Sinusitis occurs when the cavities around the nasal passages, known as the sinuses, become inflamed. This inflammation prevents drainage and causes mucus to accumulate in the nasal passages, making it difficult to breath through the nose. Sinusitis also causes a painful puffiness around the eyes, cheeks and forehead.
Sinusitis is usually caused by the common cold, but it can also be triggered by food or environmental allergies, such as hay fever. Most cases of sinusitis, particularly acute sinusitis, can be self-treated with herbal remedies. Herbal remedies for sinusitis are safe and simple to use with none of the harmful side effects that are usually found with most over-the-counter medications and prescribed antibiotics.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules) is best known for its ability to ease sinus congestion due to its camphorous nature. Traditional Australian folk medicine used eucalyptus leaves to combat fever, coughs and muscle fatigue because of its cooling aftereffects.
To relieve sinus congestion, place about two to five drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a bowl of hot water. Drape a towel over your head and breath in the steam. Keep your face directly over the steam to receive its maximum effect. The eucalyptus oil along with the hot water will help to break up the congestion and drain the mucus out of the sinuses.
Also, try placing about five to ten drops of eucalyptus oil on the floor of your shower stall while taking a hot shower and inhale the steam.
Similar to eucalyptus, peppermint (Mentha piperita) also possesses the same camphorous nature and cooling sensation, but it also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help break up sinus congestion and relieve sinus pain.
Try adding a small amount of loose peppermint tea leaves to a cup of boiling spring water. Drink the tea slowly or place your face over the cup to breath in the steam.
Peppermint also works on conditions affecting the lower respiratory tract, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is very similar to an orange in terms of size, smell and taste. Like an orange, bergamot also contains bioflavonoids, which are found in vitamin C. These bioflavonoids help fight off colds and infections, particularly sinus infections, by boosting the immune system.
Place approximately five to ten drops of bergamot essential oil into a diffuser or humidifier and inhale the fresh, citrus aroma to clear away any congestion. Also, try sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea, which is flavored with Bergamot oil, to drain the sinuses.
Avoid using bergamot essential oil directly on the skin since it is highly phototoxic when exposed to the sun or UV rays.
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is helpful for fighting off colds and fatigue, easing sinus pain and congestion, and soothing muscle aches and pains that are associated with colds or flu.
Apply one to two drops of the herbaceous essential oil to a warm, damp washcloth. Place the washcloth around the nose and cheeks to ease sinus pain.
Also, try adding six drops of sweet basil oil along with four drops of bergamot oil to a diffuser for a powerful immune system booster.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is not medical advice. Some herbs may interact with prescribed medications, so check with your physician before using them. Do not use the essential oils of peppermint or sweet basil if you are pregnant. Always do a skin patch test with essential oils before use.