Natural Remedies for a Sinus Infection
As you may or may not have noticed, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written. Two weeks ago I was surprised when I woke up with a sore throat and sinus infection. In September?But I usually don’t start taking my immune support until November! Fortunately, my medicine cabinet is well stocked with herbs, I rested, and was able to make a speedy recovery.
Here’s what I did
To decrease severity and duration: This is done with herbs that kill microbes like bacteria and viruses (antimicrobials) and that stimulate the immune system (immune stimulants). It’s important to stress that these herbs work best when you start them when you first notice your symptoms.
Echinacea angustifolia: is antimicrobial against viruses and bacteria and is an immune stimulant, so your body is better equipped to fight the infection. Take 300-600mg four times per day
Goldenseal: is also antimicrobial and an immune stimulant. Take 500 mg three times per day
For sore throat:
Salt water gargles: Gargle with warm salt water for 30 seconds and spit
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and honey: Warm water, add 2-3 tsp of ACV, one tsp of raw honey and a dash of ginger (or fresh if you have it)
Throat coat tea: You can find this brand at most grocery stores.
Bone broth: I didn’t have much of an appetite but sipping on warm bone broth throughout the day felt nice on my throat and kept my energy up.
For body aches:
Epsom salt bath: with 2-4 cups of salt depending on the size of your bathtub. You can buy Epsom salts at most drug and grocery stores.
Wild cherry: is indicated when a cough is spasmodic, painful or disturbs sleep. I used this for the first few days. Take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture 3 x per day
For a lingering cough: Once the spastic and painful cough resolved, I used a custom herbal formula which consisted of mullein, yerba santa, elecampane, nettles, horseradish and took 3 dropperfulls 3 x per day until the cough resolved.
For relief sinus congestion and pressure:
Nasal/sinus rinse: I used xclear nasal spray but you can also use a netti pot.
Steam inhalation with essential oils twice daily (see below)
Essential Oil of Thyme (antimicrobial/kills the bad guys) and/or Eucalyptus (decreases inflammation and irritation)
Large pot to boil water in
A large towel
Instructions: Bring a large pot of water to boil add 10-15 drops of essential oil or enough for it to have a strong smell. Remove the pot from the heat, place your head over the pot and cover your head with the towel creating a tent and trapping the steam. Inhale through your nose. This can also be used to treat a cough by inhaling through your mouth.
Recurrent sinus infections: If you get recurrent sinus infections or have chronic sinusitis, work with your functional medicine doctor (or myself) to address the underlying root cause. I often find this to be imbalanced flora and/or a weakened immune system, which can both be healed naturally. Multiple rounds of antibiotics are not the answer!
Nicole McCarter, ND