According to WebMD 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergy related symptoms and 55% of Americans test positive for one or more allergens making the health care system and businesses in the U.S. $7.9 billion a year simply from Sinus related issues. This article will help you treat allergy related symptoms naturally and efficiently. Let’s first take a look at what causes sinus allergies.

There are several airborne substances that we inhale through our mouth and nose. Many of these irritate the sinuses and can lead to allergies. Pollen is one of the allergens that enters our body while breathing. The mucus that is present in sinuses ambushes that dirt as a defense mechanism to prevent it from entering our lungs. Ragweed and Hay are also a irritants that if left untreated overtime can prevent mucous from draining properly. If mucous is not drained properly it builds up and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses which can lead to nasal infections.

Dirt, pollution, animal hair, food particles cloth fibers, mold, dead insects remains and wastes are also irritants that can lead to inflammation and allergy related symptoms.

Mucus production

Mucus is being produced all the time by the membranes lining the sinus and nasal cavities.When mucus become excessive it can be an underlying cause for something more serious. Environmental elements like pollen, house dust, smog, smoke, and most importantly dairy can make the bodies natural defenses, immune system, take hold and jump starts the production of histamine which is a clear, watery mucus like substance that is intended to wash off those invaders. Excessive mucus can build up in the sinus cavity and nasal cavity and cause infection in those organs’ membranes if left untreated and blocked.

Certain foods can also cause increased mucus production. Here are a few listed below:

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Reduce or eliminate some of these foods that are known to aid in an over production of mucus that may lead to infection or bacterial build up.

Nasal Inflammation:

Inflammation is a reaction to a particular substance or allergen that causes redness, swelling, irritation, and discomfort. The nasal cavities become swollen and in turn mucous cant flow through which may cause pressure, headaches or difficulty breathing.

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • runny nose
  • excessive sneezing
  • itchy nose
  • sore throat
  • bad breath
  • postnasal drip
  • excessive coughing
  • loss of taste and smell

Some people experience puffy eyes, grogginess, lack of balance and hearing difficulty. If not treated properly, allergies can develop into a more serious infection and sinusitis.

Nasal congestion:

Nasal congestion is the blockage of the nasal passages usually due to membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels. Some may also call it nasal blockage, nasal obstruction, blocked nose, stuffy nose, or plugged nose.

All of these combined can lead to extreme discomfort and may even effect your overall well being. Below I’ve broken down how you can treat these symptoms naturally with Spices, Food and essential oils.

Natural Treatment Options:

Turmeric:

Turmeric for medicinal purposes is usually taken in daily doses of 0.5 to 3 grams.Your physician may recommend a higher dose depending on you medical history. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling in the sinus cavities and help mucus flow easier. The herbal supplement is also a stimulant that will act as a natural decongestant, alleviating sinus pressure and pain. Use organic turmeric for best results.

Ginger:

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps release secretions to promote mucus drainage. Ginger may also reduce swollen sinus membranes to assist in clearing sinus passages and reducing sinus pressure. Ginger root can be boiled in tea,cooked in foods or taken as a supplement. *Please note that spices like ginger lose their potency the longer they are cooked or boiled at high temperatures. Use organic ginger for best results, from the root is best.

Basil (tulsi):

Basil is full of potent components like camphene, eugenol and cineole that can open up congested airways, helps reduce inflammation and fights against allergic reactions. Basil also has a slight cooling action which is a natural way to relieve the pain associated with sinusitis. Basil is best used to fight symptoms related to allergies when it is fresh (salad, garnish) or in essential oil form (4 drops in a diffuser or humidifier). Use organic basil for best results.

Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne pepper breaks up and helps drain congested mucus. It also has the ability to lessen the body’s perception of pain. As an anti-inflammatory it helps stimulate circulation and promote sweating. A great plus of Cayenne Pepper is it’s antibacterial properties which can help lessen the symptoms of sinusitis. Use organic cayenne pepper for best results.

Garlic:

Garlic naturally relieves swelling in the nasal passages while maximizing the flow of mucus in the sinus cavity. It’s another food that induces heat in the sinuses to loosen and drain mucus.

Garlic can be used as an effective health remedy in a variety of ways. One of the most effective and functional treatment options involves crushing the garlic and using it as a spread. To do so, chop or mince the garlic, allow it to rest for a short period. Mix the garlic with honey and take as a paste or spread it on any food of choice. Keeping garlic as fresh as possible is the key. Refrain from cooking or soaking to experience maximum results. Use organic garlic for best results.

Onion:

Onions contain a chemical compound called quercetin that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Consequently, raw onion can help to clear congested sinuses.

Chopping up a few raw onions may be enough to clear your sinuses. If raw onions are a bit to strong for you, try making an onion broth by simply adding a couple of slices of onion to boiling water. Place in a cup and bring the steam and onion close to your nose. The awesome thing about onions is that you don’t have to actually eat them to benefit from the antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Simply inhaling while cutting them is beneficial and helps to drain sinuses.

ESSENTIAL OILS:

Peppermint:

Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory that can help soothe mucus membranes. The menthol in peppermint oil acts as an expectorant providing temporary quick relief from nasal congestion and sinus pain. You can use peppermint essential oil in a few different ways. Dilute peppermint oil with a few tablespoons of water or olive oil and massage it directly onto your temples to bring sinus relief. Place a few drops of peppermint oil on a soft washcloth or handkerchief. Hold the cloth close to your nose and breathe in the vapors to help open congested sinuses.

Breathing Add a few drops of peppermint oil to steaming water, drape a towel over your head to trap the steam and breathe deeply for several minutes. Similarly, regular use of a vaporizer or humidifier with a drop or two of peppermint oil added to the water can help ease your sinus pain.

*If you don’t have peppermint essential oil, check out the alternative below:

To make peppermint tea, crush a handful of fresh leaves, place them in a mug or bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let the leaves steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Breathe in the steam as you drink the tea. You can also find peppermint tea in bags, preferably organic for the highest potency.

Eucalyptus:

Eucalyptus can open the respiratory system, reduce inflammation and allow better breathing. Place 4 drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or aromatherapy diffuser. This will help open up your nasal passageways. If your nose is really stuffed up, you can apply peppermint essential oil to the bridge of your nose by diluting one drop in a tablespoon of coconut oil.

If Eucalyptus is too strong, try Rosemary. Rosemary has the same benefits as Eucalyptus but is mild enough to use on a child. Follow the steps above for Rosemary also.

Clove oil:

Clove oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, and can help to reduce allergy symptoms. Add 5 drops of clove oil in an aromatherapy diffuser, burner or vaporizer for up to 20 minutes at a time. This will help loosen respiratory passages, improving breathing and treating congestion and other respiratory problems.

Massage clove oil into the chest, sinuses or bridge of the nose to open breathing passages and aid respiratory health. If you have sensitive skin, use coconut oil to dilute.

Add 3 to 4 drops of clove oil to a glass of warm water. Drink like a tea once per day to aid with respiration and prevent illness or infection.

Allergies and sinus congestion don’t have to be a daily difficulty. Simply remove or reduce the foods that cause allergy proliferation, inflammation and mucus production and integrate more hot foods, spices and essential oils to drain your sinuses naturally.

Resources: Aromatherapy diffuser, Neti Pot,

Image: wikimedia.org

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