live in southern California and there is plenty of dry air, tree, and grass pollen going much of the year to have a persons sinuses in an uproar. The good news is that there are natural ways to help.
Believe me, I used to struggle with sinus infections often. I'd head to see the doctor for multiple rounds of antibiotics before feeling better. Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate my Doctor and he's helped me and my family tremendously and he is a huge advocate of diet and nutrition but may not be aware of the benefits of essential oils and herbs . But when you can support your sinuses to avoid getting infections you are on to something. Call in the rinses, steams, and inhalers!
Fast forward to nasal rinses, herbal syrups, and essential oils steams and my sinuses have been doing quite well. So if you've been suffering with stuffy sinuses, sinus infections, and allergies here are some strategies to help.
1. The Sinus Steam: This is an amazing go to for helping open sinuses, fight colds, and support skin health. Seriously in her book Clinical Aromatherapy, Jane Buckle mentions using peppermint essential oil to combat sinus issues. She found that peppermint essential oils was quite effective at combating sinus issues.
Likewise many aromatherapy sources recognize the benefit of using a bowl of hot steamy water and essential oils in a steam tent to fight germs, lessen symptoms, and feel better faster. It's easy and effective! You can simply use peppermint, eucalyptus, or stop by the apothecary for a sinus blend.
(here is a video and recipe about how to steam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpvJs-3Ho)
2. Add essential oils to your shower: I have used this method to help my kids when they are congested. Simply add essential oils to a damp wash cloth, cotton ball or pad, or even directly to the shower floor. The scent may not last for long but the benefits of the aromatics is profound. It doesn't take long for your body to absorb a scent and for it to do its job. Peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and ravintsara from your local holistic type store or online are great choices as are your favorite MLM blends. And of course if you visit the apothecary you'll find we offer menthol and eucaplytus shower steamers to make your life easy and aromatic.
3. Nasal Rinse: It ain't pretty but it's good. Get yourself a neti pot, a neilmed sinus rinse, or something along those lines. And for crying out loud please use distilled or purified water and nasal specific salts. This will cleanse pollens, trapped germs, and generally help you feel better. NEVER use straight tap water and be sure to include buffering salts.
4. This was a bit of a surprise to me but some sinus suffers reported a benefit from elderberry syrup. I use elderberry to help fight and protect from colds as it is reported to support the immune system and help boost white blood cells. You can find elderberry syrup and product in many holistic type stores. Or you can easily make it yourself from fresh or dried elderberries. For certain it tastes yummy and gives your immune system a boost.
5. Aromatherapy Inhaler (or diffuser blend): Aromatherapy inhalers or diffuser blends can help address allergy symptoms and may support the immune system. Many allergy medicines offer antihistamine effects. Histamines have been equated to bouncers in a club -- if something is bothering you they help you sneeze, produce mucus, tear up, or itch to get rid of the offender. Some aromatic components are also thought to help squelch histamine release. Lavender and tea tree essential oils are thought to lessen histamine release and can work as analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Oils rich in menthol or 1,8 cineole can open airways and promote feelings of clear breathing -- oils like peppermint, cornmint, eucalyptus, ravintsara, niaoli, and cardamom fit the bill here. And many pine oils or tree resins are excellent for respiratory support -- siberian fir, scotch pine, hemlock, and frankincense are a few of my favorites for supporting respiratory health. If you have sinus issues consider contacting a certified aromatheapist for help in choosing oils for inhaler or diffuser blends. I also like Eucalyptis dives for fighting congestion that may accompany allergies.
6. Sinus rinse: It's messy and drippy but it works. Neti pot or sinus rinse washes out dirt, pollen, mucus, and all sorts of other junk. If you have sinus issues or allergies consider a nasal rinse routine. If you have questions about this feel free to contact me.
7. Reduce your exposure to pollen and dust: Getting outdoors is necessary for health but it can also mean exposure to things that trigger allergies. Use a hepa filter device indoors, shower after outdoor activities, consider ways to avoid tracking allergens inside (take off shoes and jackets before entering the house for example) and filter out allergens indoors. For more suggestions visit:
As I tell my clients allergies can be tough to fight. The immune system is in uproar against everyday pollens, dust, dander, and what not. There really isn't a one size fits all solution but essential oils can certainly help, as can herbs, eating well, sleeping well, and exercising.
If you have questions about aromatherapy, essential oils, or using essential oils to combat allergies feel free to contact me or set up a consult. As a former sinus infection sufferer I can relate. My sinuses feel quite good these days. Hopefully I can help you feel better too!