HeyDahls: Old-Timey and Modern Sinus Relief

Q: Hey lady! Is it better to treat Sinus infection with Apple Cider Vinegar or Sea salt ? I’ve heard  some say they use apple cider vinegar in a neti pot instead of non iodized sea salt. I’d love to know your thoughts. I’m really trying to avoid taking antibiotics. Hope all is well!


A: Hey Heya!  Thank you for writing in…

It’s crazy how relevant and timely this question is in my own personal health journey right now. So I feel you.

Neti

Source: fda.gov

Source: fda.gov

The neti pot is a device used in Ayurvedic medicine to manually irrigate the sinus cavities.  It is shown to be be effective in relieving chronic sinus issues, as it flushes out bacteria, allergens, and other irritants that create allergies or chronic sinusitis. Use with non-iodized salt to break up excess phlegm.

I haven’t tried it with apple cider vinegar.  The internet says people will add a spoon to the neti solution. That said, I can’t imagine any of our ancestors wanting to put vinegar through their nostrils.. That’s all I have to say about that.

Whatever you do. Take your time with it. As you feel the water trickle into the back of the throat, spit it out.

It is possible to give yourself a sinus infection using neti incorrectly- whether it’s leaving excess water sitting in the sinus cavities, or not thoroughly cleaning the neti pot between uses. Or using it excessively to the point that your sinuses dry out… which brings me to my next ritual.

Nasya

nasya

As renowned Ayurvedic doctor John Doulliard explains, the neti ritual is only complete with its counterpart nasya ritual, an application of warm oil, usually oregano or sesame oil, to the inside of the nostrils.  The saline rinse of neti on its own without the application of oil can dry out the sinuses, causing the body’s mucus production to compensate and go into overdrive, creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and sickness.

The complete irrigating and lubrication process has been proven to be more effective than medication alone.

Oil pulling

coconutoil

The use of oils in Ayurveda and other traditional forms medicine, is based on the principle that “like dissolves like” and the oil pulls and removes bacteria and other toxins in the mouth, breaks up excess mucus, and clears sinus congestion.

I use coconut oil because I know that it is naturally antimicrobial, but a high-quality plant-based oil like sesame or olive would work just as nicely.  I take a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil, maybe drop in peppermint oil, and swish and swirl the oil around my mouth for 3-5 minutes.  I thoroughly enjoy the sensation of oil on my tongue and between my teeth. Then I spit it out in the trash- you don’t want to swallow all the harmful bacteria you just pulled out.

Then rinsed with warm water. I notice immediately how pleasantly lubricated and how clean my mouth feels. And over time how my teeth are whiter, as the oil pull stains off the enamel.

Experiment with including this practice in your self-care routine this year, adding one more tool to your arsenal of DIY health remedies.

Tongue Cleaner

Source: svasthaayurveda.com/

Source: svasthaayurveda.com/

The tongue cleaner, is an an inexpensive yet transformative utensil, is a simple, thin, u-shaped piece of stainless steel. It consists of a blunted edge that removes plaque and build-up from the surface of the tongue. It helps to fight cavities by removing bacteria from the mouth. The tongue cleaner also prevents bad breath, especially for people who eat a lot of dairy and build up mucus in the mouth, nose, and throat.

Use the rounded cleaning edge to scrape gently down the tongue several times to remove excess plaque, while applying slight pressure. Not too hard though, there should be no pain or gagging, and certainly no bleeding. Rinse the scraper under running water and gently scrape again until no white residue is left.

My go-to sequence sinus relief ritual.

It takes about 30 minutes.

  1. Neti- use one full neti pot per nostril
  2. After next Gargle with warm salt water to break up phlegm clean up after neti
  3. Nasya- use an eye-dropper to apply sesame oil in each nostril then spit out excess oil
  4. Oil pulling – enjoy a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil, perhaps with a drop of peppermine oil, to clean up after nasya
  5. Rinse mouth out with warm water
  6. Use tongue scraper to pull off any resident plaque

That’s what I got!!! To your health :-)

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