Healthy and Happy Sinuses...

Date Posted:7 June 2012 

Behind your forehead, nasal bones, cheeks and eyes are air-filled spaces which are your sinuses. Mucous membranes line the inside of your nose and sinuses and secrete mucous. This secretion protects your body by trapping external invaders like germs, pollen and dust in the sticky mucous so they don't make their way into your lungs and cause sickness.

Ayurveda recognises 3 additional key causes for the build up of sinus congestion. They are:

  • Over-eating beyond digestive capacity, or eating foods that are hard to digest in the evening when digestive power is low. Impurities from incomplete digestion build up in the sinuses (especially while sleeping) causing excess mucous and congestion giving rise to a Kapha imbalance.
  • Excessive dryness of the sinus passages due to a Vata imbalance. Increased Vata in the environment such as cold, windy weather, or in our lifestyle such as smoking, excessive travel, stress and lack of rest, dries out the tissues in our body. The mucous membranes in our nose and the lubrication in our lungs can begin to dry out. We then become more sensitive to outside pollutants such as pollen and dust. In this case there is a need to stay warm and keep your head, neck and chest covered.
  • Inflammation due to heat increases in the sinus region due to a Pitta imbalance experienced as sinusitis. Pollution, cigarette smoke, pollen, dust and some chemicals cause the airways to become inflamed. When one or more of these internal causes of sinus congestion occur it weakens the sinus membranes and immunity making your sinuses vulnerable to external invaders such as germs, pollen or dust.

So what’s the secret? Keep your internal environment healthy and balanced so that when an invader comes it is unable to settle in and cause disruption. Below we consider ways to help you achieve this goal. Note: If any of your symptoms cause concern be sure to discuss them with your health professional.

Happy Sinuses - 3 Step Action Plan

  • Place 1- 2 drops of Herbal Nasal Oil (MP16) into each nostril 2 times a day - after your shower or bath in the morning or before you go outside. Do this again early evening around 5pm.
  • Take Sinus Assist (MA290) 1-2 tablets with Digest Tone (MA505) 1-2 tablets 15-30 minutes prior breakfast and evening meal to support digestion and reduce the build-up of mucous, especially while sleeping. Sip Kapha Tea or Sniffle Free Tea every 30-60 minutes during the day.
  • Eat according to appetite in the evening and go by the guidance of "the later I eat, the lighter I eat"! Having heavier foods such as meat, cheese and dessert at lunch time, with easier to digest lighter evening meals by 6.30pm really makes a difference to sinus congestion. Avoid cheese, yogurt, chocolate, and potatoes if you have signs of congestion.

Tip: If congestion is more severe a steam inhalation with Breathe Easy Essential Oil (MA 634) works wonders! Place 1-3 drops in steaming hot water and inhale the steam to help clear deep nasal congestion and soothe the sinuses.

What can I do if I notice a stuffy nose, increased mucous, feel tired or dull after a meal?

If your answer is yes, then your body is straining to process the food it has just received. Adopt the 3 step action plan to restore internal balance. Some increase of digestive fire after the meal is also needed: Take Agni Balance (MA99) one quarter to one third of a teaspoon in hot water after eating and feel the difference! In Ayurveda this combination of long pepper, black pepper and ginger is known for its cleansing, digestive, and stimulating effects. It also increases bioavailability by supporting rapid absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.

Are you sensitive to food allergens or pollutants?

If your answer is yes, then adopt the 3 step action plan and replace Sinus Assist with Protection Plus Sinuses (MA 1792) to help soothe irritated sinuses, reduce inflammation, clear mucous and enhance resistance to allergens. Take 1-2 tablets 15–30 minutes prior breakfast and evening meals.

Are you sensitive to pollens?

If your answer is yes, then adopt the 3 step action plan and replace Sinus Assist with Aller Defense (MA1406). Take 1-2 tablets twice a day with warm water. Supports the body's healthy response to allergies. Helps strengthen immune system and eliminate toxins (ideally take for 45 days at start of allergy season and for 45 days after the desired result and comfort is achieved).

Lifestyle tips

Reducing ama or toxins from the physiology is an important step in rectifying sinus problems. Ama can come from improper diet and environmental toxins or a weakness in the digestive system. Even when the intake of food is wholesome, if the physiology is unable to digest it properly it can cause accumulation of ama resulting in sinus congestion.

  1. Adopt the 3 step plan above along with drinking warm boiled water with Sniffle Free Tea or Kapha Tea every 30-60 minutes to help burn up ama and reset digestion.
  2. Eat a lighter meal in the evening. Avoiding left overs, processed food, cold food and drinks will also help prevent accumulation of ama.
  3. Offset the heaviness of Kapha by exercising for 30 minutes most days and rising by 6am. This is a good time to exercise to help reduce morning congestion and warm up your metabolism for the day.
  4. If there is Pitta aggravation or irritation it is best to reduce oranges, pineapple, tomatoes and stimulants especially nicotine and alcohol.

Please note The information here is not meant to replace the advice of a physician. You should not rely on any information or suggestions here to replace a consultation with a qualified health professional.