Home Remedies I

“You can set yourself up to be sick, or you can choose to stay well.”

~ Wayne Dyer

I have tried many of these home remedies and experienced relief and healing. Some may appeal to you more than others. The important thing is to try them (most, if not all, are fairly safe with proper usage and are without harmful side effects) and when you find remedies that work for you, just stick with them and make each a part of your daily routine. The first part of home remedies deals with common physical symptoms of sinusitis and rhinitis.

Nasal Congestion and Sinus Pressure:

  • Sinus flushing with a neti pot has been most effective for immediate relief of nasal congestion and general healing of my nasal membranes and sinuses. First of all, I could breathe freely right away as irritants and mucus were flushed out. Also, I felt lighter in the head as sinus pressure and pain diminished. You can create saltwater for the cleansing by mixing 1 tablespoon of salt in a pint of warm water. You can also use a bulb syringe or squeeze bottle but I personally found my stainless steel neti pot to be most convenient and safe to use. For more information on the neti pot and its usage, click How To’s.
  • Oil of oregano is known to have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory properties by health studies. Obviously all these qualities are vital in fighting sinusitis. It is a natural oil extracted from wild oregano plants. The two key ingredients are carvacrol and thymol that are essential in strengthening the immune system. Oil of oregano can be applied directly onto the skin for skin problems or can be taken orally. For sinus congestion, mix 2-3 drops of oil with juice and drink it daily. There may be few side effects, such as iron absorption by your body or some people, who are allergic to thyme, mint, or basil, can experience discomfort.
  • Joel Fuhrman M.D.’s Perilla Sinus desensitizes people to allergens and immune function. It contains an extract of the Perilla seed – a rich source of rosmarinic acid. Research shows the ingredients to gradually enhance the function of the sinuses, lungs, and immune system.
  • Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon or more of honey in a cup of hot water and drink two to three times a day.
  • Try different herbs you can easily find in natural health food stores in your area or online. See the list under holistic treatments part II.
  • It sounds a bit odd but oil pulling is a traditional Indian remedy that involves swishing oil (e.g., sesame or sunflower) in the mouth daily. It is known to clear up sinus congestion quickly.
  • Breathe in steam from a pot of boiling water (lower the heat) to help clear the nasal passages. You can add drops of eucalyptus or thyme oil that have antibacterial properties. I highly recommend this remedy. It relieved my sinus pressure quickly and cleared out a lot of mucus.
  • Avoid milk and wheat which tend to produce more mucus and also foods with saturated and trans fat which promote inflammation.
  • While sleeping, elevate your head on pillows to help drain sinuses. Doing this helped me greatly with breathing as well.
  • Drink plenty of water to help thin nasal mucus.
  • Fill half of the bottle with hot water (never boiling), wrap it in a towel and hold it against the  nose and forehead until the pain subsides. You can also use a sinus mask, either as hot or cold, to get relief.
  • For a homeopathic remedy, try Boiron Sinusalia for temporary relief of congestion and pain due to inflammation of the sinuses. There are no known side effects.
  • Take vitamin C, vitamin E, and n-acetylcysteine daily.
  • Gently press acupressure points found just above your nostrils on each side of the nose for 2 minutes.
  • Try aromatherapy oils. Eucalyptus, tea tree, and rosemary are popular in helping to clear congestion and easing inflamed nasal passages.
  • Garlic has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It’s said eating raw garlic is most potent, so go for it if you can handle the smell and the taste! For those less adventurous, there is a supplement form.

Headache and Facial Pain:

