Natural Remedies for Sinus Headache From Allergies

| Modified on Oct 20, 2022
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Sinus blockages from allergies can result in incredibly painful sinus headaches and traditional meds may provide only temporary sinus headache relief. However, natural remedies can often get to the true cause of your sinus headache, bring pain relief, and stop the cycle of sinus infections and headaches.

Many times, what you think of or even what your doctor diagnoses as a sinus headache is in fact a migraine or tension headache.

What is a Sinus Headache?

The symptoms that particularly characterize sinus headaches include significant pain in the front of the head, the cheeks, and at the bridge of the nose. This pain will worsen if you bend down or move your head quickly.

A stuffy nose and yellow-green or even red mucus discharge may also be present.

A sinus headache will most likely occur around the time of a cold, the flu, or another infection that will have caused the mucus blockage in the sinus cavities (and it is this that typically indicates a sinus headache diagnosis rather than migraine.)

Natural Remedies for Sinus Headaches

You have many options in home remedies to treat sinus headache symptoms.

To start, use a humidifier and/or steam treatments to moisturize your nasal passages. Saline nasal sprays may help improve sinus drainage.

Warm compresses over the sinuses can relieve pain and pressure. Apple cider vinegar, natural pain relievers, and aromatherapy such as peppermint oil may help open up the sinuses, kill off an infection, or simply relieve sinus headache pain.

One herbal remedy you may want to consider is feverfew, a plant that has some documented support as to its effectiveness for headache in general and sinus headaches particularly.

Continue reading below for remedies from Earth Clinic readers who effectively treated their sinus headaches!

Related Links:

Effective Natural Remedies for Managing Sinus Polyps
Find Relief from Sinus Infections Naturally
Natural Allergy Relief: 10 Simple Remedies to Alleviate Symptoms
Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies

Air Conditioners and Sinus Headache

Posted by Michelle (Nc, Us) on 07/12/2011

You are likely actually suffering from migraines if you get a what feels like a "sinus headache" from A/C blowing on you.

There are estimates that many "sinus headaches" are actually migraines. This was the case with me. I had years of sinus infections, but after my migraines began and I started treating them (with prescription triptan class migraine meds), I began paying more attention to possible migraine triggers and realized that the "sinus headaches" I got whenever A/C was blowing on my head/face were actually migraines. I had only slight improvement when trying methods to help sinus congestion/irritation, but these headaches did respond very well to migraine meds.

I still have sinus issues and agree that A/C will irritate sinuses by drying them out, so repeated exposure to A/C blowing on you would most likely lead to sinus problems, but if you get a "sinus headache" directly after A/C is blowing on you, then you may want to look into a migraine treatment.

I was skeptical at first because they really feel like sinus headaches to me, but the response to migraine meds (not sinus treatments) for these specific headaches convinced me that they were migraines instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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Posted by Cbee (Toronto ) on 10/19/2022

I had the inklings of a sinus headache; used betadyne throat spray and doused a makeup pad with ACV…wiped it on my face over my sinus area. Woke up right as rain!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Sydney) on 09/18/2014

I have suffered from ear aches since I was a child. I have seen ear specialists doctors and basically no one cared or even said anything was wrong. I self-diagnosed myself with sinusitis as an adult but when I asked doctors what I can do for the ear pain they basically recommend Zyrtec and nasal sprays. These help sneezing but never my ear ache. The only thing that gave me temporally relief from the ear pain was ear candling. However that is expensive and usually only helps for about one hour. I started researching cures for sinus and came across ACV (Apple cider Vinger) OMG I cannot tell you how much this has helped with the ear ache I have been taking it with warm water twice a day for 3 days now (two caps full) I am allergic to honey so I can only have it on its own and wow I can actually feel the ache leaving me. If you have a sinus ache try this treatment. I am not sure how good it is for arthritis weight loss and skin etc. but for sinus ache and especially the ear it is amazing.

Replied by Anna S
(Woodridge, Il)

Thank you for the post, I just used the apple cider vinegar and I can feel an immediate difference. I have drainage problems for almost 2 years. My ear, nose & throat are not affected. I almost feel like normal after this and I just used it a few minutes ago. I do have a bad back and wonder if this was the problem.

Replied by Lois
(East Hartford Ct)


1) I use and recommend using pure maple syrup instead of honey, to make the ACV drink tolerable. Xylitol is a good idea too, as it helps eliminate bacteria and sweetens the concoction. Maple syrup (only pure, not commercial syrup) also adds important minerals to the remedy, and is much easier to mix in.

(2)Make sure you don't take the ACV without diluting with a few ounces of water, as it is highly acidic... Will burn your esophagus (even if you can't feel it) and will also wear away your tooth enamel.

