23 Sinus Infection Home Remedies

home remedies for sinus infections

According to CNN Health, more than 30 million Americans battle a sinus infection every year[1]. Some of the unfortunate victims will suffer a chronic infection that returns to wreak havoc on the nasal passages with inflammation. The nasal congestion, sinus pain and nasal discharge that follows is enough to make anyone scream. To get a head start on the road towards recovery, sinus infection home remedies can help you get through the symptoms.

What is a Sinus Infection?

The sinuses are spaces in the skull that are filled with air and located behind the forehead, nasal bones, cheeks, and eyes. When the sinuses are healthy, they contain no bacteria or other germs. This means that mucus is able to drain out and air can easily circulate. A sinus infection (also called sinusitis) is characterized by an inflammation of the sinuses that occurs when an infection develops – usually at the hands of a virus, bacteria, or fungus.

There are four different kinds of sinus infection that you may encounter:

• Acute sinusitis – This infection lasts for less than one month.
• Sub-acute – With fewer severe symptoms, this infection lasts for more than one month (but less than two months).
• Chronic – A chronic case lasts for more than two months, and causes the classic symptoms of sinusitis.
• Recurrent – This type of condition is identified when an individual suffers four or more sinus infections in a one-year period.

Causes and Symptomssinus remedies

The typical cause of a sinus infection is when bacteria or other germs compromise the health and function of the sinuses. A sinus infection is often related to a cold or allergies (when too much mucus is produced and starts to block the openings of the sinuses), but can also develop because of other reasons. For instance, small hairs in the sinuses (called cilia) may not properly move out mucus. This is usually a response to a particular medical condition. You may have a deviated nasal septum, nasal bone spur, or nasal polyps that may block the opening of the sinuses [2].

The signs and symptoms of the typical sinus infection include post nasal drip, facial pain, nasal congestion, tooth pain, pain or pressure in the ears, sinus headache, cough, fever, sore throat, itchy eyes, sinus drainage, and sinus pressure (especially in areas near the sinuses).

Other sinus infection symptoms include:

• Nasal discharge that looks white, green, gray or yellow
• Patients may experience bad breath and/or detect a bad taste in their mouth
• Swelling can develop around the eyes and near the cheeks
• Decreased sensations of taste and smell

In children, a sinus infection usually emerges when a cold or respiratory illness seems to be improving, but then begins to worsen. They may experience a high fever accompanied by dark nasal discharge that lasts for at least three days. Some children will cough while others do not.

Home Remedies for Sinus Infection

If you think a cold is bad, consider the length of time that the typical sinus infection lingers. To lessen the intensity of symptoms, you may want to get acquainted with the following sinus infection home remedies:

a) Jalapeno Peppers:

Eating a jalapeno pepper will encourage the sinuses to drain – just minutes after eating the fiery food. This is also a good way to gain relief from a sinus infection headache. ??

b) Warm Compress:

A warm compress applied to the face several times a day can help decrease the congestion of sinus cavities. Position a warm washcloth around the eyes, nose and cheeks to treat facial soreness and headaches associated with a sinus infection.

c) Zinc:

To treat a decreased sense of smell because of congested sinuses, zinc supplements and eating foods containing the mineral can help. It is recommended to take one 50-milligram supplement on a daily basis. Foods high in zinc include lean beef, oysters, turkey, bran flakes, and nuts, such as peanuts and cashews.

d) Vitamin C:

Fight a congested nose by taking up to 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily to treat stuffiness. Loading up on citrus fruits will not only help your sinuses, but will also provide an overall boost to your immune system.

e) Onions:

Fight nasal congestion associated with a sinus infection by sniffing in the odor of an onion, which leads to stimulation in the nose. Your nasal passages will start to run and bring temporary unblocked congestion.

f) Cinnamon:

When you wish to treat a sinus headache, add a small amount of water to one tablespoon of powdered cinnamon to create a paste that is applied directly to your forehead. This remedy may create a stinging sensation.

g) Garlic:

The juice of fresh garlic cloves possesses both antifungal and antibacterial properties that can fight the root of your sinus infection. You can drink the juice straight, or add freshly chopped garlic to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam for about five minutes. Repeat at least 2 to 3 times a day.

h) Warm Soups:

Eating a bowl of warm soup with a dash of garlic is a good way to combat a sinus infection headache.

i) Chicken Soup and Pepper:

To open up your nasal passages, consume chicken soup seasoned with heavy doses of black pepper.

j) Black Pepper:

You don’t have to get your fill of black pepper by adding it to a soup – try sprinkling the spice on some of your favorite foods to help clear sinus tracts.

k) Mustard:

Applying a generous amount of prepared mustard to your chest can provide instant relief from a sinus infection. You will need to a soak a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, and then position over the mustard. Lie still and let the mustard work its magic.

l) Spicy International Cuisine:

The spiciness of many ethnic dishes is a friend to people battling nasal congestion. A recipe for relief may include Mexican, Chinese or Indian cuisine containing hot peppers.

m) Warm Bath:

Taking warm water baths can provide relief from the congestion of a sinus infection.

n) Apple Cider Vinegar:

The potassium contained in apple cider vinegar offers effective relief from a sinus infection by easing sinus pressure and reducing mucus. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a full glass of warm water, and drink two to three times a day.

o) Basil Tea:

For centuries, people have been sipping basil tea as a way to quickly clear the sinuses.

p) Plug In the Vaporizer:

To soothe the nasal passages of a child with a sinus infection, vaporizers come in handy. Some people will add Vicks[3] (or a menthol salve) to the water to encourage further nasal congestion relief.

q) White Vinegar:

When using a vaporizer to ease your sinus infection misery, add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the water to deliver an extra healing boost that eases nasal congestion.

r) Cayenne Pepper:

To unplug a stuffed nose associated with a sinus infection, try sprinkling a small amount of cayenne pepper on your food.

s) Ginger:

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can help calm a sinus headache, as well as aid in overall pain relief. Some people chew on raw ginger, while others prefer sipping on a cup of ginger tea.

t) Steam:

To enjoy relief from sinus infection congestion, add steaming hot water to a bowl and bow your head to inhale the vapors. Follow this process for about 10 minutes while taking 30-second breaks after every second minute. Throughout the day, inhale the steam to help thin out mucus that gets stuck in the tracts. The drainage will alleviate the pain.

u) Elevate Your Head:

When you keep your head in an elevated and upright position, you can avoid the nasal congestion that tends to develop when you are lying down. This is particularly relieving for young sinus infection sufferers.

v) Drink Lots of Liquid:

Increasing your liquid intake will help thin out mucus secretions, which promotes effective drainage of nasal passages. Water and juice have a hydrating effect on the body, while other beverages (like coffee and alcohol) contribute to a dehydrated body. You can also drink hot herbal teas to avoid increased inflammation of the sinuses, as the warmth of the brew aids in thinning out secretions.

w) Exercise:

Exercise is an effective decongestant that doesn’t cost any money and is easy to satisfy. Just go for a walk and you’ll notice better breathing. The nasal membranes shrink because you are benefitting from improved blood circulation.


[1] http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/expert.q.a/03/09/chronic.sinusitis.brawley/index.html?hpt=Mid

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001670/

[3] http://www.vicks.com/en-us