Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tis the Season for sharing…and sniffling, and sneezing…

As I fight my way through what has turned out to be a killer sinus infection I have been researching ways to alleviate this pressure in my head that does not include a trip to the doctors.     

My normal fix for sinus pressure is a Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in a cup of boiling water in the morning and lying around the house in the evening with a heating pad on my head and Vicks on my chest willing the pressure in my head to cease.  But this time it’s getting worse before it’s getting better.  It’s like Santa sent one of his little elves down to sit on my shoulder with a rubber mallet and tap on my skull. 

I finally gave into the Alka Seltzer yesterday but am still trying to stay away from my GP and let this thing pass on its own.

BUT - since I did so much research, I thought it would only be fair to share with you all.  So here is a list of the things I found most interesting and helpful – read now, but save for later!

  1. Diet: Eat in moderation: whole grains, beans, lentils, lightly cooked vegetables, soups, and cold-pressed oils. Avoid flour products, eggs, chocolate, fried and processed foods, sugar and dairy products as these tend to be mucus-forming food.  Just what we do NOT want – more mucus. 
  2. Herbs: Cayenne pepper, garlic, onion and horseradish in your soups and meals to hep eliminate mucus build up.  According to the self-care guide, Prescription for Natural Cures, a powerful drainage remedy is to eat a small spoonful of crushed horseradish mixed with lemon juice, but make sure to be near a sink when your nose starts running. Japanese horseradish in the form of Wasabi paste taken with meals can also provide a quick release to the nasal passages. Just remember, “a little dab will do ya.”  Any of us who have had sushi can probably attest to this.
  3. Flush out your sinuses:  Dissolve a teaspoon of pure sea salt in 2 cups of warm water (not hot, not cold). Follow the directions, but depending on how bad your sinuses blockage is you may want to use 2 cups on one side and then refill and use on the other side.  Be sure to do this over a sink and use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make the solution.
  4. Apple cider vinegar:  At the first sign of infection combine 1-2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 6 ounces of water, a teaspoon of raw honey or stevia to sweeten and drink 3 times a day for 5 days. The apple cider vinegar helps to thin congested mucus, so it can be easily eliminated.  Added bonus – apple cider vinegar helps with digestion.
  5. Humidify: Start using a humidifier in rooms where you spent a lot of time. Just make sure to follow the instructions for regular cleaning. If you use a dirty filter, you might be spraying mold into the air – which is not going to help clear up anything!
  6. Breathe in steam vapors. You can either run the shower and sit in the bathroom or breathe deeply. The steam vapors may help reduce congested and swollen nasal passages.  If you have some oils at home, you can make some discs for the shower bath that will help open you up.  Combine 2-3 cups baking soda with 15 drops each of rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus and add water just a little at a time until you have a thick paste.  Spoon into muffin tins and  set overnight – and BAM!  Shower discs to open you up!    
  7. Apply heat. Put a warm, wet towel on your face.  I use a heating pad on low – it feels so good and usually starts to alleviate some pressure right away.
  8. Drink lots of fluids. They'll help thin the mucus, reducing the blockage in your sinuses.  Try to stick to pure, unfiltered or boiled water.  However, cut down on your alcohol -- it can actually worsen the swelling. (but help the sleeping, right? – I know that is what you are thinking!)
  9. Rest.  “HA! Right! I can’t even find time to get to my GP”  But when you've got a sinus infection, try not to overdo it. Get plenty of sleep and give your body a chance to recover. 

I also found this fun website if you need more remedies for a headache!  
18 Remedies for Headaches

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