From Diet to Home Remedies: Ayurvedic Tips to Treat Sinusitis
Tanya often gets sneezing attacks that result in heaviness in the head and a blocked nose. She also suffers from tenderness and pain under eyes, on cheekbones and above her eyebrows.
She thought it was a cold but a consultation with a physician revealed that she had sinusitis.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a condition affecting the sinuses, a connected system of hollow cavities around the nasal passages, mainly the cheekbones holding the maxillary sinuses, frontal sinuses on the forehead, ethmoid sinuses in between ears and the sphenoid sinuses behind the nose. When inflammation sets in, these sinuses get swollen and blocked with fluid and can get infected. This is sinusitis.
People who are prone to sinusitis may suffer from sinus infection, four times in a year, and each episode can last for 12 weeks causing a lot of discomfort.
Causes and Symptoms of Sinusitis
Sinusitis can be caused by a cold, infection, allergy and pollution. It can be acute, sub-acute, chronic and infected.
The symptoms include facial tenderness, sinus headaches, a pain in the face that aggravates with bending or straining, radiating pain in the temples, cheeks and forehead, runny or blocked nose and a persistent cough. If there is an infection, the patient suffers from fever, body ache and also has opaque or greenish yellow nasal discharge.
Conventional Treatment for Sinusitis
Standard treatment for sinusitis involves reducing the inflammation of the sinus passages, assisting in the drainage of fluid and decreasing the pressure.
Over the counter (OTC) medications are used to decrease the inflammation within the sinuses. However, people with high blood pressure or heart conditions should consult a specialist before deciding on taking such medicines.
What Does Ayurveda Say?
In his book, Neti: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda, American Vedacharya and Ayurvedic teacher, David Frawley, mentions that though sinus problems are easy to notice, they mostly are overlooked and ignored.
Most people neglect these issues. While a regular approach provides short term relief, the problems get aggravated in the long run.
Ayurveda cites an imbalance in two subdoshas the Prana Vata, a subdosha of Vata (mainly present in the respiratory tract), governing the brain, head and mind and Shleshaka Kapha, a subdosha of Kapha, governing lubrication and moisture balance as the major cause of sinus issues. The imbalance of three doshas lowers immunity, making patients vulnerable to infections.
What Foods Does Ayurveda Suggest?
- A Vata Kapha calming diet is recommended to pacify Prana Vata and Shleshaka Kapha. Patients should avoid hot chillies, cold drinks and ice creams.
- Light, warm and nurturing foods like khichadi are recommended.
- Good digestion is necessary to remove the toxins (Ama) and to avoid constipation include lots of organic fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet.
- Avoid tomatoes, bell peppers, egg plants and bananas as these foods can clog the sinuses.
- Have regular meals and avoid skipping or having late meals to reduce your digestive imbalance.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Sinusitis
Boil four glasses of water, remove from the heat and add a few basil and mint leaves, a piece of ginger and two cloves. Drink this throughout the day. Make a fresh mixture every day.
Take fresh ginger juice with 1 teaspoon of honey 2 - 4 times a day.
Ayurvedic therapies like Nasyam, Lepanam, Thalam, Vamanam and Shirodhara are also beneficial.
Suppressing a problem offers a temporary relief. Approaching the problem in a holistic way, as suggested by Ayurveda, helps in strengthening the immunity and reducing the susceptibility to sinus infections.
Try these remedies and consult an Ayurvedic doctor to get the correct treatment.
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)