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Tag: sinus rinse

Homemade Saline Spray Recipe

Cleansing your nasal passages regularly should be a basic part of everyone’s health maintenance routine. While I’m a fan of the pre-measured mixing packets and delivery system from NeilMed Sinus Rinse, here is a do-it-yourself recipe for homemade sinus rinse.

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Sinus Saline Spray Recipeneil med sinus rinse

  • One qt of filtered water (heated)
  • One teaspoon sea salt
  • One half teaspoon of soda

Dissolve salt and soda.

Cool and store in the frig.

Buy a spray bottles of saline solution. Use this to refill as needed.

Remedies for nighttime coughing

A naturopathic client has been complaining of coughing fits at night this spring. He says that it is not as bad when he closes the windows and uses the air conditioner, but it is still interfering with his sleep. An ENT used a nasal scope to see small, weak, red bumps and inflamed tonsils but could not identify an infection. The patient asked me for some advice on what to do.

A little deductive reasoning suggests that he might be reacting to some pollen in the air in this season of blooming plants. Many plants and trees bloom at night, releasing their pollen into the dark. To begin with, there are some hygienic steps I recommended he take to limit his exposure and reduce his reactions:

  • Keep windows closed at night and shower before bed to remove any pollen from hair, etc.
  • Try a daily nasal rinse before bed to clean out sinus passages and remove allergens. Here is the one I like: NeilMed SinusRinse.
  • Leave shoes at the door and keep the house a shoe-free zone. The Japanese have it right here: shoes track in all kinds of germs and debris that you don’t want in your living space.
  • Change the filters on the air conditioner and furnace to clean, high-quality filters.
  • Consider using a HEPA-certified air purifier — these can make a real difference in the air quality inside your house, particularly during times of high pollen or other forms of air pollution.

Other remedies he might try include:

  • Eucalyptus essential oil. Pour a few drops in a hot bath or diffuse it with a humidifier at night in the bedroom. Rubbing a few drops directly into the soles of your feet can stop a coughing fit in the midst of it.
  • Homeopathic hayfever remedy. This will not interact with any of the other meds and it only needs to be taken 1-5 times a season to get complete relief from pollen allergies.
  • Probiotics.  Help boost your tolerance threshholds and immunities by keeping your digestive system in good order. More than 80% of our health starts in the gut. Good Belly is a good, all-around probiotic dairy-free juice drink that is very bio-available and contains lots of other good-for-you nutrients as well.
  • Locally-collected bee-pollen. A spoonful or two of these pebble-like secretions from bees can help you resist pollens active in your area. Check the refrigerated section of a good health food store to find bee pollen from your vicinity.

Nourishing Remedies for Run Down Bodies

My friend has already had a rough winter. What started with a cough in September morphed into bronchitis and then into pneumonia. Even after multiple rounds of antibiotics, here it is almost Thanksgiving and she has puss-filled spots on her tonsils but tests negative for strep, feels worn out, run down, and far from healthy. Another visit to the doctor started her on anti-viral meds but they upset her stomach and gave her constipation.

I told her I thought she needed to nourish, support, and rebuild her body to feel healthy and strong again. She was on the edge of collapse, crying a lot, and generally feeling crappy. I’ve found that sometimes people need to get to the bottom before the wake up and start caring for themselves better. I confess to being there myself at times.

I understand: it’s easy to get depressed when you don’t feel good and haven’t for a long time. Personally, I’ve never found much value in those anti-viral meds, particularly if you don’t start them at the onset of an infection. I wanted to kickstart her off to reclaiming her health naturally, so I gave her the following recommendations:

As an antiviral, prepare and take immediately:
Garlic tea. Peel and crush several cloves of garlic and place in a mug. Pour in 6-8 oz boiling water and let steep at lest 5 minutes. Squeeze in up to 1/2 fresh lemon juice. Add honey or agave until it tastes pleasing. I like to drink this before bed and let it marinate in my cells overnight. Repeat in the morning, if needed, and as frequently as necessary. I’ve never needed to take it more than 3 times.
To combat the existing viral infection and find some immediate relief from symptoms, I recommended the following protocol to follow several times daily:

Gargle with warm salt water. Let it bathe and soak sore tonsils. Prepare it as hot as comfortable, but don’t burn yourself.

Use SinusRinse or a netti pot to rinse your nose with warm salt water at least morning and night, and more if desired. Mix in a little baking soda to make it more comfortable, or just stick with the pre-mixed SinusRinse packets.
For her stuffy nose:

-Homeopathic Sinusin (formerly called Euphorbium) spray as needed to open nasal passages and reduce swelling (this stuff is like magic!). Use after a sinus cavity rinse.
Homeopathic hepar sulphur. 4 pills under the tongue before bed and upon rising, if needed.
-Run a humidifier at night.

