A sinus infection is a condition that is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinuses are four pairs of hollow cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead that make up the upper part of the respiratory system from the nose to the throat.

When the sinuses are filled with mucus, they harbor bacteria or viruses, giving rise to an infection. A sinus infection is medically referred to as sinusitis, and it may be caused by factors such as exposure to pollutants and tissue irritants, allergies, cigarette smoke, or nasal polyps.

The common symptoms of sinus infection may include pressure and pain in the sinuses, headaches, pain in the face, a sore throat, discolored nasal discharge, post-nasal drip, and fever. You do not need to use antibiotics, steroids, or anti-inflammatory medication for sinus infection treatment. Numerous natural remedies are effective in treating the symptoms while boosting your immune system and protecting you from future infections.

Here are some of the most powerful home remedies for sinus infection.

Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation is a technique that involves flushing out the nasal passages to get rid of mucus and other irritants and keep the sinuses moist. Saline sprays and washes have been proven effective and should be the first line of defense against sinus infections.

You may require a neti pot or a similar device to spray your sinuses with the saline solution. Use the saline solution daily for about a week, or until the infection clears. However, for the best results, do not use it more often than once or twice daily, as it may irritate the mucous membranes and make you feel uncomfortable.

Stay Hydrated

Hydrating the body helps thin out the mucus and drain it from the irritated sinuses. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water daily hours for quick relief.

You can also consume diluted homemade fruit juices with no artificial sugars, or clear broth and noodle soup. However, avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sugary beverages as these tend to dehydrate the body. As a result, the mucus will thicken, and further, clog the already-infected sinuses.

Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation is an effective way of opening up the sinuses by breaking up and thinning mucus. Put hot water in a basin, and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil to it. With your face head down over the water, drape a towel over the back of the head and inhale the oil-infused steam.

Eucalyptus and peppermint oils naturally open up the sinuses, clear mucus, and eliminate infections. When inhaled in steam, they are a powerful remedy for sinus infections.

Warm Compress

Placing a warm compress on the face to cover the eyes, nose, and cheeks can help relieve facial pain and pressure caused by sinus infections. You can also use a warm compress over the ears to unclog a clogged ear or relieve pain. Dip a piece of cloth or small towel in warm or slightly hot water, wring and place it over these areas.

Apply a little pressure as you use the compress to relieve pressure on the facial muscles, as well. Use the compress once or twice a day until you get relief from all your symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains potent antimicrobial properties which can kill off any bacteria and harmful microbes lurking in your gut or nasal passages.

It also boosts the development of good bacteria in these areas as well. The vinegar breaks down the thick mucus in the sinuses, while the potassium helps dry a running nose. Mix apple cider vinegar with lemon, honey, and lukewarm water, and drink the concoction once or twice a day until the infection clears completely.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract has natural antibiotic properties that help alleviate symptoms of sinus infection such as nasal congestion, pain, and sinus pressure.

The extract is obtained from dried seeds, pulp, and grapefruit membrane. This valuable liquid acts as an antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral agent. This extract relieves sinuses, reduces inflammation, and prevents further infections. Add a few drops of the extract and sea salt to warm water, and use it as a nasal spray.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a powerful remedy for sinusitis, as long as you can withstand the heat. If you want to relieve sinus pressure fast and reduce inflammation, this red chili is the answer. It helps clear the nasal passages rapidly and reduces sinus swelling.

For the best results, use powdered cayenne pepper in your cooking, or add it to your smoothie. Alternatively, you can mix the powder in a cup of hot water and drink it two or three times a day.


Turmeric is a spice that contains a potent anti-inflammatory substance known as curcumin. It loosens mucus in the nasal passages, reduces the swelling in the sinuses, alleviates sinus pressure, and also boosts the immune system to prevent future infections.

You can combine turmeric with ginger root and brew the two for hot tea. Ginger root has the added benefit of calming an upset stomach – a common side effect of excessive nasal drip during the night.


Garlic is an excellent spice for cooking and is also one of the most efficient home remedies for sinusitis. It contains allicin, an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal substance that helps fight bacterial and viral infections.


Garlic is particularly beneficial when bacteria are the cause of the infection. Add fresh garlic cloves to your soups, meals, or smoothies for quick relief. You can also add them to boiling water and inhale the steam of the garlic-infused water once a day until the sinusitis clears.

Onion and Horseradish

Onions and horseradish are known for their antibacterial properties from their sulfur content. There are two methods for how to relieve sinus pressure using onions and horseradish.

You can chew on a raw onion or horseradish as the sulfur is more potent when the ingredients are fresh. Alternatively, you can use them together to create a powerful remedy that will unclog your nasal passages. Note that onions with a strong scent such as red and white ones make the best treatment. Boil some water and add cut onion and grated horseradish, sieve, and drink the liquid.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas such as green tea, basil, chamomile, and peppermint are ideal for relieving symptoms of sinusitis. Green and chamomile teas contain inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help clear nasal cavities. Peppermint gives the body a cooling sensation that provides instant relief to the entire body.


