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.