To nourish her body and rebuild after antibiotics, she should take the following daily:

Probiotics. We like Good Belly non-dairy probiotic juice, but any probiotics from the refrig case should be fine for daily use. Because she has been on antibiotics, she should take this Primadophilus Intensive course to begin with and rebuild her system.

Super green nutrients. You can find these as a powder supplement, or as “Supergreen” food or drink. It’s basically a combo of spiralina and other green algae and veggies. At our house, we mix some super greens into our Good Belly juice with breakfast every day, especially during this cold and flu season. Our favorite super green liquid is Body Balance, which you must order from an MLM distributor. Odwalla makes a nice Superfood drink, too.
My friend went to the health food store, loaded up, and started taking care of herself that very night. Here is the email she sent me the next morning:

“Just wanted to let you know that i just finished my garlic and lemon tea (and my husband had his), gargling salt water and doing my sinurinse. i can’t believe the difference of today vs. yesterday. thank you so much for all of your advice, it really is working!”

When I spoke to her later that day she emphasized not only that she felt healthier and stronger in less than 24 hours after starting this regimen, but that she felt empowered and optimistic about her health for the first time in months. She continued on to say that her throat, which had pained her for months, already felt better. In fact, she wasn’t sure it was hurting her at all anymore.

“I’ve been waiting around for the antibiotics and the antivirals to work and just getting more and more depressed that I wasn’t getting better. Now I feel like there is something I can do to positively impact my health!”

Excellent! That’s how I started down this path of natural health myself: I wanted to be proactive about my health and know what I could do to help myself have a better life with multiple sclerosis. Being empowered about your health can impact not only how you feel physically, but your mental state, energy level, and positive outlook. Personally, I find it extremely depressing when I feel helpless to effect change, and since my life and body mean the most to me, I choose to take actions that will help me along rather than put all of my faith in an often elusive pharmaceutical “cure.”

We should all take a personal responsibility for our own health, I believe. Power to the people!  🙂

Prevent Swine Flu Naturally

Are you feeling the pressure to get the untested H1N1 vaccine in order to prevent swine flu? Any time a vaccine is rushed to market the way this one was there is a greater risk to the general population, besides having little proof of its efficacy.

We are holding firm in our family and are determined not to get this dangerous vaccine, or the regular flu shot, either. Instead, we are opting for preventing the flu and swine flu with natural remedies and common sense hygiene practices.

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) with more than 20 years of clinical experience. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memoria, etc. Presently, he heads the Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre in Malad, India.

Dr. Goyal notes that the only portals of entry for the virus are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as the proliferation of the virus in your body can be.

In order to prevent proliferation of the virus, aggravation of symptoms, and development of secondary infections, you can take some very simple steps while you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection. Instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu, consider these preventative measures and avoid the whole shebang.

1. Frequent hand-washing (this practice is well highlighted in all official communications from the medical community). In our house, washing your hands comes immediately after removing your shoes in the entryway. Just as shoes track germs from the outside world in through your house, your hands will bring in anything you’ve touched and deposit it on your doorknobs, fridge handle, computer keyboard, etc. Wash your hands before you touch anything or anybody.

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap), recommends Dr. Goyal. Slap? Slapping may be more common in other cultures than our own, but we have a rule against that, too, in our house. Not touching your face is a good habit to get into anyway since your fingers can deposit dirt and grime along with bacteria and viruses, all of which can give you some pretty nasty breakouts. So no hands on the face.

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population. Personally, I’m a fan of Sinus Rinse and use it all the time to stay healthy.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Some good ones are kiwis, strawberries, citrus fruits, acai berries, and rosehips. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it is a full-spectrum C (not just ascorbic acid) and also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm. Since it has decided to snow here already, this is not a problem for me!  🙂

To Dr. Goyal’s list let me add a few more disease prevention remedies I have found work well to stay healthy during flu season:

7. Take probiotics regularly. When I start my kids off with a shot of Good Belly probiotic drink every day I notice they miss fewer days of school and are generally healthier.

8. Don’t skimp on sleep. A run-down body is more susceptable to colonization by detrimental agents like viruses.

9. Wash towels and sheets regularly in unscented detergent. Artificial fragrances can irritate sinus cavities and make them more hospitable environments for germs to thrive.

10. If you start feeling sick, drink some garlic tea as soon as possible. Repeat as often as necessary until symptoms subside. Feel free to add some fresh ginger to the mix for an added anti-viral/antibacterial boost. Garlic tea has never failed me.

Now, let’s get out there and stay healthy!