If you regularly suffer from sinus headache, you might have already researched a lot and know that sinuses are the air spaces around your nasal passages to help you with air humidification and mucus secretion. Sometimes, due to cold and allergies, sinuses become inflamed and thus are unable to drain off the mucus. This increases pressure within your sinuses leading to sinus pressure headache or the sinus headache. How to treat sinus headache then! You need to decrease the inflammation of your sinus passages so that they may drain the mucus. This will automatically reduce the pressure within sinus which causes your headache. When you go to the doctor, he will prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs that may not always be essential. Home remedies for sinus headache are, most of the times, enough to give you relief from the tremendous pressure that makes you restless. So, what to take for a sinus headache and how to get rid of it! Here are the answers for you.
Home Remedies for Sinus Headache
1. Steam Inhalation for Sinus Headache Relief
Steam inhalation is very helpful when it comes to relieve nasal congestion due to common cold, sinusitis as well as many other other respiratory and sinus conditions. When you introduce warm, moist air into your nose, the hot steam works by moistening the nasal passages. This clears off your blocked nose and also opens up your congested sinuses. This will not only let the mucus drain off but will make you breathe more easily.
How to Do Steam Inhalation?
- Water- 1 big bowl
- Any anti-inflammatory essential oil (optional)- few drops (read on the later remedies to know what essential oils to use for sinus congestion relief)
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Now take this into a bowl and add essential oil drops if using.
- Lean forward over the bowl and cover your head and bowl in such a way that the stem may not escape. However, maintain a distance at least of 30 cm otherwise you may burn your face.
- Breath through your nose feeling the steam going inside it.
- Do this for 1-2 minutes or till the time (few seconds) you can tolerate .
- Remove the towel and sit comfortably till you feel calm and cooler.
- Repeat the process again.
- At any point where the steam makes you uncomfortable or you feel a sensation of burning, you should remove the towel and let your face become cooler.
- Take special care when inhaling steam to avoid burns, especially in case of children, senior persons and pregnant women.
2. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Relieve Sinus Headache
Eucalyptus oil has strong anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties that may come to your help when you want to get rid of sinus headache. The component cineole in this oil is said to reduce inflammation. It also reduces mucus production so that your sinuses remain free of congestion.
How to Use Eucalyptus Oil for Sinus Headache
There are at least three ways to use eucalyptus oil for sinus headache relief.
- Add few drops of eucalyptus oil in the hot water that you use for steam inhalation. Now inhale this steam as described in the previous remedy.
- If you are short of time, apply this oil after dilution few drops of it with a couple teaspoons of olive or coconut oil. Rub gently the aching and swollen areas with it. When you get sinus headache, these areas are generally around your nose and your forehead as well as cheeks when there is tremendous sinus pressure.
- You may also take few drops of eucalyptus oil on a clean handkerchief or a cotton pad and smell this. Take the cloth close to your nose and breathe in.
3. Peppermint Oil also Cures Sinus Headache
If you can’t lay hands on eucalyptus oil, it is more than probable that your first aid box contains peppermint oil. After all, this oil has been used since years for various discomforts like nausea, upset stomach as well as cold and nasal congestion. The cool peppermint contains menthol that has excellent anesthetic properties along with antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, antispasmodic and carminative properties. This can effectively relieve you from sinus congestion to give you relief from headache too.
Ways to Use Peppermint Oil for Sinus Headache
- Add few drops in hot water and inhale steam.
- Dilute few drops of peppermint oil with some carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil and rub this gently on affected areas- around nose, forehead, temples and cheeks.
4. Tea Tree Oil to Cure Sinus Headache
Sinuses can sometimes get bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Tea tree oil which contains antimicrobial properties can not only cure sinus headache but may also treat the underlying causes due to such microbial infection. This is due to the fine anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil.
Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil for Sinus Headache
- As usual, the safest way is to add few drops to your hot water and inhale its steam.
- If you are used to tea tree oils strong nature, you may also use it directly into your nose. For this, add just a drop of this oil to a Q-tip and swab out the inside of your nasal cavity.
- If this is too strong for you, just take a drop on the Q-tip or a cotton ball and smell this filling in the aroma into your nose. Its a far probability that you will get any smell due to your blocked nose. However, breathe in the air keeping this piece close to your nose.
5. Basil Remedy for Sinus Headache
Holy Basil or the Tulsi leaves contain camphene, eugenol and cineole. These components of basil not only help clear off your congested sinuses but also reduce inflammation as well as relieve any allergic reaction if any. Basil is good for some more reasons. It is a very good antitussive ingredient meaning it helps reduce cough and thus acts as an expectorant to expel phlegm from your chest. The anti viral properties of basil cure any infection that is causing your headache and sinusitis. The cool soothing effects of basil relieve all pains associated with sinusitis, including headache.
Make Herbal Basil Tea to Relieve Sinus Headache
This is basically an Ayurvedic preparation that not only cures your sinus pressure headache but also the root cause of sinusitis.
