Located on either side of the nose, sinuses are air-filled cavities which sometimes get infected or clogged due to cold, allergies, or bacterial infections. This can result in difficulty in breathing, snoring, headache or in serious cases, may even lead to brain fever or meningitis.
Types of sinus problems:
- Acute Sinus – usually lasts for 4 weeks or less
- Sub-acute Sinus – last for 4 to 8 weeks
- Chronic Sinus – lasts 8 weeks or longer
- Recurrent Inflammation – followed by several attacks within a year
Certain foods that can trigger sinus symptoms are strong spices, rice, meat, starchy and fried foods. Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, suggests that:
“Dairy products, especially cheese, yogurt and ice cream should be avoided. Also, stay away from chocolate, sugar, and yeast containing foods as they trigger excess mucus production in the sinuses. Cold drinks are a big no-no. The intake of cold liquids will stall cilia movement within the nose, making it difficult for nasal mucus to flow through the nasal passages.”
You can build a strong defense against the sinus infection by regularly taking foods rich in Vitamin A. Along with this, here are some effective home remedies that can help you to naturally tackle this problem.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A cup of tea or water added with two to three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and taken three times a day can help thin out excessive mucus, thus relieving congestion and sinus pressure. For better results, you can simply take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day.
Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water, tea, or juices without sugar. These will help thin out the mucus, thereby bringing relief to the irritated sinuses. Avoid those which could lead to dehydration like smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
Pieces of evidence show that having a soup can help ease congestion. You can have some chicken soup or vegetable soup or any of your favorite. Just add some fresh herbs and healthy ingredients to help clear the sinuses.
Some spices like cayenne pepper have antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties that can help in breaking up and draining out congested mucus.
You can also create a mucus dissolving elixir by mixing horseradish with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Alternatively, ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated horseradish can be held in the mouth for a few minutes. You can swallow it once the taste has evaporated.
Turmeric and Ginger Root
When brewed in hot tea, the combination of spicy ginger and turmeric can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, relax sinus pressure, and make you feel instantly better.
This is also known a saline irrigation and is very effective in relieving nasal congestion and irritation.
Dissolve ½ teaspoon salt into ½ cup lukewarm water. Pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle. Instill 5 drops of the solution into one nostril while tilting your head so it flows out of the other nostril. Do this with each nostril. This will soothe your sinuses and also flush away irritants and bacteria.
Have a steaming hot bath of water and add 3 drops of rosemary or pine oil, 3 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of eucalyptus. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam. This method will help in clearing a blocked nasal passage.