Here is the third and final installment in our “How to Deal with Sinusitis Issues” series. If you missed the first two articles, you can find “Herbal Remedies for Dry Sinus” here and “Herbal Remedies for Runny Nose” here. I hope you find them helpful!
Now then, I’ve left perhaps the most lousy feeling of the three for last; the lack of being able to breathe through one or both nostrils. Or perhaps we can call it balloon head syndrome. Whatever you call it, stuffy noses are no fun at all.
Symptoms of this type of upper respiratory issue are characterized by inflammation with lots of congestion and mucus that refuses to come out. The sinus will feel like it’s literally filled to capacity and the face will often feel tender to the touch near the eyes and forehead. The eyes themselves also tend to feel sore and you may have sinus headaches because of all the pressure building up. Your head might feel like a huge balloon no matter how often or how hard you blow your nose, more mucus comes out, never ending.
If this describes your symptoms, don’t worry! The use of aromatic herbs can quickly ease the discomfort.
Herbs for Stuffy Nose
There are many aromatic herbs to choose from and lucky for you, most of them can easily be found at the local super market or perhaps even in your own kitchen.
Aromatics contain high amounts of volatile oils that help break up, decongest, and disperse mucus. They will also bring down swelling while killing germs at the same time. It’s a win-win combination because guess what? Sinusitis is usually caused by a conjuncture of bacterial and fungal infections. The herbs discussed in this article, especially yerba mansa, garlic, bee balm, and elecampane, attack microbial issues which is exactly what a stuffy nose is.
Some of the best herbs for stuffy nose include:
• Bee balm- tea and tincture ( can be used as a nasal rinse but feels a bit irritating)
• Calamus Root– tincture
• Cayenne- tincture
• Garlic- tea, tincture, soup
• Ginger– tea, tincture (this is my FAVORITE recipe), soup
• Elecampane– tincture
• Hyssop– tea, tincture, steam
• Sage– tea, tincture, soup, steam (find out what else to do with this amazing herb here)
• Thyme– tea, tincture, soup, steam
• Yerba Mansa- tea, tincture, nasal rinse
You can use any of the above as a tea, tincture, in soups, nasal rinses, and as facial steams (though I would not recommend using cayenne pepper as a facial steam…duh!)
***If you want to get the highest quality herbs, be sure to get them here at Mountainroseherbs.com
To learn how to make your own herbal tinctures, check out my article about thyme here.
Topical Use of Herbs for Stuffy Nose
Using these herbs topically works amazingly well so if you have a neti pot, have at it! I like to use a strong facial steam first in order to break up mucus before attempting to use a neti pot as there usually isn’t a clear pathway for the rinse to run through. Never use a neti pot unless the saline is able to drain back out. Very important unless you want a worse infection because of stopped up water in your nose. Always steam first!
Some of my favorite herbs to use as a steam for stuffy nose include:
Be sure to use a steam at LEAST twice a day to loosen things up before even attempting to use a neti pot. Once your sinuses open up a bit a nasal rinse twice a day should be more feasible. Learn how to do a facial steam here.
To use a neti pot simply:
• Steep a strong tea with any of the herbs mentioned above (I love sage for this)
• Strain the tea VERY well
• Add the appropriate amount of nasal salts to the tea
• Fill your neti pot with the tea and salt mixture
• Rinse the sinuses twice a day (with fresh tea only)
What if I Have a Chronic Stuffy Nose?
In situations like this I would recommend a simple yet extensive protocol of a yerba mansa tea nasal rinse along with a small daily dose of 3-10 drops of yerba mansa tincture. This has worked really well for me after consistently using this method for at least a month straight. Sometimes I have to come back to this treatment about once a year when allergy season really starts to kick in, but overall it works pretty well.
Will Yerba Mansa help you get rid of your chronic stuffy nose? Probably, if it’s not too serious but everyone is different. This is why it’s so important to know how to read signs of heat, cold, laxity, or dryness when dealing with sinus issues.Sure, a lot of herbs are good for runny, stuffy, and dry sinuses but that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with JUST those herbs. Often a runny nose can create an irritating cough or perhaps even a wet one. In this case you would use a combination of herbs that are best suited for both of those conditions depending on mucus color and consistency. Feeling stuffy AND runny at the same time? Try a combination of aromatic and astringent herbs.
Just remember, if you have chronic sinus issues they’re not going to disappear overnight or even in a few weeks. Just keep adjusting your protocol to suit your needs until symptoms stop. Be consistent and follow through till the end!
Check out these helpful sinus articles for more tips:
Herbal Remedies for Dry Sinus
Herbal Remedies for Runny Nose
The Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Inhalers
The Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps
Natural and Effective Sinus Infection Remedy
Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections – Alternatives to Antibiotics
Make Your Own Saline Nasal Spray (plus loads of tips)