Sinusitis is the most common chronic illness in the United States, according to Foxhall Internists, P.C. It is an inflammation of the linings of the sinuses surrounding the nose. It can cause facial pain or pressure, nasal congestion, headache, a sore throat and even toothache, earache or neck pain. The cause of sinusitis often is an infection. In rare cases, it may spread to the eye socket or brain. If you develop swollen eyelids see your doctor immediately.
Relief from Nasal Congestion
Cayenne pepper is native to Central America and is a popular spice used in fiery Latin American dishes. The active component of cayenne pepper is a compound in its fruit called capsaicin, which gives the pepper its fiery taste. People use capsaicin as a pain inhibitor and it might help to reduce nasal congestion. According to Sinusitis Relief Secrets, one of the best ways to take cayenne pepper is in the form of a capsaicin nasal spray available over the counter at pharmacies.
Taking Cayenne Orally
According to Health911.com, taking cayenne pepper in capsule form during or after every meal for several days should help to clear up a sinus infection. A maintenance dose of 460 mg three times a day should prevent a reoccurrence. They also advocate 1 tsp. of cayenne in a cup of hot water three times a day to dilate blood vessels in the nose and stimulate secretions, helping to drain the sinuses. For chronic sinus infections, they recommend sniffing a small amount of cayenne powder to clear airways.
Other Health Benefits
Dr. Edward Group, writing in June 2010 for the Global Healing Center website, reported that the health benefits of cayenne pepper include its ability to break up and help drain congested mucus, its ability to lessen the body's perception of pain, its anti-inflammatory properties and possible use in the prevention of allergies, its use in detox to help stimulate circulation and promote sweating, and as an antibacterial agent, all of which may be helpful in preventing or relieving the symptoms of sinusitis.
Seek Medical Advice
In most cases, sinusitis improves without treatment. However, if your symptoms persist for more than a week, seek medical advice. As with any herbal treatment, always consult your doctor before using cayenne pepper as an alternative health remedy. Its safety and efficacy in the treatment of sinusitis carries no scientific proof.