Here are ten natural ways to try and alleviate your sinus congestion before you head to a Doctor.

Steam inhalation – Inhaling steam with a little tea tree oil in it may ease sinus clogging.  And you don’t need a fancy steam inhaler.  Simply filling a large bowl with water from your kettle- place a towel over your head and take deep breaths in for ten minutes or so- this is just as effective.  Be careful not to burn your eyes with combination of heat off the steam and oil constituents.

Eliminate milk – and all milk products from your diet, this includes foods that list dairy and its by-products as ingredients.   Often just two months of total dairy elimination can lead to dramatic improvements.

Astragalus – Found in fancy herbal formulas, but just as easily – and usually much cheaper, it can found at your local Chinese grocer in its original strappy form.  Astragalus increases your immune system by increasing the action of certain white blood cells. Used as a tea infusion you can simply steep one strap of Astragalus in a cup of hot water for a few minutes and drink it down.  Described by my Mum as having a nutty flavour and quite enjoyable.

Probiotics – If you have taken an antibiotic for sinus infections, be sure to take a probiotic to restore the friendly bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract. It’s a well known fact that antibiotics will wipe out the beneficial bacteria you have in your digestive tract as well as taking out the nasty ones.  Strong practitioner strength Probiotics will re-inoculate your digestive system with powerful little positive bacteria that will strengthen your immune system again.

Fermented foods – Are another type of Probiotic and also the way to go when trying to increase your friendly bacteria in the gut.

Don’t smoke – whatever you do. It’s the worst! Also avoid polluted, dusty and smoky environments- including second-hand smoke.

An Air filter – If you suffer from allergies, consider equipping your house – or at least your bedroom – with a good air filter. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is a good choice – it removes particles in the air by forcing it through screens containing microscopic pores.

Acupuncture – It can be remarkably effective for relieving acute sinusitis. Acupuncture can ease pain and promote sinus drainage within minutes of the placement of the needles.

Hot compresses – compresses help to promote sinus drainage.  Place very warm, wet compress over the whole sinus area of your upper face frequently. Work up to as much heat as you can comfortably stand for 10 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Saline flushes – Flushing your nasal passages with a warm saline solution can help relieve sinus congestion and prevent sinus infections. Do this two to four times a day if you have an active infection. You can use a Neti pot, a traditional, Indian nasal-irrigation device that lets you pour the water into your nose. Or simply dissolve a ¼ teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and pour some of the solution into your cupped hand and inhale it through one nostril while a finger from your opposite hand compresses and blocks the other nostril. Alternatively, you can sniff the solution from a small cup or squirt it into your nostrils with a rubber-bulb syringe. The idea is to inhale enough water to spit it out through your mouth.

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