Headaches are not of just one nature. There is a headache which causes stinging pain; of some severe ones such as migraine, hangovers, which cause difficulty in breathing- sinus headaches.
Does it sound troublesome?
There are home remedies available!
Let’s find out:
What is Sinusitis?
Better put, sinusitis is “sinus infection”. But what is a sinus in the first place? Sinuses are the air-spaces around your nasal passages. They help you on two counts – air humidification and mucus secretion. But sometimes, when one develops cold and allergies, it leads to inflammation of sinuses. This hampers the draining off of the mucus. As a result of which, pressure within the sinuses increases, leading to sinus pressure headache or the sinus headache.
- Pain in the head. To be precise, there is pain in the forehead and fullness in your cheeks and eyebrows.
- Watery eyes, as a result of itching
- Pain while moving
- Viral infection
- Stuffy nose
- Worsening of pain when you bend forward or lie down
- Achy feeling, particularly in your upper teeth
Are your sinus symptoms the same?
- Pressure or pain in the nose area
- Either swelling or tenderness in the face
- Nose going stuffy
- Congestion in Nasal region (meaning nose congestion)
- Pain in the ears
- Pain in the jawline
Home Remedies for Sinus Headache
Feeling low on having read the above?
Stop worrying as there are plenty of home remedies!
What all you need: Water and a bowl
- In order to do a facial steam, take ample water
- Bring it to boil
- Add a few drops of essential oil to the boiled water (if you so wish)
- Lean forward towards the bowl of hot water. Keep your face at least 30cms away from the water in order to avoid unwanted burns on your face.
- Cover your head with a small towel so that the steam vapours don’t vanish off in air
- Inhale the steam and feel it going inside your nostrils
- Release the steam from your mouth.
- Inhale and exhale this way for a count of 5.
- Then, reduce it to 2 counts.
- Do this exercise for 10 min till the water is steaming hot
- After and during the treatment, blow your nose to remove the mucous drain
- Do it for 2 min
- Now remove the towel and relax
- No harm in repeating the process for one more time.
- Whenever you are taking tea/coffee or meals, inhale the vapors coming out from hot tea or soup to stimulate the steam treatment
How it works: Time-tested remedy this is. Facial steam moistens the nasal passages, clears the nose blockage and opens up the stuffed sinus cavities. This drains out the mucous so that you can breathe easily.
Tip: In case you are not able to tolerate the steam mid-way while doing it, take off the towel from your head so that you can feel relaxed and calmer.
2. Hot and Cold Compress
What all you need: Water, face towel (or wash cloth), and gas stove
- Heat up some water (don’t overheat it as it can cause facial burns later on)
- Soak a face towel in this water and place it on your sinus region ( this includes nose, cheeks and forehead)
- Let it stay for 3-5 minutes
- Now remove the towel and soak it in cold water
- Put it on the forehead for 10 sec
- Just close your eyes. Relax.
- Do this process 2 to 4 times a day for relief from sinus.
How it works: Welcome to one of the best home remedies for sinus headache – hot and cold compress. While moderate heat loosens the thick mucus and eases the pressure, the cold compress constricts the blood vessels in the sinus region providing relief from the pain.
3. Neti Pot
What all you need: Lukewarm water, 1/2 tsp salt
- Take a cup of lukewarm water
- Add salt into it, and stir it well till it dissolves
- Pour this saline solution into the Neti Pot
- Tilt your head and put the spout of the Neti Pot in one of your nostrils
- Pour the saline water slowly into your nose
- The fluid will flow into your nasal zone and come out through your other nostril
- If the saline water runs into your throat (by any chance), spit it out
- Blow out your nose to remove balance liquid (if there is any left).
- Now refill the Neti Pot
- Repeat the same exercise in your other nostril
- In the beginning, do Neti Pot treatment daily
- When you feel relief, do it 3 times a week
How it works: Neti Pot is a valuable pot – it increases the possibility of draining of mucous. It also reduces the pressure build-up and inflammation in nasal passages. Thereby, cleaning the nose and sinus cavities as well.
Tip: RINSE the Neti Pot every time after usage and leave it to air-dry.
4. Use Humidifier
What all you need: Humidifier
Directions: Use a humidifier, at night time. It can be a plus point for your sleep.
