Sinus infections cause symptoms such as congestion, stuffiness, discharge and pain. They can be caused by a number of conditions such as smoking, allergies, poor diet or colds and flu. Herbal tea can provide relief from a sinus infection, and the ingredients for the tea can easily be purchased from health food stores. However, many herbs can cause side effects, so check with your natural health practitioner before using unfamiliar herbs.
Horseradish and Nasturtium
According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, an infusion of horseradish and nasturtium is an effective treatment for relieving congestion in children and adults. The two herbs reduce congestion by drying up mucous discharge allowing the sufferer to breathe easier. Horseradish is a naturally spicy herb that can be overpowering for some people. To reduce the spiciness, after brewing the tea add extra water to dilute until it is palatable. You could also add a spoonful of honey as a natural sweetener.
Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, naturally thins mucous so it can drain from the sinuses and relieve stuffiness. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that it is a natural decongestant and breaks up the phlegm that is produced from a bad cold. It also soothes the airways and relives a sore throat. Peppermint is just as effective, whether it is used fresh or dried, and can be consumed on its own or in combination with other herbs.
Garlic, Lemon and Cayenne
Herbalist Jethro Kloss writes in his book, ‘Back to Eden’ that a combination of fresh garlic, lemon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper makes a wonderful treatment for sinusitis. Cayenne pepper is a natural anti-inflammatory and clears and drains the sinuses relieving congestion. Lemon Juice enhances the immune system and provides a shot of vitamin C and antioxidants. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic and antiviral. Brewing a tea from these ingredients is a wonderful way to relieve the symptoms of a cold and even prevent illness from developing in the first place. If you are taking blood thinning medication, consult your doctor before using garlic as it can thin the blood.
Making Herbal Tea
A herbalist can advise you on the correct dosage of herbs for your particular condition. Once you have your recipe, the process is extremely simple and only it takes a short time to prepare the tea. Start by adding the required herbs to a pot of boiling water and allow it to continue boiling for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, and simmer for around 10 – 15 minutes or for as long as your herbalist recommends. Strain the herbs, and allow the tea to cool slightly. Sip the tea slowly to relieve symptoms. You can store any leftovers in the fridge, and reheat when required taking care not to let the mixture boil.
University of Maryland Medical Center: Cough
NYU Langone Medical Center: sinusitis
“Back to Eden”; Jethro Kloss; 2000
“The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing“; James Duke; 2002
"Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments"; Andrew Chevallier; 2000
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