(*literally - the frontal sinuses are, in fact, above your eyes!)
- How can you open up your airways?
- How a herbal bath can ease congestion?
- How to boost your respiratory health?
Whether you simply feel stuffy, or you’re suffering from congestion in the weeks after a cold, the flu, or Covid-19, off-the-shelf pharmaceuticals might be your usual go-to when you need relief.
But did you know there are natural ways to clear the airways? Here’s our guide to supporting your respiratory health with herbs, massage, and more. All of these methods can be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional treatments.
Crucially, they are effective as preventatives as well as giving relief from symptoms. Start adding these natural decongestants to your daily routine, and you’ll experience the benefits long-term.
Try a Decongesting Massage to Open the Airways
Sinus massage has been found to ease the discomfort of congestion, giving you a bit more space to breathe. Where you’ll need to massage depends on where you’re experiencing congestion. Typically, you might feel pain or discomfort above the eyes (the frontal sinuses), on either side of your nose, below your cheeks but above your teeth (the maxillary sinuses), or between your eyes (the sphenoid sinuses).
Using a couple of drops of our Nasya Oil (made with a blend of plant extracts that ease congestion and increase circulation) on your fingertips, use gentle pressure and a circular motion to massage the congested area.
For the sphenoid sinuses, simply hold the bridge of the nose with the index finger and thumb and press firmly for 30 seconds, then gently stroke the sides of the nose with Nasya Oil.
Take a Tincture for Respiratory Support
A number of herbs contain compounds that have been found to support respiratory health. Some of them, like plantain, are so common that most people consider them weeds; but their health-supportive credentials make them worthy of more respect.
Zen Maitri’s Breathe Tincture is an easy way to absorb high concentrations of plants including plantain, elecampane root, and marshmallow and echinacea roots. These work together to reduce inflammation, clear mucus and congestion, and make it harder for viruses to survive.
Get Instant Relief with Eucalyptus Oil
If you’ve ever smelt eucalyptus oil, or tried any product that contains it, you’ll know why this works. Distilled from the Australian eucalyptus tree, this essential oil has a powerful aroma that quickly clears congestion and allows you to breathe more easily.
As well as being a natural bronchodilator that opens the airways, it has a cooling effect and antiseptic properties, and has been used as a traditional treatment for respiratory problems for centuries.
Try diffusing eucalyptus oil in your home, and carry it in your bag or pocket so you can open the lid and inhale the scent while you’re out and about. Add a few drops to your facemask and enjoy the benefits while you’re out and about!
Soothe the Sinuses with a Herbal Tea
A hot cup of tea - and the steam that rises from it - can work wonders when you’re feeling stuffy and need a pick-me-up. Combine the feel-good cosiness of a cuppa with a powerful herbal punch by opting for our Breathe Tea.
This blend is specially formulated to support respiratory health and combat congestion, using echinacea, marshmallow root, elecampane and thyme. Elecampane is used as a healer for chronic lung conditions, while thyme is an expectorant, which means it’s effective at removing mucus.
If you suffer from sinus congestion on a regular basis, we recommend making this tea a daily staple all year round.
Boost Your Respiratory Health with Supplements and Smoothie Powders
We’re talking about the same herbs a lot in this blog post. But with good reason - because plantain, elecampane, marshmallow and echinacea really are your greatest allies when it comes to congestion relief.
Our Breathe Smoothie Powder allows you to add these plants (and more) to your diet each day, helping to boost your respiratory system from the inside out. Simply stir it into your favourite smoothie or protein shake for an antioxidant, anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive kick.
Rest and Heal with a Herbal Bath
Just like a cup of tea, a hot bath can relax your body and mind while the warmth and steam ease congestion. It can be difficult to chill out when your sinuses are really uncomfortable, but relaxation itself allows your lungs to open and your breath to deepen, increasing your chances of recovering quickly from a cold or flu.
And adding our Breath Easy Bath Salts to the tub will enrich your bath herbs that will aid decongestion and healing. Olive leaf lowers blood pressure and reduces inflammation, while thyme opens the lungs, and lemon balm creates a sense of calm. Peppermint oil relieves pain, rosemary oil improves circulation, and there is - of course - eucalyptus in there too.
We recommend adding a good audiobook or guided meditation to the mix...and breathe!
Look After Your Sleep
Finally, although it isn’t easy to drift off when your sinuses are blocked, remember that good quality sleep will help your immune system to function at its best. Get proactive about those dreamy hours, and use our Sleep Easy Herbal Capsules to help your body settle and wind down naturally.
You can also read our article on the best herbs for better sleep.
You Can’t Always Go it Alone
If you feel unwell, or you’re suffering from chronic congestion and you’re not sure what to do about it, always consult your doctor or arrange a consultation with one of our medical herbalists. The tips we’ve shared here are great ways to support your respiratory health at home, but it’s always wise to seek professional help.