Sinus infections are the result of inflammation of the mucous membranes, and most likely due to an overgrowth of fungi in the nasal cavities.
Mayo Clinic researchers found that “fungal organisms were present in 96% of patients who had surgery for chronic sinusitis, and that inflammatory cells were clumped around the fungi indicating that the condition was an immune disorder caused by fungal overgrowth.”
Chronic sinusitis causes long-term nasal congestion, excess mucus, nasal polyps, reduced sense of smell, and headaches. Over time, chronic sinus infections create an environment for bacterial infections that exacerbate these symptoms.
Repeated doses of antibiotics are not the solution! Excessive and inappropriate antibiotic use has led to antibiotic-resistant bugs that can cause serious consequences and changes to the microflora. Antibiotic overuse creates intestinal dysbiosis and weakens the immune system (70-80% of the immune system resides in the gut). According to researchers, it has been discovered that antibiotics were shown to be no better than a placebo and can actually make fungal infections worse. Unfortunately, antibiotics are one of the most over-prescribed medications, and even a single course of antibiotics can permanently alter the gut flora.
Sinus Infections: Identify the Root Cause
- Mold toxicity, mycotoxins (mold poisons), Candida overgrowth, bacterial, yeast and fungal infections are the #1 cause of chronic sinus infections
- Biofilm in the sinus
- Mercury toxicity
- Gut dysfunction, GERD, bowel inflammation, digestive problems and toxins in the bowel
- Food sensitivities
- Intake of high oxalate foods
- Mucous-forming foods, specifically gluten, milk and dairy productsB
- Blockages (nasal polyps, cysts, tumors)
- Viral infections
- Oral contraceptives
- Exogenous estrogen and endocrine-disrupting chemicals
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Overuse of antibiotics, including hidden sources of antibiotics (i.e. conventionally-raised animal protein)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Dental infections
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Lack of rest, poor sleep and sleep deprivation
- Ileocecal valve (ICV) dysfunction
- Liver and gallbladder dysfunction
- Smoking and second hand smoke
- Polluted air (indoor air and outdoor air)
As you can see from the lengthy list above, the healing protocol will vary depending on the root cause. The following healing therapies and natural remedies have proven effective for eliminating chronic sinus infections.
Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections
Use Food as Medicine
- Avoid inflammatory foods and mucous-producing foods. The typical culprits include gluten, wheat, corn, all grains, vegetable oils, sugar and all dairy products except for pastured butter
- Avoid moldy mycotoxic foods such as peanuts, peanut butter, nuts, beer and wine, hard cheeses, all grains (wheat, corn, barley), dried fruit, sugar, non-organic coffee
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners, fructose and sugar, food additives, vegetable oils, soy products, alcohol and caffeine, processed, packaged, fake foods
- Avoid high oxalate foods (i.e. spinach, soy, almonds . . .)
- Heal the sinuses: homemade chicken soup, raw apple cider vinegar, garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric (curcumin), cayenne and fresh grated horseradish
- Stay hydrated! Drink clean, filtered water (away from mealtime). Add fresh lemon or lime, a pinch of Celtic sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Vitamin A-rich foods support a healthy immune system and keep mucous membranes in tip-top form: sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, mango, papaya, egg yolk, and pumpkin
- Include healthy fats such as organic pastured grass-fed butter that contains butyric acid, a fuel source for coloncytes.
- Organic coconut oil, rich in lauric acid is known for its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Herbal teas: Pau ‘d arco, Nettles and Fenugreek
Paula’s Natural Sinus Relief Cocktail. Blend the following in a Vitamix or a high-powered blender: 12-16 oz. filtered water, 1 tbsp. raw honey, 1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar, one whole lemon (sliced), one cup fresh organic pineapple chunks, 2 scoops collagen powder, 1 tablespoon organic coconut cream, one large knuckle of fresh ginger root, fresh turmeric root and a pinch of black pepper.
Lifestyle Tips for Sinus Infections
- Test for and rule out hidden infections. Chronic sinusitis is often linked to mold mycotoxins and underlying fungal, yeast and Candida overgrowth infections.
- Use a Neti pot to irrigate, rinse and cleanse the sinuses. I like the Nasopure, and it’s BPA-free!
- Aromatherapy oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus, goldenseal, oregano and rosemary applied as a compress to the nasal area or as steam inhalation are very helpful.
- Sinuses that are aggravated by weather changes often respond very well to acupuncture.
- Prioritize rest and good quality, uninterrupted sleep
- Use dust mite-free bedding. Wash bedding sheets and bed pillows often (in hot water).
- Use HEPA filters. Change the air filters in your home every month.
- Service the HVAC unit regularly
- Check the air quality in your home and workplace
- Assess for mold and water damage in your home, office, school and workplace
- Be diligent with your oral hygiene. Rule out oral infections via 3D cone beam as oral infections can easily spread to the sinuses.
- Oil pull 4-5 times weekly
- Consider mental and emotional stressors and their impact on overall health. Practice daily relaxation and restoration. Emotional stress weakens the immune system creating the perfect environment for infections to occur. Everything’s interconnected. Emotions are not separate from physical manifestations in our bodies.
Sinus Problems and the Emotional Connection. Researchers Dr. Robert Ivker and Dr. Geerd Hamer have shown that sinus problems are often triggered after the experience of an emotional “stink conflict.” This could be a severe emotional reaction to an actual odor or it could be the symbolic feeling that “this situation stinks.” Nearly all of Dr. Ivker’s patients with chronic sinusitis also had significant emotional issues, especially anger. According to New York Times bestselling author, Louise Hay, an underlying emotional cause of sinus problems is irritation to one person, specifically someone close to you.
DIY Neti-Pot Sinus Relief Recipe
In a 16 ounce glass jar, mix the following:
- 12-14 ounces of clean, filtered water or distilled water
- 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt or Redmond’s salt or non-iodized Kosher salt
- one drop of tea tree oil or oregano oil (an anti-microbial and anti-fungal)
- 6 dropperfuls of liquid iodine forte (as potassium iodide)
- Other options to add to the mix: aqueous zinc, colloidal silver, argentyn 23, and an opened capsule of saccharomyces boulardii
Fill the neti-pot or Nasopure with the solution. Shake to mix the ingredients. Cleanse and irrigate the sinus passages twice daily.
Nutrient and supplemental support for Sinus Infections
As with all nutritional support, it’s not a one-remedy-fits-all approach. The best way to determine your personal nutrient profile unique to your biochemistry is through a functional blood chemistry analysis.
We each have a unique biochemistry and each person reacts differently to different therapies. If you have chronic sinus problems or suffer with snoring, seasonal allergies, nasal polyps or chronic sinus headaches, it’s most likely due to the overgrowth of fungi in your nasal cavities. The key is to identify the root cause why you’re experiencing chronic sinus infections, test to assess, and follow a bio-individualized nutrition, lifestyle, environmental, and healing regime that works for you!