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My Home Medicine Cabinet – What I Use to Remedy Ailments

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I’ve spent a lot of years building my knowledge of natural remedies – and I’m still learning, but I am so glad I made the effort to acquire a basic understanding of how to apply natural substances to the goal of helping people in my family to feel well again when they are not feeling good.

It is a good idea to replace items every so often to make certain the contents have not spoiled or gone rancid (such as olive oil or sesame oil), or lost their potency. But for the most part, many of these items stay in my cupboard for months or years, and I don’t have to replace them very often.

Here are my “medicine cabinet” staples:

Activated charcoal – a natural detoxifier and remover of waste, charcoal is a substance that is used to carry out undesirable substances from the digestive tract. Make certain you find a variety that does not use petroleum as a base for the charcoal preparation and is considered “food grade” and comes from a source such as coconut or bamboo. Excellent to use when experiencing abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, upset stomach, or diarrhea. This supplement is normally effective when taken one to three times in a row, depending on the severity of the symptom. Baths – can also be used as poultice, compress or bath treatment for pain, infection, swelling, or detoxification purposes. We use Nature’s Way activated charcoal. Safe for children.

Aloe vera – aloe vera juice is great for digestion and immune system function and support, and can be taken daily between (at least two hours after) or ahead of meals. Take 1 to 2 ounces daily. It is also great for the skin (both externally and internally used) and is a good base in making homemade cosmetics (think deodorant, tooth cleaners, soaps, shampoos, etc.) A good brand available from the health food store is George’s. You can add your aloe vera juice to water (it basically tastes like water), juice, smoothies, or just drink it straight.

Apple cider vinegar – besides a great natural cleaning agent (dilute with water and use anywhere in your home), ACV is great as a daily supplement added to salads, water, or juice. When you are sick or have a cold or flu, it can be taken several times a day to add essential amino acid compounds and good bacteria to support your body and immune system. It is best to drink it with a straw, as repeated use of ACV can wear away the enamel on your teeth. I recommend raw apple cider vinegar that has not been processed nor pasteurized. Bragg’s is an excellent brand and contains the “mother”, a gelatinous substance formed during the final step of fermentation containing valuable minerals, enzymes, and nutrients.

Arnica – a perennial species belonging to the sunflower family, can be used for pain and bruising. It is a plant that has been shown in clinical settings to reduce inflammation by dilating blood vessels and capillaries to assist in transporting fluids and blood accumulations. In the cream form, apply it full strength topically (to the skin) to heal wounds and cuts, and reduce swelling. Its use internally should be avoided unless used in an official homeopathic herbal preparation where it is diluted down with guidance from a knowledgeable practitioner.

Castor oil - useful for detoxification (for liver and other organs), sore muscles, strains, sprains, or bruising, and PMS. It is a versatile, natural oil used for many different needs. Castor oil packs are widely recommended by practitioners for patients, and especially for complimentary care in cancer treatment. Castor oil packs are also used to shrink tumors and cysts, as applied directly to the affected area. Keep castor oil in the refrigerator when not in use. If it becomes cloudy or discolored, discard.

Use a small piece of fabric (wool or cotton flannel is best); cut a square, tripled or quadrupled over – can be as small as 4 x 4 inches or larger, depending on the area you are treating. Get a small dish (such as a casserole dish) and pour castor oil over the fabric and saturate, taking care not to get oil on other fabrics, upholstery, and clothing.

Get a water bottle and fill with hot water (not over 120 degrees). Apply fabric pack directly to skin and place the water bottle over the pack. You can use an old towel or t-shirt to make sure castor oil does not spread to your furniture or bed. The best time to do castor oil packs is in the evening before bed, and you should leave the pack on for 30 minutes to an hour. Try to remain quiet and in a resting state, without interruption.

Cayenne pepper – a great remedy for sore throats, colds, flus, and respiratory infections. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, and also a good digestive and cardiovascular aid. Great for digestive woes like bloating, gas, constipation, stomach cramping, allergies, poor circulation, chronic pain, headaches, and toothaches. It actually works to expand blood vessels to aid in carrying nutrients contained in pepper and other foods to the cells in your body. Cayenne can help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and has been reported to prevent and stop heart attacks from occurring. It is also a powerful, natural detoxificant agent for the whole body. Dr. John R. Christopher’s (well-known herbalist) School of Natural Healing (book) and web site discusses many effective herbal remedies, including cayenne pepper.

