Alternatively speaking: Cleaning the pipes

Alternative health expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any natural remedies to help deal with sinusitis?

Alternatively Speaking: Cleaning the pipes (photo credit: Wikicommons)
Alternatively Speaking: Cleaning the pipes
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
Q. Dear Natalie, I hope you can help; I am suffering with terrible sinusitis. It is causing me to have terrible headaches. Do you have any suggestions for natural remedies to clear the passageways?
There are several herbal medicines which work wonders in treating sinusitis. Two of the most effective botanicals I have used in my practice for treating sinusitis are stinging nettle and horseradish.Stinging nettle works to regulate the body’s allergic response due to its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Horseradish root helps to clear sinus passages. It’s recommended to take a 1/4 tsp. of freshly grated horseradish root and hold it in the mouth for as long as it takes for the taste to disappear. The sinuses should immediately begin to drain. The herb also has strong antibacterial qualities.
You should also try boiling a few eucalyptus leaves in water and then placing a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Eucalyptus reduces the inflammation and symptoms of sinusitis. It’s the inflammation of the sinuses which obstruct the flow of nasal secretions. Eucalyptus has expectorant properties as well, and can break up mucus secretions so that they become easier to pass.
Trying to irrigate the sinuses is another option. Using a neti pot with warm water, add one-quarter teaspoon of fine salt. Tip your head, sideways, over the sink and gently pour half the solution into the upturned nostril. Then tip your head forward and let the water run into the sink. Repeat the same procedure with the other nostril.
In situations where steaming and neti pots are not practical, it’s possible to use scented handkerchiefs. Blend one drop of rosemary oil, one drop of geranium oil and one drop of eucalyptus oil in a small dish. Dip the center of a cotton handkerchief into this mixture. Once dry you can place the handkerchief to your face and inhale.
Finally, the herb Elderberry is a common herb used to relieve sinus pain. It works to soothe the swollen nasal passage by reducing inflammation. It’s also packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties, thereby strengthening the immune system. Take Elderberry syrup at the first signs of any sinus problem. It’s best taken at the first sign of sinus problems.
Q. Dear Natalie, I recently went to my doctor because I have been suffering from frequent nose bleeds. He could not find any problems, but suggested that I check my diet. Perhaps you can advise me on which vitamins I should be including in my food plan? A. It’s true that a lack of certain vitamins, in particular K and C, contribute to the mechanisms of nosebleeds. Coagulation is the process of stopping the flow of blood by clot formation. Vitamin K is essential for coagulation to occur. Once a blood vessel is ruptured, a Vitamin K deficiency can lead to uncontrollable bleeding and the nose loses more blood than usual.
Other signs of Vitamin K deficiency include easily bruised skin and bleeding gums. You can get the Vitamin K you require from liver and green vegetables, but if you are deficient as an adult, you may take90 to 120 mg of Vitamin K each day.
Vitamin C is very important for the development of normal collagen and a deficiency can lead to having fragile capillaries. These capillaries of the nose are especially dependent on healthy collagen to prevent rupture and bleeding.
Making sure we have enough potassium in our diets regulates the fluids in our body. When we dehydrate, our body tissues dry out. Once the tissues on the inside of your nose become dry it can trigger nose bleeds. Instead of potassium supplements try to include more bananas, avocados and tomatoes in your diet.
When the body is deficient of vitamins B-9 and B-12, the risk of nosebleeds increased because with high levels of homocysteine in the blood it can damage the walls of blood vessels and make them more susceptible to ruptures.
A deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to dryness in the nasal cavity which makes it more susceptible to bleeding. Vitamin A keeps the mucosal membranes of the nose, sinuses, mouth, eyes and digestive tract protected and moist.
Q. Dear Natalie, What are the benefits of drinking lemon grass tea?
A. Lemongrass tea has an international reputation as a wonderful natural remedy for cancer. ‘’PlantaMedica’ published an study in 2005 where researchers in Israel reported their findings that a substance in lemongrass, known as citral, caused cell suicide in malignant cancer cells without harming the normal cells.
The volume of citral used for this experiment was the same amount that is present in a cup of lemongrass tea. Lemongrass tea contains a wide range of vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin A and many of the B vitamins, including folate (B9).
Minerals in lemongrass tea include manganese, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Since lemongrass tea contains so many nutrients, I recommend it as a perfect home remedy to boost the immune system and aid digestion. To prepare a tasty cup of lemongrass tea, wash and then cut several of the long leaves from the plant into inch-long pieces. Boil the leaves in water, then leave to steep for 10 minutes. Add a little honey to sweeten.
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment, including a women’s clinic every Wednesday. To make an appointment please email [email protected]Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer, email Natalie with your question at [email protected]
Someone Once Said: “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
- Hippocrates