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Many herbal and nutritional applications can be used to lessen symptoms of sinusitis. The sinuses are small pockets of air. The terms “sinusitis” and “sinus infection” are sometimes used interchangeably.

What is Sinusitis?

Many herbal and nutritional applications can be used to lessen symptoms of sinusitis.

The sinuses are small pockets of air located in between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose, and cheekbones. The sinuses and nasal passages are lined with mucosal membranes that when become inflamed, is known as sinusitis. They’re usually empty and contain a small layer of protective mucus to trap bacteria and keep the area moisturised. They also help humidify the air you breathe.

The terms “sinusitis” and “sinus infection” are sometimes used interchangeably.

What are the symptoms of Sinusitis?

The symptoms of sinusitis are similar to those of a common cold. They may include:

Decreased olfactory senses (sense of smell)


Blocked or runny nose

Sinus headache



Possible contributors to sinusitis include:

Weakened immune system

A history of allergies

Colds and other upper respiratory tract infections, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi

Nasal polyps, growths inside the nose

Mould exposure

Smoking cigarettes

Dental infections

Types of Sinusitis:

Acute sinusitis may last up to 4 weeks. It’s typically a viral infection brought on by the common cold and can cause symptoms that typically last up to 10 days.

Subacute sinusitis symptoms can last up to 12 weeks. This is usually due to seasonal allergies or bacterial infections.

Recurrent acute sinusitis involves at least four episodes of acute sinusitis over the course of 1 year. Each episode of acute sinusitis must last at least 7 days.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis last for more than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis symptoms are often less severe than acute sinusitis symptoms, fever is rare. Bacterial infection may be to blame in these cases. Additionally, chronic sinusitis commonly occurs alongside persistent allergies or structural nasal issues.

Sinusitis and diet:

Foods to avoid

1. Dairy: is known to produce excess mucus. A controlled study of 108 people found this claim to be plausible [i]. Dairy may also increase the production of nasal polyps, a common cause of sinusitis [ii].

2. Refined Sugar: found in processed foods may exacerbate sinusitis symptoms. This is due to sugar increasing inflammation [iii].

3. High histamine foods: histamine is produced naturally in the body to help fight potential allergens. Histamine is also found in a number of foods. Those with a histamine intolerance may break histamine down less effectively, leading to a build-up in the body [iv]. Thus in those with histamine intolerance, eating foods high in histamine may worsen sinusitis symptoms. High histamine foods include those which have undergone some form of fermentation:

Most processed meats: sausage, salami, and ham

Dried or preserved fish and fish sauces

Certain vegetables: tomatoes, avocado, and eggplant

Dried fruit: raisins and apricots

Aged cheeses


Fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, and vinegar

Fermented beverages: kombucha and alcohol

4. Salicylates: some people may be sensitive to these natural compounds, known as salicylates. They are found in healthy foods such as:

Vegetables: cauliflower and pickled vegetables

Fruits: strawberries, watermelon, plums, and raspberries

Legumes: beans and lentils

Grains: oats, corn, and buckwheat

Certain herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, paprika, and turmeric

A cross-sectional study found an association between a high intake of salicylate foods and exacerbated sinusitis symptoms in people with chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps [v].

If you suspect you have a salicylate sensitivity or histamine intolerance, talk with a qualified professional. They may recommend an elimination diet, elimination diets are difficult to follow without reducing important nutrient intake and should only be followed as necessary.

Other natural tips to alleviate symptoms:

Stay hydrated to promote mucus drainage.

Use a humidifier. Moist air helps moisten thick mucus in the nasal passage, allowing for decongestion and easier breathing. Alternatively, take a warm shower, or you can also try breathing over a warm pot of water.

Sleep with your head elevated. This tip may also help to relieve pressure and improve breathing.

Dietary supplements recommended for Sinusitis

Immune-supportive blends such as YourGut Defence are designed to support the immune system, reduce inflammation, minimise histamine, support the gut and so on. Within this blend, you will find quercetin, probiotics, NAC, elderberry, propolis and more, which are thought to relieve symptoms related to sinusitis.

Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapples, may help reduce inflammation and swelling to relieve symptoms of sinusitis. However, not all studies show a benefit. Bromelain is often combined with the flavonoid quercetin, which may act as an antihistamine.

Quercetin is a flavonoid. In test tubes, it inhibits the production and release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and watery eyes [vi].

Probiotics (Lactobacillus). Probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria, may be especially helpful if you are taking antibiotics for sinusitis. Taken consistently, they may also reduce the chance of developing allergies.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC is a modified form of a dietary amino acid that works as an antioxidant in the body. It also helps thin mucus. NAC may interact with nitroglycerin, use to treat chest pain (angina).

Herbs for Sinusitis

Sambucus nigra

Rumex acetosa

Primula veris

Verbena officinalis

Gentiana lutea (gentian).

These herbs may be effective in relieving symptoms of sinusitis by thinning mucus and helping the sinuses drain. They may also help strengthen the immune system. Ask your doctor if you have concerns about interactions with medicines you may currently be taking.

Our Picks:

Po-Ho Essential Oil Inhaler Stick 7.3g

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Olverum Bath Oil

Digestive Elixir - Organic (50ml)

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Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.