To use cayenne pepper internally, add 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoon to a cup of about 6 ounces or more of warm water. The mixture will be spicy, so use caution. Sip or drink as able until gone. For added detoxification benefit and taste, you can add some Grade B maple syrup and lemon juice. It can also be used topically to wounds or cuts. You can apply the pepper directly to the wound or use 1/4 cayenne in a home-made solution with salt water. Use a small amount of water and salt to make a paste and apply. If necessary, cover with bandages or gauze.

Coconut oil – a natural antifungal and antiviral oil that can kill yeast (it’s great for those experiencing candida), use on skin for body moisturizing, abrasions, sunburn, chapping or chaffing, cuts, bruises, scrapes, conditioner for hair, diaper rash, use in cooking as a healthy, medium chain triglyceride fat, and is also a great digestive aid and because of its caprylic acid content, can be used to help control candida issues – for use alone or with any meal. I don’t use much deodorant at all anymore, but if I do, I usually just dab on some coconut oil and it takes care of body odor very well.

Colloidal silver – this substance has many uses and can be taken internally as well as applied topically. We use silver mostly for cuts and wounds. It heals very fast. Just apply a small amount and cover with a bandage or gauze strip. Some people use it successfully as a nasal spray or in a neti pot preparation for sinus and respiratory issues and allergies. I have found it works best on cuts and wounds. We use Natural -Immunogenics Sovereign Silver.

Cranberry juice (unsweetened, concentrated) – this is a great juice to take every day for lymphatic health and detoxification. I use about 8 ounces to 64 ounces of filtered water and drink daily. If desired, you can add fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice to the mixture, and Stevia or raw honey if the natural tartness is too much. It’s great for kidney health and contains many trace minerals and vitamins. I enjoy mine straight.  :)

Dental/tooth/gum -Tooth and Gums Tonic – an all-natural, highly concentrated preparation made from ecologically-produced and sustainably harvested wild herbs echinacea and gotu kola, and oils of peppermint, red thyme, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and lavender. This is one of the only substances I have ever found that works on canker sores (even over lysine), and is great for a mouthwash or substitute for brushing your teeth if you find yourself without a toothbrush. As it is highly concentrated, only small amounts are needed for use at a time, and depending on how much you use it, a bottle could last for months. Tastes amazing! You must have a consent form faxed or mailed from a dentist prior to purchasing these products. You do need your dentist to request to the company that you can purchase this product. He or she just needs to fax a request to Dental Herb Company and then you can purchase products.

Update! 08/11/2010 I have discovered another amazing natural dental rinse – kombucha! I have had a sore gum problem for the last month off and on, and by massaging the area several times daily and rinsing with a bit of kombucha in my mouth for as long as I can (I try to do it for about 3 minutes or longer), it really helps the pain and tenderness subside.

Bone broth – this home-made food is good for almost anything that might ail you – colds, flus, sore throats, headaches, and for general health maintenance. Fantastic source of minerals and amino acids. Drink some every day! Here’s a post about the benefits of broth and how to make it.

Cod liver oil Ramiel Nagel advises to load up on cod liver oil for dental and skeletal health and issues. The dosage for most adults should be 1 1/4 teaspoons (which is really the size of a silverwear drawer tablespoon in millileters). I normally spread out my dosage into 2-3 times daily, and I switch between capsules and the emulsified.  My son hates the taste of cod liver oil, so we do the capsules for him. A good trick if you have the oil and your kids won’t eat it but can take capsules is: buy a bag of vegetable glycerine tablets, a dropper bottle or a synringe. Put some CLO into either of these apparatuses to deposit into the empty capsules, and give it to them that way.

Cod liver oil is so good for many health remedies, increasing your dosage and amount if some health issues is occurring would be highly beneficial – especially for auto-immune disorders, infections, bone or teeth problems such as bone loss or cavities, or even crooked teeth. Read Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay to find out more about this topic.

Green Pasture Products is the only brand I recommend because it is raw and fermented, which causes the nutrients in the oil to become deepened and broadened (various forms of Vitamin A and D, Omega 3s, and others) in a way that unfermented fish oil does not. Green Pasture sells plain fermented and flavored, and also with high vitamin butter oil, their signature product.

David Wetzel, owner of Green Pasture Products, follows the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, who documented in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – an account of his travels around the world to discover the cause of degenerative disease in his patients – the profound health effects of consuming cod liver oil when combined with high vitamin butter oil from healthy cows grazing on rapidly growing green pastures. This was the “Activator X” component that Dr. Price discovered which was missing from the diets of modern people, the absence of which contributed to many modern health issues.

