Ayurvedic treatments and remedies for sinusitis

Jun 24, 2023 | Ayurveda


The medicinal system, Ayurveda is a life science based on ancient writings that teach a holistic approach to mental and physical health. Even though its origin dates back over 3000 years, Ayurveda is adaptable which is why it is still practiced today and popular as a means to achieving wellness through natural methods and regaining internal balance for a strengthened immune system. This natural system of medicine is one of the oldest in the world and derives its name from the Sanskrit words ayur – life and veda – knowledge or science.

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis or sinus infection is a condition of inflamed or swollen tissues that line the sinuses or nasal passages. It is different to allergic rhinitis, which is more of a seasonal allergy condition, but which can lead to sinusitis. Sinuses are small air-filled cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead. It is usually caused by a common cold or viral infection with symptoms normally improving over two or three weeks. When the nasal cavity become blocked with germs such as bacteria, viruses and even sometimes fungi, it causes inflammation which in turn causes congestion and a discharge. This can lead to facial pain, swelling around the sinuses and headaches which are symptoms of sinusitis.

There are different types or levels of sinusitis:

  • Acute sinusitis
  • Sub-acute sinusitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Recurrent sinusitis

In Ayurveda sinusitis is known as pinas and can affect anyone of any age or gender. According to ayurveda this condition is caused by the imbalance of two sub doshas – prana vata and shleshaka kapha which affect your immunity strength making you vulnerable to infections.

Some common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Mild to intense headaches
  • Difficulty with breathing due to blocked nostrils
  • Blocked ears and pain in the ears, upper jaw and teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Thick coloured mucus discharge

Can Ayurveda provide relief from sinusitis?

Ayurveda always focuses on prevention rather than just treatment for any ailment but does have therapies that provide relief. In the case of sinusitis the Nasya karma is an Ayurvedic detoxification and is a process where medicated oil or warm water is passed through the nasal passages where it penetrates the mucosal lining to clear nose nasal region. This is usually accompanied by a gentle sinus massage that stimulates energy and healing. However, ayurveda promotes making lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes to prevent sinusitis for long lasting wellness and wellbeing.

How do you use ayurveda to manage sinusitis?

As said, ayurveda focuses on preventing or managing illnesses rather than simply treating. Through ayurvedic detoxifications or panchakarma sinusitis is treated and thereafter using herbal medications, diet and lifestyle modifications ayurveda helps manage the ailment. Below are some of the ayurvedic recommendations towards managing sinusitis:

Herbs, spices and oils etc

The use of herbs, spices and oils are promoted such as black pepper which has expectorant properties. It relieves nasal infections, coughs and sinus blocks. Tulsi is also effective in managing headaches caused by sinusitis as it reduces congestion and heaviness in the head. It is also slightly cooling which naturally eases pain caused by sinusitis.

Ayurvedic beverages

There are a number of effective ayurvedic beverages to help treat sinusitis and with guidance or research you can find easy to create beverages. Such as combining fresh ground pepper with honey which is an effective remedy for sore throats caused by a cough and cold. Tulsi leaves combined with black pepper and a small piece of ginger can be ground together and boiled. The liquid should be then strained, and sugar candy added. This mixture should be drunk like an herbal tea, preferably on an empty stomach in the mornings.

Steam inhalation

Steam inhalation is a really good way to loosen mucus and clear out nasal passages especially when eucalyptus oil, thyme or rosemary oil are added to the boiling water. Warm steamy showers are also effective in loosening congestion.

Ayurvedic detoxes

Nasayam is one of the panchakarma procedures and is wonderful in treating sinusitis. Herbal oils and medicinal ghrita are administered in the nostrils to clean and open the channels to the head and improving the flow of oxygen. It also helps lubricate the upper respiratory tract to remove accumulated mucus.

Ayurvedic massages

After the Nasaym treatment it is best to get an ayurvedic sinus massage which stimulates healing and energy in the area to help prevent the recurrence of sinusitis. Oil massages are great at pacifying the vata dosha to prevent the accumulation of kapha near the face. For maximum effectiveness warm oils are recommended and with the right guidance you can practice self-massage to stimulate the nasal area to reduce congestion and promote good air flow.

Dietary guidelines

According to ayurveda diet plays a main role in treating sinusitis because following a diet that pacifies vata kapha helps calm prana vata and shleshaka kapha which cause sinusitis. Good digestion is essential to remove toxins from the body and so herbs, spices, seasonal vegetables and fruits must be included in your diet. Eating cooked warm food is recommended along with drinking only hot or warm water.

Foods to avoid include cold drinks and food such as ice creams as well as bell peppers, tomatoes, bananas and eggplants that can clog the sinuses. It is also recommended that you have regular meals to reduce the risk of digestive imbalance.

Lifestyle factors

If you already have a weakened immune system then it can cause you to be prone to sinusitis. Nasal allergies, nasal growths, asthma and other illnesses can all lead to a weak immune system. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, or drug abuse too can lead to a compromised immunity. While stress does not cause sinusitis directly it can cause symptoms to be prolonged. These lifestyle factors have to be taken into consideration and treated in order to enjoy relief from sinusitis and overall wellbeing.


Ayurveda is a safe and natural way to treat sinusitis and gain long term relief. Check with an ayurvedic practitioner today and seek advice on ayurvedic treatments and remedies to sort out your sinusitis condition and regain control of your health by treating this condition effectively.