21 Home Remedies for Sinuses

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Every year, about 40 million people in the United States fight off the symptoms of sinus problems, as they battle congested nasal passages and pounding headaches. The worst cases seem to emerge during the cold, flu and allergy seasons. However, knowing home remedies for sinuses, you can stay one step ahead of the symptoms and gain relief without turning to over-the-counter products or prescriptions.

Home Remedies for Sinuses

What are Sinuses?

The sinuses are air pockets situated within the bones of the skull and face. They are connected to your nasal passages by small tubes or channels that allow air to flow from the nose into the sinuses [1]. Thanks to these passages, drainage of mucous from the sinuses into the nose takes place. There are eight sinus cavities in total, which come in pairs – one each on the left and right side of your face [2]. Your sinus cavities are located in the forehead, behind the cheekbones, behind each eye, and within the bones between your eyes.

Common Problems with Sinuses

Congested sinuses, facial pressure, runny nose, and headaches are usually caused by colds, allergies, sinus blockage, and dry air conditions. Other issues that affect your sinuses include:

• Deviated Nasal Septum – when the thin bone and cartilage inside your nasal cavity separates your two nasal passages
• Narrow Sinuses – some people genetically have a longer, narrower path that slows the drainage of mucous
• Sensitive Sinuses – sensitivities to the environment and certain foods can cause a dilation of blood vessels in the nose that brings on swelling
• Allergies – being allergic to certain irritants, such as tobacco smoke or dust, can affect the sinuses
• An Extra Sinus – about 10% of people are born with an extra sinus
• Typical symptoms of sinus issues include a discharge from the nasal passages (usually yellow-green), sinus pressure, stuffiness, runny nose, headache, and a low grade fever if associated with a cold or allergy. Clogged sinuses also make it difficult to breathe.

Sinus Home Remedies

If you are susceptible to sinus problems, you may want to limit your contact with irritants and allergens that can spark symptoms. For example, check pollen and air condition reports to lessen your exposure to threats. It is suggested to stay indoors when certain flowers, trees or weeds are pollinating or active. For other home remedies for sinuses, consider the following suggestions:

a) Gel Facial Mask:

The soothing relief that comes with a gel facial mask is much more than a method of pampering. You can warm a gel facial mask in the microwave and place over the eyes when a sinus attack arises. Lie down with the mask in place for 10 minutes to enjoy quick relief from sinus pressure.

b) Pineapple:

The bromelain found in pineapple offers the body an enzyme that can help reduce or prevent swelling associated with sinus problems.

c) Onions:

Just one sniff of an onion can stimulate the nose – causing a runniness that temporarily unblocks sinus congestion.

d) Inhale Apple Cider Vinegar:

Adding apple cider vinegar to boiling hot water can create a steam inhalation remedy that treats sinus headaches. Combine ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of water in a covered saucepan. Allow the content to boil before removing from the heat and letting stand for a minute. Lift the cover and slowly inhale the steam through your nose. You will find the nasal passages starting to drain. A bit of tingling in the nose is normal, as apple cider vinegar is a strong inhalant.

e) Inhale Steam:

With the power to decongest, inhaling steam can help remedy a sinus pressure headache.

f) Humidifier:

It’s common to use a humidifier to loosen chest congestion and open up clogged nasal passages. Plug in your unit to encourage the flow of mucous in the nasal passages, as well as promote drainage. Make sure to keep your door closed in order to get the best results out of the treatment.

g) Container of Hot Water:

Steam inhalation helps loosen up clogged nasal passages. When you don’t have a humidifier, fill a container or basin with hot, steamy water. Place a bath towel over your head, and while leaning over the steam, inhale the vapors.

h) White Vinegar:

When using a hot-steam vaporizer to treat symptoms of sinus problems, try adding ¼ cup of white vinegar to the water. This small addition will help ease nasal congestion linked to a sinus infection.

i) Salt:

To loosen mucus congestion and relieve the discomfort of built-up pressure, a salt water gargle can help address common symptoms of sinus issues. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water. After using, spit out the water, and repeat later as often when needed.

j) Turmeric:

With natural anti-inflammatory powers, turmeric can help decrease sinus congestion and pressure. Add the spice to a salt water gargle or simply add to your meals when cooking.

k) Curry:

You can also receive your fill of turmeric by adding curry to your dishes, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the sinuses.

l) Elevate Your Head:

When sleeping, choose a position that keeps the head elevated. This method encourages the drainage of mucus from the sinuses, as well as helps decrease sinus pressure.

m) Heated, Wet Washcloth:

To treat the pain and congestion associated with affected sinuses, try placing a warm, wet washcloth over your cheekbones, nose and eyes. The moist heat will help open up the sinuses. It is suggested to leave on the washcloth for two to three minutes or until you feel symptoms start to fade.

n) Get Spicy:

Spicy foods help promote the flow of mucous within nasal passages. Choose items, such as garlic, horseradish and cayenne, to thin out nasal mucous and fight sinus congestion.

o) Zinc:

If you are having trouble with your sense of smell because of sinus issues, try upping your intake of zinc, which can treat congestion. Add supplements to your daily regimen, such as taking one 50-milligram pill a day. You may also increase your dietary intake of zinc by eating more foods, such as dark chocolate, peanuts, and Alaskan king crab.

p) Jalapeno Pepper:

A couple of bites of jalapeno pepper will help drain your sinuses. Don’t worry when your eyes tear up – this is a part of biting into a hot pepper.

q) Tea with Lemon:

The vitamin C in a cup of hot tea with lemon will help fight sinus issues – the steam from the beverage will also help loosen sinus congestion.

r) Lemonade:

Sip a glass of room temperature lemonade to ease the discomfort of a sinus headache – the warmth of the drink and vitamin C helps treats symptoms.

s) Alternate Hot and Cold:

Alternating hot and cold compresses across your sinuses can help bring relief. First, place a hot compress on for three minutes, and then follow up with a cold compress for 30 seconds [3]. Repeat this process for three more times – using for two to six times on a daily basis.

t) Mustard:

To enjoy relief from sinus congestion, apply a nice amount of prepared mustard on your chest. Next, soak a washcloth in hot water – wringing it out before placing it over the mustard. Lie still and take in the relief.

u) Cough Drops:

To encourage the drainage of your sinuses, try sucking on a few cough drops made with menthol. Eventually, the vapors will help fight your congestion.


[1] http://www.josephbjacobs.com/pages/what-are-sinuses

[2] http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-pain-pressure-11/causes-sinus-problems

[3] http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/sinusHeadaches.cfm