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Causes and Risks


Home and Herbal Remedies

Yoga Therapy


Oral Medication

Action of drugs used in Nasyam

The sinuses are small empty caverns in the bony skull. They are lined by mucus membranes and connect with the nasal passages. Some sinuses are present at birth; others continue to grow and develop for the first 20 years of life. These cavities also gives our voice a certain sound.
These cavities, located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose, include

  • Frontal sinuses over the eyes in the brow area
  • Maxillary sinuses inside each cheekbone
  • Ethmoid sinuses just behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes
  • Sphenoid sinuses behind the ethmoids in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes

Sinusitis is the name given when the lining of one or more of these sinuses is red, swollen, and tender, the opening is blocked, and the sinus is at least partially filled with fluid (mucus and/or pus). When a sinus is blocked (or stuffed) because of swelling and infection the air already inside the sinuses causes pressure and the result is a sinus headache.
Technically, every cold is also a case of viral sinusitis. However, when doctors use the term sinusitis they are usually referring to a bacterial infection in the sinuses.
When bacterial sinusitis has been present for less than three or four weeks it is referred to as acute; subacute bacterial sinusitis is when it has been present for up to about ten weeks; and chronic bacterial sinusitis is when it has been present for about ten weeks or more can continue for months or even years. Chronic sinusitis is characterised by at least four recurrences of acute sinusitis. The three may have different causes and treatments.
More than 120 million Indians suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis each year. The prevalence of sinusitis has soared in the last decade due to increased pollution, urban sprawl, and increased resistance to antibiotics.

Causes and Risks

There are many different causes of sinusitis. One cause would be anything that blocks the passages in the openings of the passages a growth or tumour that needs to be removed surgically. Sometimes over the counter nasal sprays can not only cause infection, but can also be addictive. Cocaine and other illegal drugs that are snorted through the nasal passages can also cause irritation and sinus infection.

There are also various kinds of bacteria that can also cause sinus infections. In addition the cilia, which are small hairs in the nasal passages and sinus cavities that help to move mucous out of the nasal area, can get damaged by smoke, lack of humidity or other causes. When this happens the mucous stagnates and becomes a perfect area for bacteria to grow and start an infection. Allergies to food and other substances can also be a cause of food allergies.

According to Ayurveda, the following general types of imbalances are at the source of most chronic conditions, including sinusitis:

  1. Toxins accumulating in tissues and blocking circulation.
  2. Poor nutrition.
  3. Poor digestion.
  4. Imbalance of the nervous system.
  5. Accumulation of physical and mental stress.
  6. Lowering of natural resistance and immunity.
  7. Disruption of natural biological rhythms.

The common modern medical approach to match drugs to symptoms does not completely address many of these factors. As a result, modern medicine often cannot fully remove the disorder and the condition becomes chronic. Chronic means that the condition persists over time even with the best modern medical treatment.

Anyone can get a sinus infection. Colds or nasal allergies are usually present first. Sinus infections are also more common when there is exposure to cigarette smoke. Those who are cigarette smokers and people who suffer from upper respiratory allergies are even more likely to develop bad sinus problems.

Children who have ear infections, GE reflux, cystic fibrosis, immune problems, deviated nasal septa, or poorly functioning cilia are more likely to develop sinus infections. Asthma and sinus infections often go together. In addition, swimming or breathing cold dry air can predispose a child to sinusitis. Boys are more prone to sinus infections than girls.

Acute sinusitis can last four weeks or more. It may be present when the patient has two or more symptoms and/or the presence of thick, green or yellow nasal discharge. Acute bacterial infection might be present when symptoms worsen after five days, persist after 10 days, or the severity of symptoms is out of proportion to those normally associated with a viral infection.

Victims of chronic sinusitis may have the following symptoms for 12 weeks or more: facial pain/pressure, facial congestion/fullness, nasal obstruction/ blockage, thick nasal discharge/ discoloured post-nasal drainage, pus in the nasal cavity, and at times, fever. They may also have headache, bad breath, and fatigue.

The general symptoms of sinusitis can range from:

  • Pain over the face and forehead. The nerves which supply the sinuses also supply the ears and teeth which can cause sinusitis pain to sometimes feel as if it is coming from the cheeks, upper teeth or ears. Adults and adolescents with sinusitis will often have headaches or facial tenderness to make the diagnosis clear.
  • Frontal forehead headaches when the frontal sinuses are affected.
  • Runny nose. In bacterial sinusitis this forward flow is typically green or yellow. The common cold usually lasts about seven days. Within one to three days of the onset, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green. This is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics.
  • Post nasal drip with a scratchy throat as gooey material from your sinuses slides backwards down your throat.
  • Stuffy nose from blocked nostrils and swollen sinuses.
  • Hoarse voice from sinus slime cascading onto your vocal cords. There may be a fever, sore throat from post-nasal drip, or bad breath. About half of the children also have ear infections (caused by the same bacteria).
  • Throbbing pain on leaning forward from pressure in your sinuses.
  • Fever.
  • Malaise.
  • Upset stomach from swallowing snot.

