A sinus infection occurs when the hollow cavities in the skull become infected by viruses, fungi or bacteria. Sinus infections usually follow a bout of the common cold or allergic rhinitis and may include symptoms like sinus pressure, headache, stuffy nose, dizziness, sore throat and fever. While treatment with antibiotic medication is the only proven cure for a sinus infection, there are a variety of natural remedies that can ease symptoms and help speed recovery.
Herbal Antibiotic Remedies
Natural antibiotic preparations can be taken in a variety of forms, including oral supplements, steam inhalation mixtures and topical applications. The oral route of administration is the most direct and is only suitable for herbs that aren’t toxic when taken internally.
Garlic is among the most popular oral sinus infection remedies. According to MedHerb.com, allicin--the active compound in garlic--has the broadest range of antimicrobial properties of any compound known, killing parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa alike. Cayenne pepper is an excellent nasal decongestant, and oregano oil can be taken internally for its potent antibiotic and antifungal properties.
If steam or vapor is your chosen method of administration, eucalyptus and tea tree oils are two excellent choices. Tea tree has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, while eucalyptus is great for opening nasal passages and soothing a sore throat. To make an herbal steam inhalation with these herbs, dissolve two drops of tea tree oil, ¼ teaspoon of vapor rub with eucalyptus and ½ clove of garlic in boiled water and inhale for three minutes.
Tea tree oil can also be added to lotions or body creams and applied topically, as can cayenne powder. Cayenne contains the pain-killing substance capsaicin, which can ease the aches and pains that often accompany sinus infection.
To heal a sinus infection as quickly and completely as possible, it’s important to boost immune function however you can. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night and take naps as needed until you are well. Eat as healthfully as possible, and take a daily multivitamin plus extra vitamin C for its immune stimulating properties. Avoid allergens like mold and irritants like cigarette smoke, and rinse nasal passages with a neti pot or similar apparatus daily.
Sinus infection is a serious condition that can lead to sepsis, brain inflammation or death if not properly treated. The only cure for a sinus infection is treatment with antibiotic medications. See a doctor immediately if you think you have a sinus infection.