Updated: May 19
Fighting with sinusitis 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. 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 on 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 10bpm 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 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 the swelling, but 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 a day 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 soothing effect that is unnecessary. 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 up 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 both as per Ayurveda and in studies conducted by modern scientists. In Indian cuisine, turmeric is consumed daily as an ingredient of 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, there are tons of immunity boosters 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 an adequate amount of 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 even mild kidney problems.
5. Adequate sleep
Excess or inadequate sleep can reduce immunity.