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The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recently reported on research done at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, that found that people who hum exhale 15 times more nitric oxide from their nasal passages than non-hummers. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax, thereby reducing swelling in the nose and improving the flow of blood. The increase in air flow due to the humming also helps to ventilate the sinuses, which may decrease the susceptibility to infection.
Massaging your sinuses by pressing your thumbs firmly on both sides of your nose, holding for 15 to 30 seconds, releasing, then repeating, will temporarily relieve sinusitis because it brings a fresh supply of blood to the area.
Cayenne pepper Take several capsules of cayenne during or after each meal for several days. The sinus infection should clear up. If it starts again, keep on a maintenance dose of 460 mg three times a day. Another cayenne remedy is to put one teaspoon of cayenne into a cup of hot water and drink three cups a day. Both red and black pepper dilate blood vessels in the nose and stimulate secretions, which helps drain the sinuses. For really bad cases, and if you are bold, sniff a very small amount up your nose. This will sting a bit, but will have dramatic results. This remedy is especially good for chronic sinus infections.
Eucalyptus Boil ½ cup of water and add a few drops of oil of eucalyptus. Pour the mixture into a bowl, lean over it while covering your head with a large towel, and inhale the steam for 10 minutes, keeping your eyes tightly shut. Eucalyptus oil is widely used for various breathing problems.
Salt Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in two cups of water. Use a nasal inhaler.
Salt/baking soda To relieve stuffed up sinuses due to allergies, try making this nasal flush: mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in one cup of warm water; fill an ear syringe and squirt the mixture up your nose. Another variation uses one teaspoon of uniodized salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a pint of water. Place the mixture in a nasal inhaler.
Salt water steam Here is another remedy that works well when you are stuffed up and your nose runs. In a large bowl or sink add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of salt. Let the salt dissolve, then immerse your face in the water for five to ten seconds; repeat 3-4 times. Keep your eyes and mouth closed, but try to breathe in the mixture.
Thyme has been used for generations for respiratory infections because of its strong antiseptic properties. Steep 1-2 teaspoons of thyme in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink a cup three times a day. Thyme is a drying herb for the body.
Nasal Spray Over-the-counter (OTC) nose sprays can become addictive or cause "rebound" nasal congestion. To eliminate these problems, make your own saline nasal spray by mixing eight ounces of warm (boiled first) water with one-half teaspoon of salt. Pour into an empty OTC nasal spray bottle (you may have to remove the nozzle with pliers) and shake. This spray is good for relieving a stuffy nose caused by colds or allergies and for moistening dry nasal passages. It is also much cheaper than medicated OTC sprays.
Apple cider vinegar One unique folk remedy for nose congestion is to do the following: put two inches of apple cider vinegar in a pan and heat until it begins to steam. Inhale the vapor. If the vapor is too strong, add a bit of water. The nasal passages should remain clear for 12-24 hours. Repeat as needed. By removing the congestion, the inflammation in the nose's mucous membranes will decrease and make breathing easier. The cold germs will also be killed. Drink a teaspoon of vinegar with a glass of water at meals to facilitate healing.
Essential oils Place a drop or two of either eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball or handkerchief and hold near the nose while breathing deeply. This should increase the airflow. We do not recommend putting any of the oil actually in the nose as it may cause swelling.
Grapefruit seed extract This extract is a powerful all-around anti-microbial and antiseptic. Try a nasal rinse by putting a few drops of grapefruit seed extract in 1/2 cup of warm water and inhaling it; repeat two or three times, especially before bed and when you get up in the morning. The grapefruit seed extract will help kill off the bacteria.