Using natural herbs to treat common health conditions is a smart alternative to store bought medication. As more and more people realize that many of the expensive synthetic drugstore medications are actually based on simple, everyday plants, it makes sense to use herbs instead. For those who suffer from sinus conditions, there is a wide range of everyday herbs to help alleviate annoying symptoms.
Before selecting herbs for medicinal purposes, it’s important to first understand what needs to be treated and which herbs work best. For example, sinuses are air filled cavities in the face lined with delicate mucus membranes. The membranes filter out dirt and germs, and also produce the necessary mucus that moistens the air for breathing. Excess mucus is conveniently drained away into the throat through small openings. When the membranes become inflamed or infected, however, the mucus builds up and pressure and pain occur. Therefore, to treat sinus conditions, use herbs that treat inflammation and/or infection.
The following are some recommended herbs to treat suspected sinus infections. They may be bought in either capsule, dried, or extract form in health food stores, and may be taken 3 times a day:
- Echinacea is a native American plant that boosts the immune system and helps fight infection. Echinacea capsules with a strength dosage of 150-300 mg can help fight infection. As a tea, .5-1 gram dried root scrapings steeped in hot water is also recommended. When using Echinacea extract, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water.
- Goldenseal, also known as orange root, is another anti-bacterial herb that boosts the immune system. In capsule form, 250-500 mgs are recommended. As a tea, 2-4 grams of the dried root may be steeped in hot water and ingested. In extract form, try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of goldenseal added to one cup of water.
- Garlic, something most people have in their kitchens, is also used to treat sinus problems. Eaten with foods, or chopped and steamed in hot water, odiferous garlic has many medicinal benefits. If steamed in hot water, create a tent with a towel and breathe in the garlic vapors three or four times a day to ward off infection – and werewolves!
- Lemon Balm, part of the mint family, is a more pleasant smelling antibacterial herb. As a tea, steep the dried leaves for ten minutes, strain, and enjoy its relaxing effect. It is also an effective gargle for sore throats.
The following natural herbs are recommended for inflammation of the sinus membranes. Available in capsule, dried, or extract form, these herbs also work well as steam inhalants. Simply drap a towel over the head as a tent. Three treatments a day are recommended.
- Peppermint is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory that can be used to reduce swollen sinus membranes. In tea form, steep 1 full teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in one cup of hot water. Peppermint also comes in an extract that can be added to water to relieve sinus headaches.
- Ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat inflammation. As a tea, add 1 ounce of dried ginger root scrapings to one cup of hot water. Warning: don’t be misled by commercial ginger ales which may be using manufactured flavors as a substitute for real ginger.
- Lemon verbena also acts to reduce inflammation. Steep two teaspoons of dried lemon verbena leaves in hot water and enjoy!
Herbs are wonderful alternatives for relieving the discomfort of sinus problems. And what better way than to rely on Nature’s own bountiful remedies?