Blocked sinus congestion can be horrible can’t it? It stops us from sleeping and sinus pressure can give us a real stinker of a headache. And because sinus congestion can be so hard to shift it can too easily become a sinus infection needing antibiotics.
Not nice at all!!!
So, what’s the best the way to get relief from sinus congestion whether from a nasty winter cold or from ongoing allergy issues?
Well obvious there are all sorts of OTC sinus congestion remedies but I’ve found simple natural sinus congestion remedies you can whip up very quickly at home are way more effective for relieving blocked sinuses and preventing more infection.
The big secret – I reckon – is to have a bunch of these quick home sinus relief remedies up your sleeve because as with so many health issues, there is never one single silver bullet that heals all.
So I’ve got a big list for you here of super simple sinus congestion remedies that can help prevent sinus congestion and give relief when your sinuses are blocked. To help you easily put together the best ones for you I’ve split up these remedies into:
- Quick sinus congestion relief techniques
- Herbs & spices for instant sinus congestion relief
- Simple homemade sinus congestion remedies
- And finally lifestyle changes to help prevent repeated sinus congestion
I do hope they help your family deal with sinus congestion as much as they have mine. Let me know how you get on and what works best.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and this post does not provide qualified medical advice. The post include traditional herbal remedies for sinus congestion that may not be suitable for pregnant women or people on other medication. If you are pregnant or on other medication you should seek medical advice before using these remedies.
Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies
1. Quick Sinus Congestion Relief
If you’re sinuses are all blocked up and painful and you feel like you can barely breathe, never mind get to sleep, try these techniques for quick relief:
- Warm compress : simply run a face flannel under warm but not to hot water, squeeze out and use as a warm compress over the bridge of your nose and cheek bones.
- Foot massage : this is a strange one but I have found it really helps with children at bed time. Simply massage their feet for five minutes or so with any basic oil you have to hand.
- Gentle steam : many of us were brought up on a hot steam under a towel for sinus congestion but a gentler steam over water that has been allowed to cool a little can be more effective as it unblocks our sinuses without stimulating them further.
- Herbal steam : a gentle steam can give even more congestion relief with a few herbs added in. Check out the list below for the best herbs for sinus congestion. Some people swear by essential oils but as there is so much dodgy marketing behind so many of the oil brands, I prefer to use the good old fashioned dried herbs & spices I cook with the whole time.
- Natural chest & back rub : there are all sorts of recipes out there for natural vapour rubs that avoid some of the dodgy chemicals in OTC products. Natural vapour rub can be great if you’ve got the time to make it but simply massaging your chest and back gently with e.g. coconut oil or shea butter can actually bring quick relief to blocked sinuses.
- Humming : the vibrations from humming can actually ease sinus congestion. Who knew? It won’t be a miracle cure on it’s own but worth adding to your mix as it can also relieve stress.
- Radiator humidifier : air humidifiers can help relieve sinus congestion at night but can also be incredibly expensive. If you need a cheap option you can still get old fashioned humidifiers to hang on radiators or just dampen a clean tea towel or muslin cloth and pop that on the radiator. It will do the job just as well.
- Nose wash : finally you can give your nasal passages a saline wash using a neti pot to help wash out congestion. I have to confess I have never got the hang of them and personally it feels like faff rather than a quick remedy but some families swear by them so they’re worth checking out. The key thing to remember is you must use distilled water.
Get into the habit of using a few of these simple techniques any time anyone in your family starts getting sinus congestion and you really will notice the difference. But we can get even more relief for a blocked nose from some simple herbs and spices.
2. Best Herbs & Spices For Blocked Noses
Luckily nature has given us a bundle of common herbs and spices that can help unblock sinus congestion. And they don’t need whipping up into fancy remedies to work, simply :
- Use them in soups, broths, stews, smoothies & juices or in fact whatever you’re cooking
- Make teas with them, i.e. pour hot water over them and leave to steep for a few minutes before drinking with a dash of lemon or honey!!
- Add to your gentle steam
- Or pop them in a radiator humidifier
As many of these herbs and spices have natural antibiotic powers, they can help to ease and prevent sinus infections whilst giving instant relief to our blocked nose.
So what are the best herbs and spices for congestion relief?
Well these are my favourites. They’ve all been used traditionally for sinus congestion but are also generally useful herbs & spices for cooking and in all sorts of natural remedies so they don’t clutter up the cupboard unused.
NB If you are pregnant or on medication your seek medical advice before using these herbs and spices.
- Cayenne pepper : is my go to ingredient for blocked sinuses. I add a teaspoon to soup or stews or broth and feel my sinuses unblocking almost instantly. You can also make quick cayenne water – see section 3 – for instant sinus relief throughout the day.
- Horseradish : for instant sinus relief just hold a teaspoon of chopped horseradish in your mouth and it’s juices will get to work. Regularly using horseradish as a garnish to food can also help to promote healthy sinuses.
- Fennel seeds : add a teaspoon to food or if you like the flavour make quick tea with honey to sweeten. You should avoid fennel seeds if you’re pregnant.
- Cumin : cumin is another great everyday spice you can add easily to all sorts of food that can help keep your sinuses open.
- Cilantro / Coriander : cilantro or coriander can be combined with fennel and cumin for sinus relieving flavouring and can also work well as a gentle tea.
- Mustard : treat yourself to a jar of good quality real mustard and get back into the traditional habit of garnishing food with just a little of it.
- Turmeric : another all round useful spice that is a natural antibiotic and antihistamine. Building it into our diet can help ease long term sinus issues and it can give instant sinus relief in simple remedies, see below.
- Black pepper : lots of us have got into the habit of over loading our food with salt for seasoning which is not great for blood pressure and overall congestion in our body. Switching to black pepper can help with inflammation all over our bodies including sinuses.