How it works: Whenever you are down with a sinus headache, use a humidifier. It fills the air surrounding you with water vapour. Plus it is good to add some moisture to an environment which is indoor-dry. This helps shoo away sinus infections. But, don’t over-use humidifiers. They lead to the growth of mold and dust mite (which can lead to infection).
Tip: Always keep your humidifier clean and mold-free.
5. Peppers and Spices
What all you need: Pepper and Spices
Please note – there are multiple ways of using Peppers and Spices to get sinus relief
- Brew a herbal tea of your choice – ginger, chamomile or cinnamon. Then, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to it and consume it
- Add chilli pepper or black pepper powder to your broths, gravies and soups and then consume it.
- Don’t have the heart to handle jalapeno pepper?? Then chew a small piece of it.
- Sushi lovers can try Wasabi. This spicy topping provides temporary relief from sinus pressure
- Eat spicy foods like hot salsa, hot wings or horseradish. They do their bit in draining out the mucous.
How it works: Strange it may sound but you can count on PEPPER for clearing the nasal passage and draining out the mucus. Plus, it also provides relief from inflammation.
Tip: AVOID giving peppers and spices to kids. They can hardly withstand such a strong taste.
What all you need: Ginger and hot water
- Slice a piece of ginger first
- Add it to a cuppa hot water
- Cover it for about 10 minutes
- Then, drink ginger tea
- While sipping the tea, do inhale the vapours coming out of it
- You can also eat the ginger slices (its your choice)
- Take 3-4 cups of ginger tea daily to get relief
- Make a paste of ginger and water
- Apply the paste on your forehead
- This will get you relief within 30 minutes
How it works: Ginger has ‘gingerol’ with anti-inflammatory properties which provides relief from nasal congestion.
Tip: The best way out of sinusitis is to include ginger in your cooking – not once a while but daily
What all you need: Cinnamon oil, hot water, towel
- Add 3 to 5 drops of cinnamon oil to a bowl of hot water
- Now cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam
- After a few minutes, remove the towel and relax
How it works: Cinnamon has anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which open up the blocks in nasal passages. Cinnamon also boosts your immunity from all types of infections – viral and bacterial both.
Tip: Add thyme and clove essential oils to the warm water to get extra relief.
What all you need: 10 basil (tulsi) leaves, 10 pepper corns, medium-sized ginger
- Wash basil leaves and peel off the ginger
- Now crush the basil leaves, ginger and peppercorn into a paste using a mortar-and-pestle
- Boil some water and add the basil paste to it
- Simmer the paste till it reduces to half
- Strain the solution and add sugar candy (for taste factor)
- Drink it on an empty stomach daily
How it works: Holy basil has components such as eugenol etc. which help in clearing the nasal congestion and sinus inflammation. This Ayurvedic remedy will surely bring relief.
Tip: Stay away from taking a bath or exposing yourself to cold after you have taken the basil recipe for sinusitis.
9. Peppermint Oil
What all you need: A bowl of hot water, and Peppermint oil
- Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of hot water
- Inhale the steam for few minutes
- Do it daily till you get some relief
How it works: Peppermint Oil is truly a MIRACLE OIL. It has MENTHOL which is packed with antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties.
Tip: You can add a few drops of peppermint oil to any carrier oil (jojoba or almond oil). Then rub it on the sinus regions (i.e., nose, forehead, temples and cheeks) for relief.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
What all you need: 1/2 cup of ACV and 1/2 cup of water
- Mix half a cup of ACV and water
- Boil the combined liquids
- Let it cool down
- Now inhale the vapours of this liquid through your nose (but cover your head first)
- You might get a stinging sensation but it will clear and drain out the mucous buildup in your nasal passage
- Do the inhaling and exhaling with covered head for few minutes
- Then remove the head cover and relax
How it works: ACV is endowed with anti-bacterial and antifungal properties. This helps fight with the bacterial or fungal agents that are a root cause of infection.
Tip: To get an X-tra soothing effect, add peppermint oil.
11. Tea Tree Oil
What all you need: Hot water and Tea Tree Oil
- In a small bowl, add hot water and tea tree oil
- Inhale the steam
- Do it on a daily basis to get complete relief
How it works: Tea tree oil not only provides you relief from sinus but also treats microbial infection.