One of the best preventative measures I can think of for dental health for our family is to avoid grains. Some people question this (my parents insist on feeding my son these things when he is with them), but without fail when my son eats a lot of grains, he is sure to have terrible plaque build-up and gets frequent canker sores. We don’t eat a lot of processed grains in our home; most of what we consume is the soaked and sprouted grains, and they are eaten sparingly. On weekends we might have sprouted pancakes and during the week sometimes we eat sourdough. Rarely do I make hot cereals, even, anymore. But when we do, I soak them overnight, cook, and serve with lots of butter, milk or yogurt, homemade granola with sprouted nuts, and fruit. For more information on this topic, read Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.

Carrier oils – pressed from the fatty portion of a plant or food (such as nuts, kernels, and seeds) and are used with essential oils (see below). These oils do not impart their scent as strongly as essential oils. Used to carry and dilute stronger oils which alone can cause irritation or burning. Here are some examples of carrier oils: sweet almond, avocado, borage, apricot kernel, jojoba, hemp seed, sunflower, sesame, pecan, macadamia, olive, or coconut oil.

Carrier oils go rancid fairly quickly (except for coconut oil) and should be used up or replaced often. You can use approximately a 5 to 1 ratio of carrier to essential oil mixture for topical use on the skin, or follow the directions on the package. Therapeutic grade oils are the best quality to use, and you should only use therapeutic grade topically and internally.

Essential oils – are distilled from the bark, roots, and other aromatic components of botanicals, herbs, and plants. I use a variety of brands of essential oils. I don’t endorse any specific brands here due to liability. If you would like to inquire about brands, send me a private message.

Here are some essential oil combos I use:

Digestion: ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, anise, caraway, and coriander. When someone has an upset stomach, use a carrier oil and a few drops of these oils to massage gently into abdominal area and on the bottoms of the feet. You can also add a few drops to hot water and sip.

Respiratory/Allergies: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, melaleuca, laurel leaf, and tea tree oil. Use a few drops in hot steam as aromatherapy (breathing preparation) or in a neti pot or saline spray wash with a home-made saline solution and/or add some of the contents of a probiotics capsule as well.

Headache/stress/tension: lavender, lemon, peppermint, or melaleuca are all good oils to use – combined or alone. Use 2 – 3 drops essential oil to 3-4 drops carrier on a cotton ball and apply to affected area. We use essential oils on our foreheads and temples for headaches, which works quite well. Also make certain you are getting enough minerals with bone broth, nettles infusions, fermented foods and beverages, or filtered water with sea salt or liquid minerals, or add some unsweetened cranberry juice or lemon to your water. Minerals are essential in staying hydrated. Nettles infusions and bone broths are fantastic for getting rid of headaches and re-hydrating as well.

Immune Boosting/Prevention of flus/colds, and other illnesses: wild orange, clove bud, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cinnamon. Dilute and use as a gargle for prevention or when you feel a cold, flu, or sore throat coming on. Dilute in spray bottles with purified water to clean doorknobs, floors, countertops, and other public-use surfaces. Use a few drops in an empty gelatin capsule for immune support.

Respiratory/sinus: Oil of oregano, one of the most powerful, natural antibiotics can be used for various issues like stomach upset, diarrhea, colds, flus, and respiratory or sinus infections. You can buy good quality wild, Mediterranean oregano from most health food stores. The preparation is often contained in a carrier mix such as olive oil. You can also mix your own saline at home with sea salt and filtered water and mix oil of oregano along with clove bud oil, bay leaf, and sage for use in a neti pot or a nasal spray in a bottle.

Another great way to clear congestion and mucous out of your sinus and nasal passages is to put a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil on a cotton ball. Put the cotton ball in a clean, empty bottle such as an old vitamin or mineral supplement container. Plug one nostril at a time and breathe deeply from the bottle multiple times. Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiseptic, and disinfectant and its fumes are powerful enough to ward off an infection in your respiratory tract if started quickly enough.

Taken orally, I just add the Oil of Oreganol P73 by North American Herb & Spice to filtered water (read bottle directions, usually no more than 3 -5 drops) and drink it down. It has a strong, spicy flavor. Use a slice of lemon to remove the taste in your mouth, if desired, afterward.

Fermented cod liver oil – this is a food as well as a great remedy for colds, flus, and other illness. Although we take FCLO everyday, if someone in my family is sick, we load up on this important food which is packed with nutrients like Vitamins A and D. We use Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal.

