Dr. Koralla Raja Meghanadh
Sinusitis relief with home remedies
Updated: 10 hours ago
Fighting sinusitis or getting relief from sinus pressure is about maintaining a balance between infection and immunity. Our body can fight out the infection in acute sinusitis with good immunity. When the body does not control acute sinusitis, it progresses to chronic sinusitis. Immunity alone cannot fight chronic sinusitis. Although at any stage of any infection, our immunity is the only fighter against any infection, and antibiotics or antifungals are weapons that empower our immunity.
In 95% of patients, immunity can win against sinusitis without medication.
So, adding supportive home remedies to acute sinusitis can prevent the transition to the chronic stage and provide relief. Read our article Is Sinus really dangerous? to understand why it is important to take care of sinusitis in the early stages. Although in late stages, these remedies work but will not be solely sufficient.
1. Small but many workouts daily
Any exercise done for 10 minutes that can increase heartbeat by ten bpm will produce adrenaline. Adrenaline reduces the mucus lining(inner skin) swelling, increasing the size of sinus openings. Increased size of the sinus opening will allow easy flow of stagnated fluid from the sinuses. Disposal of this fluid will make it easier for immunity to fight infection.
Exercising continuously once a day in the gym or on a jogging track for a prolonged time is not a good idea in this scenario. People tend to strain themselves in the gym or jogging track for more than 30 minutes, and this strain or stress can result in muscle building or burning calories but can negatively impact immunity. However, this exercise will also reduce swelling. Still, it is better to exercise 3 times a day for 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes in a row, i.e., washing sinuses three times a day is better than washing them once a day continuously for a long time.
2. Steam inhalation
Steam inhalation for only 5 minutes 3 times daily should do the job. We have to breathe the steam. No need to sweat or use a blanket. There is no need to add any medication to the water as it creates only a temporary, unnecessary soothing effect. This steam thins up the stagnated fluids in sinusitis and helps in an easy drain.
Please do not use a blanket to cover while inhaling steam, or do not inhale the steam for more than 5 minutes. This applies to both sinusitis and regular flu. Excess inhalation can increase the temperature of the breathing path and damage the inner lining of your breathing path. A slight temperature rise will give you soothing, and a higher rise will damage cilia in the nose and sinuses. Remember, the whole idea of steaming is to humidify the breathing air and make the phlegm thinner, not to heat it.
3. Magical immunity booster combination for sinusitis relief
This one is the most straightforward home remedy to execute for Indians and will boost immunity. This trick can be used in our daily life irrespective of if one has sinusitis or not.
Any spice in our kitchen, including red or green chili, taken moderately, boosts our immunity. Turmeric is the star ingredient to boost our immunity, as per Ayurveda and in studies conducted by modern scientists. In Indian cuisine, turmeric is consumed daily as an ingredient in dal, sabzi, and other dishes. Black pepper helps our body to absorb turmeric or any other spices easily. Adding a tiny pinch of black pepper with turmeric or other spices means we multiply the nutrients absorbed by our body.
The action of spices is not dose-dependent, so there is no use in increasing the milligrams or grams of spices in the diet. Spices in huge quantities can lead to gastric problems.
A small fun fact is that tons of immunity boosters are made from turmeric in the market. Check out the ingredients list, and we will find piperine which comes from black pepper.
4. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated can keep the secreted fluids in the sinuses thin. So, it is important to take adequate water as per your body weight. Here is the formula to determine how many liters of water you need to drink daily to stay properly hydrated.
Daily ideal water consumption in liters = 0.03 * body weight in kilograms
Drinking excess water for long periods can result in heart failure. The chance of heart failure increases with age and in people with mild kidney problems.
5. Adequate sleep
Excess or inadequate sleep can reduce immunity.
To know about standard treatment protocol, you can read the below article.
Treatment for Sinusitis- Acute, Chronic & Subacute stages
What foods cure sinus infections?
There is no specific food that can cure a sinus infection. But a protein-rich healthy, and balanced diet that can improve our immune system can help our body fight off infections, including sinusitis.
Spices can help improve our immunity, but excess can give us gastritis, and by the way, the action of spices is not dose-dependent. To improve the absorption of these spices, we can use black pepper in small quantities. Black pepper has piperine that helps in absorption.
You can read our "Magical immunity booster combination for sinusitis relief" for more details.
Does steam help in the sinus?
Steam inhalation is a natural and effective home remedy for sinusitis. The steam helps to loosen up the mucus and fluids trapped in the sinuses, making it easier for the body to flush them out. It can also help to relieve congestion and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
It's important to note that while steam inhalation can be helpful, it's essential to use caution and follow proper procedures. The goal is to ease the outflow of fluids, not to heat the breathing pathway and cause additional problems. One should avoid inhaling steam that is too hot or too long, as this can lead to damage to the respiratory system.
To learn more about inhaling steam, please refer to the above "Steam inhalation" section.