(3) Always rinse your teeth with water after taking a dose (even diluted doses), and don't brush your teeth for a good 20 minutes or so after rinsing!

(4) Also, best results come with raw, unpasteurized ACV... B---gg's is the only brand I know of that offers this. It's a great overall tonic for your body as well as the benefits listed here.

Replied by Sandra

If you add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda it solves the acid problem, it tastes much better, and won't affect your teeth.

Replied by Lin
4 posts

Sandra, do u drink apple cider baking soda once daily and how long have u done it? Do u do 1 tbsp of apple cider and 1/4 tsp soda?

Replied by Angela
(United Kingdom)

Just so that I am clear, are you drinking the apple cider vinegar or using it as a nasal rinse in a netti pot?

EC: Hi Angela,

She was drinking ACV in water twice a day, and definitely not putting it in her ear. (The honey part makes that clear).

Replied by Nick
(Venice, Florida)

Has anyone tried using Apple Cider vinegar capsules in place of liquid...

If so would appreciate any info you can provide.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amy (Atlanta, Ga) on 10/28/2011

Thank you all so much. I have been dealing with a splitting sinus headache all day. I haven't been "sick", but my sinuses have been blocked all day. I tried apple cider vinegar, honey and water and now within 10 min my nose is already remarkably better and my head is 50 percent better. So happy to have found this site!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kate (Morro Bay, Ca) on 04/22/2011

I've had a sinus headache for four days, so far. I was so desperate I'd try just about anything for relief. Nothing was working. I was really skeptical about this one, but what the heck. Why does something so nasty tasting have to work? Why couldn't ice cream work instead? I gagged it down with honey mixed in to make it less awful. My only disappointment is that it's not a cure, so I'll probably have to do it again. But, damn... Apparently it works!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by P. (Atlanta, Ga, Usa) on 04/07/2011

It works! Thank you so much for posting this solution here. I was in such pain all day from a horrible sinus headache. I could not breathe out of either nostril. I tried everything I could think of to alleviate the congestion so that I could breathe and sleep. I read about the cure here and took 8 oz water plus 2 tbspn of ACV and within an hour, I could breathe. Plus it took away the feeling of nausea. I would highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from these types of headaches.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Arlene (Meredosia, Il.) on 01/05/2010

I just realized after two weeks of acv, not only all of my sinus problems are gone, but the muscle aches that accompanied it. I didn't realize that that was what was causing the pain all over my body until someone mentioned it on this site. My husband and I have been miserable with the sinus headaches, congestion etc., but we attributed the aches and pains to arthritis. We are in our 70's so it was logical. It wasn't arthritis at all it was the sinus infection. I feel 100% better.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by VancouverBoy (Vancouver, BC) on 04/19/2009

Sinus Headache and Apple Cider Vinegar:

I am in the movie industry. The other night we were shooting on a closed airtight stage, about a 9000 sqft stage. Inside the stage we had created a small forest Real Trees plants moss, dirt. We then added smoke (mineral oil smoke) constantly into the air to create a foggy look. I spent appx 10 hours on the stage. Taking 5-10 breaks every hour or so. Anyway. after shooting for one day my sinuses were shot. I had a sinus headache, behind my left eye, then jumped to my right, I tried the accupressure point system, I sat in a steam room, I did the neti pot deal. but the headache would not go away. It just left for the moments of the remedies treid. This went on for the entire weekend. I was suffering until I found this website. I hate using prescribed man made medicines. I mixed about 4 tablespoons of ACV in with 8oz of warm water. Drank it straight down, then put a teaspoon of the ACV under my tongue and held it there for as long as possible (about 10 minutes). My stomach immediately got a little upset, then calmed down. I am actually hearing the sounds of drainage in my head. Slowly it seems to be clearing. I hope it works for you guys.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kathy (Edgewater, FL) on 07/26/2008

I have had a sinus headache for 2 days. i have taken sinus medicine over the cunter and lots of aspirin. nothing has worked. i found this web site, i took 2 tbls acv in 8 oz of water, put the pot on the stove, heated the water till it boiled and took it off and breathd it in with a towel around the pot for 15 minutes. my headace is gone now. i also drank 2 tbls in 8 oz water with zylitol sugar and lemon, it was not bad. hope the pain stays away. i am worn out from dealing with it.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carolyn (Salem, NH) on 04/03/2007

I have suffered sinus infections for years. This was one of the worst. The pain was intolorable. It was 1:00 am when I googled sinus pressure natural cures and your site came up. I read the feedback and left the house at 1:15am to go to a local all night store to get some ACV. I immediately drank 1/4 cup and tried the steaming. Within 10 minutes my nose was running and the pressure had diminished. I am going to stay up a little longer and steam again and I can't thank you enough for this GREAT natural remedy. Oh, by the way I had been on an antibiotic for 7 days at this point and taking otc decongestants. Nothing helped as much as the ACV. I will never be without it!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jeff (Antigo, WI)

I was skeptical to try this (apple cider vinegar). But I did after the first signs of a sinus headache and pressure. That was last nite and this morning the headache was gone and my sinuses are draining very easily now. i would recomend this to anyone with a sinus cold.

