Home Remedies for Sinus Congestion

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The inflammation and swelling of the membranes lining the sinus cavities is responsible for sinus congestion. The membranes begin to produce excess mucus in order to flush out the cause of the irritation, whether it is viral, bacterial or allergen.

It is important to keep the membranes moist when congestion begins. If the membranes become dry the irritation will increase and the congestion will get worse.   

Keeping Sinus Membranes Moist

There are several solutions to the dryness of sinus membranes.

Use a humidifier or vaporizer, especially in the room you sleep in. Take long, warm showers or carefully breathe in hot water from a pan.

It is important to stay hydrated; this will keep the membranes moist from the inside out. You can also use saline (un-medicated) spray to keep the sinus cavities moist.

Skip the alcohol as it dries out sinus membranes and can increase dryness and irritation.
Home Remedies for Sinus Congestion

Nasal irrigation can help reduce sinus congestion. The timeless solution for nasal irrigation is to use a neti pot. Nasal irrigators are also available at your local pharmacy. Be sure to sanitize equipment between uses.

Use warm compresses over the sinus cavity areas to reduce discomfort and swelling.

Elevate your head slightly more at night to open nasal passages and improve breathing naturally.

Avoid chlorinated swimming pools, the chlorine is very drying and can drastically increase congestion and irritation.

There are herbal supplements that show some promise to relieve congestion including andrographis, known as “Indian Echinacea”. It relieves sinus congestion and cold symptoms if used within three days of onset.

Over the counter decongestants, antihistamines and pain killers are frequent choices for the sinus congestion sufferer.

Create a hot cocktail of tomato juice, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice and celery salt and drink while warm to open nasal passages.

The natural cure-all of apple cider vinegar is also said to relieve the effects of sinus congestion. Many home remedies suggest a hot tea of apple cider vinegar, honey and hot water.

The old fashioned remedy of chicken soup with plenty of black pepper and garlic will help open the nasal passages, as will spicy foods.

Food allergies are frequently at the root of sinus congestion. Dairy, gluten and nuts are common food allergens that can irritate the nasal and sinus passages.

Inhale the oil of oregano or eucalyptus oil in hot steam to open the nasal passages.

Ensure the daily intake of Vitamin C is high enough to weather infections, influenza and bacterial infections.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If your sinus congestion last more than a week to ten days you should seek medical attention to ensure that it is not a more complex medical condition. 

Article Last Modified Monday, December 14, 2009
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