Viral, fungal and bacterial infections and allergies can lead to sinus infection, causing swollen, inflamed nasal passages that cause improper drainage and make it difficult to breathe through your nose. While anecdotal evidence suggests that cinnamon is an effective remedy for colds and other respiratory infections, laboratory studies have not been particularly encouraging. Honey has been shown to have bactericidal properties against some sinusitis-causing bacteria, according to a 2009 study published in the journal “Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.” Clinical trials have not been conducted, although one study was recruiting patients as of publication. Consult a health care professional before using any home remedy.
The common cold virus frequently causes sinus problems such as sinus infection. A severe or long-lasting sinus infection may be caused by bacteria and an antibiotic may be prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe a series of antibiotics for recurring and long-term, chronic sinusitis. In some situations, surgery may be recommended to place small openings, or ostia, in the sinus cavities to improve drainage.
One study, reported in the April 2007 edition of “Phytotherapy Research,” examined the antibacterial activity and bacterial cell destruction ability of cinnamon and 12 other extracts on seven respiratory tract pathogens, including S. aureus. Cinnamon and thyme showed the strongest inhibition and were active against most of the bacteria. The report concluded that further studies were indicated on some essential oils, but it did not include cinnamon among them.
One study published in the July 2009 edition of “Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery” stated that P. aeruginosa and S. aureus bacterial biofilms have been shown to play a major part in the development of chronic sinusitis. Biofilms are plastic, wrap-like coatings of bacteria that cluster together to help protect microorganisms from antibiotics. Two types of honey, Yemeni sidr and New Zealand manuka, were tested against biofilm-grown and planktonic, free-growing forms of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Both honeys were more effective than antibiotics against all planktonic and biofilm bacteria.
As of publication, prospective sinus surgery patients were being recruited to study one type of honey’s effect on sinusitis-causing bacteria, according to ClinicalTrials.gov, a National Institutes of Health website. Standard care for post-operative sinus surgery patients involves irrigating the nasal passages with a saline solution. While half the study group will use saline, the rest will use a manuka honey solution. Follow up appointments will assess post-operative infections, pain and bleeding for a period of six months.
- Sinuses.com: Persistent Sinusitis Despite Surgery
- “Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery”; Effectiveness of Honey on Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Biofilms; T. Alandejani, et al.; July 2009
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Manuka Honey Irrigation After Sinus Surgery
- “Phytotherapy Research”; Screening of the Antibacterial Effects of a Variety of Essential Oils; A. Fabio, et al.; April 2007