With the arrival of colder weather, we are increasingly facing respiratory diseases. One such difficulty is sinusitis. Although it can be present throughout the year, sinusitis most often occurs during the cold months. Fortunately, aromatherapy offers very good solutions for all respiratory ailments.
What is sinusitis?
The sinuses are cavities in the bones of the skull filled with air. They are located above the eyebrows, in the bones of the face, behind the bridge of nose and between the eyes.
The sinuses are covered with mucous membrane that discharges secretions. Air enters the sinuses through small openings in the bones that allow communication with the nasal cavity. If any of these openings are blocked due to a thickening of the lining, the air can’t get into the sinuses, while secretion that is produced in the sinuses can no longer go out. This causes inflammation of the lining and this state is called sinusitis.
Sinusitis is a sinus infection and it can be roughly divided into acute, which lasts up to 3 weeks, and chronic, which can last several months and even years.
Acute sinusitis usually occurs as a result of the common cold, allergies, flu or a bacterial infection. The causes are viruses, bacteria, and rarely fungal infections. Sinusitis can also be caused by chemical irritants.
Chronic sinusitis often occurs due to frequent acute conditions, allergies, asthma, but also due to deviation of the nasal septum, nasal polyps, etc.
In both cases, the body has reduced resistance to infection (decreased immunity), and balancing of the immunological system is the first step in the treatment of sinusitis.
Sinus Infection Precautionary Measures
Before we move on to a description of aromatherapy approach, some precautionary measures that will greatly help in preventing the occurrence of sinusitis should be mentioned.
– If you live in a house that has a dry air because of the heating, humidifiers can help.
– Filters that are found in devices for heating or cooling the air help to remove allergens from the air.
– Avoid smoke-filled room.
– Avoid all irritants you noticed that can cause a runny nose, burning eyes or irritating cough (cleaners, air fresheners, perfumes, smoke…)
– Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages (alcohol can worsen the swelling of the nasal mucosa and sinuses and thus further complicate secretions discharges).
– Avoid swimming in the pool because the chlorine can irritate the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses.
– Try to treat colds, flu and other respiratory tract infections early.
– Reduce the possibility of getting respiratory infections (avoid contact with people who have a cold, wash your hands frequently).
– Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts… in order to strengthen the body’s resistance and immunity.
– Drink plenty of fluids (water and tea), because the consumption of sufficient amounts of fluid a day also helps with dilution of thick mucus in the nose and sinuses and facilitates its ejection.
As we mentioned in the beginning, aromatherapy is very effective in all respiratory problems. Essential oils that we’ll mention work against viruses and bacteria, they help to thin the mucus and clear the sinuses.
Of course, it is necessary to use the therapy regularly – that is, every day, several times a day. The therapy involves several different preparations, and the best results are achieved if you combine them all together.
Essential oils for sinus infection
Inhalation can be performed in several ways.
If you have a quality diffuser (which disperses essential oils without heating), you can use it to mix essential oils and inhalation. You should do inhalations 2-3 times a day for acute conditions, and once a day is enough if inflammation is at a standstill.
If you don’t have a diffuser, inhalation can be performed in a “classic” way, using warm water. Add one drop of mixed essential oils in the hot water, lean over the water and inhale the steam for one to two minutes. Then add another drop and repeat the process.
Covering the head with a towel is not necessary. Like with diffuser, you should do inhalations 2-3 times a day for acute conditions, and once a day is enough if inflammation is at a standstill.
Combine inhalations with warm compresses over the nose, cheeks and eyes.
A very practical way of inhalation is using a mini inhaler (stick placed in the nostrils), which is available in some specialty shops.
Like with the most of mini inhalers, you can put about 20 drops of essential oils on cartridge.
Gently insert mini inhaler into each nostril and breathe deeply.
Repeat the process as needed throughout the day. This method is convenient because you can carry the inhaler with you and inhale during the day.
You can make a mixture of essential oils in the following way – take a dark glass bottle and add:
30 drops of eucalyptus radiata essential oil
25 drops of tea tree oil
10 drops of peppermint essential oil
15 drops of rosemary verbenon essential oil
15 drops of cypress essential oil
20 drops of lavender broadleaf essential oil
and close it with a dropper bottle cap. The bottle and the cap can be purchased at pharmacies or specialized stores.
It should be noted that there are various recipes found for a mixture of essential oils that are used for sinusitis. The above mixture is just one of the possibilities. You can find other recipes in the variety of different relevant literature.
If you don’t have all the oils mentioned in the recipe, you can use the ones you have, for example, only eucalyptus radiata and tea tree, but it would be best to use all of them because each brings a different function in the mix.
You can rinse nasal mucosa with saline or isotonic seawater. Also, you can use isotonic hydrolates (tea tree and / or peppermint) that have an antibacterial function.
Dermal use of essential oils
Ointment, balm or oil mixture with essential oils is applied to the forehead, and if necessary in the area of sinuses and nose, at least three times a day in a thin layer.
Even those who have never tried making any aromatherapy preparations can very easily make the oil mixture.
In a dark glass bottle of 10 mL, add 25 drops of a mixture of essential oils (mentioned above) and fill the bottle to the top with vegetable oil. It can be any cold pressed and unrefined oil that you may have in the house. It would be best to use oils such as macadamia or hazelnut, but if you do not have it, use olive or sunflower oil.
Close it using bottle dropper cap and shake.
If you have a little more experience we recommend ointment based on shea butter and essential oils. It is also very simple, but it needs a little more attention.
In a mixing bowl put about 30 grams of shea butter (about 3 tablespoons). If necessary, first dilute butter with a spoon or small whisk in order to get a nice creamy consistency. Add 75-85 drops of essential oil mixture and mix well. Put ointment in a pot and close.
For even more experienced users, perhaps the most practical product is balm with beeswax. You can carry this balm with you in your bag – there is no danger of spilling.
– 4.5 grams of beeswax
– 22.5 grams of vegetable oil
Put in a glass, and then in hot water and allow the wax to melt ( constant stirring will speed up the process ). Once the wax is melted, quickly add 75-85 drops of essential oil mixture in the molten mass, stir with a spoon and quickly pour into the pot. Allow to cool and close the pot.
Oral sinus infection therapy
Additionally, you can also use two more oral remedies.
The first is extract of pineapple. Although its primary purpose is help with indigestion, pineapple is also used in sinusitis as it reduces the density of mucus, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Extract of pineapple is available in pharmacies, and it is used for a month, according to the package instructions.
Then, in acute sinusitis condition, you can take Oleo capsules. These are capsules based on essential oils, and they are available in specialized store.
By applying the described therapy, as well as the precautions we have mentioned, acute sinusitis condition can be improved relatively quickly.