Sinus infections can be very persistent and debilitating. This article covers some very successful home remedies for the prevention and treatment of sinusitis that I have collected and developed over the years. I use all of these methods regularly and no longer have any problems with my sinuses (or colds and flu either!).
Letâ€™s start with prevention. One of the very best ways to prevent sinus infections is to keep your sinus areas (forehead and cheek areas) warm and the mucus membranes moist. Itâ€™s especially important to keep your forehead and cheeks warm when you sleep. Keeping a towel, hat or warm scarf over these areas as you sleep can really help. This also is a great treatment if you already have a sinus infection.
In addition, using a humidifier in the room where you sleep is an excellent way to prevent and treat a sinus infection. These two suggestions alone can help to prevent your problem, but if not, there are lots of supplements and foods that you can take to keep your immune system in tip top condition to treat and prevent sinus problems.
Using a natural nasal spray made with salt and baking soda has helped me a lot. The recipe for this home remedy is Â½ cup water, Â¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of baking soda. Make sure that you use really clean bottled water or filtered water, otherwise you could make things worse. Shake the mixture well and put into a clean nasal spray bottle. This is also an excellent home remedy for allergies. You can use this nasal spray several times a day; it is surprisingly effective as well as cheap!
Vitamins and Foods for Treating and Preventing Sinus Infections
Vitamins, minerals and food supplements make great home remedies for sinus infections and of course they will also help to prevent them. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™re aware that vitamin C is good, but getting some vitamin C from fresh foods is even more important. A recent study discovered that natural vitamin C from food had a much stronger effect on keeping the immune system healthy than synthetic C (almost all the C you buy as a supplement at the store is synthesized).
A few high C home remedy foods to prevent and treat sinus infections are citrus (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons), kiwi, cabbage, broccoli and berries. Vitamin C is a good natural decongestant and will help to dry up inflamed nasal passages due to colds and sinus infections. I eat a whole peeled orange every day during the winter to prevent colds and sinus infections. The white part and pulp are very good for you, better than orange juice.
Does your vitamin C supplement contain bioflavonoids? This is another important home remedy type of nutrient for keeping mucus membranes healthy and restoring your immune system. You can find supplements at your health food store or get them naturally in the white part of citrus fruit as well as in the pulp.
Another very important supplement is vitamin A (not beta carotene). It helps to keep your skin and mucus membranes healthy. Donâ€™t take more than 5,000 IU every other day as large doses of A can cause problems. Be sure to purchase a supplement that is derived from a natural source (usually fish oil, synthetic vitamin A is not recommended). Natural vitamin A is found in eggs, dairy products, liver and some fish.
Do you take a naturally derived mixed carotene supplement every day? No longer is beta-carotene enough. Several other carotenoids (lutein, alpha carotene, lycopene) are as important or more so than beta. You especially want to be sure that you get the natural versions of these supplements, not the synthetic. Recent research shows that synthetic carotenes may not help much at all and may even be bad for you. Just make sure that the label mentions natural sources for the supplement (such as palm fruit). Carrots, yams and colored fruits and vegetables such as all berries, broccoli, spinach, chard, romaine lettuce, winter squash and tomatoes are carotene rich.
Minerals and Other Supplements for Treating and Preventing Sinus Infections
Several minerals are important in keeping your immune system in top shape as well. Zinc is the most important of these home remedies. Many people take zinc lozenges when they get a sinus infection, but if you take zinc in advance, you can completely avoid the unpleasantness of being sick. Yet another important mineral is selenium. Be careful not to take excessive amounts of these minerals because they can be toxic in larger doses.
Another little known but very valuable home remedy supplement for sinus infections is NAC or n-acetyl cysteine, which is a powerful antioxidant that is a form of the amino acid cysteine. It helps to increase your bodyâ€™s supply of the very important enzyme, glutathione contributing significantly to your immune system as it reduces congestion.
A few other immune system home remedies to consider are raw garlic, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, echinacea, grapeseed extract and chlorella/spirulina. Donâ€™t forget about fresh raw fruits and vegetables. It may sound boring because everyone is telling you to eat your fruits and veggies but the truth is...raw foods are very healthful. They contain all the natural enzymes and nutrients that are cooked out of almost all prepared foods.
People who eat mostly raw food tend to stay healthier than people who eat a lot of prepared and cooked foods. For the best home remedy for a sinus infection, you could go to your local grocery store and look at all the tempting raw foods youâ€™ll find there. Then take some home, make a big salad with fruits or vegetables, and enjoy!
In the winter, you can buy many types of frozen fruits to use in smoothies or to eat with yogurt. Frozen fruit still has lots of great nutrients to keep you healthy. Before adding any supplements or changing your diet, consult your health professional.
T. McDonald is a lifelong student of alternative health and a writer. Sheâ€™s an editor of the website Diabetes and Health Guide where you will find information on symptoms of diabetes, glycemic index diet, 19 weight loss tips, diets, diabetes, alternative sweeteners how to prevent breast cancer and much more. Copyright 2005 T. McDonald