What is acute sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is represented by the inflammation and swelling of the sinus cavities. The sinuses are air-filled spaces behind the cheeks, forehead, and eyes.
Acute sinusitis occurs when these cavities become blocked and filled with fluid, allowing bacteria, viruses, or fungi to grow, leading to an infection. It can impact people of any age and gender.
Sinusitis is known as Peenas in Ayurveda. It is due to the vitiation of Kapha Dosha and Vata Dosha. Acute Sinusitis Treatment in Ayurveda can be obtained through the natural and holistic approach of Ayurveda. Purely Ayurvedic medicines have a great impact on treating and managing Acute sinusitis, boosting immunity, and maintaining overall health.
Acute sinusitis causes
- Weak digestion.
- Suppression of natural urges such as sneezing, and blowing the nose.
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits.
- Emotional disturbances, stress, and anxiety.
- Increased intake of oily, dry, fried spicy foods; foods that are fatty and difficult to digest, poor food varieties or combinations.
- Imbalanced Kapha (water element) collects in the sinuses and blocks the flow of Vata (air).
- Exposure to cold, dusty, and dry weather.
- Late night awakenings and sleeping in the daytime.
- Repeated respiratory infections.
- Deviated nasal septum.
- Nasal polyps.
- Pollen or Dust allergies.
- Infections in the mouth such as can be due to tooth decay.
- Weak Immunity.
Symptoms of acute sinusitis
Some of the prominent symptoms of acute sinusitis are as follows:
- Nasal congestion: The most noticeable symptom of acute sinusitis is nasal congestion, where the nasal passages become blocked due to excess mucus production.
- Facial pain: Acute sinusitis can cause pain or pressure in the face, especially around the cheeks, forehead, and eyes. The pain can aggravate with bending forward or lying down.
- Headache: Ayurveda describes a frontal or temporal headache, often accompanied by a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the head, as a common symptom of sinusitis.
- Sneezing and watery discharge: In some cases, acute sinusitis can present with episodes of sneezing and a watery nasal discharge, indicating an imbalance in the Kapha Dosha.
- Fatigue and weakness: The body’s effort to fight the infection and the presence of toxins can cause general fatigue, weakness, and a feeling of malaise.
- Cough and throat irritation: Sinus drainage can trigger a cough, especially during sleep or upon waking up. Throat irritation and a scratchy sensation in the throat can also occur.
- Reduced sense of smell and taste: Sinus congestion can lead to a diminished sense of smell (anosmia) and taste (ageusia).
Ayurvedic treatment for acute sinusitis
Ayurvedic treatment for acute sinusitis, reduces inflammation and balances the vitiated doshas, and detoxifies the body. Treatment modalities include Ayurvedic detoxification (Panchakarma therapy), Ayurvedic herbs, Dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, Yoga, and Meditation which are as follows:
Panchakarma Therapy: It is an Ayurvedic rejuvenation and detoxification therapy that strives to balance the body, mind, and spirit. Panchakarma treatments can help balance the doshas and relieve congestion and inflammation which occurs due to sinusitis. Here are some Panchakarma therapies that are advantageous for sinusitis:
Nasya karma: Nasya is one of the detoxification therapies mentioned in Ayurveda. It is highly effective for patients with acute sinusitis.
It is the administration of medicated oils or powder into the nasal passages for clearing accumulated Kapha. It helps to lubricate the nasal passages, clear congestion, and reduce inflammation. Nasya prevents the recurrence of sinusitis.
Vamana: Vamana is a vomiting procedure that helps eliminate excess Kapha from the body. It involves the administration of specific herbs and substances to induce controlled vomiting. Vamana is beneficial for relieving the symptoms of acute sinusitis and promoting respiratory health.
Abhyanga: Abhyanga is a full-body oil massage that helps improve circulation, relax the muscles, and detoxify the body. Using warm medicated oils, this therapy can aid in reducing inflammation of the sinus and promoting healing.
Swedana: It is steam therapy that involves exposing the body to herbal steam. This therapy can help open up the nasal passages, relieve congestion, and promote the elimination of toxins from the body.
Herbs: Some of the excellent herbs which are easily available and quite useful for acute sinusitis treatment are as follows:
- Ginger (Adrak): Ginger, also known as Sonth or Shunti, stands out as a highly effective remedy for sinusitis. With its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger aids in reducing sinus inflammation. Whether added to tea or herbal concoctions (Kadha), ginger proves to be a valuable ingredient. Furthermore, it serves as a multipurpose and commonly used herb in Indian kitchens.
- Cinnamon (Dalchini): Cinnamon, also referred to as Dalchini, is particularly beneficial for individuals with a constitution characterized by the ‘Kaphavata’. With its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cinnamon acts remarkably in treating sinusitis, providing effective relief.
- Basil leaves (Tulsi): Tulsi, also known as Basil in Ayurveda, possesses remarkable properties for alleviating sinusitis symptoms. This herb proves to be immensely beneficial in relieving sinusitis, and a therapeutic blend of basil leaves and other herbs, when prepared as a concoction or Kadha, offers effective relief from sinusitis infection.
Dietary changes: A Kapha-relaxing diet lessens congestion and mucus production. Warm, and easily digestible foods should be involved in the diet such as steamed vegetables, and warm herbal teas.
Avoiding cold, heavy, fried, and oily foods is highly recommended. As it is difficult to digest, which can worsen Kapha imbalances. Therefore, choosing whole, fresh, and unprocessed foods is important whenever possible. Don’t delay or skip the meals, this disturbs the digestion process and weakens Jathar Agni.
Consuming raw, organic honey can be beneficial for sinusitis. Honey has natural antimicrobial and soothing properties. Mix a teaspoon of honey with warm water or herbal tea and consume it daily.
Stay adequately hydrated by drinking warm water throughout the day. Warm fluids help to flush out toxins and promote sinus drainage.
Lifestyle modifications and precautions: Keeping living space clean and free from allergens, dust, and pollutants is vital. Regularly dust, vacuum, and change air filters to reduce potential triggers for sinusitis symptoms.
Avoid cold water showers and head baths with cold water in winter.
Besides this, Avoiding exposure to cold and damp environments, and practice of good hygiene can prevent infections. Doing regular exercise and walking is effective.
Practicing good nasal hygiene is significant for sinus health. Use a saline nasal rinse or a neti pot to flush out the nasal passages and keep them moist. This can help reduce congestion and promote sinus drainage.
Fatigue can weaken the immune system and worsen sinusitis symptoms. So, taking proper sleep is necessary to avoid fatigue and stress
Yoga asanas and Meditation: Practising Yoga asanas will help breathe with ease and well as it helps in maintaining good oxygen levels in the lungs and tissues.
Other important yoga postures are Janushirasana, Ardha Matsyasana, Halasana, and Bhujangasana combine movement, stretching, and deep breathing. This practice can help improve blood circulation, open up the chest, and relieve congestion.
Additionally, performing deep breathing exercises like Anuloma-Viloma (alternate nostril breathing) and -+ (skull-shining breath), Bhramari (Bee breadth) can help clear the congestion of nasal passages, and promote better oxygenation. Practising Pranayama on a regular basis helps in managing acute sinusitis. Along with Yoga asanas and breathing practices, meditating for 10-15 minutes daily can be highly beneficial.
To recapitulate, Ayurvedic Treatment for Acute Sinusitis significantly improves the symptoms and targets the root cause of the disease. Ayurveda not only balances the dosha but also reduces inflammation and congestion. Sinusitis treatment and management can be done in an optimal way through the wisdom of Ayurveda. Adopt an Ayurvedic lifestyle for a healthy and vibrant life.