The Best Herbs to Use for Treating Sinus Infections

By: Rakhi Kaptiyal

Every time they take a breath, these irritants can start a sinus infection. Sinus membranes start to swell and prevent mucus from draining. The pressure from this buildup then leads to a stuffy nose, pain and an infection. One sinus treatment that a lot of people do is taking anti-bacterial herbs. Using herbs to treat a number of diseases is a long-standing tradition for a number of cultures and it's easy to understand why. They're safe, simple to administer and quite effective.

• Eucalyptus: The best and easiest way to incorporate eucalyptus leaves in your health regiment is to regularly drink it as tea. Eucalyptus leaves carry antibacterial, antiseptic and expectorant properties and can also be used as a mouth rinse to keep the breath fresh and the throat cool. Children should not be given eucalyptus but it's safe for most adults.

• Echinacea: This herb boosts the body's immune system and makes it easier to fend off bacterial and viral infections. The anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties of the Echinacea root makes it perfect as a sinus home remedy. It's often taken as an herbal tea. Aside from soothing sore throat and alleviating a sinus infection, people rarely experience an allergic reaction from it. Echinacea root can be bought in your neighborhood health food stores in tea or capsule form.

• Garlic: This herb and popular spice can be eaten raw or used as a tincture to help relieve sinusitis. Known as allium sativum in certain circles, garlic boasts of anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help us become healthier and stronger. In the old days, people insert a garlic clove in one nostril every day, interchanging nostrils per day. Now we can either eat it raw, incorporate it in our meals or take it in capsule form as a supplement.

• Goldenseal: Also known as hydrastis canadensis, this herb has been used for centuries by Native Americans to fight inflammations and cure infections. Goldenseal root has astringent and anti-bacterial properties that make it ideal for soothing sinus infections. This herb is often taken as tea and the steam from a hot cup of this brew can ease the nasal passages. However, goldenseal should be taken in moderation as some of its properties might get stored in the body. It also should not be given to pregnant or nursing women and those with high blood pressure.

Herbal remedies are a great alternative for treating sinus infections. However, it's best to remember that there are instances when an infection can only be treated with a round of strong antibiotics. There are also symptoms, like swollen eyelids, double vision, thick mucus or fever that lasts for days, that require the expertise of a professional. Some of these herbs can neutralize or hinder the effect of over-the-counter or prescription medications so make sure you inform your medical care provider if you're using herbs to treat your sinusitis.

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