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Sinusitis is inflammation in the air-filled spaces in the skull. It can happen with an infection.

Most sinus infections are caused by a virus that will go away on its own. Medicines can help ease symptoms. People with infections caused by bacteria may need antibiotics. Surgery may also be needed for severe problems. Some people turn to natural therapies to ease symptoms and shorten the illness.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

These therapies are likely to ease symptoms:

  • Cineole is an extract of eucalyptus oil. Note : Do not exceed dosage or use in children.A1-A3
  • Herbal blend —BNO-101, a blend of gentian root, primula flower, Rumicis herba, sambucus nigra flower, and verbena in combination with antibiotics.B1
  • Herbal blend —dry extract BNO 1016, a blend of gentian root, primula flower, sorrel herb, elder flower, and verbena.C1-C3

May Be Effective

These therapies may be effective:

  • Acupuncture uses fine needles in specific body parts to provide health benefits.P1
  • Bromelain is an enzyme from pineapples.O1
  • Horseradish root and nasturtium root are plants that have been used for health reasons.D1
  • Homeopathic medicine uses diluted substances to help the body heal itself.N1
  • Pelargonium sidoides extract comes from the African Geranium plant.E1, E1
  • Spicae aetheroleum is a phytomedicine made from the flowering tops of lavandula latifolia.F1
  • Thyme honey nasal spray is the combination of an herb and the sweet fluid made by bees.K1

May Not Be Effective

Probiotics may not provide benefit. M1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Cyclamen europaeum H1-H3
  • Manuka Honey I1, I2
  • Pimpinella anisum J1
  • Traditional Chinese herbal medicine L1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse. For example, cineole should not be taken in large doses. It can be deadly. It should also not nbe used in children, people with asthma, pregnant or nursing women, or people with liver or kidney disease.




A1. Federspil P, Wulkow R, Zimmermann T. [Effects of standardized Myrtol in therapy of acute sinusitis--results of a double-blind, randomized multicenter study compared with placebo]. Laryngorhinootologie. 1997;76(1):23-27.

A2. Kehrl W, Sonnemann U, Dethlefsen U. Therapy for acute nonpurulent rhinosinusitis with cineole: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Laryngoscope. 2004;114(4):738-742.

A3. Tesche S, Metternich F, et al. The value of herbal medicines in the treatment of acute non-purulent rhinosinusitis. Results of a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Nov;265(11):1355-1359.

Herbal Blend BNO-101

B1. Melzer J, Saller R, Schapowal A, Brignoli R. Systematic review of clinical data with BNO-101 (Sinupret) in the treatment of sinusitis. Forsch Komplementmed. 2006;13(2):78-87.

B2. Guo R, Canter PH, et al. Herbal medicines for the treatment of rhinosinusitis: a systematic review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Oct;135(4):496-506.

Herbal Blend BNO 1016

C1. Jund R, Mondigler M, Steindl H, et al. Clinical efficacy of a dry extract of five herbal drugs in acute viral rhinosinusitis. Rhinology. 2012;50(4):417-426.

C2. Jund R, Mondigler M, Stammer H, Stierna P, Bachert C. Herbal drug BNO 1016 is safe and effective in the treatment of acute viral rhinosinusitis. Acta Otolaryngol. 2015;135(1):42-50.

C3. Palm J, Steiner I, Abramov-Sommariva D3, et al. Assessment of efficacy and safety of the herbal medicinal product BNO 1016 in chronic rhinosinusitis. Rhinology. 2017;55(2):142-151.

Horseradish Root and Nasturtium Herb

D1. Goos KH, Albrecht U, Schneider B. [On-going investigations on efficacy and safety profile of a herbal drug containing nasturtium herb and horseradish root in acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis and acute urinary tract infection in children in comparison with other antibiotic treatments]. Arzneimittelforschung. 2007;57(4):238-246.

Pelargonium Sidoides

E1. Bachert C, Schapowal A, Funk P, Kieser M. Treatment of acute rhinosinusitis with the preparation from Pelargonium sidoides EPs 7630: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Rhinology. 2009;47(1):51-58.

E2. Timmer A, Günther J, et al. Pelargonium sidoides extract for treating acute respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Oct 22;(10):CD006323.

Spicae Aetheroleum

F1. Dejaco D, Bocian-Sobkowska J, et al. Tavipec in acute rhinosinusitis: a multi-centre, doubleblind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Rhinology. 2019 Oct 1;57(5):367-374.

Other Therapies

G1. Jin AJ, Chin CJ. Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Systematic Review and Qualitative Analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2019 Mar;33(2):194-202.

G2. Griffin AS, Cabot P, et al. Alternative therapies for chronic rhinosinusitis: A review. Ear Nose Throat J. 2018 Mar;97(3):E25-E33.

G3. Anushiravani M, Bakhshaee M, et al. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials with herbal medicine on chronic rhinosinusitis. Phytother Res. 2018 Mar;32(3):395-401.

Cyclamen Europaeum

H1. Zalmanovici Trestioreanu A, Barua A, et al. Cyclamen europaeum extract for acute sinusitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 May 11;5:CD011341.

H2. Ponikau JU, Hamilos DL, et al. An exploratory trial of Cyclamen europaeum extract for acute rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2012 Sep;122(9):1887-1892.

H3. Pfaar O, Mullol J, et al. Cyclamen europaeum nasal spray, a novel phytotherapeutic product for the management of acute rhinosinusitis: a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Rhinology. 2012 Mar;50(1):37-44.

Manuka Honey

I1. Lee VS, Humphreys IM, et al. Manuka honey sinus irrigation for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis: a randomized controlled trial. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2017 Apr;7(4):365-372.

I2. Single-blind study of manuka honey in allergic fungal rhinosinusitis

Pimpinella anisum

J1. Vazifehkah S, Shams-Ardekani MR, et al. Evaluation of a novel natural drop for treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps: a single blind randomized trial. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2016 Sep;6(9):943-949.

Thyme Honey Nasal Spray

K1. Hashemian F, Baghbanian N, et al. The effect of thyme honey nasal spray on chronic rhinosinusitis: a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Jun;272(6):1429-1435.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

L1. Jiang RS, Wu SH, et al. Efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine compared with a macrolide in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2012 Jul-Aug;26(4):293-297.


M1. Mukerji SS, Pynnonen MA, et al. Probiotics as adjunctive treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis: a randomized controlled trial. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Feb;140(2):202-208.

Homeopathic Medicine

N1. Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, et al. Efficacy of a complex homeopathic medication (Sinfrontal) in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial. Explore (NY). 2007 Mar-Apr;3(2):98-109.


O1. Guo R, Canter PH, et al. Herbal medicines for the treatment of rhinosinusitis: a systematic review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Oct;135(4):496-506.


P1. Rössberg E, Larsson PG, et al. Comparison of traditional Chinese acupuncture, minimal acupuncture at non-acupoints and conventional treatment for chronic sinusitis. Complement Ther Med. 2005 Mar;13(1):4-10.

Last reviewed December 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC