Sinus and sinusitis – some helpful home hints.
The sinuses are hollow pockets in the skull situated on either side of the nose (ethmoid sinuses), under the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses) and above the eyebrows (frontal sinuses). They produce mucous and empty into the nasal cavity.
When allergies trigger swelling in the mucous membranes the sinuses become inflamed, blocked and are unable to drain. Mucous becomes trapped inside causing pain, pressure and frequently headaches. If the sinuses are blocked for too long they can become infected causing sinusitis. Sinus can be acute lasting days or weeks or chronic lasting months or years with episodes of clear.
The causes of sinus vary from person to person and can range from airborne allergies, food intolerances, fungal or bacterial infection (often both), structural, or even an infected tooth
Dietary do’s and dont’s
Avoid mucous forming foods – Typically these are dairy, sugar, yeast and wheat. Be aware of what can be your triggers.
Spice it up! – Add cayenne, ginger and chilli to your foods, it’s great for clearing the sinuses. You could also try a tea of ginger, chilli, lemon and honey.
Anise tea – helps with sinus congestion.
Stay hydrated – supports consistency of mucous, thick mucous is hard to clear. Use water, herbal teas and hot apple cider vinegar drinks. Avoid sugary juices and limit alcohol and caffeine as these are dehydrating and often mucous forming.
Eat pineapple – filled with enzymes to break down proteins. Make sure you eat the hard centre – this is where the enzymes are. Use fresh not tinned. Often supplementation is needed for higher levels.
Eat garlic- its active constituent allicin supports the natural immune response.
Echinacea – great for the natural immune response. Particularly good if your sinus is allergy related.
Golden seal – another immune supporter! Tones the mucous membranes and supports a healthy production of mucous. Great for the inflammatory response.
Elder flowers – supports healthy mucous production
Horseraddish – whether in your favourite dish or as a herbal medicine horseraddish supports the immune system, it also supports sinus drainage limiting the chances of infection – bugs love mucous!
Elderberry – supports the immune system, (great for the flu if flu related sinus), and treats nasal congestion.
Eyebright – one of my faves for sinus. As it’s name suggests it is great for anything eye related as well including inflammation from allergies and hayfever. It’s astringent properties make it great for a runny blocked nose, hayfever and sinus.
Vitamin D – immune supportive. Particularly useful in the cooler months when we’re often in need due to less sunshine.
Vitamin C – supports a healthy histamine response for those allergy related sinuses.
Zinc – a must for good immunity.
Probiotics – for a healthy gut and immune system. Loaded with good bacteria to ward off the bad bugs.
Try this Buteyko exercise for instant relief:
Massage your sinuses – on the sides of your nose, your cheekbones and above your eyes along your eyebrows. Plus anywhere else you feel a blockage. The stimulation helps move the mucous and can sometimes provide relief.
Steam inhalation – Break up mucous with a steam inhalation. Fill a sink or bowl with hot water and add a few drops of eucalyptus and/or peppermint oil, cover your head, lean over and inhale for 10 or so minutes. Do as many times a day as required.
Salt water rinse – Use a neti pot if you can to make it easier. Fill the pot with boiled, then cooled luke warm water and add a teaspoon of good quality salt and rinse each nostril at a time. This breaks down thick mucous enabling it to clear from your nose easier.
Acupuncture supportive for pain and sinus drainage – If your sinus is predominantly in the cheek area (although can be anywhere) you may consider a visit to the dentist – the underlying cause could be an infected tooth.
Find your triggers – For some it’s really clear what causes their sinus so avoid these where possible. If you’d like a personalised taylored plan along with testing your possible triggers, contact us here