What Kind of Tea Helps a Sinus Infection?

Sinusitis -- an infection of the air-filled cavities behind the eyes, nose and cheeks -- affects approximately 30 million people each year in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A sinus infection can be terribly painful, with pressure behind the eyes, nasal congestion, nasal discharge and loss of smell. Herbal teas are an effective and natural way to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection.

Herbal teas can help to clear congestion and support immune health during a sinus infection. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Antimicrobials

Antimicrobial herbs can be taken internally as a tea or even used as a diluted nasal rinse to kill the infection. Garlic is one of the strongest antiseptic herbs and is effective in supporting the immune system and killing infectious pathogens when taken as a tea. Other useful antimicrobial herbs for sinus infections include ginger, thyme, sage and elder flower. Herbalist Jim MacDonald also recommends the use of hyssop, elecampane and yerba mansa for their decongestant and antimicrobial properties.

Immune Boosters

Echinacea is the most common immune-stimulating herb. Echinacea angustifolia root is considered the strongest medicine for infection – compared to the leaf – when made into a strong tea which can be done by simmering an ounce of root for at least 30 minutes in two cups of water. Another immune-boosting herbal tea that can support recovery from a sinus infection is made from elderberry.

Trophorestorative

Western herbalism uses the term "trophorestorative" to describe herbs that help tone and rejuvenate tissues or organs. Goldenseal is the premiere trophorestorative for the mucous membranes, helping tone and heal boggy, inflamed sinus tissues, according to Master Herbalist Paul Bergner in his book "The Healing Power of Echinacea and Goldenseal and Other Immune System Herbs." Bergner recommends using small doses of goldenseal tea -- a few teaspoons three to four times a day -- after the acute infection is over to rebalance the mucous membranes and clear lingering inflammation.

Further Suggestions

Along with taking herbal teas internally, the same herbs can be mixed with a mild saline solution for doing nasal irrigation with a neti pot or other method. This can get the herbs directly in contact with the mucous membranes of the sinuses and kill off infectious agents. It can be nice to add moistening – or demulcent – herbal teas to a sinus wash like marshmallow or slippery elm to soothe inflamed, irritated tissues. Herbal steams are another way to harness the healing affects of herbal teas – make a tea from wild oregano, eucalyptus or yerba santa, then sit with your head over the pot and a towel covering both to reap the full benefits of the steam therapy.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.