Natural RX for Sinus Infections
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses. Germs such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause an infection in the sinuses. Other conditions such as allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose), small growths in the lining of the nose, or a shift in the nasal cavity can also cause sinusitis. This article deals with sinusitis caused by infections lasting less than two weeks. Sinus pressure, nasal congestion or discharge, loss of smell, and coughing are signs of a sinus infection. The nasal discharge may be white, yellow, green, or blood-tinged. Additionally, fever, dental pain, and bad breath may be present.
What To Do?
Showers boost the circulating white blood cells. Perform this treatment twice a day. Focus the hot, then the cold shower spray on the face. You may cover your nose and mouth lightly with a wash cloth if this makes it more comfortable. However, if your sinusitis is caused by an allergy, focus the spray on your mid-back to stimulate your adrenal glands. Alternate the hot and cold showers as tolerated; hot for 1 ½ minutes and cold for 30 seconds; do three exchanges. Be sure to make the second and third exchanges hot, then hotter. Finish with cold. Do the contrast shower at least twice a day and rest for 20 minutes afterwards. Refrain from doing this treatment right before bedtime.
Do not do this treatment if you have diabetes, impaired sensation, peripheral vascular disease, low blood pressure, and bleeding tendencies. Refrain from this treatment if you feel faint.
Hot and Cold Contrast Bath to the Hands
Contrast baths improve blood circulation and increase white blood cell activity. A contrast bath to the hands acts reflexively to increase circulation, especially to the white blood cells in the nasal mucosa. You always want to make the second and third contrast hot, then hotter, and add more ice to the cold.
Place 2 deep basins in your sink or on your counter.
You will need one deep basin of hot water and one basin of ice water. Have a pitcher of hot water and another of ice nearby. Place your hands in the hot water (104 degrees F) for 3 to 4 minutes. Then place your hands in the ice water (45 to 70 degrees F) for ½ minute to 1 minute. Add ice to the water to keep it in the temperature range. Add more hot water to the hot water basin. You gradually want to increase the temperature to 110 degrees F. Do 6 to 8 changes between the hot and cold water, always ending with the cold.
Do not do this treatment if you have diabetes, impaired sensation, peripheral vascular disease, or bleeding tendencies.
Healing Herbal Remedies
Herbs: Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary Tea
Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of your herb of choice to simmering water then take the pot of water off the burner and let cool. Strain out herbs and drink the tea. The anti-oxidant seasoning oregano provides anti-histamine and anti-septic effects while thyme improves the clearance of excess mucus. Rosemary exerts mild antimicrobial and anti-allergy activity. The medicinal herb rhodiolarosea boosts immunity and contains anti-influenza compounds effective against the H1N1 flu virus.1 Ginger also possesses some anti-influenza phytochemicals.
There is evidence that when taken at the onset of a cold or flu echinacea can help patients recover faster and reduce their symptoms.2 However, individuals who are allergic to the daisy and ragweed family or have autoimmune conditions should avoid echinacea. Of course, anyone who has a medical condition or is taking medication should check with their pharmacist before taking any medicinal dose of any herb.
Since eucalyptus oil has antiseptic properties, putting a little in a vaporizer cup will help.
Soup for Sinusitis
Make a soup with broccoli, cabbage, or kale. According to the medical botanist, James Duke, these cruciferous veggies contain anti-septic compounds and open up the sinuses. Add the quercetin-containing garlic and onion. Quercetin acts like an anti-histamine. Test tube studies indicate garlic can kill influenza viruses.3 Additionally, garlic has anti-inflammatory properties.
Early evidence indicates that the phytochemical kaempferol exerts anti-viral and anti-influenza activity. Blueberries, turnips, spinach, and onions are good sources of kaempferol. Dandelion greens also demonstrate anti-influenza effects in cell culture experiments.4 Dandelion greens may be eaten or brewed as a tea.
Chronic sinusitis needs to be evaluated by a doctor because it can predispose one to bacterial infections. Acute sinusitis also needs evaluation if accompanied by a fever, earache, and other other symptoms, or does not respond to natural remedies. Antibiotics are not usually effective against viruses but if symptoms persist beyond two weeks or are unusually severe, see your doctor for a culture. It is possible that a harmful bacteria has superimposed itself in the sinuses. You then might need more aggressive treatment. Between 25-39% of allergic rhinitis is related to food allergies. Because cold and allergy symptoms are similar, those with frequent cold-like symptoms should be evaluated for allergies. Also, certain types of leukemia and HIV infections may manifest themselves with nasal congestion.
- Craig, Winston, Ph.D., Herbs for Your Health, A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of 40 Commonly Used Herbs, Golden Harvest Books, 2005
- Dial, Clarence, MD and Thomas, Charles, Ph.D. Hydrotherapy: Simple Treatments for Common Ailments, Teach Publishers, 1995
- Duke, James A, the Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook, Rodale Books, 2000
- Duke, James, Ph.D., The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods : Proven Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent More Than 80 Common Health Concerns
- Moore, Fred, M.D., et al, Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage, Pacific Press, 1964
- White, Linda, MD and Foster, Steven, The Herbal Drugbook, Interweave press, 2000
- www.umm.edu › Medical Reference › Complementary Medicine > Peppermint
- www.pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary, cineole
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.
- Jeong, HJ, Neuraminidase inhibitory activities of flavonols isolated from Rhodiolarosea roots and their in vitro anti-influenza viral activities. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Oct 1;17(19):6816-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.08.036. Epub 2009 Aug 21
- Arora, R., Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential A
- Ibid, Arora
- Wen He, et al., Anti-influenza virus effect of aqueous extracts from dandelion, Virol J. 2011; 8: 538