Text message Q&A: My son has a sinus infection. I have silver shield left. Should he take it straight or mix it with juice or Gatorade?
A: Either way, except Gatorade has way more crap than benefits. Pineapple juice would be good. Massage the lymph nodes from behind the ear down toward the collarbone. Snuff warm salt water for fastest relief. Lots of garlic for dinner!
Feeling better really can be that simple! Extra info beyond my quick text would be massage with an aromatic oil-I use a cajeput blend, or tea tree, chamomile, and lemon; see my website for more. A neti pot makes “snuffing” easier, and bayberry bark in the water will take down inflammation even faster than salt. My son’s sinus infections were what got me started in Natural Health!
Natalie wrote: “I am prone to sinus infections (just got over one….again). But I can’t use the Nettie pot because the water gets trapped in my ears. Do you have any tips for that?”
When you use the neti, make sure you are letting the water in slowly, that your mouth is open, and that you do not block the open nostril or blow hard. There is a good set of instructions at http://yoga108.org/pages/show/106-how-to-use-a-neti-pot-without-danger It also helps to work the lymph nodes, stroking firmly from the bottom of the ear, the mastoid area (at the base of the skull) and the lower edge of the jaw down toward the collarbone. I usually use a massage oil blend that includes cajeput or tea tree, chamomile, and lemon essential oils to increase circulation and reduce inflammation. That should help open the area and facilitate drainage. You can use the same blend on the sinus area, stroking from the nose outward, around the eye socket, and from the eye to the temples and behind the ears in one smooth motion.
Aside from that, you need to find out WHY you keep getting sinus infections. For most people it has to do with poor digestion, which produces acid waste that increases mucous production in the whole body in an attempt to soothe the irritated membranes. The offending foods have to be eliminated; the most common are dairy products and wheat, which for some reason seems to be connected especially to infections in the right ear. Supplements to support the stomach and/or pancreas (I am NOT a fan of digestive enzymes as a rule-I prefer safflowers, Garcinia combination, etc.) may be helpful, and marshmallow or slippery elm rebuild mucous membranes. Remember that sugar feeds bacteria, so watch your diet for refined starches and sugars. Lymphatic congestion is usually a major factor as well; many of my clients do well with the Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse Formula, and the regular practice of lymphatic exercise, based on “Riding Horse” Qi Gung stance. Stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart and the knees flexed. Begin to “bounce” lightly, gradually increasing the amount of movement. (The body will do this quite naturally.) Allow the arms to bounce as well; they will tend to fall into loose fists which will lightly beat on the thighs. Gradually move them to beat on the groin, then move them one at a time up the body, to the armpit, out the arms, and back in. Continue around the neck and down the sides, ending with going down and back up the legs. Maintain the bouncing throughout the entire time; the whole process should take 8-10 minutes. Follow with plenty of water!