Garlic – a great, natural antifungal, immune booster, and detoxifier. Eat raw (if you can stand it). Or, crush a few cloves of garlic and add to 4 cups water, bring to a boil and then sip. Garlic is good for infections – bacterial and viral. Also good for sinus infections and is good for digestion. Garlic oil is great mixed with other essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, and echinacea and a carrier oil (see above) for ear infections and stopped up ear canals.

Goldenseal root – this herb is a bitter tasting potent and used for aiding digestion, curing infections and inflammation, and can be purchased in powder form from the health food store. Although I have never used it for this purpose, it is apparently useful for canker sores and as an earwash as well, when added to warm water as a gargle or washing agent. It can also be applied topically to cuts, bruises, and infected areas of the skin.  Because it is expensive and concentrated, you only need small amounts at a time when purchasing from the store, and it is wise to remember that a little goes a long way.

I have used it successfully for conjunctivitis. The preparation you can make for multiple uses (see above) is about a 1/4 teaspoon to about 16 ounces (half a quart) of boiling water, and then drained the powder out with a cheesecloth. The remaining “tea” can be used as a wash for the eyes, ears or skin, or to sip several times a day. The “tea” can develop mold sometimes within a day or two, and should be kept in the refrigerator and until discarded and then remade until the infection is gone.

Olive oil – use on your skin and body for moisturizing, eat on salads and light cooking (low temperature heat), and for oil pulling. Oil pulling is a useful way to detoxify your body and remove dangerous substances. Use 2 tablespoons of oil, first thing in the morning before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. Swish the oil in your mouth for 10 minutes and then spit out into a garbage can. Oil pulling should be done multiple times for maximum effect. Improves mouth or gum disease, chronic infections and many other health issues.

Probiotics - if you are a person who regularly eats fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented vegetables, etc. you are probably getting a good supply of friendly bacteria from real food in your diet, which is essential to health. Sometimes though, we all need a boost. I keep therapeutic-grade probiotics in our house at all times, which we take daily, but also for when anyone is not feeling well – whether it’s a common cold, sore throat, flu, upset stomach, diarrhea, or anything else. Here are the brands we use: BioKult, Biotics Research, Prescript-Assist, Advanced Naturals, and HMF by Genestra. It is a good idea to switch brands every few months to ensure diversity of bacteria in the gut.

Good quality probiotics are essential to your health; it’s not a good idea to skimp on quality because the majority of products on the market do not actually contain the strains nor the numbers of bacteria shown on the label, contain genetically-modified material, and some products are made from toxic sources such as (gasp!), human bowel waste.

For sinus and upper respiratory infections or issues, break open a capsule and add some of the powder to your neti pot or to a sinus spray bottle. Read my testimony here of how I cured a serious sinus infection with probiotics in my neti pot.

Probiotics are safe for children to take. My son takes them every day of his life, and when he’s sick, I give him more. I can’t think of any instance where he has had an upset stomach or diarrhea and probiotics didn’t improve his condition.

Raw honey – Honey is a natural as a dietary supplement and as a topical application for infections, flus, and colds and supports digestion and immune function. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of raw honey in warm water with 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon or take straight several times daily for coughs, colds, and related ailments. You can also take raw honey and cinnamon with lemon in water as well for health. It is also really effective for putting topically on burns and wounds. Combine with garlic for a “garlic tonic” by chopping up garlic into minced pieces, pour honey over it and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After it has infused, remove the garlic and eat the honey. Great for colds, flus, infections, and general immune boosting needs.

Sesame oil – is useful for massaging into the skin and for oil pulling (see olive oil above) to remove impurities and toxins from the body.

Last but not least, my home medicine cabinet wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the fact that our kitchen is always stocked with plenty of nourishing, real food. Come take a peek and find out what our staples are – foods we rely on for continued health and well-being.

Want more information on detoxification and cleansing for overall health?

My liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse experience

Want to lose weight? DETOX!

How cleansing positively affects your health?

What’s in your home medicine cabinet?

This post is part of Mind, Body, and Sole’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Alternative Medicine Real Food

How I Cured A Raging Sinus Infection Naturally, With No Drugs

Over the last few months I’ve been hearing about a lot of people who have been ill with terrible head colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, flus, and sinus infections.

It always seems strange to me when people are coming down with stuff like this in what is not typically considered the cold and flu season. But when you stop to consider the diet and subsequent state of health of people in general, it really shouldn’t be surprising.

