Sinus is a cavity within a bone having a relatively narrow opening and those related with the nose are called paranasal or accessory nasal sinuses. These sinuses are filled with air and communicate with nasal cavities through their various Ostia. Although the function of sinuses is not definitely known various theories give them functions like warming, moistening and filtering the air, and whenever there is/are inflammation of these sinuses it is termed as sinusitis.

In Ayurveda, although sinusitis can be classified under certain diseases of nose and head for better understanding we can correlate it with ‘Pratishyaya’ and chronic sinusitis with ‘Dushta Pratishyaya’ on the basis of signs/symptoms, complications and prognosis. Our ancient text Sushruta Samhita has described Pratishyaya in detail even after explaining the diseases of the nose, which shows the importance of this disease even during the ancient time and is chiefly due to a disturbance in the Pran Vayu and Shleshak Kapha resulting in blocking of the sinus passage.

PS:-Dushta Pratishaya is more common pathology nowadays among the general population.

Etiology:

Sinusitis-Causes
  • Changing lifestyle and an increase in environmental pollution.
  • Working in a hot/humid/dusty environment.
  • Living in a cold area or change of atmosphere.
  • Weak immunity, nutritional deficiency.
  • Genetic.

Symptoms:

  • Heaviness in head.
  • Excess sneezing.
  • Blocked/ running nose.
  • Pain in the temporal region.
  • Toothache, headache.
  • Thirst and dryness of palate, lips and throat.

In later stages when changes into Dushta Pratishyaya [due to negligence or improper management]

  • Foul smell from mouth and breath.
  • Cough, anosmia, low-grade fever.
  • Frequent yellow nasal discharge.

APPROACH TOWARDS PATIENT OF SINUSITIS:

Before going for further treatment protocol or referral to ENT Specialist, as a general physician one must look out or ask for following points during general physical examination:

  1. Any related or corresponding dental pain, eye strain, facial pain, headache, poor sense of smell or bad breath, nasal discharge?
  2. Weak Immune system i.e. any immunocompromised state, since a poor immune system makes one prone to infections.

MANAGEMENT:

1. DIETARY REGIMEN

Pathya [wholesome diet]: freshly prepared and easily digestible warm food, khichadi, brown rice, soup of moong dal, cow’s or goat milk, black grapes, lukewarm water/food, black pepper, honey, mulethi, clove, dried ginger, high protein diet, proper hydration, carrots, cantaloupe, egg yolk, apricots, pineapple, celery,  papaya, pumpkin, amla, taro root, spinach, squash, watermelon, almonds, raw garlic, sunflower and sesame oil,  legumes, sprouted pulses/cereals, deep breathing exercises, saline drops, sleep in lateral position which helps prevent accumulation of mucus in the sinuses and avoid difficult breathing.

Apathya [unwholesome diet]: heavy, slimy, oily and acidic food, sunlight/dust exposed areas, day sleeping, brinjal, tomato, potato, banana, green leafy vegetables, cold water/food, mustard oil, smoking, excess physical exertion, milk and milk products [if nasal blockage is an issue], cheese, yogurt, ice cream, refined sugar, seafood, fish, red meat, butter, eggs, bread, corn and corn products, soy products, tea, coffee, soda, alcoholic beverages, avoid skipping or delaying meals, head bath, swimming, air travel, damp weather, mosquito repellants, day time sleeping, sedentary lifestyle, food which are sweet/sour and salty in taste, fast food, chocolates, white flour,

HOME REMEDIES:

Remedy I

Steam-Inhalation

STEAM INHALATION: it opens the nasal passages by draining the sinuses and making mucosal flow easy, likewise Ayurveda methods like Jala neti, kunjal, ghrita neti can be done which keeps of respiratory tract clear of dirt and toxins by cleansing the sinuses.

Remedy II

Practice Janu shirasana, chakrasana, Dhanurasana, bhujangasana, shalabasana, halasana [any list is more] so check with a Yoga instructor as to what best suits you.

Remedy III

Take a muslin cloth and put 1 gm ajowan seeds and make a potli bag and snuff it frequently, a very easy, cheap and useful remedy to ward off nasal catarrh, likewise.

Remedy IV

Roast 100 gm cumin seeds and mix with 200 gm ghee and consume daily.

Remedy V

Take 5 gm camphor and 25 gm turpentine oil in a bottle and keep for one day [closed] in the sun so that the camphor gets melted, after one day, taking this solution as nasal drops, even chronic and unpleasant sinusitis symptoms have shown wonderful results.

Remedy VI

Ginger and Turmeric-Home Remedies

Take raw ginger and raw turmeric: 2 gm each and fry in 6gm cow’s ghee and later add 6 gm jaggery, and take once at night.

Remedy VII

Take 1.5 gm bhang leaves and 3 gm jaggery, mix them well and make a tablet out of it and give it to the patient [at night], do not give water and ask him to sleep immediately, it is said that in one night one can get relief from most of the sinusitis symptoms, however people using bhang as addiction will have mild or no effect.

Remedy VIII

Use of shadbindu oil [2-2 drops] in each nostril also helps in relieving sneezing predominant symptom.

Remedy IX

Some of the results oriented medicine(s) which are available over the counter [OTC] and are useful household remedies are: chitrakadi haritaki, mahalakshmi vilas ras, decoction of viola odorata,vyoshadi/lavangadi vati, vasavleha, tribhuvan kirti ras, godanti bhasam, sitopladi/talishadi churan, dashmoola kwatha, zandu balm.

Remedy X

Rubbing of nutmeg in water and applying the paste helps in relieving headache associated with sinusitis.

Remedy XI

Clove-Oil-Home-Remedy

Use of 2 drops of clove oil with jaggery or rubbing the oil on a handkerchief and then frequently sniffing it also provides relief in acute sinusitis.

Remedy XII

Make a tea with Holy basil leaves 11, black pepper 5, along with little of ginger and mix sugar for taste helps in alleviation of symptoms associated with normal nasal catarrh.

Remedy XIII

Take black pepper 3 gm, after making fine powder mix with 25 gm jaggery and 50 gm curd, and give this twice daily for relief from sinusitis.

Remedy XIV

Ginger Juice-Home-remedies

Take ginger juice 3 gm, black pepper 5, sugar candy 6 gm and dissolve in 150 gm water and mix thoroughly, thereafter when ¼ remain, sieve the mixture and give it to drink.

Remedy XV

In Ayurveda, we hold that nose is the gateway to head, thus start practising NASYA [errhine therapy], after consulting/guidance of an Ayurveda physician.

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Dr Munish Sood

Dr Munish Sood

B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu) Kayachikitsa
He is an Ayurveda Specialist with working experience of almost 18 years as: Sr. Consultant cum Physician (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, JNANI Hospital: (An Undertaking of Tibetan Craft Community, Tashijong, Kangra), Paprola. Consulting (M.D.) & Sr. R.M.O, DTIL Hospital, Chimbalhaar, Palampur. Sr. Medical Officer, Simla Sanitarium & Hospital, Himachal Pradesh. Assistant Professor & Medical Officer, SUDAC & Hospital, Hoshiarpur.