There are several alternatives to getting relief from a sinus infection other than prescription medications. Many home remedies passed down for generations can offer relief from sinus infections. One of the simplest remedies is inhaling steam vapors, which is simple yet effective. Placing your head over a hot water bowl so that the steam can reach your face directly and inhaling the steam vapors for two to three minutes will thin the thick mucus. This will help your sinuses drain.
The consumption of garlic juice or capsules is an effective cure. Garlic is known to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in it. Apple cider, which contains potassium, helps thin mucus production and is a natural home remedy for sinus infections and colds. In a full glass of warm water, mix two teaspoons of organic apple cider and drink. Do this 2 to 3 times daily. Avoiding certain foods can help cure sinus infections. It is known that some food groups may contribute to food allergies which may also cause sinus infections. Chronic sinus infection sufferers need to avoid dairy and other products such as wheat, eggs, chicken, duck, chocolate, peanuts, bananas, and corn. A diagnostic blood test can determine what foods need to be avoided.
A highly recommended home remedy is nasal irrigation. To do this you will mix 100 mg. of sodium bicarbonate powder into a small cup of water and stir the mixture. Fill up a syringe that does not have a needle with the bicarbonate powder solution and pull back the plunger after filling it with the solution. Hang your head over the sink and tilt your head to the side of the sink. Your forehead and chin should be level with each other. Place the syringe opening into the upper nostril, making a seal, and inject the saline solution into the nostril. This will flow through the nasal passages and out through the lower nostril. You should hold your breath so that you don’t breathe in the solution. The remaining solution and mucus should be blown out of the nostrils. Repeat the procedure with the other nostril.
Another type of nasal irrigation is using a neti pot, which is a small pot with a spout attached to the bottom, and a handle on the side. Neti pots flush out the nasal cavities by using gravity to draw the flow of the saline. There are some modern versions that are made out of plastic and can exert additional pressure. They also have bulb syringes which will increase the flow of the solution by squeezing the bulb. This will provide you with complete control of the pressure unlike the neti pot that requires you to keep turning your head to control the pressure.
There are also herbal remedies that can help sinus infections. They are safe and easy to use and will not cause side effects that can occur with some medications. Licorice root will reduce inflammation and will help the immune system to fight the sinus infection. Eucalyptus can help shrink swollen sinus passage. It comes in lozenges and also in tea, which can be steeped and boiled and is good as an inhalant. Peppermint is also used to shrink swollen sinus passages and can be used the same way as eucalyptus. If you are taking any prescription medications, it is good to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbal remedies in case of the possibility of drug interactions.
Apply warm towels to your face three to five times a day for five minutes at a time. Also, applying the warm towel over your face and between the eyes will increase the circulation in your sinuses. Drink liquids like hot tea or chicken soup throughout the day. This will help moisturize the membranes and wash mucus out of the sinuses more quickly.