In spite of taking good precautions, adults will end up with fits of sneezing and blowing their noses about three or four times per year on average. Learn here what helps strengthen your defences, which remedies to use and which agents in herbal medicine help with your cold, plus, what to do when your cold or sinusitis have no intention of going away.
Nasal congestion can be a symptom of many conditions. It is most frequently associated with nasal infection from a cold or an allergic reaction. Sinus congestion, or rhinitis, occurs when one or more of the four pairs of sinus passageways in the skull become blocked. This blockage can result from the inflammation and swelling of the nasal tissues, an obstruction by one of the small bones of the nose, or the secretion of mucus. It may be an acute or chronic condition.
Acute sinus congestion is most often caused by the common cold. Colds affect everyone at one time or another, especially during the winter months, and it is usual to get at least two a year. A cold, one of the most common ailments, can be caused by over 200 different types of virus. The infection manifests in the mucous membranes in the nose and upper respiratory tract, causing them to swell and produce even more mucous.
Chronic sinus congestion often results from environmental irritants such as pollen, mold, dust mites, trees, or animal dander. Exposure to various chemicals in the home or workplace may also contribute to nasal congestion, and indoor and outdoor air pollution can be a factor for those who are already susceptible. Smoking and passive smoking have been implicated in chronic nasal congestion and the prevalence of chronic rhinitis among men has been shown to increase with cigarette consumption. Those exposed to chlorine, such as lifeguards and swimmers, may also be at risk of developing this condition.
A healthy immune system is the best protection against colds and other causes of congestion, and good nutrition is the key to a healthy immune system. In general, a diet that is rich in vegetables, whole grains, and beans, and low saturated fat, sugar, mucous-forming foods, and allergenic foods will be beneficial. Sugar depresses the immune system, limiting its ability to clear bacteria and congestion. Foods that promote mucous include dairy, oranges, white sugar, and foods that contain white flour. Eat light meals so that your body’s energy is used to eliminate the cause of congestion rather than digesting heavy foods. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, diluted vegetable juice, and soup. Avoid fruit juices, dairy, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated drinks as these can make symptoms worse. Maintaining a healthy diet, keeping stress under control, wearing proper clothing, as well as regular exercise can all help prevent or reduce the down time of a cold and other causes of congestion.
The best Homeopathic Remedies
Any of the remedies included below can be helpful in speeding up dispersal of any mucous in the nose, throat or chest that has been triggered as a result of a recent cold. However, more recurrent and severe symptoms of congestion in the ears, throat, nose, sinuses, and/or chest will fall into the category of a chronic condition. As a result, you will do best in response to professional homeopathic treatment, rather than attempting to handle the situation though home prescribing measures. This will be even more the case with babies and young children, who can respond exceptionally well to constitutional prescribing at this age.
Allium cepa: Think of the symptoms that peeling an onion induce and you have the picture of the type of cold that Allium cepa, a homeopathic preparation of red onion, will alleviate. The eyes will be producing a watery discharge, but the nasal discharge may be quite acrid and cause the nose to become sore and raw around the nostrils. Generally, people with these symptoms feel better for being in the open air.
Bryonia is a good remedy for anyone who feels like a bear with a sore head. Other symptoms that point to Bryonia use: acute complaints with slow onset that are painful with movement, and colds accompanied by dryness (e.g., feeling thirsty with a dry throat).
Euphrasia: bland watery discharge from the nose and copious burning tears (opposite of Allium cepa); nasal discharge worse in the morning, in open air, and lying down; loose shallow cough, worse during the day; may cough up large amounts of mucus formed in the upper airways.
Nux vomica: illness after exposure to cold or cold dry weather; onset not sudden; dry, tickling and scraping sensations in nose; nose stuffy and dry at first, then develops a watery and often irritating discharge with sneezing; nose may alternate between stuffed up and runny; “stuffiness predominates at night and outdoors, runniness in warm rooms and during the day” (Cummings and Ullman); throat raw and rough, tickle in larynx; teasing dry cough leads to soreness in chest; cough worse in morning (especially on waking), from 12AM to sawn, after eating, or mental work and in cold air; cough may end in retching; warm drinks relieve; chilly and unable to get warm despite piles of covers, every little motion causes chills; irritable and easily offended, extremely sensitive to noises and odors; better with warmth, in the evening, lying down, and an uninterrupted nap.
Nasal irrigators are devices that help clean out the nose and sinuses. Irrigation can also moisten the sinuses, counteracting the effects of dry air.
Neti pots are among the most popular types of irrigators. Using one can help speed recovery from a sinus infection. Be sure to use distilled water, not tap water.
Saline sprays can also help and are safe for most people to use on a long-term basis.
Elderberries are an excellent general immune system booster. The berries contain chemical compounds called anthocyanidins, which are known to have immunostimulant effects. With elderberry’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it makes sense that it can help sinus issues. A sinus infection is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed, and this antiviral herb has promise as a sinus infection natural remedy.
How to Make Elderberry Tea
Elderberries are known for their natural immune-boosting potential. They make for quite an interesting tea. While elderberries, by and large, have a naturally sweet taste, they can be tart at times, and when brewed with cinnamon or any other spice, they make for quite a soothing and rejuvenating drink. So let’s take a look at the recipe below.
- 6 cups water (filtered)
- 3 tbsp elderberries (dried)
- 4 pieces cardamom (optional)
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 fresh ginger (cut into fine pieces)
- Honey/sugar/stevia/or any other sweetener (optional)
- If you wish to add spices to the tea, add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, fresh ginger, and cardamom to it and continue to boil.
- Once it reaches a boil, cover the vessel and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer 30 minutes. Once you get your desired taste and consistency, strain it in a cup and enjoy.
- You can also refrigerate it and have it cool if you wish to do so! However, people usually prefer to have it warm.
It is easy for the sinuses to dry out in cold weather or dry climates, and this can lead to pain and congestion.
Humidifiers keep the air moist and reduce the effects of cold weather and dry air. Using a humidifier in the bedroom overnight can help.
It may also help to add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the water in a humidifier. Many people find that inhaling peppermint oil feels good when they have blocked sinuses. This is because of its cooling effect. Peppermint oil contains menthol. This compound may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus.
Oil from the eucalyptus plant shows promise as an alternative remedy for sinusitis and congestion. Eucalyptus oil contains a compound called cineole, while can help improve symptoms of headaches, nasal obstruction, and runny nose.
Oil from the Thyme plant works best to fight upper respiratory issues like congestion, coughs, and sneezing. You can diffuse the oil in a steamer for direct relief. It’s also a common herb in most kitchens, so using it in your cooking will also help ease your symptoms.
I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Please give me a call if you have any questions on colds and congestion, homeopathy or other services we offer at the clinic. To book an appointment, please go online or call us at (519) 603-0505. We will be happy to provide the service you are looking for.
Best wishes from all of us at K-W Homeopathic Medicine and Wellness Clinic!
Irene Schwens HOM, DHMHS, C.Tran.
Owner / Homeopath
K-W HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE
……………………….………AND WELLNESS CLINIC
27 Pennsylvania Cr.
Kitchener, ON N2P 2S5
T (519) 603-0505
F (519) 653-0506
“The physician’s highest and only calling
is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called”
— Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, §1, Organon of the Medical Art —