Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.
Itchy, watery eyes, running nose, an aching
head, and sinus congestion. Sound familiar? You may be among the 37
million people in the United States who suffer from allergic rhinitis or
sinusitis. Consider combating your springtime woes naturally with these
time-tested self-healing techniques.
Allergens in the Air
When your sinuses, the air-filled hollow
cavities around your nose and nasal passages, become inflamed, fluid can
accumulate and interfere with normal drainage of mucus in the sinuses.
This condition is known as acute sinusitis. The result? You may have
trouble breathing through your nose and feel your eyes and facial tissue
Your symptoms may include a headache, fever, a nagging cough, post-nasal
drip, thick green or yellow discharge, and a feeling of facial
"fullness" that gets worse when you lean forward; during a severe sinus
infection, some people even experience a toothache.
This uncomfortable condition has many possible causes, including
bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, allergies, or a deviated
septum. Synonymous with spring, allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay
fever, is the inflammatory result of your immune system's overreaction
to allergens in the air.
Pollen is one famous offender. Other allergens include dirt, pollution,
animal hair, food particles cloth fibers, and mold. A healthy
alternative to allergy medication is
which is a blend of effective Chinese herbs to naturally relieve allergy
Surprising Secrets for Sinus Health
Here are some all-natural ways to gain freedom from sinus suffering.
- Clear your sinuses and your mind
with a steamy stovetop spa. Add a few drops of wintergreen oil to a
pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. Take care not to be
burned by the vapor.
- Herbs and spices like ginger,
scallion, basil, garlic, oregano, cayenne peppers, white pepper,
horseradish and turmeric will have your sinus passageways unblocked
in no time!
- The supplement bromelain - a papaya
and pineapple-based enzyme - helps reduce histamine release, the
body's natural allergic response.
- Clear your nasal passageway daily
for healthy, happy sinuses. Add 1 tsp of sea salt, 1 drop of oregano
oil, and 1 drop of wintergreen to a cup of warm water. Fill a
small-spouted squeeze bottle with this warm solution. Squirt into
one nostril at a time and blow out through the nose. Alternate
- Press one clove of garlic, mix with
1 tsp of olive oil and soak a clean cotton ball with the oil mixture
and place in nostrils after having washed the nostril with warm salt
water. Leave in for 20 minutes and repeat three times a day until
the symptoms clear up.
- These two simple self-massage
practices that follow are incredibly effective for relieving sinus
congestion. For both, sit at the tip of a sturdy chair with your
back erect, spine stretched, and your head tilted slightly forward.
1. Inhale and gently press your forehead
just inside the temples with your palms. Exhale and release. Repeat
2. Cross your middle and index
fingers by placing the tips of your middle fingers on top of the
fingernails on your index fingers. Rub the sides of your nose 36
times in a circular motion, warming your fingers first if they're
What You Eat Affects Your Sinus Health
Avoid the foods that produce mucous and dampness: dairy products, cold
and raw foods, corn (including corn syrup), and simple sugars. Choose
whole grains like quinoa, amaranth and brown rice instead of wheat, rye
and barley, which are typically high allergy grains. Opt for papaya,
cranberries, pear, pineapple, cherries, mango, and citrus fruits. Eat
more green vegetables such as artichoke, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,
kale, cauliflower, and spinach.
Both alcohol and smoking should be avoided during a sinus flare-up as
they irritate the respiratory tract and worsen nasal inflammation. Also,
sinus congestion is often worse with lack of quality rest so be sure to
get plenty of sleep and keep your stress level low.
I hope that you find the ways to keep your sinuses clear and freely
flowing. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health
and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!