Another year, another sinus infection.
*this post does not contain scientific explanations of how each of these remedies work. This is purely my perspective on simple and easy home remedies that I have personally used and have seen positive results.*
It seems to be that no matter how much I take care myself, I can’t seem to beat the sinus infections and colds that go around every year with the change of the seasons.
One of the things I love most about being a born and raised New Yorker is that my whole life I have lived with the changing seasons. To me, each season is magical in it’s own way. Summer is all about the bbqs, good vibes, and getaway weekends. Fall is pure nostalgia, all the memories of back to school vibes, sweater weather, apple picking and pumpkin eating. Winter is cozy and snowy and all about love with the celebration of the holidays and the new year (and my anniversary!). And last but not least, Spring. Spring is that magical shift from cold weather to warm weather where we are ready to strip off our winter layers, embrace that good vitamin D, and prepare for new beginnings and outdoor activities.
With all of the seasonal magic, there also comes seasonal allergies. Not familiar with season allergies? They are the seasonal viruses and colds that spread like wildfire especially in New York City where everyone is constantly on top of each other.
The thing about getting sick is that we don’t get sick from germs. We really get sick from a weak immune system. If we have a weak immune system and we are exposed to a germ, we are more susceptible to receiving that cold or virus. If you’re reading this and freaking out that you have a weak immune system, take a deep breath. Just like with everything else in life, there are lots of moving parts to what makes our immune systems strong and healthy and in today’s society, it’s actually not so easy to maintain a healthy immune system.
Your gut houses 70% of your immune system so when your gut isn’t doing so well, neither are you. The health of your gut is a wholeeee other blog post but basically, the health of your gut depends on your diet, stress levels, history of antibiotics, how you were born (c-section or vaginally), and many more factors that play a role in it’s evolution. Personally, I was a c-section baby, was a heavy antibiotics kid, and did not nourish my body with gut healthy foods growing up, so this is part of the explanation as to why I catch the seasonal cold/viruses every year.
When our guts our weak (like mine), our bodies are busy fighting off bad bacteria (and in my case yeast overgrowths) that it simply can’t also fight off germs that cause sinus infections and colds. Of course, this is not the end all be all. There are ways to heal your gut so you can also build your immune system. But for the purpose of this post, if you are someone who catches the seasonal bugs and are looking for some natural home remedies instead of more doctor prescribed prescriptions, you came to the right place.
Not sure if you have a sinus infection? Read here for more details on signs and symptoms. Below I’ve listed some natural home remedies that have worked for me in terms of pain management, decreasing symptoms, and lowering my level of discomfort so I can truly wait for the virus to take it’s course naturally and overcome it myself. Of course, you should always check with a health care professional before adding any supplements or potent herbs to your system. All of these simple and easy remedies are safe enough for me to do at home, but if you are on any other medication or have had health complications in the past, I would definitely recommend doing your own homework and research on each one, and/or asking your doctor.
Simple and Natural Home Remedies
AVOID These Foods
sugar (including fruits)
refined carbohydrates and grains
CONSUME These Foods
foods high in vitamin c (kale, broccoli, lemons)
Garlic and Onion
this one is a bit rough, but if you are preliminary with feeling a cold coming on, chop 2-3 cloves of garlic up and let them sit out for 20 mins (very important step is to let them sit). Then eat the raw cloves even though it’s not enjoyable at all.
I like to do this with a grain free cracker or tortilla and a little ghee to make it easier to eat.
you can also add garlic and onions to soup for their immune boosting properties
Oil of Oregano
you can consume oil of oregano in liquid form (added to water or tea) or you can take capsules, but this is one of those products that you might want to check with your doctor or research more on your own first.
you can add oil of oregano to a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. To do so, cover your head with a towel to keep the steam in, and then put your face over the pot to inhale the steam, being super careful not to burn yourself. This will help clear out your sinuses and get whatever is stuck in your nasal passages moving through quite easily. Oil of oregano has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and is great for boosting immune function.
adding cayenne pepper to a ginger or lemon tea with soothe your respiratory system and help clear out your nasal passages.
cayenne pepper also reduces inflammations and helps fight infection
I personally like to make hot tea with hot water, fresh ginger, and a teaspoon of honey. You can also add lemon, cayenne or the oil of oregano to your tea. When adding lemon to your tea, make sure you thoroughly wash the outside before putting it in your drink!
drinking warm liquids provides relief to your respiratory system and can ease your symptons
Peppermint or Eucalyptus Oil
these essential oils can help a lot when fighting a sinus infection to clear the mucus and get rid of the infection.
I like to put my essential oils in a diffuser and breathe them in, but you can also use *food grade essential oils* and consume them orally.
SLEEP AND HYDRATION
last but definitely not least, these are the two most important home remedies for healing a sinus infection, cold, or any other sickness with similar symptoms. Your body needs time to rest and fight off the infection, and it can’t do so when it is busy trying to do other things. Give yourself time to relax and put no extra stress on the body.
Drinking a lot of water to help flush your system is also super important, and can also help if you’re eating salty foods. Salty foods can decrease your ability to fight the infection, so drinking enough water will make sure your body stays hydrated and lubricated.