Are you struggling with a sinus infection? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to make it disappear, but nothing seems to work? You’re not alone—sinus infections are one of the most common types of illness, and they can be difficult to eliminate. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help get rid of a sinus infection. This article will discuss the 14 best natural remedies to get rid of a sinus infection.
What is Sinus Infection?
Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen. The sinuses are air-filled spaces located in the bones of the face and skull, and they are lined with a thin layer of mucus that helps to keep the nasal passages moist and free of germs.
When the sinuses become infected or inflamed, the mucus can’t drain properly, leading to a buildup of pressure and discomfort. Sinus infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, or other irritants and can range from mild to severe.
Types of Sinus Infections with Symptoms
There are several types of sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, based on their duration and cause:
This is the most common type of sinus infection, usually caused by a viral infection lasting up to 4 weeks. Symptoms may include facial pain, pressure, and congestion, as well as a fever.
Treatment may include over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, and saline nasal sprays to help relieve symptoms. If the infection is bacterial, antibiotics may be prescribed.
This type of sinusitis usually lasts between 4 and 12 weeks and can be caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include facial pain, pressure, congestion, and nasal discharge.
Treatment may include antibiotics, nasal corticosteroid sprays, and saline nasal irrigation to help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
This type of sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks and can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, or structural issues such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum.
Symptoms may include facial pain, pressure, congestion, and a decreased sense of smell or taste. Treatment may include antibiotics, nasal corticosteroid sprays, antifungal medications, or surgery to correct any structural abnormalities.
This type of sinusitis occurs when a person experiences multiple episodes of acute sinusitis over the course of a year. Treatment may include addressing any underlying causes, such as allergies, and preventing further infections, such as avoiding irritants and practicing good hygiene.
Common Causes of Sinus Infection
Sinus infections can have a variety of causes. Here are some of the most common:
- Viral infections: Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, such as the common cold, flu, or COVID-19.
- Bacterial infections: In some cases, a bacterial infection can cause sinusitis. This is more likely to occur in people with weakened immune systems or those with a viral infection that has weakened their nasal lining.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions to substances such as pollen, dust, or pet dander can cause inflammation in the sinuses, leading to sinusitis.
- Nasal polyps: These are growths that can develop in the nasal passages, obstructing the sinuses and causing infection.
- Deviated septum: A deviated septum is a condition in which the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity are crooked or misaligned. This can cause difficulty breathing and lead to sinus infections.
- Environmental irritants: Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, or chemicals can irritate the sinuses and lead to infection.
If you are experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
14 Natural Remedies to get rid of Sinus Infection
You can relieve the symptoms of sinusitis by using some of these home remedies.
1. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is one of the best-relieving irritation and nasal congestion. This treatment lets you gently flush out nasal passages and clear mucus using a saline solution. To perform this simple technique, you can use a neti pot, bulb syringes, or a special squeeze bottle. (Source)
- Add one teaspoon of pickling or sea salt to a glass of distilled, filtered, or sterilized water. Make sure you do not use table salt as it may contain additives.
- Add one-half teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide or a pinch of baking soda to the mixture.
- Pour the solution into a bulb syringe or neti pot.
- Stand over a basin or sink and spray, pour, or squirt some solutions into your nostril. Tilt your head to allow the liquid to flow out of your other nostril.
- Repeat with your other nostril to remove bacteria and other irritants.
Follow this treatment once a day to alleviate the symptoms of sinus infection.
2. Raw Honey
Honey is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral, making it one of the best solutions for getting rid of a sinus infection. It helps in reducing inflammation and soothes the throat.
Honey also helps strengthen the immune system, essential in fighting the bacteria or viruses that cause infection. There are many ways to use honey for treating sinusitis:
- Mix one tablespoon of honey with two teaspoons of lemon juice. Consume this mixture to expel mucus and treat sinusitis.
- Another option is to mix one tablespoon of honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Consume this paste once a day to help your body clear mucus.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water. Bring this to a boil and remove it from the heat. Add one tablespoon of raw honey. Drink this three times a day to treat the infection.
Raw, organic honey can alleviate headaches, swelling, nasal congestion, pressure, and difficulty breathing.
3. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek has been used for sinusitis since ancient times due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can alleviate irritation and inflammation in the nasal passages, providing relief.
- Add one to two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water and bring this to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and strain.
- Add one teaspoon of raw honey.
- Let it cool down, and drink this juice while it is still warm.
- Drink this blend three times daily.
Fenugreek may cause side effects like coughing, facial swelling, and panting (asthma symptoms). Consult your physician first before considering this remedy.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and acidic content that can help prevent the infection from worsening. It also contains essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that break up the mucus and clear the symptoms of sinusitis.
- Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water. You can also add some stevia for additional taste. Drink this mixture two times daily until the infection is gone.
- Alternatively, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. Add one tablespoon of honey and stir well. Consume this concoction to cure sinusitis.
- You can also combine one-fourth cup each of water and apple cider vinegar. Add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and honey to a boil. Consider adding some fresh lemon juice for additional health benefits. Drink this once a day for the best results.
Avoid consuming too much apple cider vinegar can damage teeth and irritate the throat and esophagus.
5. Tea Tree Oil
One of the best natural remedies for sinusitis is tea tree oil, which contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that combat the virus or bacteria causing the infection.
This oil also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, soothing nasal passages and reducing symptoms like sinus pressure, chest congestion, cold, and headache.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a pot of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and lean forward towards the bowl. Inhale the steam for a few minutes to get relief. Follow this treatment two times daily.
