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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sinus Infections - A Few Natural Options

Sinus infections are the best, aren't they?  It's so fantastic how you can't hear, can't breathe, and the rhino sitting on your cheekbones feeling is really supreme.  It's almost as good as swimming a 200 fly.  What can you do when you get hit with one of these doozies?  

Well, you can go trip out on pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), whose side effects include fear, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, dizziness, excitability (I need this.  I need to be MORE excited in general.), and convulsions.  Oooh.  Cool.

Or.  (Yeah, pick the "or".)  You can try a couple of natural remedies.  (Hey, why not?  Better than convulsions and hallucinations?  I mean, unless that is your idea of fun...)  

I think the best remedy is a combination of physical irrigation combined with some herbal and dietary adjustments.  What does that look like?  I am so glad you asked!  

So, let's start with the "physical irrigation" thing.  You've heard of a neti pot, right?  If you go to the large get everything store, you can find it in the drug area.  It is also sold at pharmacies and health food stores.  The one you can find most often is made of blue plastic.  The idea is of Asian and Ayurvedic origin.  The gist of it is that you get some good clean water (not tap water, no really, not tap water - unless you boil it and cool it down), add a little mix of salt and baking soda (making a saline solution), stand over your sink, put one end in your nostril, tilt your head and watch as water magically flows out of your other nostril like you are a human waterfall. It. is. great.  

At first, I was moderately terrified of this, as being a swimmer and thinking of water going up my nose was not really the experience I was looking forward to.  But I pulled up the big girl panties and man-ed up.  It was totes no bigs.  If you do it without saline in it, you might want to kill yourself, but if you go with the mix, you're good to go.  I did have the packets of stuff at first that came with the blue plastic neti pot, but I recently ran out and opted instead to just make it (since it was bedtime and easier for me to do at the time).  

You need: salt and baking soda.  If you have a mortar and pestle, that's even better.  The ratio is as follows: 1/3 cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of baking soda.  Mix them together, mortar and pestle to your heart's delight (when it is all powdery small, it dissolves faster).  Use 1/2 teaspoon in 8 ounces (1 cup) of warm, clean water.  A note on the plastic neti-pot.  If it's all you've got, go for it, it's better than nothing.  If you have any other choice, think about warm BPA shooting up your brain and pick stainless steel or ceramic instead.  I got mine online here  if you care.  No, I don't get anything if you order from them.  I'm just letting you know.  I usually use my neti-pot at night before bed, and then I put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on the palms of my hands, rub them together, and inhale like a beast.  It clears me up, and no drainage sore throat in the morning.  
Do you like my cape? In a rosebush?

The herbal way to attack a sinus infection is by using the hero of the natural world - turmeric.  If you don't know about turmeric, you betta ask somebody!  This little guy comes complete with a cape, fights inflammation, infection, and baddies like nobody's beeswax.  You can gargle with turmeric and some warm water, you can take it in capsules (500 mg - I take one every day), you can mix it with your saline and shoot it up your nose.  No, I'm not kidding.  I haven't tried it, but I have heard of people doing that.  

What's even more crae crae than that is shooting cayenne pepper up your nose.  Honestly, I'm not going to do that and I don't care how organic and great it is, but if you weren't aware and were extremely desperate, you could try it.  Otherwise, people use apple cider vinegar to reduce their boogery-ness (it's a medical term, I know).  It is an immunity booster that can help you overall.  You can take shots of it in water or (do you see a theme?) you can shoot it up your nose with some saline.  I also use something called Muco-stop.  It is a combination of enzymes that will basically digest the mucus and get rid of it that way.  When taking enzymes for this reason, you have to take it two hours after a meal and one hour before.  

Regarding dietary changes, as with any illness, avoid sugar and sweets like the plague.  Those little bacteria and viruses thrive and multiply on sugar.  Handing them sugar is like giving their army a tank and a million bazookas and having them multiply exponentially.  Eat real food.  Give your good guys the guns they need by eating the pungent, stinky things of this world like garlic (whole roasted cloves, yes, please), onions, ginger, and horseradish.  (You could take a shot of fire cider, too.  That stuff will scare anything out of you.)  Drink your kombucha while you're at it.  Probiotics in your gut are the stuff your immune system longs for.  

And get better soon.  

Peace, love, and nose waterfalls, 
Ms. Daisy

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