Herbal Health Information on Sinusitis

The sinuses are just open spaces lined with mucous membranes, easily irritated by whatever enters the airways.

It is thought that they make the skull lighter to carry around and provide a resonance box for sound production.
Here’s the problem though, an open space has no blood supply! Meaning we cannot get any medicine into an infected sinus to clear it up.
As many plants contain volatile oils which evaporate up into the sinuses once they hit the warmth of the stomach, herbal medicine has the answer.

One of the best ways to get medication up into the sinuses is to put essential oils into hot water and inhale the steam that comes off them.

• Fill a basin with very hot water.
• Add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2drops of peppermint oil, and 3 drops of Camphor oil. ( or if you have Olbas oil that’s ok)
• Place a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the rising steam for up to five minutes. Don’t put your face too near the hot water, to avoid scalding yourself. Also Peppermint oil is very strong so you may need to close your eyes whilst you are inhaling.

You can do this twice a day if you have sinusitis until the sinuses are clear.

The tinctures that help clear and tone sinuses are:
Eyebright, which we saw growing in the Downs walk video and elderflower, which we saw growing in the west rise marsh video.

Eyebright tones all mucous membranes as it is high in tannins and in doing so makes them toughened up and less susceptible to external irritants.

Elderflower, seen in the West Rise Marsh video,  is anti bacterial, anti viral and anti catarrhal, drying up the membranes and preventing them filling up with mucous. It is often a good idea to add an immune stimulating herb such as Echinacea to these two herbs to prevent reinfection.

These three herbs can be mixed in equal amounts and the resulting tincture taken at 5 mls twice a day in a little water. (Echinacea is yukky tasting)

Dietary advice is to dramatically reduce all dairy product intake, as dairy increases the amount of catarrh produced which will contribute to blocking the sinuses.

As usual you are very welcome to come and see me in my clinic, the details of which can be found by clicking here the “Clinic”

Linda Bostock
Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information.

Eyebright (Euphrasia Officianalis)

The whole herb is gathered while in bloom which contains tannins and iridoid glycosides and a volatile oil.


By now you should be getting the idea that if an herb contains tannins it is astringent and therefore toning to the mucous membranes and if it contains a volatile oil it has anti bacterial actions

Pat yourself on the back you got it right!

Eyebright is just about the herb of choice for anything going on in the eyes and sinuses.

It tones the mucous membranes and will clear an infection in both the sinuses and the eyes. . It also has anti histamine actions.

So it is in all my mixtures for sinusitis, eye conditions, hay fever and colds, coughs and allergies.

Internally I use it as a tincture but the fresh herb can be picked, made into a weak tea and used as eyewash for tired and sore eyes.

To make a tea:-

Pick about a dessertspoonful of the herb

Wash it and put it in to a cup.

Fill the cup with boiling water.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then strain it through a clean muslin cloth into another clean cup.

This will be a bit strong for eyewash so transfer two tablespoons into another cup and add two tablespoons of boiled water.

Leave this to stand until it is cold.

That’s your eyewash which you can soak into a clean cloth and place over your eyes or use it in an eye bath to wash the eyes out.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information