Tuesday, February 23, 2010

illness and antibiotics

I have a sinus infection. A bad one. I don't want to go to a dr and get antibiotics. We are not always going to have those around and I feel that I need to learn to deal with being sick and find way to get over illness without medications. I am going to do some research but I wanted to throw this out there and see what everyone else thought. What are some of the ways you keep healthy? What do you do when you get sick? What are some natural remedies you rely on?


  1. Green tea w/ honey & cinnamon

  2. This is a tough one, because trying to manage health and illness should include the skill and care of your doctor.

    That said.

    My chiropractor in Arizona recommended using saline nasal mist (Ocean is one national brand; I have used the Wal-Mart store brand for years). When I mentioned this to my family doctor he casually said, "Sure. Spray twice in each side, once an hour, and blow. It will clear up to a sinus infection and help with allergies, too." Saline nasal mist is a nose spray with salt water - saline solution - and nothing else. No medication, no helpful additives. Nothing to complicate or interact with any other remedy or medication. And it can go a long ways to reducing discomfort. It works even when completely stuffed closed, or open and raw.

    Since almost all sore throat is irritation from sinus drainage it helps with that, too. Also that throat-location, dry cough.

    Saline nasal mist is a commercialized application. The historical version is the Yoga practice using a Neti pot: pour a cup of water up your nose. By tilting your head different ways you can run water in one nostril, and let it drain out the other. Then you tilt the head up a bit, and repeat, letting the water (1/8th tsp non-iodized salt, 1/8th tsp baking soda, it mildly warm, body temperature, non-chlorinated water) dribble out your mouth. Then repeat to the other direction, to rinse out the sinuses. Be prepared to blow out scads of groovy stuff. I find this works best in the bathroom, alone, but YMMV.

    There. Two variations on cleaning the guck out of the sinuses to break the reinfection cycle and flush out the virus infestations.

    Mucous. The body naturally passes excess mucous through the bowels. Fiber helps get it there. Oatmeal is good, but is offset a bit by causing some additional mucous creation. Psyllium husk - the non-sugar, non-flavoring part of Metamucil - shines with mucous, absorbing 12 times it's weight and moving it along the digestive tract. Psyllium husk is a wonder blend of soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber stays in the digestion path, through the stomach, intestines, and on out. The soluble part passes into the blood stream and to the cells, picking up and clearing out toxins and other debris. Sound like a winner? The down side is that taking it takes some getting used to. Best is to just accept this is some funky stuff with a weird, loose texture and not much taste at all. Like I said, Metamucil is the main national brand; Wal-Mart, Albertsons and others all have store brands. The Wild Oat health food store in Palo Alto, CA (years ago) carried a "Colon Cleanse" brand, with a really groovy logo of a colon coiled around the label. And truly. - when the label says 1 tsp, with at least 12 ounces of water - do it by the directions. Don't plan on doubling up - no one likes surprises, and a single 1 tsp dose every other day won't cause any distress.

  3. OK, here is the rest of what I wanted to say - your comments limited to 4k bit me.


    Over the counter decongestants can make a real difference in comfort and recovery. Robitussin makes a simple decongestant, that also helps clear sinuses. The formula that includes chest congestion can be a big help. Alka Selzer Plus Cold works, without any recreational (wooziness) side effects. I find the Wal-Mart store brands of each quite adequate.

    I find paper towels easier on my face than kleenex type tissues, for blowing and drippings.

    Keeping the room warm encourages virus contamination, and extends the time viruses live between hosts. Dress warmer, extra layers, rather than turn up the heat.

    Tea trees are antiseptic. Green tea may be better for antioxidants, and may be generally nicer to the body. Honey is a specific for healing and lifting the spirits, and cinnamon is thought to help heal, too, which is to second Skas' recommendation. I also like Celestial Seasoning's Honey Lemon Ginseng tea with honey.

    Echinacea capsules, taken a couple at a time, a couple times a day, for a couple days when starting to get ill, can kickstart the immune system. After the first few doses, though, you want to stop; more isn't better.

    Fiber - fruit juices - are great. Water is great. Warm water is better, and other hot beverages. Caffeine and alcohol free is good. Ice and cold drinks are not good. They chill the organs, and stop digestion until the body warms back up to blood temperature.

    Keep light socks on at night. One study concluded this keeps the feet warmer at night - increasing blood flow through the legs and feet, and easing the work on the heart. Resulting in less heart stress and better heart health.

    Wear the extra layers when up, use slippers and rugs to keep the feet warm and off the floor.

    Chicken soup. It turns out that what works in chicken soup is the fat. Chicken fat irritates the sinuses and causes new, clear mucous to flush the sinuses - dislodging the viruses causing constant reinfection. So chicken soup can be good, but fat-free chicken soup would waste an opportunity for synergy.

    I had a friend that claimed Mongolian and Szechuan Chinese regions were mostly desert, and those cuisines are deliberately spicy-hot - to clear the sinuses and avoid sinus infection.

    Paul Harvey claimed, one day, that you could break up sinus congestion by humming. I wonder how moaning compares, I find that much more likely when I am stuffed up. A moan is a kind of a hum, isn't it?


  4. I am drinking tons of a very spicy tea and had planned on trying the saline thing today. I HATE spraying stuff up my nose, but am going to give this one a shot. I hate sinus infections more.

    I have some tea tree oil, would that be helpful in the saline mist?

    I am adding echinacia to my tea as well.

    Thanks both of you for the suggestions!

  5. I dont know how coke heads do it! Snorting saline is painful. I can't imagine a powder. Ugh. Seems to be helping though.

  6. Ok I think I am going to stick with the saline. Adding the tea tree oil makes it feel like I am snorting battery acid.

  7. Gracie,

    I am pretty sure that it is your sinuses that are raw. As you recover the sting should go away, and all the saline nasal mist does is provide some moistness.

    If you are trying the neti wash - check the amount of salt and baking soda - the baking soda increases the comfort, and do *not* use iodized, regular table salt. The iodine will sting a bit. Getting just the right "neutral" amount of warmth might help, too.

    I have not put anything else in the salt water. I would worry that the tea tree oil might cause more discomfort and trouble than it might help.



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