If you are like us, sinus congestion is an annoying part of life. For some, it can be a serious medical condition.
Nasal congestion happens when the tissues and blood vessels fill with excess fluid. This creates a swollen effect in your nasal passages.
While there are treatments such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines these are always a smart choice. For example, the CDC has reported that antibiotics do not fight many of the sinus and ear infections. And may contribute to antibiotic resistance.
To help, we have put together this handy list of natural remedies for sinus congestion. With these methods you should be feeling better soon.
Drink more fluids
Especially water. You want to stay hydrated to help your sinuses drain. Stay away from drinks that could cause you to become dehydrated. This includes caffeine and alcohol.
Flush your sinuses
This could take the form of a saline spray or salt water rinse with a Neti pot. For salt water you will want to use distilled water or boiled water to make sure it is safe to flush out your sinuses.
Clean the air
If your congestion is from allergies you will want to ensure the air in your home is clean. Go with a HEPA air purifier and run it where you spend most of your time. For most people this is the bedroom.
Stay away from pollen
Pollen allergies like hay fever causes nasal congestion. To get relief we suggest you minimize your contact time with the allergens. A good way to do this is to take your shoes off before you enter your home. Change your clothes and brush your hair or shower. Wash your face. Pollen can trigger allergies around your eyes and it’s good to clean that out. Regularly wash your sheets and pillow cases. Another tip is to keep your windows closed. You want to keep the pollen out.
Try fish oil
Fish oil has been shown to help with dry eyes. In addition, a Danish study showed pregnant women with asthma allergies who took fish oil had kids with lower allergic reactions. Its also been shown to be good for your heart and blood system due to the Omega 3 fatty acids.
Add eucalyptus to hot hot water and breathe in the vapors. Eucalyptus is a key ingredient in cough drops. It is an expectorant and provides relief to the sinuses. In addition, it contains antioxidants to help with your immune system.
A key benefit to peppermint oil is its menthol. This helps to relax the muscles in your respiratory system. A good way to enjoy this is as part of a herbal tea. What’s not to like about that?
Apple cider vinegar
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8 oz cup of hot water or tea. You may want to add honey to balance out the taste.
Tumeric is a spice that is found in many curry dishes. It contains something called curcumin that helps to heal your sinus passages. It also could help reduce congestion.
Initial studies have shown acupuncture provides some relief for allergy sufferers. The jury is still out as to why. The current thinking is that it is related to reduced inflammation in allergic reactions.
Elevate your head while sleeping
When you lie down it’s easier for your sinuses to become clogged. If you can keep your head elevated this can help the sinuses drain while you sleep.
Take your vitamin C
It’s best to get vitamin C through whole foods like oranges or pineapple. This will give your immune system a big boost. And can help to prevent a sinus infection.
Oregano can have many benefits such as improving digestion and fighting infections. And it’s also helpful for sinus infections. Similar to other oils you can steam this and breathe into your nasal passages.
Take a long shower
A long, hot shower or steam bath helps to break up the mucus in your nasal passages. It also keeps your nasal moist.
Eat spicy foods
Eating spicy foods with horseradish, mustard or wasabi can flush out your sinuses. You can also try spicy tomato tea. You can make this by combining tomato juice, chopped garlic, a dash of lemon juice and hot sauce. For a little extra spice and flavor consider adding pepper.
Place a warm towel on your face
The heat and steam can help to loose up the mucus.
Sinus pressure points
There are a few places on your face where you can press for one minute or massage to relieve the pressure. One is above the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows. A second is at the top of your nose just below the ridge of your eyebrows. A third is around your cheeks. Feel around for the soft, sore areas below your eyes.
Garlic is an herb that has been shown in a study to reduce congestion from colds. Some initial studies indicate it may be good as an antibacterial as well. To enjoy garlic, consider cooking with your favorite vegetables for a healthy meal.
Use a humidifier
A humidifier or vaporizer can be a great way to add humidity to your room and therefore moisture to your nasal passage. While it can be a good solution you will want to be careful not to have high levels of humidity for too long. Mold can grow when the humidity is above 50%. So, you want to make sure you don’t fix one problem and create another. Learn more about how humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers compare.
Want to learn more about cleaning your air? Check out the Beginners Guide to an Air Purifier.