Last Modified on Feb 06, 2016
Garlic is one of the most potent and important medicinal herbs and superfoods, used worldwide for a wide variety of ailments. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, well over 2,000 years ago, doctors and scientists have been using and studying the healing qualities of garlic, including its powerful antibacterial properties.
Sinus infections manifest as inflammation in the sinus cavity that restricts the flow of mucus. Foreign irritants, allergens or other infection in the sinuses cause tremendous pain, feelings of pressure and headache. While a number of effective home treatments are available, garlic is one of the most valuable and potent natural remedies.
Garlic - A Pungent Home Remedy
While best known for its use in the kitchen, garlic's most valuable use may actually be as an effective medicinal treatment. While particularly effective for relieving sinus infection, this powerful antibacterial is often used for immune system support, preventing cancer, protecting the liver and the heart and lowering cholesterol.
How garlic works:
Garlic contains a number of unique sulfur compounds including allicin that make garlic an effective antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. When used as a home treatment, garlic naturally relieves swelling in the nasal passages, thus maximizing the flow of mucus in the sinus cavity and eliminating infection. Recent studies have shown the ability of diallyl trisulfide, a component in garlic oil, to protect the heart during and after cardiac surgery. Another garlic compound, diallyl sulfide, was found to be over 100 times more effective against the Campylobacter bacterium than two popular antibiotics. This bacterium is one of the most frequent causes of infections in the intestines. Garlic's effectiveness against this bacterium could have tremendous disease-reducing benefits to the food supply and the environment.
How to use garlic:
Garlic can be used as an effective health remedy in a variety of ways. One of the most effective and functional treatment options involves crushing the garlic and using it as a spread. To do so, chop or mince the garlic, allow it to rest for a short period. Mix the garlic with honey and take as a paste or spread it on a piece of toast.
Potential Side Effects
While garlic is an effective treatment option, it does possess some limited side effects because of its potency. Care must be taken when using the treatment to prevent such issues. It is generally considered safe when eaten, although a limited number of people may experience some gastrointestinal issues. Overuse may also cause some to experience excessive sweating or lightheadedness.
While the remedy is best known for its pungent flavor and aroma, it is also an effective home health remedy. Garlic can be used to treat congestion and inflamed nasal passages, alleviating the pressure associated with sinus infection.
Continue reading below for feedback from our readers who have used garlic to treat their sinus infections!
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34 User Reviews Add New Post
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I wanted to share another option for the garlic used for a sinus infection. I am currently dealing with a horrible sinus infection because I spent hours using a blower in my yard to clear away all of the pollen that fell from my trees. It is my fault for not wearing a face mask...duh! I have used this remedy many times and recommend it to anyone who suffers from allergies or chronic sinus infections, as I am not a fan of antibiotics at all.
You will need a nasal mister (the mister style works best, but a saline squeeze bottle will work) I usually find that most pharmacies have a generic mister style sprayer full of saline that I can unscrew the top to set aside in container to refill later. This container works best because the tops can be taken off and usually costs well under $5. If using a squeeze bottle, you will just need to empty it and suction in the garlic blend a little at a time. I usually start with about a half of a clove, the mister bottle and distilled water (if you do not have distilled available, boil some tap to remove the chlorine and let it cool) mince the garlic and then place between two spoons to smash it, place it in the mister and add slightly heated distilled or cooled to warm boiled water and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
After cooled but still warm mist/squeeze two times in each nostril. It may sting and technically it should sting a little. If it does not sting a little, then add a little more garlic. As you use it more often and infection improves it will no longer sting. I use this same potion for 3 days and then make a fresh batch. Store it in the refrigerator and do this 3-5 times a day.
It will ease symptoms of pressure and pounding face and head right away. It calms the inflammation and after a few days to a week the infection will be completely gone without a trip to the Dr. and no antibiotic's needed. This also works for stuffy nose, allergies and common cold congestion. It is a life saver and I highly recommend it for anyone suffering any sinus complications. I hope this helps who ever is willing to try it.
Replied by Kathleen
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Replied by Angela
Traverse City, Mi
Replied by Myway
[YEA] Double YEA! I so happy to find this information but I wished it were years ago.
