Sinusitis -- Causes and Top 7 Natural
Remedies

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February 22, 2015

By Joseph Strongoli, Contributing Columnist










Dry According to the CDC, 28.5 million Americans in 2012
suffered from sinusitis, or a whopping 12.1% of the population.
The number of visits to physician offices with a primary
diagnosis of chronic sinusitis totaled 11.7 million, and its
treatment in total cost $5.7 billion nationwide.

Acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses, or bone
cavities, of the face. According to the Mayo Clinic, common
symptoms include:

drainage of a thick yellow-green discharge from the nose or
down the back of the throat,
nasal obstruction/congestion
pain/tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead
reduced sense of smell and taste
ear pain
aches in the upper jaw and teeth
coughing and sore throat
halitosis (bad breath)
fatigue and irritability
nausea

Acute Sinusitis is generally caused by the common cold virus.
However, when an upper respiratory infection that leads to
sinusitis lasts longer than a week to 10 days, it could be caused
by a bacterial infection instead of a viral infection. A fungal
infection could be a possible cause as well if you have sinus
abnormalities or a weakened immune system. A sinus infection
usually doesn’t last longer than two weeks, but there are some
extenuating circumstances other than infections that could lead
to chronic sinusitis:

Allergies, such as hay fever: allergies can cause inflammation of
the membranes in the sinuses, creating blockages and congestion
Nasal polyps or tumors are tissue growths that can block the
nasal passages
Deviated septum: the septum is the cartilage partition that
divides the nostrils into two; it can become deformed due to
injury and thus block sinus passages
A small number of sinusitis cases are caused by a tooth infection
Other conditions: complications of cystic fibrosis,
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or immune system
disorders can block sinus passages and increase the risk of
infection.
Regular exposure to sinus irritants, such as cigarette smoke, air
pollution/smog, etc.

Beat sinusitis this winter with these 7 natural remedies:





























1.
Vitamin C

Since sinusitis often develops as the result of the common cold,
a way to attack sinusitis is to attack the cold. While there have
been recent debates on the efficacy of vitamin C,  a 1994 study
at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that vitamin C
reduced the duration of illness episodes and the severity of
symptoms 23% of the time.

If you can prevent yourself from getting a cold, you will greatly
decrease your risk for sinusitis.

Foods high in vitamin C include bell peppers, guavas, kale, kiwi,
broccoli, strawberries, and of course, citrus fruits like oranges
and grapefruit.

2.
Elderberry

Another way to attack the common cold to prevent sinusitis is to
add elderberry to your get-better regimen. Elderberry, whose
taxonomic name is Sambuca’s nigra, is a flowering plant found
throughout the Northern Hemisphere. A 2007 study led by Dr.
M. Roxas and Dr. J. Jurenka at a private research company in
Idaho called Thorne Research documented elderberry’s use as
an antiviral agent for colds, influenza, and herpes virus
infections, owing to its immune-modulating and antioxidant
effects.  Add elderberry supplements to your Vitamin C
supplements to kick start a powerful anti-cold campaign.

3.
Echinacea

The same 2007 study from above also documented another herb
with antiviral properties. Echinacea is a group of herbaceous
flowering plants in the daisy family, and has long been sold as
an herbal supplement for its immunomodulatory effects.

4.
Nasal Irrigation

A 2004 study conducted by Dr. Dewey Scheid et al. at the
University of Oklahoma found that flushing your sinuses with a
saline solution moistens the nasal cavity. This helps because dry
sinuses are prime environments for the proliferation of infecting
pathogens, and giving your sinuses a good rinse out will also
flush those pathogens out. Furthermore, irrigating the sinuses
promotes the dissolution of crusty thus decreasing congestion
and helping breathability and reducing sinus headaches.

Saline irrigation is safe, and there are no documented adverse
side effects. The study found that it improved symptoms and
decreased medication use in patients. Nasal saline sprays as well
as Neti pots can be found over the counter, and mist
humidification has been found to be an effective alternative as
well.

5.
Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green alga that has found its way into the
dietary supplement oeuvre for its powerful medical benefits. It is
available in tablet, flake or powder form. A 2008 study by Dr. C.
Cingi at the Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey found that
spirulina was effective for relieving inflammation of nasal
mucosa by decreasing histamine and immunoglobulin levels, two
agents that increase inflammation. The study found that
spirulina consumption significantly improved the following
sinusitis symptoms: nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sneezing
and itching.

6.
Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica, also know as stinging nettle, is an herbaceous
perennial flowering plant native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa,
and North America.

The leaves of the plant can be cooked as polenta, pesto, puree,
in soup, or infused in teas.

Beyond its culinary uses though, the herb is effective in relieving
sinusitis.  A 2009 study led by Dr. B. Roschek et al at the
HerbalScience Group, a private research company based in
Naples, Florida, found that consuming stinging nettle alleviated
symptoms of sinusitis by inhibiting proinflammatory pathways
related to the nasal membranes.

Stinging nettle also worked by antagonizing histamine receptors,
inhibiting prostaglandin, a hormone-like lipid that cause
inflammation,  and inhibiting degranulation, an immune system
response that also causes inflammation.

7.
Butterbur

Butterbur plants come from the sunflower family found in parts
of Asia, Europe, and North America. Their extracts have been
found to have a plethora of medical benefits, ranging from
migraine relief, and treatment of fever, lung disease, spasms,
and pain.

Butterbur extracts have to be prepared carefully however, as
toxic elements have to be removed before they can be safely
consumed.

A 2006 study led by Dr. R. Kaufeler et al at Swiss private
research firm Max Zeller Sohne AG found that butterbur extracts
improved sinusitis symptoms such as rhinorrhea (runny noise),
sneezing, and nasal congestion in 90% of patients. Differences
observed before and after therapy were significant and clinically
relevant for all symptoms.

The patients who participated in the study rated efficacy,
tolerability and improvement in quality of life to be 80%, 92%,
and 80% respectively.





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