  • Massage to open blocked sinuses by putting one hand over each eye and rub steadily on the bony ridge located below and above your eyes. Then rub directly below your eyes and above your teeth. This relieves sinus pain.
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. Dehydration can cause or aggravate a headache.
  • Put two drops of ghee (clarified butter), used in Ayurvedic medicine, in each nostril and sniff. Do this twice a day when you have a headache.
  • Breathe in steam from a pot of boiling water as described above for sinus congestion. This simple, yet very effective remedy works for headaches as well.
  • Install an air cleaner and negative ion generator in your bedroom.
  • Apply acupressure by placing the thumb on the web of the opposite hand between the thumb and forefinger. Then pinch and massage this entire area looking for a sore spot to rub out. Change hands and do the same to the opposite hand.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly. I believe conscious, abdominal breathing is the quickest, simplest, and safest way to relieve pain.
  • Take natural pain reliever like New Chapter Headache Take Care that contains herbs feverfew and ginger (recent study confirmed their efficacy) and rosemary and lavender to relieve oxidative stress known to trigger headaches.
  • Imagine muscles in your head and neck are like tightly coiled springs. Now imagine that all those springs begin to loosen. As they do, your muscles relax and pain subsides. Repeat this imagery work throughout the day to ease headaches.
  • Do a progressive relaxation by tightening a part of your body and relaxing it. Do this from head to toe.
  • Take 2 caps of Quercetin 3 times a day.
  • Alpha SH Sinus Headaches & Congestion is a homeopathic combination recommended to alleviate minor sinus headaches. Ingredients include Sanguinaria Canadensis (blood root), Hydrastis Canadensis (golden seal), Silicea (silica), Kali Muriaticum (potassium chloride), and Pulsatilla (wind flower).
  • Try the “towel trick” for headaches. Fold a bath towel into thirds and put the middle of the towel over your forehead and cross the ends behind your head (at the base of the skull). Pull the ends tightly to feel the pressure and breath out as you count to five and tilt the head back. Hold it for 10-30 seconds. Repeat a few times if needed.

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Runny Nose, Sneezing, and Itching:

  • When you blow your nose, avoid being too forceful and blow one side at a time to prevent pressure buildup that can cause bacteria to travel further into your sinuses.
  • Probably the best way to manage symptoms is to simply avoid the triggers as best as you can. Get an allergy test to learn exactly what they are.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to thin mucus.
  • Cleanse the nasal passages with saltwater (refer to sinus flushing above).
  • Zicam, a homeopathic nasal gel, is helpful for both runny nose and sneezing.
  • Over-the-counter medication, Claritin, provides quick relief from these symptoms, mostly without unpleasant side effects.
  • Stinging nettle is often recommended as an herbal alternative to antihistamines.
  • Visualize/imagine your inflamed nasal passages calming with a healing source (e.g., a wave of ocean, cool breeze, waterfall, etc) flushing out irritants and soothing any discomfort.
  • Heat mustard or thyme oil to a lukewarm level and use a dropper to put one drop in one nostril, wait a minute to absorb and do the same for the other nostril.
  • Use a humidifier (bedroom or any other area where you spend most of your time) to moisten the nasal passages.
  • Dust mites are a common trigger for sneezing. To minimize or prevent the symptoms, cover mattresses, box spring, and pillows with allergy-proof plastic sheets and wash beddings, stuffed animals,and pillow cases in hot water weekly.
  • If pollens are culprits, avoid outdoor activities during high-pollen seasons.
  • For homeopathic remedy, try Allium Cepa or Sabadil twice a day. Euphrasia is good for watery, burning eyes. All are available at health food stores.
  • Take a vitamin C bath by adding 3 tablespoons of ascorbic acid powder to a warm bath and soak in it up to 2 hours.
  • It is widely known that allergies are triggered by both physical and psychological problems. Hence, daily yoga practice that includes breath work and meditation can be very helpful in allergy control.

Cough and Sore Throat:

  • Gargle with salt water to help eliminate infection.
  • Gargle with lemon juice and honey (many singers use this to soothe the throat).
  • Drink ginger tea.
  • Try rubbing the sore spots on the throat reflex located on the lower part of the thumb where it fastens onto the hand and all of that area, including the web between fingers.
  • Keep the throat hydrated by drinking a lot of warm and hot liquids, such as chamomile or peppermint tea with lemon and honey.
  • Andrographis paniculata, a Chinese herb, has shown to be very helpful easing a runny nose, post-nasal drip, cough, and sore throat. It is found in a product called Kold Kare and in Kan Jang, which is produced by Swedish Herbal Institute.
  • Use natural cough drops to soothe the irritation.
  • Dilute apple cider vinegar (known to destroy germs) with water and gargle often.
  • Take zinc daily.
  • Take 2 caps of garlic 3 times a day or simply add it to your favorite foods.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke, which will aggravate the throat irritation.
  • If the indoor air is dry, either use a humidifier or lower the temperature (65-70 degrees) to reduce inflammation.
  • Make a paste out of mixing charcoal powder and cold water, roll it into a ball and suck on it to heal a sore throat.
  • Take extra dosage of vitamin C. You can safely take up to 8,000 milligrams daily in the beginning.


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