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A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, causes the lining of your nasal passages to become swollen or inflamed. Sinus infections are common and often follow a viral, bacterial or fungal infection that damages the lining in the nasal passages. Breathing through your nose while you have a sinus infection can become difficult or uncomfortable. Symptoms are similar to those of a cold and often include a runny or stuffy nose and facial pain. If your doctor has determined you have sinusitis, a combination of onion and horseradish is a home remedy that might help clear your nasal passages.

Onion for Sinus Infection

Onions have antibacterial properties from their sulfur content, which is useful for treating a sinus infection. For mild sinus infections, inhaling the scent of a freshly chopped onion might clear your nasal passages. However, the sulfur released by chopped onions can cause painful burning in your eyes. To avoid this, thinly slice an onion and place it in a pot of boiling water. Allow the onion to boil for five minutes, ladle some in a mug and inhale the scent to help relieve a stuffy or runny nose. Drink the liquid while it is warm, if you enjoy the taste of onion, as hot liquids also help clear your sinuses. Any type of onion works, but the most powerfully scented varieties are best. Brown, white and red onions have the strongest scent and might clear pressure from your sinus infection faster than other varieties.

Horseradish for Sinus Infection

Horseradish has high levels of sulfur that create an antibiotic effect, which helps treat the symptoms of a sinus infection. Holding horseradish in your mouth until its flavor dissipates helps remove mucus from your nasal passages. Fresh, grated horseradish root works best for this purpose. Start with a pinch of grated horseradish; if that doesn’t work, increase the amount to 1 teaspoon for the strongest impact. Swallow the horseradish once the flavor dissipates to clear mucus in the back of your throat as well. The root of the horseradish plant is most effective for treating sinus infections.

Making an Onion and Horseradish Treatment

To combine the properties of onion and horseradish to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection, boil the two ingredients in a small amount of water. Use about 1/4 cup of chopped onion and 1/8 cup of grated horseradish with 1 cup of water. Boil the ingredients for no more than five minutes and pour the liquid through a strainer. Sip the onion and horseradish tea over the course of five minutes to clear mucus and relieve sinus pressure. Repeat as needed, up to four times per day. If you do not mind the flavor of onion and horseradish, eat the solids strained from the liquid. Chewing on raw onion and horseradish might yield greater benefits, as the sulfur is more potent before boiling the ingredients.


Do not attempt to self-treat a sinus infection without first consulting your doctor. Ask for his recommendation on home treatment and for advice on using the onion and horseradish. If your sinus infection lasts for more than 10 days, schedule an appointment with your doctor.