Allergy sufferers take note: there is relief in sight for your seasonal sinus headaches. Some of us are afflicted with irritated, inflamed sinuses on a regular basis, while many others just get impacted when the seasons change or when we’re in new surroundings. Whether it’s the dry air of the winter months or the hay fever of spring that’s making you feel like your head’s in a vice, we have a few recommendations for helping mediate sinus pain naturally. Remember, these are natural remedies so unlike concentrated medications that tend to work within an hour, these may take a few days to have an impact.
1. The Neti Pot
If you have sinus headaches or allergies and you don’t yet have a neti pot, we only have one question: What are you waiting for? Rinsing your sinus and nasal passages with warm saline is beneficial for a number of reasons. One, saline is the world’s best natural anti-bacterial. It’s why healthcare professionals use it to disinfect equipment. Two, the magnesium in the salt is a natural anti-inflammatory. Think of it as a soothing Epsom salt bath for your nose. Three, it washes out the tiny particulate matter from pollen, pollution, dust and other irritants. Four, it’s completely non-medicinal. It won’t interfere with other antihistamines or allergy medications. Five, it helps increase the moisture levels for mucous membranes during the winter that are dry and irritated from the cold air outside and the heated air inside. That’s five reasons. Go get one.
2. Saline Spray
So, saline spray or mist is a store-bought version of a neti pot that you can inhale at regular intervals. So, pretty much everything we said above, only you can put this in a purse, desk drawer, nightstand or a pocket to keep with you. As a bonus, look for saline sprays that contain herbal infusions like menthol to help open up clogged nasal passages.
Pharmaceutical grade oregano has a lot of reported benefits. One of the claims is that it is a powerful anti-bacterial. Another is that it has tremendous anti-inflammatory properties. When your allergies are triggered and you feel an attack coming on, try taking 1-2 tablets with food once or twice daily. Of course, please confirm with your physician if you’re taking other medication or if you have severe food allergies. If you’re opposed to an oral supplement, we love this oregano saline spray scented with clove and other spices as a soothing tincture during flare ups.
4. Lemon Juice
During the times of year when you’re the most prone to allergy attacks, try squeezing a half of a lemon into 8 ounces of room temperature water and drinking it down quickly. This is extremely acidic, so we advise to take it with a small amount of food, and to avoid it entirely if you have any kind of stomach ulcer or acid reflux. Citric acid shrinks mucous membranes, so those who have inflamed sinuses and nasal tissue should notice a positive impact within a week or so.
Sometimes, allowing steam vapor to make its way into every cavity of your skull helps relieve pressure and provide much needed relief from sinus pain. Here’s a method we swear by: pick up a bottle of menthol essential oil, boil water, pour water into a large glass or stainless steel bowl, add 2-4 drops of menthol, drape a towel over your head and breathe. Try to inhale through your nose as much as possible to pull the slightly medicated vapor up into your sinuses. If you’re on the road, see if your hotel as a steam room and spend 5-10 minutes a day in it to enjoy a very similar benefit.