- Add 12 to 15 drops of tea tree, lemon, and rose geranium oil in your bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your body in the solution and inhale the scent of the essential oils.
- You can also do nasal irrigation and add a few drops of tea tree oil to your saline solution.
Garlic contains potent antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, making it one of the best solutions for getting rid of a sinus infection.
This readily available ingredient also contains expectorant and decongestant properties, which help unclog the nasal passages and relieve congestion and pressure.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 3 to 5 crushed garlic cloves. Let it simmer briefly before removing the pot from the flame. Wrap your head in a towel and inhale the steam for a few minutes. Repeat this treatment twice daily.
- Another option is to combine garlic with turmeric powder. Pour one cup of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add four garlic cloves and ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder. Stir it well and pour the mixture into a cup. Consume this to treat the infection fast.
- You can also blend five garlic cloves with two teaspoons of honey. Take this mixture before meals.
Note: Do not consume too much garlic as it may lead to a burning sensation, allergic reaction, digestive problems, bad breath, and other side effects.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral properties that help treat sinusitis and other infections. It has been used for years to treat different health problems, from sinus problems to gastrointestinal upset.
Thanks to its polyphenols, it can stop the excessive production of mucus. It also reduces swelling, pain, and pressure around your eyes, head, and face.
- Slice a piece of fresh ginger root into small pieces.
- Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil over low heat.
- Strain and add some honey and lemon juice for additional health benefits.
- Drink this tea twice or thrice daily to speed up your healing process.
You can also make a ginger compress by brewing ginger tea and dipping a clean towel into it. Squeeze out excess liquid and apply it to your face. Inhale the steam. Repeat the application three to five times.
8. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibiotic properties that help alleviate congestion and treat sinusitis. The curcumin compounds in turmeric also reduce the swelling in the sinuses and open the airways.
- Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk. You can also add a bit of honey for additional taste. Drink this once a day until the sinus infection is gone.
- You can also make a turmeric smoothie by combining one tablespoon of honey, two pieces of turmeric root, lemon juice, one banana, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and one-half cup of water. Blend all ingredients and drink this nutritious smoothie once a day.
9. Steam inhalation
Inhaling steam can help loosen up mucus and reduce inflammation in the sinuses. To use this method, start by boiling a pot of water on the stove. (Source)
Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and transfer the pot to a safe surface. Place a towel over your head and lean over the pot.
Ensure your face is at least 10 inches from the water, and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes. During this time, the steam will help to open the nasal passages, reduce inflammation, and thin out mucus.
Once the 10 minutes are up, blow your nose gently and dry your face with a soft towel. After using steam inhalation, repeat this process twice a day until the sinus infection has cleared.
10. Using a humidifier
A humidifier can help to keep the air in your home at a comfortable humidity level, which can help reduce inflammation and aid in healing.
First, fill the humidifier with clean and cold water. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. Then, set the humidifier to the highest setting and turn it on.
This will help to create a comfortable, moist environment that can reduce the thickness of mucus and help to clear blocked nasal passages. Additionally, it can help to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
Place the humidifier in the room where you spend the most time and keep it running for several hours each day.
Change the water daily and clean the humidifier often to prevent mold and bacteria buildup. With regular use, a humidifier can help to relieve symptoms of a sinus infection and promote healing.
11. A healthy diet
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help keep your immune system strong and reduce the severity of a sinus infection. Begin by eliminating processed and sugary foods. Replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Increase your intake of foods with vitamin C, like oranges, broccoli, and bell peppers. Additionally, include foods like nuts, seeds, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.
Finally, eat probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, to support a healthy gut microbiome.
12. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important for keeping your mucous membranes healthy and flushing out bacteria and other irritants from your sinus cavities.
Drinking plenty of water can help get rid of clogging and excess mucus. It also helps lower your dehydration risk and improve your overall health.
Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water for additional health benefits.
13. Rest and relaxation
Rest and relaxation can help to reduce the symptoms of a sinus infection. To start, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
Additionally, try to limit stressful activities. Take time to practice mindfulness, deep breathing, and other calming activities.
Take breaks throughout the day to rest and relax. Spend time outdoors, if possible. The fresh air can help alleviate congestion and improve sinus pressure.
Take a break from screens and other technology. Instead, focus on relaxing activities like reading, journaling, or napping.
14. Regular exercise
Exercising can help you get rid of a sinus infection. Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, or swimming, can help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and sinuses. This can improve airflow and reduce the buildup of mucus.
Additionally, exercise can help boost your immune system, which can help your body fight off the infection. It is important to start slowly and increase the intensity of your exercise as you get used to it.
Take breaks as needed and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Finally, avoid strenuous activities such as weightlifting or contact sports that could irritate your sinuses.
How to prevent a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infections can be prevented by taking certain precautions and making lifestyle changes. Here are some tips to help prevent sinus infections:
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially during cold and flu season. Avoid touching your nose and eyes, as this can introduce germs into your sinus cavities.
- Keep your sinuses moist: Use a saline nasal spray or a neti pot to rinse your sinuses and keep them moist. This can help to prevent the buildup of mucus and bacteria that can lead to a sinus infection.
- Avoid irritants: Avoid exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and other chemicals that can irritate your nasal passages.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your sinuses moist and prevent the buildup of mucus.
- Manage allergies: If you suffer from allergies, take steps to manage them. This can include avoiding triggers, taking allergy medication, and using a humidifier to keep the air moist.
- Avoid cold and flu: Avoid catching a cold or the flu, as these can lead to sinus infections. This can include getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of developing a sinus infection.