I can't believe how fast and effective the Qtip soaked in garlic solution has almost completely taken away all the swelling and pain. Relief! I would normally think only a round of prednisone could resolve.
[YEA] I have had sinus infections every fall and winter for the past 20 years. They are rarely bad enough to disrupt my life significantly, but always unpleasant and draining. I used to take antibiotics and sudafed or mucinex almost immediately after the onset of symptoms (green phlegm, sore throat, congestion). Now I just rely on garlic, apple cider vinegar and keeping my nasal passages (and body) hydrated. Of these, garlic is the most effective by far. Apple cider vinegar seems to reduce the production of phlegm, but so does avoiding certain foods, like milk. Just a few days ago I was on the 3rd day of a sinus infection I was hoping would go away on its own and when I went out for dinner, I was lucky enough to be served a side of garlic bread with heaps of nearly raw garlic. That did the trick!
[YEA] Just wanted to share my experience with garlic and my first sinus infection which included dental/jaw pain and headache on one side of my face. For two days I crushed a clove or two of non irradiated garlic (there's a green sprout inside) every two hours and mixed it with some honey for swallowing. I chased that with a glass of water with a couple drops of peppermint oil - this not only helps with flavor, but settles the stomach. I felt much better by day 3 and continued the garlic three times a day. I am on day 5 and still taking the garlic 3x/day. My symptoms are gone. I am still blowing out some yellow on that side and will continue the garlic until it's clear.
[YEA] I underwent 3 sinus operations for a continuous sinus infection. Antibiotics for almost 6 months, finally my ENT recommended I use Pulmicort in my sinus wash, which opened everything up but my sinuses continued to generate large amounts of gunk on a daily basis. In desperation, after reading the remedies on this website I tried crushing a fresh garlic, adding hot water and washing my sinuses with the solution. Very uncomfortable, but within 4 days the daily flood of sinus gunk stopped. 18 months later I developed a head cold, and the sinus problems started again. I had continued with the daily saline sinus washes in the interim, but started the garlic routine again and within 4 days my sinuses cleared.
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Replied by Latoya
[YEA] Was blowing out bloody, yellow yucky stuff for a full week. I used garlic in my neti pot from instructions I found on YouTube. Chop up a few garlic cloves and LET THEM SIT FOR 15 MIN. Pour boiling water OVER the cloves, and then dispose of the garlic. Add sea salt (I use the packets). Use this mixture in the neti pot once it cools. My sinuses were so irritated that the first treatment was... Uh, exhilerating... Almost painful. The second was much better. I did three treatments (no more than 2 a day) and I was 100% cured. Really could have stopped after the second treatment because I felt SO MUCH BETTER. From experience, the garlic worked for me.
At the same time, I had a painful earache. A few drops of oil of oregano cleared that right up. No doctor or antibiotics necessary!
Replied by Sunny
Replied by Sunny
[YEA] I have been suffering with a migraine from a terrible sinus infection, plus kidney pain and flu-like symptoms yesterday. I went to the acupuncturist and the nausea and migraine got worse. A 9 on a scale of 1-10. I finally took advil but it only diminished some. Enough to sleep. I have been eating nothing but cold apples, they are soothing somehow. I have taken garlic chopped up (1 clove) every 3-4 hours for over 24 hours. No relief, which usually kicks anything out of my system in a day or two. I also got some chinese herbs from the acupuncturist. No relief. I tried the ACV this morning. No relief. Tried the cayenne in warm water with honey, it seemed to work at first, but then it seemed to not work after only an hour and another dose. I am chicken about snorting the cayenne and dropping the garlic liquid with a dropper up my nose.
I tried chopping the garlic up (3 cloves) with fresh oregano about 2 tablespoons chopped. I poured just enough boiling water over it to cover, then I put a tiny pinch of cayenne in the mixture and let it sit for about 20 mins to a half hour. I put q-tips in the watery mixture and laid down and put the q-tips up my nose. I sneezed a few times and although it burned a little, it was actually relieving to the pain of the sinus infection and migraine I have been feeling. I have relief for the first time I almost 48 hours! Thank you so much earthclinic! I hope this helps someone else. I did it 3 consecutive times and I will do it several times before I go to bed tonight. I went from feeling 95% crappy to feeling 35% crappy after the q-tips. Huge difference!
