Echinacea for Sinus Infection
While antibiotics are the most common conventional option for treating sinus infections, a large number of people are turning to natural ways such as Echinacea for sinus infections due to the epidemic scenarios of antibiotic-resistant and unpleasant adverse effects.
As of now, a sinus infection is the fifth most common diagnosis in the US and the cost for managing this medical condition touches $ 11 billion every year in this country.
Fortunately, there are various natural ways to reduce a sinus infection, including saline nasal sprays, dietary changes, essential oils, and supplements such as echinacea scientifically proven to be an effective natural remedy for sinus infection.
Now, before we get started with the benefits and uses of echinacea for sinus infections, it’s worth knowing the basics of sinus infections a little bit more.
What is a sinus infection?
Sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis, is a common health condition in which cavities or sinuses around the nasal passages get inflamed and swelled.
There’re basically 2 types of sinus infections – acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
Acute sinus infection or acute sinusitis is often triggered by a cold or allergies and generally resolves on its own with a proper home remedy.
Chronic sinus infection or chronic sinusitis can be triggered by viral or bacterial infections, or growths such as a nasal polyp, or other medical conditions like cystic fibrosis and generally lasts up to 3 months or more.
Signs and Symptoms of sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Acute sinusitis symptoms
- Major signs and symptoms of acute sinus infection include –
- Runny nose
- Cough and nasal congestion
- Loss of smell
- Facial pressure and pain
- Bad breath
Chronic sinusitis symptoms
Signs and symptoms of chronic sinus infection may last up to 12 weeks or more, that include –
- Nasal blockage or congested nose causing difficulty breathing via the nose
- Nasal inflammation
- Swelling, tenderness, and pain in cheeks, forehead, and eyes
- Sore throat
- Aching in upper teeth and jaw
Causes of sinus infection
Common causes of sinus infection may include –
- Viral or bacterial infections such as flu or common cold may cause respiratory tract infections characterized by inflammation of the sinus membrane and block mucus drainage.
- Inflammation that often occurs with allergies such as hay fever may block nasal cavities.
- Certain medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, nasal polyps, and deviated nasal septum.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a flowering medicinal herb native to Canada and America. Other common names of this herb include coneflowers or black-eyed Susan. This herb has a history of medicinal use in American traditional medicines for treating infections, wounds, blood poisoning, fevers, and diphtheria for more than 400 years.
Today, several scientific pieces of research suggest that echinacea is effective to shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections caused by cold and flu and reduce symptoms such as sinus infection (sinusitis), fever, cough, and sore throat.
Does Echinacea work for sinus infections?
In diverse recent studies, extracts of echinacea have been found packed with several antimicrobial and antiviral compounds that can kill germs. Additionally, it has tremendous effects in boosting immune response. The combination of these beneficial properties of echinacea helps heal several infective conditions including sinus infection.
Besides, echinacea shows significant anti-inflammatory effects in several inflammatory conditions and may help to reduce pain and swelling in sinus infections.
Commonly 3 species of echinacea are widely used for medicinal purposes – Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea angustifolia. Different parts of the echinacea plant are used for different therapeutic purposes.
Other uses of Echinacea
Apart from the sinus infection, people use echinacea for a variety of other illnesses, including –
- Ear infections
- Yeast infections
- Anxiety and depression
Available forms of Echinacea
Echinacea is available in fresh or dried forms for making teas, as an extract in capsules and pills for consuming as a dietary supplement, in tinctures for therapeutic uses, and in ointments for applying on the skin. Echinacea is also found in combination with several other medicinal herbs and vitamins.
How to use Echinacea?
Fresh or dried echinacea can be taken 3 to 4 times by preparing echinacea teas. 400 mg to 1200 mg standardized echinacea extract can be also be taken 2 to 3 times a day preferably after food or with a glass of water. Echinacea tinctures are generally recommended to take 3 ml to 5 ml with other juices or smoothies 2 to 3 times a day according to condition.
It’s highly recommended to consult with a professional herbalist or naturopathic doctor before taking echinacea to help you determine whether echinacea is right for you.
Precautions and side effects
Echinacea is generally considered safe for short-term use; long-term use may produce adverse effects or allergic reactions to people who have a history of allergy. In addition, echinacea may interact with other medications such as econazole and immunosuppressants.
Minor side effects are noted in very rare cases including nausea, stomach upset, dry eyes, and dizziness. People with autoimmune disorders, allergies or asthma, and liver issues should avoid echinacea supplements.
However, echinacea can be taken only under the supervision of a certified naturopathic doctor or medical practitioner who is knowledgeable in the area of herbal medicine.
Echinacea is considered one of the most popular botanical medicines for treating the common cold and flu in the world and is very effective in sinus infections. But unfortunately, most echinacea products available in the market either do not contain echinacea or contain a very little amount of this herb considering what is stated on their levels. Buy echinacea only made by trusted, established, and reputed brands.
Vorst is one of the most trusted brands in Canada as well as throughout the world, offering best-in-class supplementary products including echinacea with guaranteed potency and standardized extracts.
Disclaimer – any part or advice of this article cannot be used without direct supervision of a certified naturopathic doctor or healthcare provider who has knowledge in the field of herbal medicine. This is a general guide, thus never substitute any prescribed medical advice.