A Holistic Approach to Sinus Infection

Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on September 3, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Blog

For those who have ever had to suffer with sinusitis, you know the pain and misery of the headache that radiates into every part of your face. Perhaps you have already tried conventional medicine, with no or poor results. The traditional answers, such as antibiotics, nasal steroids, and antihistamines, all aim to treat the immediate problem. Holistic medicine takes a different approach to you healing.

A sinus infection is caused by inflammation of the sinus and nasal passages. There may be headache/pressure – usually in the eyes, nose, or cheeks. It may also be accompanied with a cough, fever, and thick nasal discharge.

Infections can be either caused by a viral infection or triggered by an allergen.

There are solutions if your sinus infections are frequent. You don’t have to suffer with headache and pressure, wishing you would gain relief. Try some of these methods to find the one or more that work with you.


This practice goes back a long time. Use either organic sunflower oil or coconut oil to “pull” toxins from your body. Before you eat, drink, or brush your teeth, swish 2 tablespoons of one of these oils in your mouth for 20 minutes. Much like gargling, but don’t swallow.

The idea is that the toxins and bacteria will “bind” to the oil, and help you get better. After 20 minutes, spit the once yellow oil out – it should be white and foamy from the swishing. Brush your teeth well to get the toxic oil out – you will notice that your teeth look whiter also. Do this every day. It has other health benefits as well.


Drink 1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar diluted with 8-12 ounces of water throughout the day. The vinegar will thin the mucus, making it easier to drain. This method works best at the first onset of a sinus headache, but can offer relief once you have an infection.


Traditional herbs are known to help ease the pain of sinus headaches. Some of the more common herbs are barberry, goldenseal, or Echinacea. Consult someone who knows herbs well to find out the benefits of each type of herb and for dosing instructions.


Essential oils are believed to work at opening up sinus passages and relieving symptoms. Directly inhaling steam from two cups of water, mixed with thyme, rosemary, and lavender oils, will help open the sinuses as well as kill bacteria that can cause infection. Lavender oil diluted an applied to the forehead area is believed to alleviate pain as well.


This method of treating sinus infections has long been used by the holistic medical community. This practice should be done by a reputable, certified practitioner.


Many have found relief through chiropractic care. Realigning the spine is believed to help get the body lined up so that the nasal passages drain properly.


This process involves irrigating your sinus cavity with a solution of salt water. The goal is to thin out the mucus lining to promote drainage. Read directions thoroughly before using a sinus irrigation system.


This ancient Indian remedy is a pot, which you fill with warm, slightly salty water. Insert the spout of the pot in on nostril, and allow the water to flow out the other nostril. This will take a few times to master, but this simple practice can help relieve your sinus problems and maintain your overall health.


For general relief from painful symptoms, use hot and cold compresses. The warm compresses applied for 3-5 minutes will help increase the blood circulation. This should be done 3-5 times a day for the best results. Cold compresses can help relieve pain and swelling.


Dust is a huge trigger for those who suffer with sinus problems. When working towards natural healing, make sure your environment in conducive to healing. Vacuum and dust your home – particularly the bedroom. Make sure to wash the curtains, too, so you can relax without irritants creeping in your body as you sleep.


You do need rest. When your sinus problems begin to bother you, take some extra time to curl up in bed. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

Holistic medicine uses a combination of nature and science to provide natural healing remedies for all sorts of maladies. These treatments are safe, effective, and many come with additional health benefits as well. That is one headache I can afford to get rid of.

Photo Credit: Spring Dew

Read also: Kids and Germs Go Together Like…

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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