12. Lavender Oil
What all you need: 10-12 drops of lavender oil, 1 oz carrier oil (it can be sweet almond oil or jojoba oil)
- Mix the lavender oil and carrier oil in a bottle
- Put 1-4 drops of the combined oil on your fingers
- Massage it on your forehead, temples and /or the back of your neck
- See to it that the oil doesn’t get into your eyes.
How it works: Lavender essential oil has a high % age of esters which have anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Therefore, it is best to use during evening hours or night time.
13. Eucalyptus Oil
What all you need: Hot water, Eucalyptus Oil, a towel
- In a bowl, add some hot water so that it can qualify for steam inhalation
- Pour 6-8 drops of eucalyptus oil into it.
- Cover your head with a towel
- Now inhale and exhale the steam for few counts
- Remove the towel and repeat to get relief from sinusitis
How it works: Eucalyptus Oil opens up the nasal passage and removes sinus pressure which can be the cause of a nasty headache.
Tip: One more technique. Pour a few drops of Eucalyptus oil on a hanky, and bring it near your nose for sinus headache relief.
What all you need: 1-2 tsp raw honey and 3-6 garlic cloves
- Peel garlic cloves
- Mix raw honey
- Now take this concoction 5 minutes before meals
How it works: Honey is not just for weight loss, it is also anti-bacterial, anti–viral, and anti–septic in nature. It helps clear out the sinus-causing bacteria. And garlic kills the infection-causing bacteria.
Tip: You can also mix honey, garlic cloves and few drops of olive oil. And use it as a topping on bread in order to reduce sinus infection.
What all you need: Few cloves
- Crush a handful of cloves
- Put them in a hanky or a sachet
- Inhale the smell whenever you are facing sinus headache
How it works: Go CRAZY FOR CLOVES! Why? Because it’s got cooling and pain-relieving properties to tackle a sinus headache.
Tip: You can also put 2 drops clove oil in 1 tbsp coconut oil and some sea salt and massage your forehead and temples with it to get relief.
16. Tea (Green Tea/Cayenne Pepper Tea/Ginger Tea)
What all you need: 2 tsp green tea leaves, warm water
- Steep the green tea leaves in warm water for few minutes
- Strain the tea and drink it while it is warm
How it works: Green tea has healing powers which makes it the go-to remedy for sinusitis.
Tip: Drinking 3 to 4 cups of green tea are advisable.
What all you need: 1-2 tsp Grated ginger, warm water
- In warm to hot water, add grated ginger
- Let it steep for 10 minutes
- Strain the solution. Your ginger tea is ready-to-drink
How it works: Ginger tea has high antioxidants which make it effective to give you relief from sinus attacks.
Tip: Add a splash of honey to the ginger tea to enhance its taste.
Cayenne Pepper Tea
What all you need: 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp honey, 1 lemon wedge, a cup of boiling water
- In a small bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned above
- Now sip the tea 2 to 3 times a day
How it works: Cayenne pepper is a “decongestant “. It clears your sinuses quickly. Honey and lemon balance out the spiciness of cayenne pepper within the tea.
Tip: 3 to 4 cups of cayenne pepper tea a day is good to go.
17. Grapefruit Seed Extract
What all you need: Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) and Water
- Mix 5 drops of GSE in 6 oz of water
- Now drink this concoction 2 times daily
- Take a small amount of this preparation in the beginning so that you don’t develop any allergy towards it
How it works: The seed extract of Grapefruit has antibiotic properties which help fight sinus infection.
Tip: The good thing about Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is that it comes in TABLET form too.
18. Coconut Oil Pulling
What all you need: Coconut oil
- Before you brush your teeth, and on an empty belly (no tea or coffee) put 1 tbsp of coconut oil in your mouth
- Swish the oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes
- Now spit out the oil
- Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth
How it works: ‘Oil pulling’ is swishing oil technique in the mouth done for up to 20 minutes. Coconut oil pulling is a natural remedy which is an effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral treatment – cleanses the sinuses, and improves oral health.
Tip: Avoid spitting the coconut oil into the toilet or sink. Or else it could cause plumbing clogs.
19. Hydrogen Peroxide
What all you need: 1/2 tsp hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 glass distilled water
- Mix sea salt and hydrogen peroxide in a glass containing distilled water
- Take bulb syringe or neti pot (or any other nasal irrigation device) to clear the mucous in the nasal passage
- Repeat this remedy once daily
How it works: Nasal irrigation done using hydrogen peroxide helps in keeping the sinus moist for better functioning.
20. Stay Hydrated
What all you need: Drinking Water (or in the form of liquids)
How it works: When you keep drinking water in the course of the day, it helps to thin out mucous naturally. Take clear liquids which are free of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Tip: The best bet to stay hydrated?? Clearly, it is Water, Herbal Tea, Clear Veggies or Chicken Broth.
21. Try bromelain
What all you need: Bromelain, a protein extracted from the pineapple fruit
How it works: “Bromelain appears to be beneficial and helps reduce swelling in the nasal passages,” Dr. Graham opines.
Tip: We would still suggest you have a word with your doctor before trying this therapy. Though bromelain is absolutely safe, in case you are taking medications for any other condition, we just want to be sure it doesn’t interact with those and create health complications. If your physician prescribes some particular dosage do follow those instructions strictly.
22. Ban the Allergens
What all you need: Air Purifier, allegen-barrier beds
How it works: Allergies can aggravate the sinus pain. Reports necessitate allergy-proofing your home as the basic step to treating sinus. You can start by eliminating the dust mites and using an air purifier. You can opt for beddings that have allergen-barriers.
Tip: We all love our furry babies and it’s going to break our hearts, but keeping our puppies and kittens out of the bedroom, or at least the beds would help keep the threat of nasal allergies at bay.
23. Say No To Drugs
What all you need: The patience to see a change in a week before taking anti-biotics.
How it works: Using antibiotics whimsically takes a toll on our natural resistance to illnesses and infections. Contrary to popular belief, antibiotics are not a remedy for sinus infections.
Tip: Watch for 7 days before taking a few antibiotics suggested. This is to test the immunity of your body and to check if your body can ward off infections naturally. Avoid pumping antibiotics in your body instead eat a balanced diet to build the antibodies in your body and stay.
DIY Decongestant for Sinus Headache
And you thought there is just one ingredient in this technique? There are multiple ones … all of them roll up to give you relief from the infection, congestion, and pressure in sinus cavities and the inflammation and pain that follows.
- Take a saucepan
- Add 1/4 cup each of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Put this mixture on heat and simmer it
- Then add 3 tbsp of honey, and 1 tsp each of cayenne pepper, cinnamon powder, and powder of ginger
- Remove the saucepan from the flame
- Let it cool. Once it does, store it in an air-tight container
- Adults can take 1-2 tbsp of this mixture daily. Kiddos can take less amount of this mixture.
When to Seek Medical Attention?
In case of complications, visit ear, nose and throat specialists to discuss the possibility of drainage of a sinus and surgery.
Some more DIY tips for sinusitis:
- Flush your nasal passages: A humidifier is best to do that
- Hot Water Bath: Take hot showers. Do inhale the steam, by the way
- Good Massage: Good oils when used (e.g. almond oil) help bring you relief from colds, sinus congestion, and frontal sinus headaches.
- Sleep with your head elevated: This helps in draining out sinuses
- Fluid Intake: Amp up your fluid consumption. This helps in diluting the trapped mucous and gets it out of your body.
- Stretch Up: Simple stretches (a form of aerobic exercise) when done help loosen up clogged nasal passages.
- Sit back and relax: REST is the best form of getting relief from sinus.
- Load Up with Vitamin C: Vit C is high in anti-oxidants which reduces swelling of the nasal passage.
- Stay away from alcohol and smoking: Heard of BAD habits? This one irks your sinusitis, so better stay away from it.
- Allergy Proof Your Home: Dust allergens can aggravate the sinus headache. Keep your indoor air free of dust particles and allergy.
- Breathing Exercise: Inhale-Exhale-Inhale-Exhale helps in getting the dust particles out of your nasal system, preventing sinus headache from cropping up.
- Stay out of polluted air: Pollution was never our best friend (not will it be, EVER)! Keep a good distance from polluted air (if you want to keep sinusitis at bay).
- Avoid sudden change in the temperatures: Temp fluctuations (excess of hot one moment and excess of cold the other) can play around with the way you breathe, thereby causing sinus headaches.
- Foot Bath: Might sound weird but a hot foot bath can open up the badly blocked nasal passages.
Hope you found this blog on sinusitis beneficial!
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