Some additional signs that the doctor will check for in order to diagnose sinusitis are swollen areas around the eyes, nasal passages that have become reddened, facial areas over the sinuses that are tender to percussion (tapping) and drainage from the nose that is similar to pus

Home and Herbal Remedies
Horseradish is an herb used traditionally, as it dissolves mucus. One half to one teaspoon (3½ - 5 grams) of the freshly grated root can be eaten three times per day.
Combine the juice from the horseradish root with the juice of 3 lemons. Take a 1/2 teaspoon between meals for several months until the mucus in the sinus clears.

  • Cayenne Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can stimulate the nerve fibres and may act as a natural nasal decongestant. Put 1 teaspoon of cayenne in cup of hot water and drink a cupful of this thrice a day.
  • Black pepper: 5gms of black pepper should be powdered finely, and this, well mixed in a cup of warm milk, if taken regularly, prevents recurrent attacks. It is a good anti-infective.
  • A teaspoon of black cumin seeds tied in a thin cotton cloth can provide relief when inhaled. The condition can also be relieved by taking a mixture of 100 gm of roasted and ground cumin seeds and 200 gm of pure honey.
  • Carrot juice, taken separately or in combination with juices of beet and cucumber, or with spinach juice, has been found beneficial in the treatment of sinus trouble. In the case of combined juices, 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices, or 200 ml of spinach juice, should be mixed with 300ml of carrot juice to make 500 ml or half a litre of the mixed juice.
  • Add few drops of eucalyptus oil to 1/2 cup boiling water. Pour the mixture into a bowl and inhale the steam for 10 - 15 minutes with your head covered with a large towel. Put few drops of eucalyptus oil on your handkerchief and sniff periodically.
  • Make a nasal flush by mixing 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in one cup of warm water. Fill the syringe with the solution and drop the mixture up your nose.
  • Steep 1-2 teaspoon of thyme or fresh leaves of basil in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink a cupful of this mixture three times a day. Because of its strong antiseptic properties, thyme is good for respiratory infections.
  • Sipping hot teas made with herbs such as fenugreek, fennel, anise, or sage may help move mucus even more and keeps it flowing.
  • Sinus Massage: Send a fresh supply of blood to sore sinuses by firmly pressing your thumbs on both sides of your nose in order to encourage a release of discomfort. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds; repeat for further relief.
  • Apply warm wash cloth over your eyes and cheekbones. Leave it till you feel the sinus pain subsiding.
  • Tilt your head back and place a tsp of onion juice in each nostril. Repeat when needed.
  • Grate fresh lotus root, mix it with grated ginger and unbleached white flour. Apply the mixture directly to the skin. You can leave this for several hours or overnight. Repeat for a week or more till you get relief. This is mixture is quite effective dispersing and moving stagnated mucus. There could be watery discharge from the eyes or nose.
  • The use of pungent foods like garlic and onion is one of the most effective remedies for sinus problems. One should begin with small mild doses and increase them gradually. Beneficial results can also be achieved by adding these herbs in moderate amounts to regular meals. Garlic has the same chemical found in a drug given to make mucus less sticky. This is a wonderful natural antibiotic and detoxifier which protects the body against infection by enhancing immune function. The fresh juice of 3 to 4 garlic cloves, with 2 teaspoonfuls of honey, should be taken twice a day. It is a proven antibacterial, and analgesic. Onion: Fresh juice of onion, well mixed in honey is also of great help in sinusitis.
  • Nettle Leaf, 300mg, taken twice per day can lead to effective results. Stinging Nettle plant (Urtica dioica) relieves hay fever symptoms quickly in most people, has no toxicity, and is even a valuable source of iron and trace minerals. Do not take this herb if you have high blood pressure.
  • The liberal use of mangoes during the season is considered an effective remedy for prevention and treatment of sinusitis. Mangoes contribute towards formation of healthy epithelium, thereby preventing frequent attacks of common infections like sinusitis. This is attributable to a high concentration of vitamin A in the fruit.
  • The seeds of fenugreek are another effective remedy for sinusitis. A tea prepared by boiling one teaspoon of seeds in 250 ml of water till it is reduced to half, will help the body to produce perspiration, dispel toxicity, and shorten the period of fever in the acute stage of the disease. Up to four cups should be consumed daily. The quantity should be reduced as the condition improves
  • Oregano: Since oregano has a great deal of antiseptic compounds to offer, drinking tea containing the herb can serve as a sinus infection treatment.
  • Hot and Cold Water Application: The application of warm and cold compresses is known to offer relief from pain and soothes inflammation, so it could help address sinus swelling from sinusitis.

