Whether sinus pressure is caused by allergies, a cold or sinusitis, the pain can be annoying or debilitating. Over-the-counter and prescription medicines to treat sinus problems are widely available, but some sufferers prefer to find relief in natural and alternative remedies. Peppermint oil is a popular natural remedy to counteract sinus pain and pressure.
According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, sinus headaches are marked by pain, pressure and tenderness of the face. A headache may start during or after a cold and may become worse with movement or sudden temperature changes. When the sinus pain is due to sinusitis (an infection of the sinuses), it may be accompanied by fever, fatigue or nasal discharge.
Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Herbal Remedies Info website. These properties can help soothe mucus membranes, while the menthol in peppermint oil acts as an expectorant providing temporary quick relief from nasal congestion and sinus pain.
You can use either fresh peppermint or peppermint oil (available at most health food stores) for sinus relief. Drink it as a tea or inhale its vapors to relieve sinus pressure. The Headache Info Site notes that, unlike over-the-counter sinus medicines, repeated use of peppermint oil seems to increase its effectiveness.
To make peppermint tea, crush a handful of fresh leaves, place them in a mug or bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let the leaves steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Breathe in the steam as you drink the tea.
Breathing peppermint-infused steam from a pot of hot water is also effective. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to steaming water, drape a towel over your head to trap the steam and breathe deeply for several minutes. Similarly, regular use of a vaporizer or humidifier with a drop or two of peppermint oil added to the water can help ease your sinus pain.
Dilute peppermint oil with a few tablespoons of water or olive oil and massage it directly onto your temples to bring sinus relief.
Place a few drops of peppermint oil on a soft washcloth or handkerchief. Hold the cloth close to your nose and breathe in the vapors to help open congested sinuses.