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We all dread that moment: waking up with a plugged nose, pressure behind our eyes sockets and muffled hearing. When sinus congestion strikes, it's a nuisance during the day, as you reach for tissue after tissue, and even worse at night.
Nobody likes waking up wondering "why do my sinuses hurt?" Whether your clogged nasal passage is a result of allergies or a cold, all-natural support so that you can breathe easier as you go about your day is a few herbs away.
There are several wonderful herbs for sinus congestion.
In this short guide, we'll go over our six favorite herbs for sinus relief and the best ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle. Read on to learn how to get rid of sinus congestion with the power of plants.
Many consider kudzu as a weed. This invasive vine can be found growing over trees and forests throughout the U.S. Surprisingly, kudzu is actually a member of the bean family. It's also a traditional herbal remedy for nasal congestion relief.
Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 2,000 years, kudzu, also known as Japanese arrowroot, is considered one of 50 most important TCM herbs.
Kudzu root is used to treat:
Since sinus congestion is often accompanied by a headache and fatigue, kudzu may do double-duty by helping out with your other allergy symptoms.
Contemporary science explains some of the reasons why kudzu has been used for good for so long:
Resist the urge to grab the kudzu that's climbing the tree in your backyard. Instead, take kudzu in a pre-measured capsule form.
While kudzu may thrive in your neighborhood, Xanthium is most likely a less familiar plant. Xanthium fruit comes from the Xanthium, or cocklebur, bush. These bright-yellow, spiny fruits have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of purposes, including :
Xanthium is also used in traditional North American and European medicine.
A 2010 review of the plant's active properties in the International Journal of Green Pharmacy explains why Xanthium may help people suffering from colds and congestion:
Xanthium is a helpful aid for ameliorating inflamed, congested sinuses, supporting the immune system and relieving the post-nasal drip cough and sinus headaches.
If you have a cocklebur bush in your yard, be careful! While Xanthium is supportive in small doses, it can be toxic in large quantities. For best results, find a supplement with a safe, pre-measured dose of Xanthium fruit extract.
The angelica plant, also known as wild celery, is part of numerous folkloric medicine traditions. Its name suggests angelic properties, and in Europe, it was once known as "The Root of the Holy Ghost."
Angelica has long been used to:
In TCM, it is thought to relieve coldness and dampness, both conditions that we associate with colds and congestion.
A recent chemical analysis of angelica root helps explain its potential benefits:
Thanks to these unique properties, Angelica root teas, tinctures, and capsules may help boost your immune system to help you to combat a sinus infection and relieve your symptoms.
Chrysanthemum is incredibly popular as decorative flowers. Beyond that, they have a long history being used for herbal medicine.
In TCM, chrysanthemum is used to treat colds in their early stages. Also called ju hua , the flowers are also used to:
How does chrysanthemum achieve these potential effects? You won't be surprised to see that it possesses the same properties as some other listed herbs.
Don't suffer through a sore throat or intense nasal congestion when you don't have to. Try out a chrysanthemum flower. While many of the herbs thus listed have a bitter taste or should be used sparingly, sweet chrysanthemum makes a pleasant tea. If you're looking to up your liquid intake to help clear your congestion, this flower could be a soothing option.
Alternatively, you can find it in higher concentrations in capsules.
Nettle, also known as stinging nettle, doesn't exactly have a welcoming name. Yet this herbaceous plant has long been used to treat sore muscles and rashes.
Why is it called stinging nettle? The plant's leaves have small hairs that can produce itchiness and redness upon contact. In fact, legend has it that Roman soldiers intentionally stung themselves with nettle to keep warm on long winter nights.
However, the same qualities that make the plant sting on contact can give its tea and extracts promising anti-inflammatory properties. One study on people with chronic nasal issues found that regular use of nettle root extract significantly improved patients' symptoms. This natural remedy can provide sinus relief and can help reduce typical cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or cough. Nasal congestion relief just became that much easier with our favorite herbs such as nettle.
Of all the herbs on this list, you're most likely to find this one in your kitchen cabinet. Capsicum is better known as cayenne pepper.
If you've researched all-natural ways to beat congestion, you likely know that eating spicy food can help open up the nasal passage and clear congestion.
Science backs up this home remedy. One study showed that a capsicum nasal spray could help to relieve symptoms of allergies that are not allergy-related.
Don't like the idea of spraying spicy peppers in your nose? Be sure to place plenty of cayenne pepper in your soup to experience their delicious taste and beneficial effects.
Now that we've reviewed what herb is good for sinus congestion, you're probably excited to start using these botanical allies to treat your clogged sinuses.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Want to take the guesswork out of finding the right balance of herbs to support your health and relieve pressure in your sinus passages?
Plant People's Sinus Support is expertly formulated to deliver the best of healing botanicals, including:
Formulated with organic ingredients, this proprietary blend also contains immune-supportive herbs like licorice root and phragmites. Each ingredient is dispensed in a safe, effective dose. From CBD oil tinctures to our hemp capsules, Plant People has all you need to power through those sore muscles or sinus congestion.
Take these vegan capsules on a daily basis to provide your immune system and sinuses with the support they need through the cold and flu season.
Are you a Plant Person? From Traditional Chinese Medicine to modern green pharmacology, there's a long history of using plants and fungi as all-natural allies for supporting the immune system, reducing inflamed sinuses and feeling better each day.
At Plant People, we draw on the best of ancient and modern knowledge to create proprietary blends that support your health goals. Whether you're looking for a CBD supplement to help soothe sore muscles, an adaptogenic mushroom product to boost your immune system, or an herbal formula to support you through cold and flu season, we've got your back.
Our products are formulated with organic ingredients grown sustainably in the U.S., so you never have to worry about quality. Order your first blend and breathe easier with the knowledge you're supported by nature.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.
College of Therapy Yoga. Kudzu as Medicine. https://www.teachyoga.nsw.edu.au/kudzu-as-a-medicine/
Acupuncture Today. Xanthium Fruit. https://www.acupuncturetoday.com/herbcentral/xanthium.php
Biological and Pharmacological Bulletin. Tectorigenin, an Isoflavone of Pueraria thunbergiana BENTH., Induces Differentiation and Apoptosis in Human Promyelocytic Leukemia HL-60 C https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/24/10/24_10_1117/_
International Journal of Green Pharmacy. Phytopharmacological review of Xanthium strumarium L. (Cocklebur). https://www.greenpharmacy.info/index.php/ijgp/article/view/133/174
Botanical: A Modern Herbal. Angelica. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anegl037.html
Chinese Medicine. Bioactivities of major constituents isolated from Angelica sinensis (Danggui). https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1749-8546-6-29
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. Anti-inflammatory components of Chrysanthemum indicum flowers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25497988/
Healthline. 6 Evidence-Based Benefits of Stinging Nettle. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stinging-nettle
Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research Efficacy of Supportive Therapy of Allergic Rhinitis by Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) root extract: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled, Clinical Trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5963652/
Science Daily. Heat in chili peppers can ease sinus problems, research shows. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825164933.htm