A very timely guest blog by Raine Saunders of Agriculture Society just in time for the Holidays when travel, cold weather, and sweets/carbs during the festivities frequently trigger sinus misery!
If you’ve ever had a sinus infection, you know how miserable it can be. Sinus infections are a common problem, and they can become markedly worse during cold and flu season. Sinus congestion usually occurs as a result of a respiratory ailment such as a cold, cough, or allergic reaction. When you feel a sinus problem coming on, one of the best things you can do is treat it with probiotics – directly into the sinus passages. The most effective way to deliver this is by putting it right into your neti-pot.
If you are a person who cannot use a neti-pot or have a child that hasn’t been able to master the use of this type of apparatus, you can also get a nasal spray bottle from the health food or drug store and use that instead. My son uses a nasal-spray bottle with great results when he is congested.
Here’s how it works. You will be delighted how easy and effective this is!
1. Empty the contents of a probiotic capsule into your neti-pot or nasal-spray bottle.
2. Add warm filtered water.
3. Add a bit of sea salt and baking soda if desired – you won’t need very much (I always just guess – but probably no more than an 1/8 teaspoon)
4. Mix ingredients together carefully with a spoon or shake bottle after screwing on the lid (nasal spray bottle).
5. If using a neti-pot: while standing over a sink, insert the nozzle of the neti-pot into one nostril, and make sure there is a good seal between the nozzle and your nostril. Lean forward, close the back of your throat and breathe through your mouth. Then, allow the contents of the neti pot to enter one nasal opening and rinse through to exit out the other nasal opening. This may take up to two or three minutes if your nasal passages are congested. Repeat on the other side. Try to avoid swallowing the water that goes into the nostrils, and blow your nose when finished. If using a spray bottle: insert the nozzle of the spray bottle into one nostril while covering the other. While compressing the pump on the nasal spray bottle, inhale deeply. Repeat several times on both sides. Be prepared to spit out anything left after inhaling the mist into the sink.
6. When finished, wash out your neti-pot or spray bottle with warm water and soap and allow to dry before using again.
Raine’s Story Using this Method
I had a sinus infection that had been going on for 5 – 6 weeks (editor’s note: Raine lives in Boise, Idaho!). I had tried everything I could think of that was natural – aromatherapy (breathing steam with essential oils), apple cider vinegar in water, grapefruit seed extract in water, colloidal silver nasal spray, taking probiotics orally (which I do daily), oil of oregano in water (which I have used in the past with great success for sinus problems), and various homeopathic and other natural preparations I had in my cupboard – taken orally (sublingually under the tongue).
Nothing was doing the trick and I was getting desperate!
So, I went to see a naturopath who did some head massage, chiropractic manipulations, and used essential oil swabs up into my sinus passages. While this did offer some improvement, I feared I might wake up the next day with the infection back. Later that night after I got home, my next-door neighbor who is a nutritional therapist suggested I try probiotics in my neti-pot. The naturopath also suggested alternating hot and cold packs on my forehead to encourage sinus drainage.
Immediately after using the probiotics in my neti-pot, I felt a terrible burning sensation that went on for a good ten minutes. It was quite painful, but as it subsided, I was filled with a peaceful calm, and then retired to bed and had a good night sleep. The next morning, I awoke and was surprised to find that even as time went on, my head remained pain-free throughout the day. The horrible “ice pick” sinus pressure which was normally in full-swing by 10 a.m. was completely gone. Whenever I felt like I was getting a slight ache, I performed the facial massage to my temples and sinuses I had done the day before. I also used the probiotics in my neti pot a few more times over the next five days, along with my Whole Body Defense from Gaia Herbs, and some grapefruit seed extract (about 5 drops in 6 ounces of water twice a day). I was cured! I really believe those probiotics did some magical trick – although I’m sure some of the other things I did helped as well – but as soon as I used the probiotics, after the burning came and went, the pain was completely gone and has not returned since.
Keep the following in mind when treating sinus problems
Sinus issues are often a symptom of something else going on in your body, such as a yeast overgrowth or candida problem. Making changes to your diet can help to reduce the incidence and severity of sinus problems. Here are some recommendations to avoid the overgrowth of yeast in the body:
* Avoid grains – these foods are common in our food supply and eaten frequently. They are high in carbohydrates and are converted to sugar in the body.
* Avoid meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products from commercially-raised animals fed grains, soy,and corn from factory-farmed environments. These animals and birds are given antibiotics, hormones, antibiotics, and are not allowed outside to wander, graze, and obtain fresh air and sunshine. Eating those kinds of meat, meat products, eggs, and dairy can contribute to yeast overgrowth in the body. Eat meats, dairy products, poultry, and eggs from animals raised naturally and without chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics.
* Avoid processed and refined foods.
* Avoid sugar and carbohydrates
* Avoid prescription drug medications such as antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, and even over-the-counter medications. These medications can greatly contribute to yeast overgrowth and unfriendly bacteria in the digestive tract, which can easily spread throughout the body .
* Eat plenty of healthy fats in your diet – butter, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, lard, and tallow are all real, healthy fats that are nutrient-dense and help your body keep away illness and disease.
* Eat plenty of cultured and fermented foods and raw dairy products from healthy cows on pasture. These foods will naturally help promote diverse and friendly bacteria in your body, and help keep illness and disease away.
* Take a therapeutic-grade probiotic daily to ensure friendly bacteria support in your gut. Read this post about probiotics for more information on good brands to buy.
* If you still have trouble with yeast, consider doing a detox or cleanse. Read these posts for more information about cleansing and detoxing.
This blog is a summary of Raine’s post which can be found by clicking here. I had the pleasure of meeting Raine at the Wise Traditions 2010 Conference, and she described the neti-pot/probiotic method for clearing sinuses to me there. I was very much excited by this approach as I have been using probiotics sprinkled directly on the tongue after brushing teeth but before bed whenever anyone in our home has a runny nose to prevent sinus infections with great success for several years. I thought Raine’s method should be shared with a wider audience and she graciously sent me this guest blog for posting! Thank you Raine!