Sinus Problems
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Meredith
Posted on: July 23, 1998

Can you tell me what herb is used for sinus?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in and around the naval cavity, caused by a build up of catarrh usually from an infection such as a cold or a nasal polyp. Ginger, an anti-catarrhal herb reputed to reduce the production of mucous, is also anti-inflammatory, so could provide symptomatic relief. The fresh root can be simmered in water for 15 minutes, one teaspoon to one cup of water. Powdered ginger can be used by mixing one quarter of a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water. It should be taken with food, and not used in the case of kidney disease.

Additional therapy should include support for other means of elimination, such as through the bowels, kidneys and lymph glands, so that the infection can be cleared, and additional exposure to infection can be dealt with efficiently by the body’s elimination systems.

Thomas Bartram in "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" (Grace Publishers, Mulberry Court, Stour Road, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1PS, England) suggests the following herbs to drain the affected area: Garlic: antibiotic, anti-viral, antihistamine, diaphoretic, expectorant. 3 fresh, raw cloves should be taken daily. Garlic is a good preventative.

The following can be taken as teas:

* Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): antibacterial, anti-viral, expectorant

* Plantain (Plantago major or Plantago lanceolata): restorative to the mucous membranes, antihistamine, anti-bacterial, anti-allergy, expectorant, diuretic, lymphatic

* Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia or Lavendula vera): a strong antimicrobial

* Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) root: antiseptic, immune stimulant

* Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, mild sedative

Echinacea will increase immune resistance.

Inhaling the steam of essential oils such as Lavender and Eucalyptus will reduce inflammation.

Beet root is high in vitamins and minerals including iron, making it an excellent blood tonic. Beet root is a good preventative against colds, fevers, allergies and other infections that can cause excessive mucous secretion and blockage in the sinus areas. It contains vitamins A, C and E, which are particularly good for prevention of sinusitis.

Foods rich in Vitamin A are carrots, turnips, spinach, beet greens; fresh fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C; nuts, seeds and pulses (peas, beans, lentils) and green vegetables are good sources of vitamin E.

Sinus problems are aggravated by mucous forming foods such as dairy products, cereals, bread, cake, bananas. Stress and antibiotics decrease immune resistance and digestive functioning, leading to repeated infection.

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