Basil leaves are also an excellent choice for draining mucus from the sinuses due to their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Boil the tea leaves in a kettle of boiling water, sieve, and drink the tea daily for instant relief.

Lemon Balm

One of the common symptoms of sinusitis is a sore or irritated throat. You can make a lemon balm solution and gargle with it to cure the infection and relieve a sore throat.

Simply heat some water and add a handful of dried lemon balm leaves to it. Allow the leaves to boil for five to ten minutes and remove from heat. Let the water cool, then strain the mixture. You can gargle with it twice a day for relief from symptoms.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the body as it facilitates the proper functioning of the immune system, which is the system that protects the body against viral and bacterial infection.

A weak immune system cannot fight off a sinus infection if you have one. Vitamin C also guards cells against free radicals which are found in substances such as air pollutants and smoke. Consume Vitamin C rich foods and fruits, or get Vitamin C supplements to boost the body’s ability to fight off the infection.

Oil of Oregano

This is an essential oil that contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It helps reduce inflammation in nasal cavities and facilitates the free flow of mucus in the passages.

Besides treating the underlying cause of the infection, this essential oil also works as an excellent antioxidant and immune booster. It can help protect you from future sinus infections. Place a drop of the oil under your tongue daily for a week until you get positive results.

Alternatively, you can add drops of the oil to hot water, and inhale the steam.

Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

Cod liver oil and fish oil are rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, and omega-3 fatty acids. They can help relieve autoimmune disorders, including inflammation caused by sinusitis.

One of the primary benefits of cod liver oil and fish oil is the presence of vitamins that are usually scarce in most modern diets. These oils not only relieve sinus infections, but they also have the added benefits of improving your health and brain and preventing various types of cancers.

Exercise Regularly

Are you looking for ideas how to clear sinuses without using any remedies? If so, exercise is your best option. It is an effective sinus infection treatment, as it causes the sinuses to expand, stimulates air circulation, and facilitates the movement of mucus through the passages.

Physical activities such as yoga, walking, and aerobics can help relieve sinusitis when done regularly. Humming has also been proven to be an effective way of clearing sinusitis and avoiding future infection, as it increases airflow in the sinuses.

If you don’t have enough energy to run or walk, you can try humming from the comfort of your bed or sofa.

Avoid Dietary Irritants

Food allergies and sensitivities can cause sinus infections or worsen their symptoms. If you experience frequent sinusitis and are allergic to foods such as dairy, gluten, sugar, and others, eliminate them from your diet.

Substitute them with healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, which can help boost your immunity to bacteria that cause sinus infections.

Reduce Outdoor Air Pollutants

As you utilize these remedies, it is essential to limit your exposure to outdoor irritants such as smoke, exhaust fumes from vehicles and motorbikes, and smog. These substances can further irritate your sinuses, and worsen the symptoms.

Avoid outdoor areas with these pollutants as much as possible to facilitate quick recovery. If you are suffering from a sinus infection and have allergic reactions to pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, and other airborne irritants, you should avoid them as well.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Irritants such as pet dander, dust mites, and smoke are usually found indoors, and they can worsen sinusitis symptoms. Improve the indoor air quality in your home or office by investing in an air purifier that traps these pollutants before they are released in the air.

Run the air purifier near your bed during the night, and it can help clear sinusitis and the associated symptoms.

Invest in a Humidifier

Dry air, especially during the cold season, can exacerbate the symptoms of a sinus infection. What’s more, dry air also makes breathing difficult, and this can be hard for an individual with clogged nasal passages. Humidifiers introduce moisture into the indoor air and can help you breathe better. The moisture also keeps the sinuses moist, breaks down the thick mucus, and allows it to move as it eliminates the irritants in the sinuses.

In Summary

If you are wondering how to clear your sinuses and relieve the infection, look no further than these natural remedies. They offer you the perfect opportunity to relieve your symptoms and lead a healthy life. Try a few from this list and find the ones that work best for you, to treat the sinus infection and relieve its symptoms. When you find the ideal treatment, you will know, as the symptoms will start to fade away and your nasal passages feel clearer.

Use the natural treatments faithfully until the infection clears, and avoid exposure to irritants that may cause future infections. For most people, any of these natural home remedies for sinus infection can do.

However, it is perfectly okay to try a few of them in order to settle on the best option.

Categories: Natural Remedies

About Author

Lizzie Wendel is a professional health blogger with years of experience writing in the wellness industry. For over a decade she has been an active voice, promoting the use of alternative medicine to help combat health-related issues and put to rest the negative associations of alternative medicine.

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