Anyone who suffers from sinus congestion knows it is often a miserable experience. Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies like hayfever, or from the stuffiness that accompanies the common cold, congestion is never comfortable. Learn how to get rid of sinus congestion using the natural remedies listed below.
6 Natural Remedies for Sinus Congestion
- Lemon juice
- Sinus rinse
- Hormone balance
- Allergy drops
Continue reading to find out more about each of these natural remedies.
What Are the Sinuses?
There are different theories about the function of the sinuses. Some people think the sinuses help to humidify the air we breathe, and others think they amplify our voices. At any rate, they fulfill more than one purpose.
When the sinuses are in good working order, they go unnoticed. However, when all is not right with these cavities, they can be quite debilitating.
There are tiny holes that lead from the sinuses into the nose, allowing them to drain. When someone has an allergic reaction or a cold, these holes are blocked. Once blocked, the sinuses become the perfect environment for bacteria, viruses, and fungi to develop. It is for this reason why it is so important to clear your sinuses when you are sick.
Symptoms of Sinus Congestion
When the sinuses are irritated, the symptoms can range from:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Pain behind the eyes, cheeks, and forehead
- Aching teeth
Once the symptoms start, they can last for anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, in the most severe cases.
Treatment for congested sinuses range from over-the-counter medicines like sudephedrine, cough syrup, Benadryl, Mucinex, and Claritin. Of course, there are prescription level medicines as well, which are usually just stronger versions of the over-the-counter medicines. What most don't realize, though, is that there are natural remedies for sinus congestion which are much better for your body and just as effective.
Some of the best medicines are those that are already in your kitchen. The remedies below have helped me get rid of sinus blockages, as well as prevent sinus infections, allergies, and colds from attacking my body in the first place.
I have suffered from seasonal allergies since the third grade, usually getting three or four sinus infections a year. These sinus infections always ended in a trip to the doctor, who, without fail, prescribed antibiotics.
Since I started using these natural remedies, I've not had to go to the doctor for antibiotics in at least two years. I hate using antibiotics or any medicine if it's not necessary, so I'm very glad to have found these natural remedies and to be sharing them with you.
1. Lemon Juice
The best way to deal with congestion-prone sinuses is to prevent sicknesses before they really get going. Every day when I get up, I squeeze at least half a lemon into a glass of hot water, then sweeten it slightly with stevia. This drink is extremely healthy and will keep your body strong.
Lemons have natural Vitamin C in them, which most people acknowledge as a great way to boost the immune system and help fight sicknesses. This fresh lemon juice also takes the edge off of a sore throat, which usually accompanies any sinus irritation. Besides these reasons, the lemon also detoxes the liver.
I never cared for lemonade and was never one to want lemon in my water or tea. It took some getting used to, but now I have to have my lemon-infused water in the morning.
2. Sinus Rinse
It used to be that I took allergy medicine around the clock during the spring and fall. Even then, I would still get a sinus infection at least once per season. A couple years ago, my grandmother sent me one of the best gifts I've ever received: sinus rinse, which is made by the same company that makes the neti pot. For years, I used a saline spray, which helped somewhat. But after getting the sinus rinse, I came to love this little squirt bottle.
When my allergies start to bother me and I get that persistent sinus headache that just won't go away, I do a rinse, and my headache is immediately better. After about 10 to 20 minutes, the headache is completely gone. I've not had this type of relief from any other medicine I've tried.
I like the sinus rinse over the neti pot because it is smaller and easy to transport. In fact, I don't go on any trip without it. It is also very easy to wash and use.
When using one of these devices, make sure to use distilled water, not tap or filtered water. You do not want to introduce anything into your sinuses that could create a problem. You will also want to use warm water. Using warm, distilled water, you simply add the salt solution that comes with the bottle and rinse.
As you flush out your sinuses, you will most likely see mucus being expelled. After completing the rinse, make sure to wash out the bottle thoroughly and let it dry so it is ready use when you need it again.
If you do the rinse at the first sign of cold or allergies, you will avoid getting a sinus infection. If you wait too long and the sinus infection sets in, do the rinse in the morning and evening and you will be able to cure the ailment without the use of medicine.
When struck by sinus congestion, if I take any pill at all, I use an anti-inflammatory to alleviate pressure. I had never tried this strategy until my last sinus infection, which was so bad I had to get antibiotics. My inflammation caused my teeth to hurt so much that chewing was intolerable. I was told by my doctor to use Advil and the pain went away.
Another anti-inflammatory is lavender oil. In addition to lavender, I mix in tea tree oil because it is a natural antibiotic, and another oil as the base (you can use olive oil or something similar). I then rub this blend onto my forehead, temples, or any other part of my sinuses that is aching, making sure to avoid putting the oil too close to my eyes, mouth, nose, and ears.
This essential oil blend is very helpful, especially for my daughter. Her sinuses almost immediately start draining after the application of the blend.
Essential oils are very strong, so you should make sure to dilute them in a base oil. You can buy an essential oil blend that already has these two oils in it, or you can make your own. If you make your own, use less tea tree than lavender, because the tea tree oil is especially potent.
