Those of us who experience seasonal allergies and sinus troubles are suffering the unpleasant side effects of a mild winter and early spring as the blossoms burst forth with their gift of windblown pollens. Toss in the annual spring cleaning ritual in which we’re beating rugs, dusting blinds and turning mattresses – and we’re wheezing and sneezing a virtual symphony of sinus misery, day in and day out.
Want to try some natural remedies for sinus health support? Here are a few suggestions:
- Sniff a pinch of ginger to relieve the pain of swollen sinuses, says David Frawley, director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, N.M. He says to do this whenever you have sinus congestion. However, do not use this remedy if you develop or are prone to bloody noses.
- Both apple and dark grape juices may be beneficial to those with sinus problems, says Dr. John Peterson, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Muncie, Indiana. He recommends drinking the juice at room temperature and apart from meals. You can dilute either juice with water if it seems too strong.
- David Edelberg, M.D., an internist and medical director of the American Holistic Center in Chicago, recommends steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil added to the water. And he says a person with sinus problems may want to try the following regimen of dietary supplements for sinus health, to be taken twice daily: 400 international units of Vitamin E; 2,000 milligrams of vitamin of Vitamin C; and 500 milligrams of n-acetyl cysteine.
- Keeping your nostrils moisturized is the key to sinus health, recommends Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. Using an eyedropper, put five drops of warm ghee (clarified butter) in each nostril once in the morning and again at night.
- Air that is overly dry, especially in houses with forced air heat, can contribute to sinus problems. A humidifier can add moisture to the house, which may help to prevent sinusitis. The humidifier should be cleaned regularly to keep it clear of mold.
- A lukewarm saltwater solution may help restore easy breathing, according to Dr. Lad. To make the solution, he says to mix ½ teaspoon of salt in ½ cup of warm water. Then, he says, hold the salt water in the palm of your hand and sniff a bit into each nostril to help drain the sinuses.
- A variant of this method is to use a neti pot to flush irritants from the sinuses. The neti method is also known as a “yoga nasal wash.” People who practice this as a daily habit swear it offers blessed relief from chronically congested sinuses. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few attempts it will be easy and it can become part of your daily personal hygiene, along with brushing your teeth and flossing. Here is an instructional video from the Himalayan Institute on how to properly use a neti pot.
Do you have a favorite remedy for seasonal sinus relief?