By Sarena-Rae Santos, Natural Health Blogger
Whether you’re struggling with allergies, sickness, or a sinus infection, there’s nothing like waking up in the morning with a nose so stuffy you’ve turned into a mouth breather overnight! This has been a reality for me nearly monthly due to my deviated septum causing sinus infections.
Thankfully, I have found many natural remedies for sinus infections. From essential oils for congestion to lymphatic massages for congestion. But my favorite natural remedy is herbal sinus rinses with my neti pot. Herbal sinus rinses have been my go-to solution, and I usually feel better within 24 hours.
Benefits of the Herbs
Elderflower, like elderberry, comes from the Sambucus tree, a flowering plant from the Adoxaceae family. The most familiar type isSambucus nigra, also known as European elderberry or black elderberry, which usually grows up to 30 feet tall and has clusters of white or cream-colored flowers, often referred to as elderflowers with small bunches of tiny black or blue-black berries.
Sambucus nigra may support the immune system. The immune system protects the body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other toxins (1). When you support your immune system, you potentially support your body’s ability to fight off sickness such as a sinus infection. One study found that the Sambucus nigra polyphenols helped the rat’s immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells (2). Additionally, Sambucus nigra has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds, and sinusitis (3).
Mullein is a biennial member of the figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family and has wide, flat petals that are usually yellow in the United States. The petals grow on a flower spike up to 8 feet tall, while the leaves stay near the ground. The tell-tale leaves are large and fuzzy (4).
Mullein leaves, flowers, and roots have been used for centuries to help coughs, bronchitis, asthma, and just about every respiratory issue under the sun. Mullein was traditionally used for tuberculosis (5). The flowers and leaves contain saponins that help rid the body of phlegm and mucilage, which soothes irritated membranes. Mullein is a natural expectorant that reduces inflammation and helps relax the muscles in the respiratory tract (6,7).
Native Americans often smoked the plant to cure asthma and used a tea from the roots to calm coughs. Mullein holds expectorant and demulcent effects, which accounts for this herb’s documented use as an antidote for the respiratory tract (8).
Herbal Sinus Rinse
Ingredients & Materials:
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp. elderflower
- 1 tsp. Mullein
- 1/4 tsp. non-iodized salt
- Neti Pot
Step 1: Bring your filtered water to a boil.
Step 2: As your filtered water is coming to a boil, add the herbs and non-iodized salt to a mason jar.
Step 3: When your filtered water has reached a boil, add it to the mason jar covering the herbs. Allow steeping for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Strain the herbs through a cheesecloth or coffee filter, ensuring no plant residue is left in the tea.
Step 5: Add the tea to the neti pot and use it as usual. If you’ve never used a neti pot, full usage instructions can be found here.
Note: Fresh tea grows bacteria, so be sure to use the tea within 24 hours and discard all leftovers.