I remember when I used to breathe. It was nice.

So I've had a chronic sinus issue, which flared up this past Wednesday. I felt almost flu-like with a headache and a low-grade fever so I threw several home remedies at it(which I should have been doing all along). Felt much better, so I tried to keep up with it in the hopes of finally kicking this. I've been drinking lots of herbal teas, like ginger, licorice/mint, and goldenrod/mint. Also I have been eating lots of ginger, garlic, and cayenne, and using my neti pot. The next two days I woke up with a sore throat and drainage, but no headache or fever, so I hoped it just meant that my sinuses were finally draining. Last night I went out to eat with a friend and had entirely too much sugar and dairy. I lets myself get dehydrated this morning, and I have gone steadily down hill all day. By late afternoon I had a higher fever than the other day. Frankly I don't care so much about the fever, its that my congestion is ten times worse. I think its really inflamed up my nostrils, because even when its seems that there is little mucous I can't breathe through them. I want to lay down but I'm having some trouble breathing even sitting up. I don't think I have pneumonia or anything; its just that I rarely breathe through my mouth, so having to do it constantly is a struggle. I am well aquainted with congestion, and this may be the worst I've had. Obviously I'm not short for words at least.

So after all that bellyaching, here is my question. What would you do about inflammation/congestion? I have already today 1. used my neti pot 2. drunk teas, broths, and soups multitudinous 3. took a shower and used rosalina oil 4. took a hot bath with peppermint and eucalyptus 5. steamed with peppermint oil and hot water 6. ate raw garlic, ginger, and cayenne

In other words, sorry for being such a millennial, but I have done all.. the...things. I feel like the hungry, hungry caterpillar, except I'm the stuffy, stuffy caterpillar "She drank ginger tea, but she was still stuffy. She breathed in peppermint EO, but she was stilll stuffy."

Please save the caterpillar.


  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019

    @blevinandwomba - of all your words, these "Last night I went out to eat with a friend and had entirely too much sugar and dairy. I let myself get dehydrated this morning, and I have gone steadily down hill all day." were like bolded: entirely too much sugar and dairy. - After which you went downhill. Sugar is "the original addiction", as you can stay miserable for 2 days, off of only 1 candy-trip. Sugar the anti-Nutrient is not your friend. - re Dairy, maybe you're lactose-intolerant too. -- And dehydration, well you know.

    All of the B-vitamins plus Chromium (polynicotinate = niacin-bound form) 200mcg BID even out Blood-sugar. Have you ever taken the B-vitamins, Chromium, plus especially vitamin C ?

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    Far as vitamin c, I ate half a grapefruit today. I don't take any vitamins, but I do eat foods like black strap molasses and unfortified nutritional yeast, and probiotic foods like fermented vegetables and kombucha

    I eat very little sugar, but last night was an outing we had planned for a very long time. I knew it was a bad idea even then. That being said, I have never reacted this badly to it before. I think the dehydration played a role in that.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just bought my daughter Boiron ThroatCalm and Sinusalia (I think what I bought her was called SinusCalm). I could tell a difference in her voice after taking the first of each kind after a few minutes. She'd been very hoarse. They also have ColdCalm and several others. You could check them out online or at a health food store. I found these at Sprout's but I've heard Walmart has even started selling them. She did say they tasted like chalk but she kept taking them. She's going on her 3rd day and has stopped taking the ThroatCalm. She's feeling much better now. Also I found coupons for each one at https://www.boironusa.com/

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) tea is recommended for sinus congestion and to start draining the sinus cavity. Some may find it unpleasant so add honey and lemon.

    Rosemary Gladstar recommends horseradish as her #1 herb for sinus congestion. I can tell you from experience with grating the root to prepare horseradish sauce, that it gets my nose draining almost immediately.

    Cottonwood Bud Salve is nice for applying around and just inside your nostrils. Very soothing on inflamed tissue and will help to open the sinus'.

    Usnea tincture can be used as a nasal spray by adding a few drops of tincture to distilled water in a nasal spray bottle. Very useful for both gram positive and viral infections.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @blevinandwomba

    Having worked in icu, including Pulmonary ICU, & reading your "I remember when I used to breathe" - obviously being able to BREATHE is a big deal. -- I offered you the observation, & a question - as I was just trying to help. Sorry if you took my concern the wrong way. - Hopefully you will feel better quick...

  • AnnSocolofsky
    AnnSocolofsky Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    It sounds like you have a chronic sinus infection. The Neti pot is a good start, as is reducing dairy and sugar. One of the interesting reports I came across showed that regular use of fermented foods can reduce sinus infections. They specifically used Kim Chee and probiotics. These can be used in the diet or applied directly inside the nostril. One company is working on an oral tablet that will provide the benefits of this solution for people who don't like fermented foods. I am a holistically oriented physician but I haven't had a chance to try this option out myself yet so I can't vouch for it through personal experience. However, there is a website with more information and details on how to use this treatment. I have had some acquaintances that benefited from this. https://lactobacto.com/sinusitis-treatment-summary/

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I have chronic sinus issues, last time was so bad I thought I had a badly abscessed tooth. Went to the dentist who took xrays and did see an infection but in or around the ear. Went to a walk in clinic and the Dr said it was a massive sinus infection, the inflammation was so bad she couldn't see inside my ear so she put me on an antibiotic, I had a fever and my blood pressure had shot up to stoke levels so I agreed to take them, the first time in years, it took two rounds before the infection went away but I still had major inflammation. The only thing that finally worked to get rid of it was a CBD salve. I do not know what helped, if it was the cbd oil or if it was the other ingredients in the salve. I used a very light amount directly on my very swollen sinuses both under my eyes and across my forehead then down the sides of my neck and around the affected ear. I saw a marked improvement on the third day. I did continue with menthol in my infuser and I like to freeze a wet washcloth and apply that from time to time, not for long, I got the most comfort from a heating pad applied to the painful areas. Finally I was able to use my sinus irrigator (at first it wouldn't run through from one side to the other, I was really swollen) and I could sleep again. I hope some of this helps I feel your pain!

