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What Are Sinus Headaches?
The sinuses are air-filled cavities inside the bones of the face which are connected to the nasal cavity. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses, a common ailment whose significant symptoms include congestion (a blocked nose) and painful headaches. If you have recently developed sinusitis, you should consult a medical practitioner. However if you suffer from chronic sinus headaches, as I do, there are a few remedies you can try yourself to alleviate the problem.
Natural Remedies for Sinus Headaches
Sinusitis can be caused by allergies so ensure you turn your mattress and vacuum regularly and use bedding that doesn’t exacerbate the problem; feather pillows and duvets, for example, may well make it worse. So may your central heating, so try not to have it on at night. Using a humidifier can help. Even bowls of water in your room and damp towels on your radiators can make a noticeable difference, as can raising the head of your bed with books under the bed-feet to help drainage of the sinuses.
Dairy and wheat products have been implicated in the excessive production of mucus. Diet can certainly be a contributing factor, but it is inadvisable to make far-reaching dietary changes without consulting a nutritionist. So aim to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and less caffeine, red meat, and alcohol. Hot lemon drinks are said to reduce mucus production, as are garlic, onions and fresh horseradish.
Smoking will aggravate the symptoms.
Steam inhalation is very helpful. Just taking a shower can alleviate both congestion and pain, or you can add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to a bowl of hot – not scalding – water and breathe in the vapours. Lavendar, thyme, pine and tea-tree oils can also prove helpful
When you blow your nose, try to do so gently, as overly vigorous blowing can make the problem worse.
Remedies for Sinusitis in Alternative Medicine
Plantago tincture comes from the species of plants called plantago or plantains, and it has been used for many hundreds of years as a herbal remedy. It is said to be an anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-microbial and antisceptic. It is recommended by many alternative practioners as a treatment for chronic sinusitis for these reasons. Take fifteen drops three times daily in a little water until symptoms subside. You may continue to take plantago twice a day as a preventative.
Colloidal silver – a liquid suspension of microscopic silver particles – is used as an antibacterial in alternative medicine and is also considered to boost the immune system. However the use of collidal silver is controversial and many medical practitioners advise against it, because its efficacy is unproven, and it may have adverse side-effects. The human body does not use silver for any biological process so we excrete it, but we can only get rid of a small quantity a day. The rest is deposited in the tissue. Prolonged ingestion of silver can cause argyria, a dermatological condition in which the skin turns blue-grey.
If your symptoms include a yellow or greenish mucus, you may have a sinus infection. A practitioner of alternative medicine may therefore suggest the use of a colloidal silver product to alleviate the infection. They would generally consider ten drops in a small amount of water, three times a day, to be a safe dose, but only until the symptoms of infection – that is, the yellow/green mucus – start to subside.
All of these products should be treated as medicines and kept out of the reach of children. And please remember, if your symptoms have recently started, or if you have chronic symptoms and haven’t previously taken medical advice, consult your medical practitioner.