Nasal polyps are growths that develop in the nose or sinuses. They’re actually quite common and may be caused by allergies, inflammation, or infection.
Typically, nasal polyps don’t cause any symptoms. Unlike some other types of polyps, they’re usually noncancerous.
In some cases, though, there are symptoms. These include itching, runny nose, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and more.
Doctors may prescribe steroid nasal sprays or prednisone for relief, which can stop symptoms or get rid of polyps altogether. Symptoms and polyps may come back, though.
If you’re seeking natural alternatives to medications, this article explores what treatments may work best and are most effective.
Most treatments are shown to improve symptoms and discomfort associated with nasal polyps. None are proven to get rid of nasal polyps completely.
This hot pepper, and spice, contains capsaicin. Studies show this compound can help clear sinuses.
In a 2011 study it was effective as a nasal spray, while in a more recent study, in 2014, it was effective when taken internally.
One year later, Capsaicin is shown to relieve inflammation, open up nasal passages, and enhance immunity. This can play a small role in relieving nasal polyp symptoms and the causes of polyps themselves.
To use: Add cayenne pepper spice liberally to food or recipes. For most people, 1–2 teaspoons (tsp) is typical.
You can also prepare a hot cayenne tea by mixing 1–2 tsp cayenne pepper spice in 1 cup boiling water. Sweeten with raw honey or flavor with other herbs to taste to make the flavor more pleasant.
You can also purchase capsaicin or cayenne products as supplements or nasal sprays.
Using a neti pot, also called nasal irrigation, may help symptoms caused by nasal polyps. It may also help address polyp causes, like allergies or sinus infection.
Nasal irrigation involves use of a small pot to run warm distilled or sterilized salt water solution through nasal passages and sinuses. When used correctly, nasal irrigation is a helpful complement to sinus or allergy treatments, according to a 2012 study.
Step 1: Use warm water, distilled or sterilized, to fill your neti pot. Filtered or purified water is also acceptable. Prepare warm water by boiling first and then letting it cool. You can use warm tap water, but remember that it should be run through a purifier or filter first. Never insert hot water into your nose.
Step 2: Mix in 1–2 tsp salt or salt to taste. The solution should taste as salty as tears or sweat.
Step 3: Tilt your head sideways and run the solution through one nostril and out the other over a sink. Make sure not to plug your nose while this is happening. Let water run through completely.
Blow your nose afterward to remove the salt solution. Repeat the entire process to irrigate the other nostril and sinus cavity.
Besides using a neti pot, simple hot steam inhalation may also help.
Research shows that, along with nasal irrigation, steam inhalation may help symptoms common with nasal polyps. Sinus inflammation-caused headaches were most notable.
Steam inhalation includes showers, baths, steam rooms, humidifiers, or even steam from water boiled on a stovetop.
To use: Take a shower or bath, or use a steam room and inhale steam for benefits. Use a humidifier by following product instructions.
Alternatively, simmer purified or distilled water in a clean pot on a stovetop on medium setting. Inhale steam from there. Do not keep the water at a rolling boil, as this may cause scalding or burns.
Tea tree is a well-known essential oil. Research supports it in reducing itching and addressing inflammation and infection as an antimicrobial. This may help both causes and symptoms of nasal polyps.
To use: Create a dilute water solution of tea tree essential oil (3–5 drops oil to every ounce of carrier oil). Olive oil or sweet almond oil are examples of carrier oils. With a clean cotton swab, dab the solution in nasal passages.
You can add the essential oil to steam inhalation or an aromatherapy diffuser.
This tea flower has been used for centuries to aid allergies and inflammation.
A 2010 study supports this, though some are only animal studies.
To use: Create a dilute water solution of chamomile essential oil (3–5 drops oil to every ounce water). With clean cotton swab, dab solution in nasal passages.
You can also add the essential oil to your water for steam inhalation or a diffuser.
Or, enjoy a piping hot cup of chamomile tea.
Butterbur is a plant of the genus Petasites.
There have been many studies researching its benefits to sinus-related issues, like allergies, sinusitis, migraine, headaches, and even asthma.
Each of these may be caused by or be a cause of nasal polyps.
To use: Source a pure butterbur supplement or extract and follow the label directions. Make sure to get your butterbur from a trustworthy supplement company only.
This yellow healing and culinary spice is famous for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
These properties can also help inflammation and irritation of airways, according to studies. However, it’s not shown to permanently get rid of nasal polyps.
To use: Add turmeric spice liberally to food. About 1–2 tsp is typical.
You can also prepare a hot turmeric tea by mixing 1–2 tsp spice in 1 cup boiling water. Sweeten with raw honey or flavor with other herbs to taste to make the flavor more pleasant.
The oils from this Australian tree have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and decongestant properties all rolled into one, according to some studies. It’s not uncommon to be allergic to eucalyptus, so take care if you have other allergies.
Check to see if you are allergic by diluting a drop of essential oil into 1 tsp of carrier oil. Then apply to the forearm and wait to see if you develop a reaction within 24 hours. Watch for symptoms of allergy when inhaling the essential oil.
Compounds from the plant and its oils are added to many over-the-counter decongestant medications.
To use: Create a dilute water solution of eucalyptus essential oil (3–5 drops oil to every ounce carrier oil). With clean cotton swab, dab solution in nasal passages.
Or, add essential oil to your water for steam inhalation or an inhaler.
This potager’s herb is full of menthol, which has notable decongestant properties that could help nasal polyp symptoms.
A 2015 study showed that menthol in steam inhalation can help with decongestion and treating common cold-like symptoms.
To use: Create a dilute water solution of peppermint essential oil (3–5 drops oil to every ounce water). With clean cotton swab, dab solution in nasal passages.
You can also add essential oil to your water for steam inhalation or a diffuser.
Or, enjoy a piping hot cup of peppermint tea.
Though echinacea is a classic cold remedy and immune-booster, its benefits can also carry over to helping nasal polyp symptoms.
Studies show it can help reduce respiratory infections, prevent them from reoccurring, and also soothe airway irritation.
To use: Source a pure echinacea powder supplement or extract and follow the label directions. Make sure to get your echinacea from a trustworthy supplement company only.
Or, enjoy a piping hot cup of echinacea tea.
To use: Add garlic powder spice or root liberally to food. About 1–2 tsp is typical.
Or, source a pure garlic powder supplement or extract. Follow label directions. Make sure to get your garlic from a trustworthy supplement company only.
Much like garlic, ginger may also be a helpful herb for nasal polyps. SA 2013 study showed it may soothe inflammation, have antimicrobial properties, and enhance immunity.
To use: Add ginger powder spice or root liberally to food. About 1–2 tsp is typical.
You can also source pure ginger powder supplement or extract. Follow label directions. Make sure to get ginger from a trustworthy supplement company only.
Alternatively, try a hot cup of ginger tea.
Prescription medications help severe nasal polyp symptoms. But if your symptoms are mild and you’re looking for natural approaches, give these alternative treatments a try.
If your symptoms get worse or severe, see your doctor. Don’t rely solely on natural remedies.