Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nasal Cleansing

Nasal cleansing has been a lifesaver for me these past few weeks. I have had a bad cold and sinus infection, and rather than go to a doctor and demand to be put on antibiotics (which is what I used to do) I decided to try and treat my symptoms at home. The result was my infection lasted only a few days, and I was able to keep my sinuses mostly clear by cleansing 3 to 4 times a day.

I purchased a neti pot a few months ago and became convinced of its wondrous powers almost immediately! It is like a shower for your sinus passages! I do not like water up my nose, so at first, I was very skeptical. I was really nervous to try it, but I saw a lady do it on live TV, and I thought, "If she can do it on TV, I can certainly do it in the privacy of my own home." Once you get past the fear, you figure out how it works and it is a very enjoyable experience.

Nasal cleansing, nasal irrigation, or nasal douching, has been practiced in India for thousands of years. It is a hygenic yoga practice, but has also proved to be helpful in promoting drainage of the sinuses and speeding healing of inflamed tissues. It relieves congestion from colds and flu as well as allergies. I have found it to be a great alternative to decongestants, which make me jittery and unable to sleep when I take them. I don't like the way I feel when I am on those drugs, and so I prefer to treat my symptoms the natural way.

I have also found out the hard way that those over the counter nose sprays are the devil! Once you use them, you become addicted to them and are unable to breathe through your nose unless you are spraying the stuff up your nostrils every 4 hours. Nasal cleansing is a much better way to go!!

Neti pots are available at any drugstore, or major stores like Walmart and Target carry them. I like the little saline packets that come with the pot, because then you know you are getting the exact right mix of water and salt solution. I also like the Neil Med Sinus Rinse, which gives you slightly more pressure during your cleanse. It uses a squeeze bottle instead of using the flow of gravity. You might want to work your way up to that, however. The instructions on how to use the pot or rinse kit come with them, so I won't go into details on how to do it.

Nasal cleansing can help you breath easier and more freely, and I think you will find it to be a soothing and helpful remedy for sinus problems.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Garlic Anyone?

Garlic is a powerful natural medicine. It has abilities to lower cholesterol and reduce the clotting tendency of the blood. It can also help lower high blood pressure. Raw garlic is a potent antibiotic. It is especially good at fighting fungal infections, but also helps rid the body of viral and bacterial infections as well. A good home remedy for colds is to eat several raw cloves of garlic at the first onset of symptoms.

(If you can't make yourself eat raw garlic, you can cut it into small chunks and swallow them like pills, or chop it finely and cook with it.)

Garlic can also treat ear infections and earaches. Make garlic oil by crushing a few cloves of garlic into some olive oil. Let it sit a few days at room temperature, then strain it. Keep the oil in a container in the refrigerator and warm a bit for use when needed. For earaches and infections, put a few drops of warm garlic oil in the ear and plug with a cotton ball.

If you suffer from chronic or recurrent infections, frequent yeast infections or low resistence to infections, eat one or two cloves of garlic a day. (Remember, a clove is one of the small segments that make up the head or bulb, not the whole head.)

*Information taken from "Natural Health, Natural Medicine" by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD