Itchy, watery eyes, running nose, an aching head,
and sinus congestion. Sound familiar? You may be among
millions of people who suffer from allergic rhinitis
or sinusitis. Consider combating your springtime woes
naturally with these time-tested self-healing techniques.
Allergens in the Air
When your sinuses, the air-filled hollow cavities around
your nose and nasal passages, become inflamed, fluid
can accumulate and interfere with normal drainage of
mucus in the sinuses. This condition is known as acute
sinusitis. The result? You may have trouble breathing
through your nose and feel your eyes and facial tissue
Your symptoms may include a headache, fever, a nagging
cough, post-nasal drip, thick green or yellow discharge,
and a feeling of facial "fullness" that gets worse when
you lean forward; during a severe sinus infection, some
people even experience a toothache.
This uncomfortable condition has many possible causes,
including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, allergies,
or a deviated septum. Synonymous with spring, allergic
rhinitis, commonly called hay fever, is the inflammatory
result of your immune system's overreaction to allergens
in the air.
Pollen is one famous offender. Other allergens include
dirt, pollution, animal hair, food particles cloth fibers,
Surprising Secrets for Sinus Health
Here are some all-natural ways to gain freedom from
- Clear your sinuses and your mind with a steamy stovetop
spa. Add a few drops of wintergreen oil to a pot of
boiling water and inhale the steam. Take care not to
be burned by the vapor.
- Herbs and spices like ginger, scallion, basil, garlic,
oregano, cayenne peppers, white pepper, horseradish
and turmeric will have your sinus passageways unblocked
in no time!
- The supplement bromelain - a papaya and pineapple-based
enzyme - helps reduce histamine release, the body's
natural allergic response.
- Clear your nasal passageway daily for healthy, happy
sinuses. Add 1 tsp of sea salt, 1 drop of oregano oil,
and 1 drop of wintergreen to a cup of warm water. Fill
a small-spouted squeeze bottle with this warm solution.
Squirt into one nostril at a time and blow out through
the nose. Alternate nostrils.
- Press one clove of garlic, mix with 1 tsp of olive
oil and soak a clean cotton ball with the oil mixture
and place in nostrils after having washed the nostril
with warm salt water. Leave in for 20 minutes and repeatÂ three
times a day until the symptoms clear up.
- These two simple self-massage practices that follow
are incredibly effective for relieving sinus congestion.
For both, sit at the tip of a sturdy chair with your
back erect, spine stretched, and your head tilted slightly
1. Inhale and gently press your forehead
just inside the temples with your palms. Exhale and
release. Repeat three times.
2. Cross your middle and index fingers
by placing the tips of your middle fingers on top of
the fingernails on your index fingers. Rub the sides
of your nose 36 times in a circular motion, warming
your fingers first if they're cold.
What you eat affects your sinus health
Avoid the foods that produce mucous and dampness: dairy
products, cold and raw foods, corn (including corn syrup),
and simple sugars. Choose whole grains like quinoa,
amaranth and brown rice instead of wheat, rye and barley,
which are typically high allergy grains. Opt for papaya,
cranberries, pear, pineapple, cherries, mango, and citrus
fruits. Eat more green vegetables such as artichoke,
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and spinach.
Both alcohol and smoking should be avoided during a
sinus flare-up as they irritate the respiratory tract
and worsen nasal inflammation. Also, sinus congestion
is often worse with lack of quality rest so be sure
to get plenty of sleep and keep your stress level low.