Replied by Pam
(Austin, Tx)

how much AVC did you take and do you take it alone or with a 8 oz glass of water.

Replied by Cat
(Austin, Texas)

Two tablespoons apple cider vinegar + honey plus eight oz a water! Note the honey is optional.... Felt better and could breathe better within minutes. It worked. Must be a natural antihistamine. Will see if headache goes away too.

Replied by Margaret

It works. I have had a terrible sinus headache for to days. Thank you so much.

Apple Cider Vinegar Nasal Rinse

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Posted by Claudia (Great Barrington, Ma) on 04/24/2015

This week I had intense sinus pressure/headache from tree pollen. I tried drinking apple cider vinegar, but it made my headache worse almost immediately. I then read posts on EC in the sinus infection section about putting a teaspoon of ACV in a neti pot filled with warm, distilled water and rinsing the sinuses. I did this and felt so much better 10 minutes later! I hope everyone tries this. I have used a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in a neti pot before and gotten good results, but I think I prefer the ACV. It was milder and had an immediate effect!

Replied by Andrew

Rubbing a 50% solution of DMSO and water to the temples and face over the sinus passages I have found gives relief in 5 minutes for the sinus headache, keep reapplying every 10 minutes until relief comes for more severe headaches. Nettle Tea and Turmeric work well against the pollen allergy. I mix 1 teaspoon of Turmeric in a little milk and add 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper for better absortion and drink 3 to 4 cups of Nettle Tea a day.

Bee Pollen

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Posted by Ruth (San Francisco Bay Area, California) on 05/24/2014

I tried Bee Pollen at the Wednesday Farmer's Market. I liked it, so I went back today to buy it. I came home and once again I started to feel a really bad sinus headache coming on. In fact, I felt it coming on last night, filling my sinus cavities with pain.

I went upstairs after today's farmer's market to lie down due to the pain of a Sinus Headache and I asked my husband to bring up the bee pollen and a spoon. So he did, now I feel pretty good. The relief is almost instant.

CAUTION: on the allergy page, people put a caution saying that you have to work yourself up to having more of this stuff. Worth it to read the Allergy page here at Earth Clinic for the bee pollen caution.


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Posted by Angela (Bloomfield, Nj) on 10/03/2018

Finally, something that works. I find a cotton swab so I used a piece of paper towel, twisted it, wet the tip and rolled into a little cayanne pepper. I folded my lips and very gently inserted the paper towel with the cayanne pepper into my nostrils and applied it to the walls of my nostrils. After about 30 seconds, I began to sneeze. Oh boy did that feel good and my nose started to run. In about 2 minutes my headache disappeared. I am now up doing house work. Thanks for this site.

Posted by Kay (Destin, Fl) on 05/17/2013

Instead of snorting cayenne; I use the age old Mexican remedy of coating the tip of your tongue in cayenne/red pepper for a few minutes. Instantly my mouth starts drooling/draining, so I do it over the sink (or keep tissues ready); with a minute or so my sinuses are running as well, and soon the headache subsides. Since I get sinus pressure/headaches often, I collect the little packets of "crushed red peppers" from the Pizza Parlor, to keep in my purse, desk, car, medicine cabinet, briefcase; they make this remedy "portable" and very handy, just stick your tongue in the lettle packet then wait for relief!

Replied by Emma
(Orlando, Fl)

So glad I found this remedy. Nothing has gotten rid of this darned Sinus headache, the pressure, the fatigue - Urgh! So I put some Cayenne Pepper on the handle of a tea spoon and stuck my tongue in it. Yes, after a moment or two my tongue started to burn, (you know - that good burn you get when you eat something way too spicy?), then my gums and teeth felt very apparent (lol), then the drooling. Stay over the sink so you can spit it out ok. I then did a couple of inversion yoga poses to help the process along and I can honestly say that the pressure I was feeling has diminished (not totally gone), but I'm not feeling 'Urgh' anymore. Next time I'm gonna try the snorting it version (although this scares me a little, I feel a direct hit at the problem may bring more relief?)

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