This post was last updated on March 30th, 2015 at 11:39 am
Oh, sinuses. As allergy season kicks in, sinuses may become a bigger problem for you still.
For some natural sinus relief, we turn to renowned herbalist Susun Weed who offers three remedies in the video below, each a bit more difficult (read: painful) to implement. She recommends (and so do we) that you start with the complementary food approach.
Remedy 1: Horseradish
Horseradish is a root with very strong flavors, flavors you will either love or hate. It is the characteristic flavor of wasabi, commonly served with sushi, and it may very well help your sinuses. In The Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, Duke includes horseradish as a possible remedy for sinusitis as well as asthma, congestion, cough, inflammation, and rhinitis. (It is contraindicated with gastrosis, GI mucososis, and nephrosis. It is not for children under 4 years old in therapeutic amounts and should not be consumed excessively in pregnancy or lactation.)
The fastest, most straight-forward solution may be found at Carol Little’s herbal site Studio Botanica, a “horseradish snuff” (here). Simply place 1/4 teaspoon of grated horseradish on your tongue until the flavor subsides. Carol reports: “Doing this daily for a few days has resulted in complete clearing of sinus infections for a number of my clients.”
A little less bold is to integrate more horseradish into your daily recipes. The most common use of the horseradish root in cooking is in the common sauce or condiment that combines the fresh root with vinegar.
More Horseradish Recipe Ideas
Spicy Horseradish Mustard from Pickle Me Too
Horseradish Vinaigrette by Tasty Yummies
Sour cream-based horseradish sauce at Simply Recipes (which uses the basic sauce above as a base).
Fermented horseradish (using a brine for fermentation) from Divine Health
Fermented horseradish (using a starter culture for fermentation) from Nourished Kitchen
Warm potato salad with horseradish and bresaola from Sassy Radish
Horseradish guacamole from Nutty Kitchen
Horseradish Mustard Deviled Eggs from The Nourishing Gourmet
Remedy 2: Reflexology
In an approach from reflexology, this trick is better known as the “clothespins on the toes” trick. Grab some clothespins. We have a clothesline and so this is easily done. If you don’t, you can pick up clothespins at stores like Walmart and Target.
Place a clothespin on each of your bare toes. You will feel the pinch but you may also feel some relief in your sinuses as they open up.
Remedy 3: Thermal Pump
For the brave (or for the really stuffed up), you have your most fun option: the “thermal pump.”
You will need a pan of ice water and a pan of hot water. Place your feet in the ice water until you cannot stand it. Take them out and immediately place them in the hot water. Switch them back and forth. You will increase blood flow to your sinus area. (Take care with any of these temperature change strategies if you have a heart condition. Discuss it with your doctor.)