Can Turmeric Help Nasal Congestion?

It is important to mention first that so far there is not enough reliable research on the connection between turmeric and a blocked sinus. Even so, turmeric is still considered as one of the best sinus infection remedies, thanks to its amazing anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral properties. The reasoning for that is simple: while sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses resulting in symptoms, this spice can help reduce inflammation or swelling.

When people have a stuffy nose, it can be so bad that it has a noticeable effect on quality of life. For example, it can rob a good night’s sleep because it keeps the patients’ mouth wide open to breathe. Nasal congestion has many triggers, but it is often a symptom of a sinus infection. Besides, other common causes still include allergies, colds, chemical, and so on.

As mentioned above, sinus infection refers to inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. That’s to say, nasal blockage occurs when people’s nasal cavities become inflamed, infected, and swollen. Besides, other common sinus infection symptoms still include sinus pressure, headaches, pain in the face, yellowish-greenish nasal discharge, coughing, and so on.

To gain a better understanding of how sinusitis occurs, it is best to know a normal tissue called mucosa. This is a membrane that lines all the sinuses. The glands of it can produce mucus to moisten the inhaled air and trap bacteria. When it becomes inflamed, the swollen mucosa of the nasal and sinus causes plugged nose and a variety of other symptoms.

As an old Indian spice, turmeric has now becoming increasingly popular in the Western world, partly because of its powerful medicinal value. It has been reported to have many benefits, ranging from clearing infections to preventing cancer. In fact, it has been used as a vital ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic for 4,000 years. Today, scientists attribute the turmeric’s medicinal power to curcumin, the most active ingredient in turmeric.

Curcumin is the main ingredient that gives the yellow color of American mustard and Indian curry. This is because turmeric contains as high as 2 to 6 percent of curcumin. According to Chainani-Wu N, a researcher from Department of Stomatology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, curcumin has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting some different molecules associated with inflammation, for example lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). And this finding was published in J Altern Complement Med. in 2003. That’s to say, the spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa can be an effective solution for sinusitis, thanks to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For the same reason, it is also used for some other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and asthma.

When turmeric is used to reduce swelling in the sinus cavities, care should be exercised with its dosing. In general, it is safe when people consume it as a spice or food additive. But turmeric supplements can be a problem because some of them contain more than 500 milligrams of its extract. If people follow the instructions and take 4 capsules per day, they will have side effects because of the large doses. The common symptoms of higher doses include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

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