Replied by Nanas3355
[YEA] Garlic juice is the cure all for the sinuses.
[YEA] I make a home preparation of a garlic solution by mashing 8 to 10 cloves of garlic and pouring just enough hot water over the top to cover and allow to stand for 2 days. I then strain out the garlic and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful of table salt to the mix and put the garlic-salt water into a small, clean vessel with a well fitted lid. When an infection is present I dip a Q-tip into the solution and carefully insert it into the affected sides nostril. I leave it in place until the person cannot stand it any longer. Once I remove the garlic saturated Q-tip I have them blow their nose. It doesn't take more than a few of these treatments to clear up a sinus infection. You will know it is clearing because the nasal mucus will begin losing the yellow or green color and begin to turn clear again.
This can be a rather irritating treatment, but it works and works fast, without any long term side effects. During treatment, it may be some what uncomfortable and there will be a tendency for some people to sneeze. But the Q-tip must be left for as long as the person being treated can actually tolerate it. Usually, even with bad infections, it only takes about five or six treatments to end the sinus infection completely.
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[WORKED TEMPORARILY] I'm new to all of this, I came here hoping to get some info, I had a recent possible sinus infection and how do I know, it has a foul smell and it clogs the left size of my nose every night, I drink alot of teas sometimes garlic with green tea or Orange Juice, or I buy some halls vitamin c defense, it helps for a short time but then later on it comes back. Whats the best thing for me to do? I have vinegar in the house I can try that and see what happens.
[YEA] Fresh Garlic cured my Bronchitis and Sinus Infection. 1 finely diced clove (not the entire bulb) 3x's daily with any complimentary food that has been cooled almost to room temp (eg. diced tomatoes, avocado, chicken noodle soup, spaghetti sauce, pizza, or even apple pie.) Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antifungal. Within an hour or so, easier to breather and think, in 4 days cleared up symptoms. Took for 7 days to eliminate any chance of becoming ill again. Drawbacks: odiferous breath, and the odor also emanates from the pores of the skin. Use strong breath mints/cologne/essential oils to your liking.
[YEA] I just inhaled some Hydrogen Peroxide and I am sitting here with my feet slathered in Vick's Sauve. I drank some Tomato Tea and now I'm sipping on ACV and honey. I also did my Russian Garlic Cure (see recipe below). Something is kicking in that's for sure! For two weeks I have had much congestion and coughing..very aggravating to say the least. So I am happy to report that things are calming down! All ideas people post on here are worth trying and I am one of those people who will try most 'home remedies' before I will go to a doctor. The poor things don't have a clue about stuff like this.. bless them. Most 'cures' are in our kitchen's anyway. One that I have had success with is one the Russians use. (Now I see why they are so ticked off..lol).
Chop up two or three cloves of garlic (very finely) put in small cup or whatever and cover with about 40 drops of water ,let it stand (10-15) min's so the water can absorb the oils from the garlic. The recipe calls for an eye dropper to drop 20 drops of garlic water in each of your nostrils. My suggestion is to drop a drop or two in one nostril at a time, to see how much you can stand because, if you have an infection there will be intense/immense pain! But please don't let that stop you from using the recipe until you have used it all! I nearly died when I did this the first time WOW I ain't kidding ya -- the pain was severe. But hey it worked great!! And you will notice there is no garlic smell while it is fighting the infection. Since I now know what this feels like I take it slowly.. I won't stop trying this because it works very fast.
Replied by Rena
Mineral Bluff, Georgia
Replied by Debra
Kansas City, Mo
[YEA] Sinus infections have been a life long problem for me. A few years ago I started using fresh garlic for blood pressure. I peel off a bit of the bulb and cut it into small enough pieces to swallow. Chase with water and dinner. Well after several weeks which include the time frame that I always get a sinus infection, I suddenly noticed I did not get my usual problem. The next few seasons came and went and I came to the realization that the garlic had cured my chronic sinus problem. Now when I feel sinus problems coming on, I have a extra bit of garlic and 'NO MORE SINUS PROBLEMS'. That was proof for me.
EC: The juice of garlic has a most beneficial effect on the entire system as it helps dissolve an accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavities, bronchial tubes and the lungs.
Replied by Susan
St. Louis Park, Mn
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