A chronic sinus infection is an inflammation in the sinus cavity that lasts longer than 8 weeks, according to MedlinePlus. Although there are over-the-counter medications that can help alleviate the common symptoms of chronic sinusitis, you may prefer to use a natural approach. Goldenseal root is used to treat chronic sinus infections because of its ability to fight off infection, according to Sinus Infection Help. Talk with your doctor before using any herbal remedy to treat a medical condition. Goldenseal root has not been evaluated by the FDA.
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Chronic sinusitis is caused by nasal deformities, chronic allergies or other chronic infections, according to MayoClinic.com. These conditions cause the sinuses to become irritated, inflamed and infected. Common symptoms of a chronic sinus infection include thick, discolored nasal discharge, severe head pain, sinus pressure and post-nasal drip. The swollen nasal passages and trapped mucus place pressure throughout the head, causing pain in the eyes, cheeks, temples, upper teeth and inner ear.
Goldenseal root is used primarily for bacterial chronic sinusitis. The antibiotic properties of the herb help the body kill off the unwanted bacteria in the sinuses that are causing the infection. The antibacterial properties are ineffective against fungal or viral sinusitis. Talk with your doctor about the proper dosing of goldenseal root as an antibiotic.
Drugs.com states that goldenseal helps to suppress the production of mucus, which can help alleviate sinus pressure associated with chronic sinusitis. This helps open the airways and promote proper drainage. The sinuses are lined with mucus membranes that over-produce secretions during an infection. Because of the swelling, most of the extra mucus becomes trapped, making it the perfect environment for breeding infection.
Goldenseal root is not recommended for pregnant women because it stimulates the uterus, according to Drugs.com. High doses of goldenseal can cause seizures, anxiety, nausea or paralysis. Goldenseal can also cause an allergic reaction. If you develop skin rashes, difficulty breathing, wheezing, anxiety, digestive issues or facial swelling, call your doctor immediately.
Your doctor may recommend the use of traditional medicine alongside the use of goldenseal root. If chronic sinusitis is the result of nasal deformities, sinus surgery may be required. Over-the-counter medications used to treat sinus infection symptoms include decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers. Prescribed drugs may include corticosteroid nasal sprays and antibiotics.