- Basil tulsi leaves- 10
- Black pepper corns- 10
- Fresh ginger- 1 inch piece
- Sugar candy- as sweetener (don’t use sugar)
- Water- 1 cup
- Wash the basil leaves and ginger properly.
- Peel the ginger.
- Combine basil leaves, pepper corns and ginger.
- Using mortar and pestle, crush them all to get a paste.
- Add this paste to the water and bring it to a boil.
- Now simmer the mixture till it reduces to half of its original quantity.
- Strain and add sugar candy to this.
- Drink this herbal tea every morning on an empty stomach to cure your sinusitis.
- You may also have this tea after two hours of your meals or have it when experiencing headache.
- Do not take bath or expose yourself to cold after having this tea.
You may also use basil oil drops in hot water for steam inhalation.
6. Alternate Hot and Cold Compress Relieves Sinus Headache
When your sinuses get blocked, you can feel a pressure on your face around your nasal area and ofcourse forehead area that gives you that throbbing pain. Alternate hot and cold compress is one of the best remedies for sinus headache caused to to such pressure. While warm moist heat directly applied to your sinus region helps ease pressure as well as make thick mucus lose, the cold compress relives pain due to pressure by constricting the blood vessels in the region.
How to Apply Hot-Cold Compress?
- Hot water (not very hot)
- Cold water
- Face towel
- Take hot water that is not too hot. It should be at such temperature that your facial skin is able to handle without any burns or discomfort.
- Soak the face towel in this water and wring out to drain excessive water.
- Fold the towel and place it on your face covering your forehead, nose, cheeks etc. wherever you feel pressure.
- Let it be there for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the towel and soak it in the cold water, wring out excess water, fold and place over your forehead just for ½ a minute (30 seconds).
- Now close your eyes and relax.
- Repeat this procedure 2-4 times a day.
7. Ginger Tea for Sinus Headache
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties and will reduce the swelling in your sinuses effectively. What’s important is that this common herb can be found in your kitchen almost any time so here you get that headache and there you can make ginger tea. Gingerol, the active component of fresh ginger is more or less like capsaicin and piperine- the same compounds that give peppers their spicy zing. Gingerol works on your inflammation and cleans off your sinus by draining the mucus.
Make a Hot Cup of Ginger Tea for Sinus Headache Relief
- Fresh ginger root (sliced)- from 1 inch piece
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Place the ginger slices in a cup
- Pour boiling hot water over it.
- Let steep for 10 minutes.
- No need to strain, have it.
- While sipping breathe in consciously to inhale the steam coming out of your cup.
- If you can handle the spicy flavor of ginger, chew the ginger slices as well to get immediate relief.
- Have 3-4 cups of ginger tea during the day.
You may also add grated ginger or sliced ones in your broths and soups, like in clear chicken broth. Sometimes, massaging your sinus area with ginger oil may also help relieve your sinus headache.
8. Peppers for Sinus Headache
This is, probably the oldest folk remedies for sinus headache. Peppers, as we talked about while discussing ginger, have capsaicin and piperine that not only help drain mucus by loosening it down but also help reduce inflammation. Your granny would have suggested using some cayenne pepper in your chicken broth to alleviates sinus headache. While you can still do so, there are some other ways to use peppers for sinus headache.
Ways to Use Peppers for Sinus Headache
- Add quite a good amount (½ to 1 tsp) of chilli peppers or black peppers in your broths, soups and gravies.
- Make a herbal tea, like ginger or chamomile tea and add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper or black pepper to this. Have it.
- If you can handle this, chew a piece of jalapeno pepper. First there will be tears coming out of your eyes and then your nose will start draining and that’s what you want!
Please don’t try this remedy with kids as they might not be able to stand the spicy flavors of peppers.
9. Saline Solution to Relieve Sinus Headache with Ease
You may irrigate your nasal passages with a saline solution to cleanse your nose and sinuses. Once the mucus drains out, you will get relief from sinus pressure and the headache as well. There are many benefits of using a saline solution. It clears the sticky, persistent mucus, and also reduces symptoms of post nasal drainage though temporarily. You will get rid of nasal congestion and also of pollen and other irritants or contaminants that invade your nostrils and sinuses. Nasal dryness also goes away with irrigation using saline solution. You will be able to breathe freely and also have reduced cough resulting from post nasal drip. And of course, when everything gets clear, your headache too will go off naturally! While you can always buy easily available saline spray, it is quite easy to make it at home too.
How to Make Saline Solution at Home?
- Salt- ¼ tsp
- Baking soda- ¼ tsp
- Warm water- 1 cup
- Dropper/ squeeze bottle/ waterpik/ neti pot
- • Add salt and baking soda to the warm water.
- • Fill this water in your choice of container through which you feel it easy to irrigate your nasal passages.
- • Now introduce this saline water to your nostrils one by one and drain it out. The water comes out with mucus and thus cleans your nasal passages and sinuses.
Discard any unused solution.