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I have had very bad sinus infections since I was a teen living in all different rates and to to the point before when I took antibiotics that they failed me as well... for years I have not have to take antibiotics just by using peppermint tea tree and eucalyptus in my shower and in a glass bowl with boiling water and a towel over my head for 20 minutes. Also I’m a nurse and have worked in head and neck surgical services and neti pot no longer recommend as as it can transfer infected side to non infected sides... use an aerosol saline rinse 3 times per day whennill and in the AM when. It I’ll for prevention if you are prone to sinus infection. Neil med is common brand for rinse. Good luck!!

  • pamelamackenzie
    pamelamackenzie Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    @lmrebert, so are you saying the saline should enter and exit the same nostril? I have used the aerosol saline rinse and it seems to go out opposite side similar to the neti pot.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    Have you considered a delayed food allergy test?

    When I read my results I was surprised by some foods. Reducing and eliminating these foods has helped with so much, digestion and breathing.

    A delayed food allergy test, helps us to know what foods may be causing a immune reaction. A reaction that’s subtle enough to not notice much. However it manifest in many ways...dark circles under eyes, feeling sick all the time, congestion too.

    Good luck on your healing journey. It’s a process

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019

    @blevinandwomba Might try Colloidal Silver, it's commonly available in a nasal spray bottle. I avoid sinus difficulties during the winter months when the wood stove dries me out with daily use. Besides adding moisture to the nasal cavities, it's an antiviral, antibiotic and an immune booster.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie yes, it does because the 2 sinus are connected but not as much as the neti, just reduces cross contamination as much as possible

  • pamelamackenzie
    pamelamackenzie Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    Thanks @lmrebert for your explanation.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone for the ideas. I guess I should have been more specific, I was hoping someone had an idea to open up my nose in the short term. I am frequently congested, but it was pretty extreme this weekend.

    @Hassena I have never been tested, but I have done an allergy elimination diet. I think I've figured out which foods I'm sensitive to, but thanks for the suggestion.

    I am on the endo diet about 95% of the time, so cow dairy and refined sugar are pretty rare for me. I also mostly avoid wheat, caffeine, and most soy. I eat very unprocessed/from scratch.

    @AnnSocolofsky actually I'm almost positive that I have chronic sinusitis; I didn't specify because I self-diagnosed with the help of Dr. Internet.

    @VickiP thanks for the sinus solidarity. I've put off going to the doctor, because I keep hoping the home remedies will clear it up. I might have to break down and go soon. I don't want to use and anti-biotic unless it's truly necessary.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions. hope none of this comes across as snippy.

  • Sinus infections are notoriously hard to get rid of. Antibiotics can take up to six months of use to get rid of it. What I used several years back is an herbal snuff by Dr. Christopher. You inhale a small amount of the powdered herb (a VERY small amount). It cleared my infection in 3 days, and I had been battling it for over a month. Now I won't lie, you feel like someone just stuck a hot ice pick up your nose and into your brain. One of the ingredients is cayenne lol. I don't know If they still make it but you can check his website (Google it, I don't remember it lol). If you can't find any let me know and I will look up the ingredients. The dried herbs have to be powdered VERY fine though. Hope you find some relief soon!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I found a website www.drchristophersherbshop.com that has a sinus formula in either capsules or tincture. One of the ingredients is cayenne. Is this your source?

  • @shllnzl that is the site but the sinus formula you are referencing is great for drying up the sinuses but it is not the herbal snuff. I spent the last half hour looking for the book and then going through it multiple times only to find out it is not in there 😭. I know.it had the cayenne, white oak and goldenseal but I'm not sure what else or proportions. I'm so sorry to get your hopes up. I'll see if I can find it somewhere else but it may take a day or two.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Okay, I have searched without success so far. This was 15-20 years ago. I was taking the course by Dr. Christopher so I think maybe it was something I read about in it and made...maybe... (trying to resurrect those brain cells lol). So maybe it wasn't a purchased product sigh... I'm not ready to admit defeat yet though.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I admire your tenacity. If you find the information, good. If not, we budding herbalists may end up creating a new version of it.

  • Leslie Carl
    Leslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    Just wanted to cast my vote for the colloidal silver nasal spray. I know first hand that it is effective for nasal infections. And with chronic conditions, if you continue to use the silver each time you have a flare up, you will find that your episodes will decrease in frequency until they no longer happen at all.

  • KarynPennington
    KarynPennington Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    I use Xlear morning and night. I had a (recurring) sinus infection from January through May and when I started using this it finally cleared.

    They have a heavier duty dose with cayenne, which I'm sure would expedite things, but I was worried about the burn and I cleared in about 4-5 days. I still use it morning and night. It's purified water, saline, zylitol and grapefruit seed essential oil. I LOVE it.

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=xlear&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 (this is an amazon link, but you can also get it at CVS, Whole Foods, etc.)

  • wbt.affiliates
    wbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    Try eliminating dairy for a couple of weeks.

    Dairy makes the mucous membranes "work overtime." That's why singers don't drink milk or eat cheese before a performance. Furthermore, sometimes chronic allergies are simply a sensitivity to dairy. Do I suggest eliminating dairy altogether? That's a personal choice. If you care to live with the symptoms dairy may be causing for you, don't worry about it. Just accept that this is they way your body responds to dairy.

    But if it's a problem, at least try avoiding dairy for a couple of weeks. That may be your whole problem.