4. Hormone Balance
Interestingly, both times I was pregnant, my allergies barely bothered me. I thought it was odd the first time, but when I learned more about hormone balance, I found out why: When your hormones are unbalanced and you have too much estrogen, you may suffer from allergies, but during pregnancy, the progesterone levels continue to rise, providing relief from allergies.
Do what you can to keep your hormones balanced and you will avoid sinus congestion and infections.
5. Allergy Drops
Another great and natural remedy for sinus congestion is allergy drops, or sublingual immunotherapy. These are used much like allergy shots, except that you put drops of the allergen under your tongue instead of receiving them through a needle. These drops can lessen your allergic response, and you can find them at local health food stores or online.
Another way to lessen your allergic response to seasonal allergies is to buy honey from local farms. Honey works much like allergy drops, with the pollen providing a small dose of different allergens to help the body develop a tolerance, or a nonresponse.
Do not give local honey to a child younger than two, because it can contain bacteria that young children may not be able to fight off.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, sinus infections, or sinus congestion, you now know of six ways to prevent or remedy these conditions naturally. Not only do natural remedies work better and faster than traditional medicines, but they are better for you, more forgiving on your wallet, and don't come with side effects.
These natural remedies save me lots of money, prevent aggravating trips to the doctor's office, and keep me in good health. I hope they can do the same for you!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Bhavesh on September 03, 2017:
Nice post, here I think you mentioned right point of lemon with hot water.. But there are more things we can add upto to prevent it
1. Taking steam 2 time a day
2. Avoid drinking water at bedtime
3. Adding soups 3 times a week in diet
5. Warm compressor as most of the time we live in office which has AC
fitmom (author) on July 13, 2016:
That's great, Carol! I'm glad you found it helpful!! Best wishes to you and your sinuses. :)
Carol Morris on May 26, 2016:
Great hub for us sinus sufferers. I have also started drinking warm lemon juice, with salt every morning and I feel it's been helping me - I didn't think of it before but that might be the reason why I haven't been bothered by my sinuses this year.
fitmom (author) on August 22, 2013:
You're welcome! Rinsing out your sinuses will help tremendously!! Wish you the best ~ fitmom
Pamela-anne from Miller Lake on August 22, 2013:
I have a neti pot I have yet to try; I do suffer from allergies everyday I wake up my nose runs, sneezing, water-eyes. I believe that I am allergic to my dog's dander. I will try drinking lemon water in the mornings thanks for the great tips.
fitmom (author) on September 13, 2012:
The lemon water doesn't have to be warm or hot, but it is more soothing to the throat if it is. People with sinus congestion commonly have a sore throat and benefit from the warm/hot water.
Margaret on September 13, 2012:
Why does the lemon water have to be warm or hot?
fitmom (author) on March 27, 2012:
Thanks Deepak. I'm so glad you found it useful! :)
Deepak Chaturvedi from New Delhi, India on March 27, 2012:
good and useful hub.
fitmom (author) on March 26, 2012:
Since lemon juice does detox the body, I wouldn't be surprised if it helped your skin. As far as the heart burn goes, lemon turns into a base in the body. It's actually been known to help heartburn for some people (depending what the root cause of the heartburn is). Thanks for reading and sharing your experiences!
Billy Haynes from Paragould, AR on March 26, 2012:
When I was younger I used to drink straight lemon juice all the time, anywhere from daily to several times a week. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with keeping my skin clear, but it was after a friend talked me into stopping that I had years of bad acne arrive at my doorstep.
However, I also had years of bad heart burn (still have it from time to time) and I think it may have been all the lemon juice I drank. But from what I can remember while I was drinking it I didn't have as many sinus issues and I had clearer skin, more energy, etc.
fitmom (author) on March 21, 2012:
I've been there! I hope you find some relief soon. :)
fitmom (author) on March 21, 2012:
You're welcome, Peace2009! I'm glad you found it useful. Thanks for reading.
AGsGirl on March 21, 2012:
Thanks for the info. Have a sinus infection right now and am pregnant so can't take ibuprofen. Will try the lavender for some pain relief!
Shane from New Zealand on March 16, 2012:
Thanks for the great Hub - This is full of great information.
fitmom (author) on March 15, 2012:
Thanks, jpcmc! I agree. :)
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on March 15, 2012:
Lots of useful info here. I always prefer natural products over synthetic ones.
fitmom (author) on March 14, 2012:
You're welcome, Linda! It was a great question. :)
fitmom (author) on March 14, 2012:
Hi cloverleaffarm. Thanks for your comments. Yes, there are so many supplements that can help. This hub would be way too long if I included all of them. I decided to just limit to my favorites. :) I'm glad you enjoyed reading.
Linda Liebrand from San Francisco on March 14, 2012:
Thanks for answering my question! Voted up and shared :-)
Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 14, 2012:
I love my Neti Pot. It is something that you have to get use to for sure. Great article. Voted up, useful, and interesting. Can I add, nettle is great for allergies. It has a natural antihistamine, and can help people who suffer from seasonal allergies.