Response from Irene McCabe Naturopathic Nutritionist:

Sinusitis might seem like more of an inconvenience than a serious ailment but the problem is inflamed sinuses mean you’re at more risk of being exposed to bacteria, toxins, viruses, and allergens because the sinuses are not operating efficiently.

There are a handful of supplements that can really make a difference. Since sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, curcumin (turmeric), can really help alongside vitamin C and essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Vitamin D is another excellent supplement for sinuses as is vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is great for immunity and also keeps mucous membranes in top form. Foods rich in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, mango, papaya, egg yolk, and pumpkin. The mineral zinc is also great. Egg yolks, fish, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds are all good food sources of zinc.

Sinus infections tend to be an after affect of a cold.  An old fashioned suggestion for preventing colds in the first place is to simply gargle with distilled water three times a day throughout cold and flu season and follow by supplementing with oil of oregano or garlic

If you already have a cold or sinus infection, the saltwater nasal rinse gets some good press Saltwater rinses are available in chemists or on the web or you can make your own using what is known as a “Neti” pot which can also be bought online. A saltwater rinse is an excellent way to remove mucus toxins, allergens, and other irritating substances from your nose.

Response from Nikki Biddiss, Medical Herbalist:

Sinuses are air-filled cavities inside the cheekbones and forehead and they produce mucus which drains into the nose through small channels. Sinusitis is inflammation of these cavities and it can be acute (lasting 2-3 weeks), sub-acute (up to 12 weeks) and chronic (over 12 weeks).

Sinusitis is normally triggered by a cold or flu and as a viral infection antibiotics are not effective. It can also be spread from dental infections or be linked to allergies, polyps, facial injury or surgery or the use of naso-gastric tubes as well as asthma, diabetes, a lowered immune system, inflammatory conditions or smoking.

The main symptoms are pain and tenderness over the affected sinuses, a blocked, runny nose and a fever. Acute sinusitis will tend to clear up on its own but the symptoms can be eased naturally.

There are a number of herbs with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties which can ease blockages. Other herbs can soothe inflamed cavities, dry up excess mucus and support the immune system. Herbalists can make up the most appropriate mix of herbs to deal with current symptoms and possibly target underlying causes.

Steam inhalation with essential oils such as eucalyptus can offer short-term relief but care must be taken in handling hot water. Some people find a hot shower or bath offers similar relief.

Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and herbal teas. A warm compress, using a facecloth steeped in warm water and placed over the sinuses, can also help. So too can gently massaging the cheeks and forehead.


Consult your health practitioner before following any advice if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have underlying health issues or are on any other medication.

Nikki Biddiss is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapy Massage Therapist and Stress and Wellbeing Coach. To book a consultation For Nikki call Napier’s, 61 Cresswell Street, Glasgow on 0141 339 5859.

Irene McCabe is a Naturopathic Nutritionist and has been an Independent Nutritional Researcher for over 30 years. Irene also practices Allergy and Intolerance Testing and Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy and is the former owner of Napier’s in Glasgow’s West End. To book a consultation For Irene call The Harvest Clinic, 201 West George Street, Glasgow on 0141 333 0878