How To Cure A Sinus Infection Naturally
When I arrived at LAX from India, I felt like I was floating on a magic pashmina carpet. (Read about my crazy awesome adventure in India here.) I had witnessed a whole new beautiful world. Between the jet lag that had me up at 3 am and the endless amounts of work on my plate after my 10-day remote journey, 23-hour plane ride without wifi and a 2-day trip home, I became overwhelmed and cue the tissues. I tend only to get sick when I feel emotionally overwhelmed or “stressed.”
At first, it seemed like the common cold symptoms, so I didn’t get concerned. I knew it was a sinus infection when my upper molars started to tingle and I felt a throbbing pain in my eye sockets. The next few days were filled with a horrible headache and intense sinus pressure. I am one of those people that resist western medicine doctor visits at all costs. I also don’t take pain medication unless I am unable to function. I had a full week of conference calls, studio sessions, a photo shoot and a lot of unpacking to do. I didn’t have the luxury of staying in bed this week, so I had to figure out a way to recover quickly. I simply “HAD” to function. On the end of day one of an excruciating headache and endless emailing, I decided to see what pain medications I had. I found a bottle of ibuprofen but saw that the expiration was 2005, which was probably something my midwife had given me during postpartum. How funny, I thought, I really haven’t been in pain much since childbirth. I chucked the expired, unused painkiller in the trash and opted to research how I could get through my sinus pain naturally.
These natural remedies are unlike taking antibiotics because they don’t compromise my immune system, healthy gut or my energy. It took me five days to fully recover once the sinus infection kicked in. However, by day three I was fully functional and was able to get all my tasks done with ease. So, in comparison to taking a drug from pharma, I felt relieved not to have to repair my gut, detox after being sick and deal with nasty side-effects while also being sick.
Here are my top 12 natural cures for a sinus infection:
- Sleep- The first a best cure for anything is rest. Sleeping is the absolute best medicine and will make all of these natural remedies work ten times faster. Our bodies are meant to heal themselves. We naturally regenerate when we sleep and when our immune system is under attack. Sleeping is so underrated in our society. There’s nothing like sleep, and hey, it’s FREE! Trust me to heal naturally; rest is key.
- Neti pot- A neti pot is a nasal irrigation tool that can be found at any health food store or online. The concept is to use a neti pot to flush your sinuses with a warm saline solution. This was my first time successfully using a neti pot. I had owned one for a long time but just couldn’t pull myself to use it. Something about water going up my nose as a kid in the swimming pool at least once a day in the summer had me cringing, but I do think it was helpful. My favorite saline solution is one tablespoon of pink Himalayan salt boiled in one cup of water then cooled to a lukewarm temperature and used in a neti pot as a gentle rinse to loosen mucus and clear sinuses.
- Acupuncture– Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on your body’s meridians by inserting thin needles on the surface of your skin. I use acupuncture when I’m sick or injured in sets of threes or until healed. A great acupuncturist can work miracles on your sinuses and your achy body when ill.
- Olive leaf- Olive leaf benefits include cardiovascular and immune system support, an increase in energy and promoting healthy blood pressure. I recommend taking olive leaf as directed as soon as you start feeling ill. Use the directions on the bottle and look for wildcrafted, organic products.
- Turmeric & Ginger Tea- Both ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and are natural antibiotics. This is my go-to tea when I’m not feeling well, or recovering from travel, bad food, or stress–OK, honestly, I always drink this tea. Get my recipe here.
- Infrared Sauna- Infrared saunas omit infrared light waves that create heat in the body, causing you to sweat and release toxins. This was a game changer for me, and I think had I done it on day one, I would have cut my recovery time in half. If you’re sick, find an infrared sauna now.
- Halotherapy- Halotherapy is the use of salt vapor to treat respiratory ailments, skin irritations, and combat mental lethargy. Halotherapy involves sitting in a salt cave (room/sauna) for 20-40 minutes. For centuries, monks used naturally-occurring salt caverns to treat respiratory ailments. My halotherapy/salt cave therapy session came at the end of my illness, so I can’t speak as to how fast it helped me recover but it was so relaxing, and I believe the antibacterial properties of the Himalayan salt aided in wiping out my infection.
- Bone Broth- Bone broth is something humans have been eating for thousands of years. Bone broth is simply a way to describe a meat stock that simmers for 24-48 hours with the bone in. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that can transform your health. I made sure to eat this at least once every day. Bone broth doesn’t sound tasty but trust me; I have a beauty bone broth recipe that you will enjoy here. If you’re vegan, use my beauty broth recipe here.
- Epsom salt with essential oil soaks- Take 2 cups of Epsom salt, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, and place in a warm tub of water. The use one tablespoon of coconut oil along with a few drops of essential oils. This combination will help you regulate your magnesium levels and balance your PH. I used a couple drops oregano oil and eucalyptus oil in my bath while I was ill. Soak for 20 minutes ahead of bedtime to absorb magnesium and clear sinuses. The magnesium will aid in your restful sleep, but you can take a bath at any time of the day. Some people feel energized from Epsom salt baths, but they completely relax me.
- Increase probiotics, herbs, vitamins, and minerals– One of the first things I do is increase my vitamin C, D, Zinc, and multi-vitamin regimen. I also add elderberry, colloidal silver nasal spray, and oregano oil caps to my daily intake. Lastly, I add a strong probiotic and fermented veggies to my very strict diet.
- NO SUGAR- This is a hard one but it’s so key to getting healthy which is why it is in all caps. Don’t give the bad bugs anything to feed on. If you load up on fresh veggies, vegetable juice, broths, teas and absolutely no sugary foods you will kick the infection so much faster. If you need something sweet aim for raw honey or fresh organic fruits. Watermelon really helped me hydrate without compromising my recovery.
- Laughter and good thoughts- Last but certainly not least, I practiced a lot of positive thinking, gratitude, and laughter. Science would call this practice simply “placebo” since I didn’t take anything but I hold a belief that these things help heal me, so they do. I listened to positive thought leaders like Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, and Wayne Dyer. I watched comedy every day for at least 30 minutes. On a couple of days, I binge-watched some Netflix stand-up. My healthy comedy picks are Jim Gaffigan, Katt Williams, and George Carlin. I truly believe the laughter expedited my healing time. I spent time making gratitude lists and imagining myself really healthy and strong. I stopped my mind from feeling sorry for myself and caving into the “poor me” mindset.
In the end, I am so grateful I learned all these natural tricks to hacking my health. I look back, and I’m happy I didn’t pile on some antibiotics to my already stressed immune system and heavy toxicity load from traveling. The natural way was great, and I haven’t had a sinus infection or any illness since. How do you cure yourself naturally?
NOTE: I am not a doctor, nurse or health practitioner. If you have a trusted health-care professional, I recommend you consult them if you’re concerned with your health. If you want to try any of these remedies or treatments, talk it over with them. This article was written based on my research and positive results, but each person has a different makeup and need. Find what works for you.
Here’s hoping you’re on your way to happy, healthy deep breaths in no time!