Maybe if I'd been following some of these tips sooner, my terrible cold wouldn't have turned into a terrible sinus infection. May you remain healthy and not need these tips! But for what it's worth, here they are:
1. Feeling a little (or a lot) congested? Breathe steam. It's a very simple and effective home remedy for helping to open your breathing passages and keeping your sinuses well lubricated. When your sinuses dry out, bacteria can get trapped, and that's what helps to bring on those nasty infections. Just boil some water and pour it into a bowl. Hold your head over the bowl and cover it with a towel, and breathe deep. An added bonus - it's great for your skin!
Another tip I learned from my friend Ari: add a drop or two of essential oil of thyme to the water in the bowl - it has strong antibacterial properties and will provide added strength in fighting infections. But use it sparingly for it's very potent - a little goes a long way!
2. Got a sore throat, body aches, or inflammation? Try a bromelain & turmeric supplement. It's a natural way to reduce inflammation, and it's good for both your digestion and your liver. Bromelain, which occurs naturally in pineapple, is also very good for both sore throats and sinuses. If you don't feel like buying a supplement, just eat some fresh pineapple or drink some fresh pineapple juice.
3. Be kind to your nose! If you're sneezing crazily and blowing your nose endlessly like I was, trust me on this. Rub the area around your nose with some nice soft lotion, or better yet, coconut oil, which in addition to being soothing and providing moisture, contains antibacterial properties. If I had done this right from the start, I wouldn't have ended up with a red, swollen, blistered, scabby nose!
4. In addition to the usual infection fighters such as vitamin C and zinc, try Andrographis. Again, my friend Ari turned me on to this Ayurvedic herbal supplement which helps to strengthen the immune system, and like turmeric and bromelain, it is good for your liver and digestion.
5. Lastly, I wish that I had been using a neti pot right from the start. If you can get past the weird initial feeling of using it, you'll be really glad you did. And if you ever find yourself paralyzed with debilitating sinus pain, you might, like me, be willing to try just about anything to find relief. Remember what I said earlier about keeping the sinuses from drying out, so as not to promote bacteria growth? Well, here is a very effective way to do that, and it helps tremendously to relieve sinus pressure. It helps move all that congestion out of your head so you can breathe and rest. I can't recommend it highly enough!
I'm feeling a little bit better with each passing day, and really looking forward to the day when I feel inspired to create something good in the kitchen again. It's gotta happen soon! Until then, may you stay healthy, my friends.