- Oregano : is a super useful sinus relieving garnish for all our pasta dishes and makes a lovely quick sinus relief tea. Also good for gentle steams and humidifiers.
- Mint : menthol in mint is believed to thin mucus and open up our airways to make it feel easier to breathe. Drink mint tea for sinus relief and add to gentle steams and radiator humidifiers. It’s also great for stress headaches.
- Ginger : ginger is a super useful natural antibiotic and antihistamine and can help relieve dry sinus congestion. Add it to a gentle steam or make ginger tea or the yummy pineapple and ginger smoothie below. I also add fresh ginger to our weekly pot of immune boosting broth.
- Chamomile : seem to be particularly helpful for sinus congestion associated with allergies. Its a useful little herb to have around as it can also help with insomnia, stress, headaches and period pain.
- Feverfew : feverfew is a little flower similar to chamomile that can help with sinus congestion headaches.
- Cinnamon : another great all rounder that combines well with ginger in sinus relieving teas, baking and smoothies.
- Garlic : cooking with plenty of garlic – another super handy natural antibiotic and antihistamine – can help promote good sinus health and added to a quick hearty broth with onion, cayenne pepper, oregano, ginger and plenty of black pepper it instantly opens up our sinuses.
- Onion : onions are great for all round health in our food and are brilliant in a broth for sinus congestion but for even quicker sinus relief add slices of freshly cut onion to a gentle steam and even simpler try the traditional trick of sleeping with half an onion on your bedside table. It really can help you getting bunged up in the night.
So you’ve now got a big bunch of quick sinus relief techniques and a list of the best herbs and spices for quickly relieving sinus congestion that you can add easily to food, a quick tea or a gentle steam.
These simple tips alone can relieve sinus congestion and help prevent sinus infection and I am a great believer in keeping natural remedies simple. We’re far more likely to use them effectively if it’s just a matter of pouring some hot water over some dried herbs and spices than if we’ve got conjure up fancy recipes with ingredients we don’t have!!!
But I do have a few very simple sinus congestion remedies that I love and I think it’s worth knowing and I’ve got for you here.
3. Simple Sinus Congestion Remedies
- Cayenne Water : if you’ve got sinus congestion, simply mix up lemon juice (I freeze as ice cubes), cayenne pepper, turmeric & ginger with some water – plus apple cider vinegar and honey if you like – in a jar, give it a good shake and then put in the fridge. Dose your self up throughout the day by straining some into a shot glass and knocking it back. You can experiment with potency to suit you but check out this cayenne water recipe for starting quantities.
- Pineapple & Ginger Smoothie : this is one of my family’s favourite smoothies and the unique antihistamine properties of pineapple can really help with congestion. I just chuck into a blender :
- half a can of unsweetened pineapple
- knob of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- teaspoon of honey
- teaspoon of coconut oil
- half a banana (I flash freeze slices)
- a few spoons of natural yoghurt
- and / or cashew nuts for soothing creaminess
- plus ice cubes and water
- Cold Relief Tea : at the first sign of a cough, cold or blocked nose we whip up a pan of this quick cold relief tea which is chock full of sinus relieving ingredients and incredibly warming & comforting.
- Golden Milk : golden milk is an age old healing recipe that can help relieve sinus congestion. There’s loads of recipes out there for golden milk – this a really comprehensive one – but I basically just blend up the following ingredients and then warm the mixture gently on the stove. Again it’s a five minute remedy that is incredibly soothing for sinuses :
- cup of milk per person, use whatever type you prefer
- half a teaspoon of turmeric
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of cardamom
- teaspoon of cinnamon
- peeled knob of fresh ginger
- a little black pepper
- teaspoon of honey
- teaspoon of coconut oil
Cooking with sinus relieving herbs and spices and regularly enjoying these simple natural sinus remedies can help ease ongoing sinus congestion and blocked noses. But if you or your family are suffering with ongoing sinus congestion it’s worth checking out the tips in my final section whilst of course seeking qualified medical advice.
4. How To Prevent Sinus Congestion
Repeated sinus congestion can be a sign of underlying health issues that wouldn’t seem to be anything to do with our sinuses. So if you or someone in your family keeps getting blocked sinuses try looking at your family’s diet to see if these changes help.
- Anti-inflammatory diet : a diet rich in natural anti-histamines can help prevent our sinuses over reacting to our every day environment, especially for those of us who struggle with hay fever or allergies.
- Restoring gut health : strangely our sinuses and our gut are connected as to two key parts of our immune system. Restoring healthy bacteria in our gut may actually stop our sinuses going into over drive.
- Boost immunity : repeated sinus congestion and infection can be a red flag early warning that our immune system is run down. These simple every day changes can re-balance your family’s immune system.
Repeated sinus congestion can be triggered by “toxins” in our home and making these simple changes can help prevent ongoing problems:
- Cut down on chemicals : more and more research suggests that chemicals in common cleaning and laundry products can contribute to sinus problems, so if you suffer with repeated sinusitis it’s worth playing safe and switching to chemical free cleaning.
- Keep on top of dust : it’s super boring I know but thoroughly weekly dusting and vacuuming – especially under beds – can help prevent sinus congestion in those of us vulnerable to allergies.
So there you go, a massive guide to quick ways to relieve sinus congestion plus natural sinus congestion remedies and simple lifestyle changes that can help to prevent sinus congestion.
I do hope they help. I would love to hear what works best for you and your family and for more simple natural remedies do check out these posts:
- Natural Sore Throat Remedies
- Natural Headache Remedies
- Simple DIY Cough Remedy
- Simple DIY Cold Relief
- 6 Surprising Ways To Sleep Better
If you found these tips helpful do save for quick reference later and please do share with your friends and family.