Caution: Exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the above home remedies. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. Consult your physician, if required. The responsibility lies with you.

Preventing sinus infections is possible and involves the same proven measures outlined for preventing colds and ear infections.

  • Twice a day, stand in a shower hot enough to fog up the mirror. Or lean over a pan full of steaming water with a towel draped over your head, creating a steam tent. Inhale the vapours as they waft up toward your nostrils. Eucalyptus oil is often used in a steam inhalation to help clear nasal and sinus congestion. Eucalyptus oil works similarly to that of menthol by acting on receptors in the nasal mucosa, leading to a reduction in the symptoms of nasal congestion. Just add 4 to 6 drops to a pan of steaming water with a towel draped over your head and inhale the vapours.
  • Applying moist heat over the sinuses is an easy way to wash away sinus pain. Apply a warm washcloth over your eyes and cheekbones and leave it there until you feel the pain subside. It may take only a few minutes.
  • In addition, changing swimming habits may be helpful for older children (avoiding jumping, diving, or swimming underwater – unless holding the nose or using nose plugs).
  • Avoid fried and starchy foods, white sugar, rice, pasta, pies, cakes, and candies.
  • Avoid the use of perfumes and strongly scented hair oil. Instead of using air fresheners, use natural essential oil fragrances with diffusers.
  • A daily process of applying medicated nasal drops such as Anu thailam or Panchendriya vardhan oil, known as Pratimarsha Nasyam, is believed to prevent frequent occurrence of sinusitis.
  • Special procedure like the Yogic Neti, is very useful. Boil water in a wide mouthed steel or earthen vessel. A handful of nochi (Vites negundo) leaves, adathoda (Malabar Nut, Adhatoda vasica) leaves, thumbai (Leucas indica) leaves are enough. Drop these herbs onto the boiling water and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the water from fire and keep it covered.

Simultaneously burn a fresh dry brick piece, about the size of a small ball, to red heat for about 10 minutes over fire. Using a pair of tongs, drop this red hot brick into the hot herbal water. This helps to keep the water hot.
Now crouching over the hot herbal water, cover yourself with a thick blanket. Do not get too close to the vessel. Exercise care so as not to get burnt. Inhale deeply both through your mouth and nose. You will sweat profusely, the earthy aroma would be a heady experience.
After a few minutes of inhalation, remove the blanket, and move into an airy space. Towel yourself using a fine dry cloth.
Throw away the water. After 10 to 15 minutes, have some warm water and go to bed. For best results, this should be done at night. This should solve your sinus congestion problems.

  • Another remedy is to take quite a quantity of nochi leaves and heat them in a mud pot. Once the leaves are a little brown, take the heated leaves and make it into a small pillow using a pillow cover. Sleep over it for a couple of nights
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages can worsen your symptoms by increasing the swelling found in the lining of the nose and sinuses.
  • Warm moist air may alleviate sinus congestion. A vaporiser or steam from a pan of boiled water (removed from the heat) are both recommended (humidifiers should have a clear filter to preclude spraying bacteria or fungal spores into the air). Warm compresses are useful in relieving pain in the nose and sinuses. Saline nose drops are safe for use at home.
  • Finally, identifying and properly addressing allergies and irritants is the key to reducing the frequency, duration, and severity of sinusitis.

The skinned knees, garden scrapes and bug bites of summer are annoying to everyone. In people with psoriasis, these minor skin traumas can also trigger what's called the Koebner phenomenon (named after Dr. Heinrich Koebner, German dermatologist) psoriasis plaques that form at the site of a skin injury.

A slight scratch won't cause koebnerization, but a cut or bite that damages the dermis (the layer of skin below the surface) may begin to show lesions.

As many as 50% of people with psoriasis experience the Koebner phenomenon, and some people develop a new psoriatic lesion each time the skin is injured.

