A very high percentage of people suffer from sinus congestion and blocked sinuses every year. The medical term for this is sinusitis and is a condition where the sinuses become infected or inflamed.
Sinuses are hollow spaces or cavities near the bones in the skull around the nasal passages. Each sinus has an opening that allows the exchange of mucus and air and the four sinuses are joined together by a thin membrane. Nearly two pints of fluid moves through the sinuses every day and helps to clean and moisten the membranes lining the nose and throat. Fine hairs in the sinuses ensure that the fluid does not get blocked within the sinuses. When the membrane joining the sinuses becomes infected or inflamed, the fluid simply accumulates causing pressure on the sinus walls leading to pain in the region.
What causes sinus infections?
Sinus infections usually occur as a result of being infected by a virus or fungi. Fungal spores in the air are thought to be one of the most common causes of sinusitis as are pollen from winter and summer flowering shrubs and trees. There are over 40 types of airborne fungal spores and sufferers of sinusitis were found to have an average of two within the sinus cavity. Where your pain is located is often an indicator of which sinus is inflamed or infected although most people with sinusitis have pain in multiple locations.
The most common symptoms of sinusitis or sinus infections are pain in the head, ear or neck; headaches in the morning; pain in the jaw, cheeks and teeth; pain between the eyes; stuffy nose; loss of smell and tenderness around the nasal passages.
How can you treat sinus infections?
The most common treatment for sinusitis is the use of oral antibiotics, decongestant nasal sprays and pain killers which are not without side effects. A more natural approach to prevent and treat sinusitis is the use of Sinus Support by Eclectic Institute, formerly Nasal Support. Suitable for children over six years and adults, this supplement contains a blend of herbs with validated properties that work collectively to treat and prevent sinusitis.
Sinus Support contains extracts of nettle, eyebright, horse radish and elderberry which work as follows:
Nettle: nettle extracts work to inhibit the production of histamine, the chemical responsible for causing inflammation within the nasal and sinus cavity. Nettle is also an excellent detoxifying herb helping to remove chemical allergens and toxins from the bloodstream.
Eyebright: helps to increase circulation around the eyes and nasal regions. The Materia Medica, the most comprehensive information guide on herbal extracts, lists an indication for eyebright as “an excellent remedy for problems with mucous membranes” which is exactly what sinusitis is.
Horse Radish: this herb contains astringent volatile oils that rapidly increase circulation to the nasal passages helping to unblock the nasal and sinus cavities to eliminate congested mucus. Stagnant mucus is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria leading to sinus infection. Additionally, horse radish has natural antibiotic properties helping to fight any infection causing bacteria and does not compromise the immune system which can occur with some antibiotics.
Elderberry: extensively studied for its anti-viral properties, elderberry extracts also display antimicrobial properties and support the immune system. Ensuring the optimum working of the immune system most definitely helps to minimise the risks of sinus infection. Elderberry extracts have also been shown to reduce swelling in the sinus cavity which improves sinus drainage and decreases nasal congestion.
Other natural remedies for sinusitis
The herbs in Sinus Support therefore work to treat and prevent the majority of the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus congestion. For those who cannot swallow capsules or tablets and for children under twelve who may also suffer from sinus congestion, there is help at hand with the use of Plantago Tincture by A Vogel. Plantago contains naturally occurring chemicals that help to weaken the bonds that form mucus thus easing its expulsion. Additionally, it contains a high amount of naturally occurring silica which helps to reduce inflammation within the sinus cavity leading to lessened mucus production. Both remedies are considered safe to use alongside most medications.
For those requiring additional support, use Sinuforce Nasal Spray which contains oils of Eucalyptus, Menthol and Chamomile. The combination of these oils has a soothing effect, eases breathing by breaking down mucus and helps reduce irritation. Sinuforce and can be used long term if necessary.