There are hollow spaces in the skull (cavities) known as sinus, which have a mucous lining. Due to various reasons, these can get inflamed, and in some people, despite multiple treatments, the sinusitis can be recurrent and persistent. This condition, where it continues to persist beyond 12 weeks, is known as chronic sinusitis. It can be seen in people of all ages, can be worse in children, elderly, and the immunocompromised.
In Unani, chronic sinusitis is referred to as nazla, and this is due to bad temperament of the brain and the nose, causing inflammation of the mucosa in the sinuses around the nose.
- Nasal septum deviation: The wall separating the two nostrils can be moved to one side, blocking the sinuses
- Nasal polyps: These are growths within the nostrils which can block air flow
- Respiratory tract infections: The nostrils are the first part of the respiratory tract, and infections can affect the sinuses
- Allergies: Chronic allergies like hay fever and inflammation can cause sinusitis
Unani believes that the accumulated mucus causes irritation and pain in the face, especially around the nose. Symptoms include:
- Postnasal drainage, which is thick, discoloured (greenish yellow) drainage from the nose to the throat. This can also produce a constant salty taste in the throat
- Chronic nasal congestion or obstruction, leading to difficulty breathing
- Painful, tender area around the nose and eyes (sinus space)
- Decreased sense of smell
- Unpleasant taste
- Mouth breathing, which can lead to further throat and respiratory problems
- Other symptoms include ear pain, sore throat, cough, painful jaws, fatigue, and fever.
Unani believes that disease is a natural process due to an imbalance between the various body fluids. Treatment is usually progressive, starting with noninvasive measures, moving up to more invasive methods. In chronic sinusitis, the following are often recommended.
- Eucalyptus leaves to be boiled in water and inhaling this provides great relief. It helps in thinning the mucus which is then released easily
- An equal amount of Viola odorata (Linn), marshmallow root extract and Jujube fruits (unaab) are mixed and boiled in about 100 ml of water until the mixture gets reduced to half. This can be stored for prolonged periods and mixed with consumed to be used on a daily basis.
- Another mixture that is used is Malva sylvestris, mallow, and liquorice roots which are again boiled in about 100 mL of water until it is reduced to half the quantity. This can be stored and consumed on a daily basis, up to 3 times a day. This helps in clearing the sinuses and reducing inflammation, preventing a chronic sinusitis.
- Khameera ustokhddus. OD dose and cupping therapy is also very helpful in all types of scinositis.