Yoga Therapy

This Yogic breath exercise can be done without instruction, without danger, and with a good chance that your discomfort and stressful feelings will be reduced. Relaxation Breath is the most powerful tool for stress management.
Sit up, with your back straight in any position. Place your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise. Exhale completely through your mouth.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, to a count of eight. Repeat this cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Try to do this breathing exercise at least twice a day. You can repeat the whole sequence as often as you wish, but don't do it more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. This exercise is fairly intense and has a profound effect on the nervous system.

Deep Diaphragm Breath
Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable position. Breathe slowly and evenly from your diaphragm, through your nose. Fill your lower abdomen, lungs, then chest with air. Hold for a four count then slowly exhale the air out from your chest, lungs, then lower abdomen. Repeat 3 or 4 times. That's it! Just allow your shoulders to drop and your face relax as you breathe, deep.


Many people with sinus infection complain that after having taken multiple courses of antibiotics or even following surgery, in the end they feel the same as they did before their treatment. Their sinusitis problem returns with a vengeance. What is the problem?
The answer is that the antibiotics are only treating the bacterial infection that is secondary to the inflammation clogging their sinuses. Therefore antibiotics don’t get at the real cause of the problem. The same can be said for surgery. Surgery may scrape out the sinuses or open up a bigger hole for them to drain, but these treatments only address secondary problems resulting from the inflammation. Therefore the original sinus problem remains.
The inflammation that is causing the sinus pain requires a trigger. The real question is, “What is causing the inflammation?” Anything that triggers the immune system can be that trigger, because the immune system is what causes inflammation and mucous production. Bacteria, which are treated with antibiotics, are only one cause of inflammation.
Sinusitis is usually a very easily treated disease if treatment is sought in a timely manner and the proper treatment is provided. If the conditions returns often it is advised that the patient attempt to determine if an allergy is the cause. The treatment of sinusitis in Ayurveda is very effective with success rate varying from long lasting to permanent cure.

Ayurveda gives much more importance to nose and the sinuses than just being organ of smell and giving quality to speech and making the head light. Ayurveda calls nasal cavity as ´shiro dwar’ that is the entry point to the skull cavity and proper functioning of brain and its various parts. Thus any obstruction in this pathway is aggressively treated. The treatment includes internal medicine and a unique Panchakarma therapy called Nasyam.

Panchakarma Therapy: Nasyam
It is one of the panchakarmas mentioned in Ayurveda. It is a process by which drug is administered through the nostrils. If Nasyam is done properly and regularly it will keep the person's eye, nose and ear unimpaired. It also prevents the early greying of hair and beard. Nasyam will prevent the falling of hair. It will ensure growth of hair and alleviate diseases like cervical spondilosis, headache, facial paralysis, hemiplegia, diseases of nose, frozen shoulder, hemi crania, coryza, sinusitis, mental disorders parkinsonism and skin complaints. Nasyam will enhance the activity of sense organs and prevent the diseases of head (urdhwanga). It will prevent the early aging process.

Purvakarma (Pre-purification Measures)
Prior to nasyam, snehana (oleation) and swedana (sudation or sweating) should be done to the patients face, forehead, head, ears and neck. This prior snehana and swedana will help to loosen the adhesive doshas, thereby facilitating the subsequent elimination.
Pradhanakarma (Main Procedure of Nasyam)
After the Purvakarma the patient is asked to lie down in a bed with his hand and legs kept straight. His head is maintained at a lower position by keeping the pillow below the neck. This position will facilitate the direct passage of the drug. Placing the medicine above hot water gently warms it and then it is made to flow in to one nostril, while the other is kept closed the same process is carried out in the other nostril also. For the administration of the drug a pichu (cotton swab) or nadi(tube) may be used (dropper can be used).
The sole, shoulder, neck, ear and palm are gently massaged after the administration of the drug. He must spit out all the impurities and medicine that reach his mouth. The spitting is repeatedly carried out turning to both sides while the patient is lying. Swedakarma (sudation) should be repeated after the nasyam treatment.
The process of nasyam can be repeated twice or thrice if necessary. This process should be repeated for 7 days.
Mechanism of Nasyam
The nasya dravya (medicine) acts by reaching 'Sringataka marma'(a main vital point situated on the surface of the brain corresponding to the nerve centres, which consisting of nerve cells and fibres responsible for the function of speech-Broca's Centre, vision, hearing, taste and smell).

From where it spreads into various strotasas (vessels and nerves) and brings out vitiated doshas from the bread.

