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What are Natural Sinus Remedies?

By C. Ausbrooks
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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Natural sinus remedies serve as an alternative to over-the-counter medications, and can relieve sinus pain, pressure, discharge, and related symptoms, such as headache, fever, and fatigue. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 37 million Americans suffer from chronic sinus infections. Since scientific medicine offers no foolproof cure for the condition, many people turn to alternative medicine for relief. Several common herbs and spices can be effectively used as natural sinus remedies.

Echinacea (E. purpurea) is one of the most commonly prescribed natural sinus remedies, and is also effective in treating other cold and flu-like symptoms. Also known as purple cone flower, echinacea is an antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibiotic herb. It is most famous for its ability to enhance the immune system, which can help combat a sinus infection. Taking one 300-400 milligram capsule every two hours, until symptoms subside, is the typical dosage. Echinacea should not be taken by people with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is another of the immune boosting natural sinus remedies. It is a Chinese herb which is also known as “locoweed” in the Western United States. While echinacea stimulates the immune system when taken frequently for a short period of time, astragalus gradually enhances the immune system’s strength. It is particularly helpful for anyone prone to long lasting sinus infections. A typical dosage consists of up to eight 400-500 milligram capsules per day, as needed, until symptoms cease.

Oregon graperoot (Mahonia aquafolium) has gained popularity in recent years as a natural sinus remedy due to its anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antimicrobial properties. It is an evergreen shrub, similar to barberry, and is native to the west coast of Northern America. It can be found most frequently in tincture form, and is useful for treating a variety of conditions, including sinus infections. A typical dosage is 20-30 drops of tincture, diluted in water, taken up to three times per day.

Common garlic (Allium sativum) is also frequently used as a natural sinus remedy. The same bacteria which make the herb pungent also help fight the bacteria that cause sinus infections. Cooking deactivates these ingredients, so it must be taken in capsule form, eaten raw, or added to food in the very last minutes of cooking. Three 500-600 milligram capsules may be taken per day to relieve sinus pain and congestion.

Usnea (Usnea barbata) is a lichen, sometimes called Old Man’s Beard, which is found hanging from trees around the globe, and is similar in appearance to Spanish moss. It is a potent antibacterial and anti-fungal herb, known for its ability to fight streptococcus bacteria, which is a common cause of sinus infections. It must be taken as a tincture, as it extracts poorly in water. The recommended dosage is 20-30 drops of tincture taken up to three times per day.

Many other herbs are also commonly used for sinus pain, including peppermint, horseradish, feverfew, and ginger. Other natural sinus remedies may include nasal rinsing, or using salt water and neti pots to gently flush the sinuses, and steam inhalation therapy. For less severe sinus problems, like those caused by the common cold, essential oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint may also be inhaled to clear the sinuses and improve breathing.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Talentryto — On Jun 05, 2014

Because many sinus problems are caused by allergies, and allergies are often agitated by dust particles, an easy sinus treatment is to clean the dust in your home as thoroughly as possible.

Dust in a home can be very irritating to people who have sinus problems. It makes matters worse that indoor air is much more polluted than outdoor air. Cleaning and dusting on a regular basis will reduce allergy attacks and in turn, will help prevent sinus problems.

There are many types of cleaning solutions and cleaning tools that are recommended for people who have allergies. For example, some companies make allergy-free cleaners, and others make vacuums with filters that catch allergens. With the help of these products, you will be on your way to better breathing and clearer sinuses.

By Raynbow — On Jun 05, 2014

Whenever I have sinus congestion, pain, and pressure, I put warm, wet cloths across my face. This seems to help relieve the pressure and the warmth also loosens congestion.

By Ocelot60 — On Jun 04, 2014

Inhaling eucalyptus is a great natural sinus remedy. Eucalyptus has a scent that naturally unplugs nasal passages allowing people who are suffering form sinus problems to breath freely. It is also safe to use, and has a pleasant, herbal smell.

Eucalyptus can be breathed in by using an ointment that contains it under the nose or on the chest. It can also be inhaled by putting natural eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or in a bowl of steamy hot water.

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