10. Cinnamon for Sinus Headache
Cinnamon, the aromatic spice herb, has excellent antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties and has been one of the popular home remedies for sore throat, flu, nasal congestion and other such congestion related diseases. The components eugenol and cinnamaldehyde give cinnamon its antibacterial properties. However, what is more important for relieving headache is also its anti-inflammatory properties. A swollen sinus, as you know, narrows down your air passages, making it difficult to breathe. The resultant sinus pressure leads to headache. Not only does cinnamon opens up your passages by reducing swelling but also boost your immunity to protect you from infections. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating of cinnamon ranks it high as a potent antioxidant that gives it its immune boosting properties. When you think what to take for a sinus headache, include cinnamon too in the list along with other herbs and spices as it can effectively deal with respiratory infections such as sinus congestion.
Ways to Take Cinnamon for Sinus Headache
- Make cinnamon tea by brewing a cinnamon stick in hot water for about 10-15 minutes and have it while inhaling its steam.
- Add a dash of cinnamon powder to your teas, coffee, milk or other beverages.
- Add ¼ tsp of cinnamon powder to 1 tbsp of honey and have it twice a day, at least for three days.
- Add 3-5 drops of cinnamon oil to hot water and inhale steam. You may also add thyme and clove essential oils to this.
[Also Read: 13 Best Home Remedies for Migraine]
11. Make Natural Decongestant at Home to Relieve Sinus Headache
Natural is always better than chemical! Make your own natural decongestant using common ingredients like cayenne pepper, honey, and ginger etc. This homemade preparation will thin out the mucous and make it easy to drain it out of nasal passages. Once your stuffed nose and sinuses get cleared, you will relieve yourself of sinus symptoms including headache. Cayenne in this homemade remedy for sinus congestion works as the main decongestant due to its component capsaicin, which reduces inflammation to clear your nasal passages. Apple cider vinegar is also used in this remedy which helps thin out mucus to make it easy to drain out.
Homemade Remedy for Sinus Pressure and Headache
- Cayenne pepper- ½ tsp
- Ginger powder- ½ tsp
- Cinnamon powder- ½ tsp
- Honey- 3 tbsp
- Lemon juice- ¼ cup
- Apple cider vinegar- ¼ cup
- Glass jar- to store
- Mix lemon juice apple cider vinegar in a pot.
- Bring this to a gentle simmer.
- Add the honey, cayenne pepper, ginger powder, and cinnamon to this.
- Now store this in a glass jar and place in a dark cool place.
- Take 1-2 tbsp daily. Use too less an amount for kids if giving any to them.
- Shake well before you consume it as some of the ingredients may settle at the bottom.
- If you want to make it more effective, warm the required amount a little before consuming it.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Sinus Headache Naturally
Other than home remedies for sinus pressure headache that focus on reducing inflammation of sinuses and nasal passages, there are some other ways that may help get rid of sinus headache naturally. Here are some of them.
12. Drink Lots of Fluids
You need to keep your body hydrated so drink fluids frequently. Drinking plenty of water will help in relieving congestion of nose. Fluids also help bring down the pressure as well as inflammation that lead to sinus headaches. Here are some options that you can have throughout the day.
- Warm water
- Fruit juice
- Warm soups
- Teas, especially herbal teas
- Chicken broth and soup
- Sports drinks
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they lead to too much dehydration which is also not good.
13. Use Humidifier
Using a humidifier, especially at night when you sleep helps. Whenever you get a sinus headache, start using humidifier if you are not doing so. They fill your surrounding air with water vapor. It is good to add moisture to your dry indoor environment as it helps prevent sinus infections. However, over using humidifiers can give rise to mold and dust mite that again can cause infection. Always keep your humidifier clean and free of mold.
[Also Read: 14 Simple Home Remedies for Sinus Infection]
14. Take Rest to Relieve Sinus Headache
Although sinus headache is caused by inflamed and irritated sinus passages, if you stress or take tension, the pain may become worse. Relax. Close your eyes and sit or lie down. If possible, put off any light or sound that is disturbing. Do not exhaust yourself for sometime. This will definitely help you get relief from sinus pressure headache.
15. Avoid Activities that Aggravate Sinus Headache
Only doing is not all. You should also learn to ‘not do’ some of the things, the activities that make your headache worse.
- Avoid known allergens that give you sinus or nasal congestion. This way, you are preventing the root cause of sinus headache.
- Avoid the possible irritants like smoking cigarettes, cigar, pipe smoke or even a room filled with smoke, strong perfumes, pollution, dust etc.
- Avoid extremities of temperature. When going out in sun from an air conditioned environment, for example, or vice versa, let yourself adjust to the normal temperature for some time. You may go to a room where there is no air-conditioning and then step out in sun.
Taking all these precautions, at the first place, will actually prevent sinus headaches. If, however, you get the headache, take help of some of the discussed home remedies for sinus headache and get well soon.
Anuradha Yonzon says
Gurunathan Ramasamy says
Thank you very much for this article.
Jessy Susai says