What is the Best Supplement For Acute Rhinosinusitis?

Rhinosinusitis is the preferred term now because sinusitis is almost always associated with general sinus inflammation and rhinosinusitis refers more specifically to inflammation of the nasal passages, but I use them interchangeably. Antibiotics provide very little, if any, benefit in many cases. Viral sinusitis usually lasts less than 10 days, but acute bacterial sinusitis can last longer.

What is Acute Rhinosinusitis?

Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the sinuses, most often including a sinus infection. (Sinusitis is also known as rhinosinusitis because the swelling almost always includes nasal tissue as well as sinus tissue.) The sinuses are four paired cavities (spaces) in the head. They are connected by narrow channels. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose, cleaning the nose. Typically filled with air, the sinuses can become blocked by fluid and swell from irritation. When this happens, they can become infected.

 

What is the Best Supplement For Treating Acute Rhinosinusitis?

Pelargonium sidoides

Like with acute bronchitis, use of this supplement for rhinosinusitis has some preliminary data where other supplements have failed. In South Africa, it has been used to treat bronchitis and even tuberculosis (I do not recommend it for the latter) and is traditionally known as Umckaloabo. It has been standardized in Germany as an extract of its root (EPs 7630) and preliminarily appears to lessen sinusitis severity, including reducing headache and nasal discharge. You can find P. sidoides in Umcka ColdCare in the United States and other countries (follow the instructions on the label). Beyond this, there just aren’t any other supplements with good research.

What Supplement May Worsen Acute Rhinosinusitis?

Bromelain

Bromelain data was interesting 50 years ago, but this supplement, which is usually sold as a mixture of enzymes from pineapples, showed minimal clinical impact in both the old and more recent studies. It can also interact with some antibiotics and interfere with the metabolism of other drugs, so I would not use it until a more recent clinical study shows good efficacy and safety.

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