Sinus Congestion
Natural Remedies

Sinus Congestion - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Sinus Congestion. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Peppermint Oil

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 05/19/2023

Peppermint Oil for Sinus Congestion

Here is a trick you can do at home to un-clog your sinuses. This remedy must be done just before bedtime because the menthol and bioactive chemicals from the peppermint will make your eye water and tear. If your eyes are closed, there is no problem.

Peppermint oil is highly effective at relaxing muscles in your nasal passages and helping to clear out the muck and pollen from your respiratory tract during allergy season. It's considered one of the best essential oils for allergies because of its expectorant, anti-inflammatory and invigorating properties.

A lab study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that menthol displayed potential therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergic rhinitis, colitis and bronchial asthma.

Take 20 drops MCT Coconut oil or regular coconut oil (since it's a light oil and penetrates easy into the skin). And add 20 drops Peppermint oil (I like Now Brand) ratio 1:1. Mix together in a small bowl with your finger til uniformed.

Apply this mixture over your sinus plexus, all over your forehead, temples, jaw, cheek, as close to the eye orbit as you can get (but not in your eyes!), nose bridge, in front and back of ears and back of neck. Immediately go to bed.

Have tissue handy for what will come next. Your sinuses passages will dilate and open up. Next, the flood gates of thick snot will start coming out. Depending on how bad you were congested will determine how long this will last. For chronic sinus issue's, you may need to repeat for a few days to completely clear the sinuses of infection.

If you have hyperactive skin, dial down the ratio to 5:1.


Posted by Jonathan (Franklin, MA) on 12/06/2020

Lloyd's remedy below of steaming with equal parts ACV and water that has come to the initial simmer/boil with a towel over my head is now my go-to method for onset of colds; change of weather that affects sinuses; and seasonal allergic responses.

I had come to have a chronic sinusitis which was triggered often and predictably.

The ACV steaming not only has an immediate relieving effect but I believe it has rid me of the root chronic condition, removing old infected mucus. I am soo grateful to finding this method on EC and I tell everyone about it.

The other method I use is to put 3-5 drops of either ACV (any more will burn), 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide, or Lugol's 2% Iodine into my neti pot or a refillable nasal mist sprayer combined with the warm saline solution. I'll rotate all of these methods during seasonal changes when my sinuses are more sensitive. Just fantastic!

Lugol's Iodine

Posted by Cecilia S. (NY) on 12/02/2020

I had had clogged and inflamed sinuses on and off for the last 20 years. Iodine is an inexpensive natural substance that is antiviral and antibacterial. I use about 5-7 drops of Lugol's food grade Iodine in a diffuser with distilled water and I run it all day. I think my infections are due to damage I had on my sinuses from inhaling pesticides and caustic chemicals over the years with my work. Now I'm am in my late 60s. I inhale the vapors when I pass by, and for the most part, I keep the diffuser running all day near my work space. It kills bacteria that causes infections and it helps. I learned about Lugol's iodine from a chiropractor when the covid virus started. To run an iodine diffuser in the home was a good way of keeping the virus from taking hold in the mucus membranes in my sinus passages.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Nina (Philippines) on 09/08/2020

Hi to all our EC readers from the Philippines!

It's nearly 12 midnight and I can't sleep due to sinusitis and the dreaded headache that accompanies it. So, I went to this site and read through.

I decided, steam inhalation is the best coz it can go to places no one has ever gone before! Hihihi

1/4cup ACV ( braggs wd the mother.)
1cup water

Heated it up in the microwave two min.

Tilted my head over the bowl wd the mixture, got a clean dishtowel n covered my head including the bowl, so the steam will just concentrate on the area I want and not scatter all over the place.( I hope you get the picture) tried my best to breathe through my clogged nose. After a while it slowly cleared. Made sure to breathe deep and while doing that I did those facial sinus massages they do on You Tube.

I did spit a lot of clogged stuff while my sinuses were draining. After about 10 minutes of that, I'd gargle ACV wd warm water n a pinch of cayenne. That got all the mucous in my throat out. What a relief!

Walked a bit to allow gravity to drain away more clogging. I felt my headache just saying goodbye not wanting to come back to me. Good riddance!

I did the whole cycle two times.and after about
30 minutes, my sinuses were drained no headache, happy me!

I can't thank you enough for sharing this!

Garlic Steam

Posted by Beanie (Newhall, Ca ) on 04/26/2017

Steam your sinuses with garlic water.

I have read here that some people actually stick garlic cloves up their nose! Why? Who would want to deal with the intense burning?

Use garlic water to steam away nasal infection and burning in your nasal passages and to clear your sinus congestion. Here's what I did:

My sinuses had been congested for more than a week and for the last two of those days my nasal passages were burning severely. It was so uncomfortable that I could not sleep. The saline spray I was using only helped a tiny bit to briefly help me breathe better but the burning was getting worse. I don't think the saline spray (arm and hammer) was causing the burning as it only has salt, water and baking soda.

Anyway, I must have developed an infection that was causing the burning sensation and making me miserable. I then had the idea in the middle of the night ( perhaps a God idea) to steam with garlic. The next day, I put about two cups of water in a pot, grated 3-4 garlic cloves in it...I used a micro plane but you can just smash them very finely. After the water came to a boil, I lowered the heat and inhaled the steam deeply through my mouth and nose alternating. I did this for three to five minutes. I covered the pot to save the mixture and steamed twice more that day. Some time after the first steam...maybe a hour or so later, I noticed that I did not have the burning. I was so thankful. It is a gentle but powerful way to ease sinus pressure and burning.

Use distilled water for the garlic steam if you have it but it's not absolutely's just the purest way since the dissolved solids are distilled out. Furthermore, I have read that distilled water attracts toxins in your body for that reason (the water elements are no longer bonded to the heavy solids such as calcium, so excess calcium etc in your blood causing you issues like pain, will attract to the pure water and be flushed out). I don't know if it's advisable to drink distilled water for extended periods but it detoxes you so drinking it for a few weeks can help you eliminate toxins. You may have detox effects like mild headaches, sweating or etc when you start. It's different for everyone. I had the sweating the first day. Anyway, back to the steaming....try the garlic steaming for burning in your nose and to help clear up congestion, and drink distilled water for a few days to help you flush things out. God Bless you all.