I'm not really one to get sinus infections, I'm more of a cold and cough kinda gal. But right before the kids' winter break I started to have a lot of congestion, look slightly feverish and wasn't feeling great. Within a week I was constantly blowing my nose and had a terrible sore throat. With Christmas just around the corner and three kids now home everyday I knew I had to go through my bag of tricks - and fast - to get rid of this ick. A few days later I'd gone through bottles of saline solution, doubled probiotics, enough Wishgarden Kick Ass Sinus to line the bottles up like bowling pins, acupuncture, foot stomping, wailing, essential oils, Sudafed, Mucinex and, even though I despise it, pulled out the neti pot. Nothing. I got worse. I ended up starting a round of antibiotics in desperation, still...nada. Heading into week three and functioning on little sleep I decided to do what I'd put off for ages and get my own primary care naturopath (the boys see a wonderful Anthroposophic doctor). After an hour and a half consult I came away with a targeted plan for getting rid of the acute sinus issues and a larger plan for dealing with the root of a lingering illness (getting back on my adrenal management plan, increasing my Vitamins A and D).
She explained that when you have something hanging on this long and seemingly getting worse, renewing the blood flow to that area will bring a new army of lymph cells, which is just what is needed. In order to do this, the best answer is hydrotherapy; warming socks and sinus packs. I'd previously used lemon warming socks on my middle kiddo to bring down a nasty fever when we were up in the mountains and they worked well but I'd never considered them for myself, and certainly not for sinus issues. Now, after two nights, I'm starting to feel better and have stopped using all my over the counter meds.
The thought here is to increase blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage down to your toes. You're going to start with very warm feet, then put on a pair of wet, cold cotton socks, then layer over a pair of heavy wool socks, jump into bed and go straight to sleep. Or, jump into bed and watch Sherlock. When you wake up in the morning both pairs of socks will be completely dry and warm. It really is like magic.
-Warm your feet; either take a hot bath/shower, put feet into a tub for 10 minutes, use a heating pad (I use a heated millet bag under the covers until my feet are super toasty).
-While your feet are heating, fill a sink with cold, cold water and put your cotton socks in to soak and make sure your wool socks are laid out.
-After warming your toes, rush to the sink, quickly wring out the cotton socks and hop back into bed. Slip cotton socks on, lament about how awful they feel then throw on those wool socks. It's uncomfortable for a few minutes but then you really don't notice.
Repeat for three nights
To read more about the benefits of warming socks and see a really cool diagram of the lymph system, look here.
Immune Boosting Garlic Lemonade
Originally a trick from a midwife, this is a great drink to sip on whenever you feel something coming on. I like that it can be made stronger or weaker depending on steeping time and adding honey to taste makes it incredibly palatable for those who associate lemonade with the more traditional variety. You know, the good kind.
-2 heads organic garlic (large)
-2 organic lemons
-1/2 gallon glass jar or large pitcher (you'll need 2 containers)
-kettle full of boiling water
Scrub your lemons with a bristle brush, then cut in half horizontally and squeeze juice into the jar. Drop the lemons in. Cut the heads of garlic horizontally and drop into the jar. Fill the jar with boiling water, put the lid on and let steep 20-30 minutes. Strain the mixture into another container and store for a day or two. I'm guessing it can go into the fridge but I try to sip on mine throughout the day so it goes pretty quick. To serve, drink warm or hot with raw honey to taste.
** Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not a doctor. I'm just a lady in her kitchen dropping granola down her shirt. My recommendations come with the best of intentions and personal success but that never replaces the counsel of a trusted doctor, nurse or health care provider. Always use common sense and ask questions, especially in the treatment of illness for babies and children. **