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An Ayurvedic Solution to Sinus Trouble

An Ayurvedic Solution to Sinus Trouble

Q: I have had a series of sinus infections, and my doctor says I have become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infection. How can Ayurveda help?

A: According to conventional medicine, sinusitis–and its painful symptoms of post-nasal drip, inflammation, and sinus headache–can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or an allergic reaction to dust, pollens, air pollution, or other irritants. However, according to Ayurveda, different causes and symptoms occur in different people, depending on their doshas–the body’s governing principles.

For instance, exposure to excessive drafts may trigger some infections, putting the blame on the cold, dry, moving vata dosha, which governs all circulation and flow in your body. Other times, liver irritants such as alcoholic drinks–or an allergic reaction to dust or pollen–can be the cause. Ayurveda associates these with pitta dosha, which governs metabolism and regulates inflammation. Finally, dampness, overeating, heavy meals in the evening, cold drinks, ice cream, and rich desserts can unbalance kapha, the lubricating dosha, and lead to sinusitis.

Whatever their cause, all sinus infections respond to measures that balance kapha–since it regulates mucus and fluids in the sinus cavity. A heavy, cold, slow, and sticky kapha can be balanced by foods and behaviors that create the opposite effect. Therefore, you should favor a light diet of warm, cooked foods that are easy to digest, such as steamed vegetables, non-creamy vegetable soups, cooked whole grains, and cooked fruits. Avoid alcohol, red meat, and cold and iced foods and drinks, as well as all curdled foods like cheese and yogurt–both the dairy and non-dairy varieties. If you have symptoms of congestion and pressure, try frequent sips of hot beverages, such as herbal tea, throughout the day. You can also inhale the steam from a pot of freshly boiled water for five to 10 minutes, twice a day. Adding a couple drops of eucalyptus oil to the water after boiling will help open up nasal passages, but be sure to keep your eyes closed to prevent stinging.

Since you have a history of sinus infections, a weakened immune system undoubtedly plays a key role. Weak immunity and weak digestion go hand in hand. When you eat foods that are too hard to digest, for instance, your digestive system gets overloaded and creates a sticky toxin called ama. Over time, excess ama will travel to weak areas in your body–in this case, the sinuses–to block normal functioning and create disease.

To build immunity, you need to clear your body of toxins. An amazingly simple but effective way to help your body do this is to boil spring water and sip the hot water throughout the day. For extra relief during sinus attacks, steep the following in two quarts of boiled water: Two slices of fresh ginger, four leaves of mint, two cloves, and 1 teaspoon marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis). Make this ama-busting tea each morning, keep it in a thermos, and sip it hot all day long.

Finally, cook with digestion and immune-enhancing spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, and black pepper. These spices also help clear your sinuses by promoting mucus drainage.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Read more: Health, Alternative Therapies, Ayurveda, Cold and Flu, , , , ,

By Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., Natural Solutions magazine

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Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


+ add your own
9:53AM PDT on Mar 31, 2014

Thanks so much - great tips!

7:57PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

still a great article -- ayurvedic medicine rocks

3:55AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

oil pulling

9:38AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011


11:52AM PDT on May 19, 2011

I like the suggestion of using local made Honey so that it contains local pollen, that pretty smart.

I use Neti Pot often and I got good deal at Walmart by using coupon,

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11:19AM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

anything to help with the sinus problems most of us is great to try as the antibiotics don't help in the long run they actually hurt your body when you are older you become antibiotic resitant

12:31AM PDT on Oct 26, 2009

I think vitamin C and zinc are good for sinus trouble. Also there is a little pot with a long spout - I'm sure you can find this online or in a health food store - and you tilt your head and pour the liquie slowly into your nostril and it will go into the other nostril and clean out some of the mucus. I thought this was Ayuvedic in nature and am surprised not o see it listed. Gargling with hot red pepper also helps. It's all dryness, so when your eyes tear, you will be blowing out mucus, sneezing and feeling a lot better.

7:30PM PDT on Aug 23, 2009

great article. thank you.

2:07AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009



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