Oral Medication
  • Oral medication is advised of ghee treated with Haridra (turmeric), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Vishwa (Zinziber officinale), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Renukabeej (Vitex negundo), and Yavakshar (Hordeum vulgare ash). Medicated ghee containing Hinga (Ferula narthex), Yava-Kshar, Deodar (Cedrus deodara) is also recommended.
  • Medicated ghee containing Chafa (Michelia champaka), Dadim (Pomegranate) flowers, Sabja (Canna edulus) leaves, Kanher (Nerium indicum) leaves, Durva (Cynodon dactylon), Haridra (turmeric) and Keshar (Crocus sativus) is used as nasal drop for obtaining immediate relief from symptoms.
  • A procedure called "Shodhan Nasya" is used, in which medicated oil (Vacha oil, containing Acorus calamus) or Shigru (Moringa oleifera) seed powder or Madanphal (Randia spinosa) powder is put into the nostrils, after giving fomentation to the area surrounding the nose. This helps in draining the sinuses, and contributes to early recovery. For further reduction in sinus inflammation, mild medicated drops are used, such as Anu Thailam or Panchendriya vardhan oil.
  • Chitraka Hareetaki available in lehya form is a proven remedy. 2 teaspoons of this medicine should be mixed in a glass of warm milk, and taken twice a day.
  • Nasal inhalation of steam for 5 minutes gives good relief. A few drops of Jeevandhara (a mixture of camphor, menthol, etc.) should be added to the hot water, after which the steam should be inhaled twice a day.
  • Septilin: 1 to 2 tablets twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Shad Bindu Taila can be used for inhalation 1 to 2 drops twice a day
Action of drugs used in Nasyam
  • By general blood circulation, after absorption through mucous membrane.
  • Direct pooling into venous sinuses of brain via, inferior ophthalmic veins.
  • Absorption directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Many nerve endings which are arranged in the peripheral surface of mucous membranes, olfactory, trigeminal etc will be stimulated by Nasyadravya (the medicine used to give nasyam) and impulses are transmitted to the central nervous system. This results in better circulation and nourishment of the organs and the diseases will subside. Most of the drugs described for nasyam therapy have got katu (bitter), ushna (hot) and theekshna (sharpness) properties. These drugs produce draveekaranam (liquefaction) and chhedanam (expulsion) of vitiated doshas. The kashaya rasa (astringent taste) drugs produce astringent effect while madhura rasa (sweat) drugs produce cooling and nourishing effect.

Indications for Nasyam

  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal Allergies
  • Nasal Polyp
  • Neurological dysfunctions
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Bell's Palsy
  • To improves memory and eye sight
  • Insomnia
  • Elimination of excess mucus
  • Hyperpigmentation in the face
  • Pre-mature greying of hair
  • To bring clarity to voice
  • Headaches of various origin
  • Hemiplegia
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Migraine
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • To relieve stress and emotional imbalances

Nutritional Advise                                               
Follow a diet that pacifies Prana Vata and Shleshaka Kapha, and follow a Vata-Kapha pacifying diet. The foods consumed should not be too hot or too cold. Avoid ice-cold foods and beverages. The foods consumed should be warm, light, nurturing and easily digestible.
Drinking water will encourage drainage by thinning out the mucous secretions that accumulate in the sinuses. Drinking water flavoured with spices will detoxify and purify the sinuses. Boil two litres of water. Add two leaves of basil, two thin slices of ginger, four mint leaves, two pieces of clove and quarter-teaspoon of marshmallow root. Drink this combination, all through the day.
When choosing your fluids, avoid caffeinated beverages, which can cause a dehydrating effect.
Eliminate milk and all milk products from the diet, including prepared foods that list milk as an ingredient. An overwhelming majority of patients report dramatic improvement in sinus conditions after two months of this dietary change.
A combination of spices such as turmeric (2 parts), cumin (4 parts), coriander (4 parts), fennel (4 parts), ginger (1 part) and black pepper (1 part), could be roasted and then ground into a powder. The ground spices could be sprinkled on to vegetables or grains, or added to your soup and consumed.
Do not smoke. Do not spend time around smokers or in smoky environments.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juices with Water: In the acute stage of the disease, when fever is present, the patient should abstain from all solid foods and drink only fresh fruit and vegetable juices diluted with warm water in equal proportions. Avoid banana, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, as these clog the channels. Avoid skipping or delaying meals as this will upset digestive balance and cause formation of toxins.
Avoid foods, which produce phlegm, such as cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and fried foods.

Exercise may bring relief because it releases adrenaline, which constricts the blood vessels, thereby possibly reducing swelling in the sinuses. A brisk walk with deep inhaling can even work.

Consequences of not treating infected sinuses

Not seeking treatment will result in unnecessary pain and discomfort. In rare circumstances, meningitis or brain abscess and infection of the bone or bone marrow can occur.
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