Sinuses are air filled cavities located on either side of the nose. Due to allergies, cold, or bacterial infections, these may sometimes get clogged or infected. This can create various complications like headache, snoring or difficulty in breathing. In serious cases, a sinus infection may even lead to brain fever or meningitis.
There are four types of sinus problems which are common. Acute sinus usually lasts for 4 weeks or less. Sub acute lasts for 4 to 8 weeks, chronic sinus lasts 8 weeks or longer while a recurrent inflammation symptom is followed with several attacks within a year.
Certain foods that can trigger sinus symptoms should be avoided, like fried and starchy foods, rice, meat and strong spices. Regular intake of foods rich in Vitamin A can help you build a strong defense against the sinus infection. Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, suggests the some dietary precautions that you must take. “Dairy products, especially cheese, yogurt and ice cream should be avoided. Also, stay away from chocolate, sugar and yeast containing foods as they trigger excess mucus production in the sinuses. Cold drinks are a big no-no. The intake of cold liquids will stall cilia movement within the nose, making it difficult for nasal mucus to flow through the nasal passages,” he says.
Along with these, here are seven effective home remedies for sinus that can help you tackle the problem naturally.
Drinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated. These fluids help in thinning out the mucus and bring relief to the irritated sinuses. One should avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which lead to dehydration.
2. Pungent Spices
Spices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help in breaking up and draining out congested mucus. Similarly, horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. As an alternative, 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated horseradish root can be held in the mouth for a few minutes, once the taste has evaporated, it can be swallowed.
This one works like magic and doctors prescribe it too. Add 3 drops of pine or rosemary oil with 3 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to a steaming hot bowl of water or add 3 drops of rosemary with 1 drop of thyme and peppermint oil. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam, this will help in clearing a blocked nasal passage.
4. Turmeric (haldi) and Ginger Root
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in Indian. Not only does turmeric contain natural anti-inflammatory properties, it is also rich in antioxidants. When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed in hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, relax sinus pressure, and make you feel instantly better. In his book, ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’, Vasant Lad suggests that a mixture of fresh ginger juice with 1 tsp honey taken 2 to 3 times a day can be helpful.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with many health benefits. A cup of hot water or tea, taken three times daily with two or three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will help thin out excessive mucus relieving congestion and sinus pressure. Mix with lemon and honey to taste. You can also simply take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day for better results.
A number of studies support the benefits of having soup in helping ease congestion. From chicken soup to vegetable soup with fresh herbs, you can choose from a range of recipes and pick your favourite. It is the steam combined with a bunch of healthy ingredients which help clear the sinuses.
7. Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation is very effective for relieving nasal congestion and irritation. Also known as saline irrigation, it simply means gently flushing out your nasal passages with a saline solution. According to author and Ayurvedic expert, Vasant Lad, you can dissolve ½ teaspoon salt into ½ cup lukewarm water. Pour the mixture in a squeeze bottle; instill 5 drops of the solution into one nostril while tilting your head so it flows out of the other nostril. Do this with each nostril. This will soothe your sinuses and also flush away bacteria and irritants.