirits here who take the time to share what works for them... and what doesn't.
[YEA] I got a nasty sinus infection during the first week of January 2008. I went to my doctor a couple of weeks later and over the next few months I was given a variety of antibiotics, nasal sprays, singular, Claritin and a neti pot. I tried the silver spray and even used grape seed oil, oil pulling and apple cider vinegar but nothing worked until last week when my doctor gave me this simple advice.
She said: "Add two drops of BABY SHAMPOO to your saline nasal spray twice a day." I started that three days ago and I feel a thousand times better!!!!!!!! I am sending her a thank you note next week. Spread the word, use 2 DROPS OF BABY SHAMPOO IN YOUR NASAL SPRAY!
Replied by Jean
Replied by Mike
South Florida, Florida
Replied by Joyce
Los Angeles, Ca
Baking Soda and Salt Water
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[YEA] I recently had a sinus infection, whhile feeling bloated. I was going to do a bit of a detoxing cleanse, and after I drank up the first glass of warm sea-salt and baking soda water my noses started running and I could breathe through my nose again. The entire infection cleared up soon afterwards. The only downside is that the salty water can give people an upset stomach.
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[YEA] Oh, wow. The povodine idoine post might be the best tip on the whole site.
I have been using salt/baking soda sinus rinse for years, but never with the "miraculous" success others reported. There was even a couple of times when I felt like the rinse helped push the infection further up and further in. To combat this I have at separate times added either tincture of iodine or Lugol's in it -- very, very little because it has a nuclear sting -- which seemed to work and has helped in severe infections, but still nothing spectacular.
Over the last two or three days I have been building up to a full-blown sinus infection and came here to study the recommendations again when I came across this tip and realized that even though I have tried iodine, I have never tried *povidone* iodine, which is much less irritating to tissue and widely used in wound healing preparations.
I don't actually have any Betadine on hand except for some prepackaged surgical wipes a friend gave me (like wet wipes for your hands, but with betadine instead) but since I'd only need a few drops to try I figured that was enough. I knew the very first snort would tell me all I needed to know. So today when praparing the rinse I was going to do anyway, I tipped a few drops of water into the wipe packet, and then tipped the diluted betadine from the wipe packet into my sinus rinse bottle, added the water and salt/baking soda mix as usual, and had at it.
Oh. My. Gosh. It didn't sting a bit. And what's more, the building inflammation and congestion I'd had when I started was entirely gone by the time I mixed the second rinse only minutes later. (I usually do two rinses at a time. ) When I did the second rinse, instead of meeting the usual resistance from all the inflammation, the water ran out as fast as it ran in! And now, twenty minutes later, the relief is lasting just fine.
This is definitely a keeper, and not just because of povidone iodine's ease on the tissues and nasal mucosa. I have long had troubles with yeastiness, and am convinced that a lot of my sinus troubles are due to yeast... And as it happens, povidone iodine is active against fungi as well as bacteria. (I don't know about viruses, sorry. ) And if I had to place a bet, I'd say the near miraculous relief I got today was because it hit the yeast as well as whatever bacteria was trying to get a hold up in there.
Thank you so much for posting this little tip. The only thing I would add is that whoever tries it needs to make sure that they are using POVIDONE iodine (Betadine solution or its generic equivalent) and not tincture of iodine, or even a Betadine lotion/cream/cleanser/scrub, because it's not the same thing and there are a lot of products labeled Betadine. The ingredients in Betadine Solution are Povidone-Iodine 10%, Pareth 25-9, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide, and that's it. If you put some other form of iodine in your nasal rinse, I'm going to bet that you come away sincerely wishing you hadn't, because I've tried them all and never found one that didn't sting like a mother until this.
Thank you again for posting this!!!