In the summer of 2006 my husband, son, and I all became ill with a terrible sickness that I might have otherwise described as West Nile Virus – except for the fact that none of us had been bitten by mosquitoes or been around any areas where mosquitoes inhabit. Our symptoms were severe – extreme fatigue, malaise, body ache, and high fevers that lasted for over a week (in my son’s case he had a fever for 15 days!). From start to finish, the entire episode lasted for nearly two months. But our symptoms started subsiding immediately after we paid a visit to my acupuncturist and Chinese herbal doctor.

Since then I’ve been a devoted follower of natural treatments. This year, I was once again reminded just how useful natural treatments are when the sore throat and body ache I came down with turned into conjunctivitis and a horrible sinus infection. The sickness first came on in mid-June, and I figured it would just be a mild sore throat that would last a day or two…after all, I’m a pretty healthy person who eats a good diet and doesn’t get sick much anymore…but I was wrong. The sore throat, headache, body ache, fatigue and cough went on for about five days. Day six found me with a sinus headache and red, weepy eyes. I assumed these symptoms would go away without much consequence. Wrong again.

The normal course of action I take with a sinus infection is to use my neti pot and breathe hot steam with essential oils. Because at first my condition didn’t seem too severe, I didn’t irrigate frequently enough. Within a few days the infection became so acute I was in excruciating pain daily until afternoon when the congestion would subside and have me believing that it was on its way out. Then, the following day I’d wake up again only to be in agonizing pain within an hour or two.

Just two days before my sinus infection developed, I had paid a visit to my neighbor, a nutritional therapist. She said that I had strep in my body, and I tested positive for candida. I had performed a candida cleanse in 2007 which lasted about 14 weeks. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to do another candida cleanse, but knew from talking with her and my own research that both the sinus problem and the conjunctivitis could likely be caused by a candida overgrowth. After I put these things together in my head I decided to do another candida cleanse and went on a grain and sugar-free diet. My normal diet is pretty healthy anyway, so I just removed a few things and also began taking Candidase by Enzymedica. This is a product I’ve used before in the past, but there are other products formulated for candida removal as well.

In the meantime, I was seeing little improvement. I tried everything my neighbor had suggested – I took an oil of oregano supplement and colloidal silver. My research revealed that goldenseal, apple cider vinegar, and various immune-boosting herbal products I already had in my house were effective natural treatments for a sinus infection. I also used hot compresses with oil of oregano, peppermint, lemon, melaleuca, and eucalyptus, breathed essential oils in hot steam several times a day, and used my neti-pot ’round the clock. I was drinking a lot of water and eating well, but nothing seemed to work.

During this time of course, everyone around me was urging me to go to the doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics. All I could think of was how this would wipe out my immune system – especially because I now had some kind of candida problem that would inevitably only get worse with antibiotics.

I’ve had enough!

Although I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t figure out a way to get over the sinus infection, this factor alone is what kept me from breaking down and going to a conventional doctor.  Finally, I decided to go see a naturopathic doctor who also has an M.D. working in her office. I decided that if she couldn’t help me with something natural, I’d have her do a culture to determine the cause of the infection – bacterial or fungal, as any sinus problem that goes on for that long is not usually caused by a virus. If the culture came out positive for something besides a virus, I was nearly resigned to taking antibiotics or an anti-fungal medication if necessary. From my experience and what others have reported, most medical doctors don’t think of sinus infections as being caused by fungal sources, they usually just tap on your head and write out a prescription for an antibiotic. I wanted to find out what was causing it and fix it. I didn’t want to be given some random medication and sent on my way.

The naturopath said she wasn’t sure that anything else she could do would cure my sinus infection since I had already been doing those things for three weeks and had not achieved results. But she was willing to try and wait to see if I felt any improvement the following day. We agreed that if what she did failed to work, I would come back and do a culture to find out what type of medication would be best.

The first thing she did was perform some manipulations (she knows chiropractic treatment) on my neck and head. Then she took four long cotton swabs and soaked them in essential oils and pushed them up into my nasal passages – yes, inside my nasal passages! It felt very odd, but once they were in it wasn’t a problem and she left them there for ten or fifteen minutes. While the swabs were in, she did some head and facial massage and manipulations on pressure points corresponding to my sinuses. After she was finished with these treatments, my head was almost completely pain free – for the first time in over two weeks! It was amazing. She also told me to go home and do alternating hot and cold compresses on my sinuses before bed, take an herbal tincture from her office, and perform a sinus rinse with colloidal silver in my neti-pot (I had tried the colloidal silver as a nasal spray already with no success).

Later that afternoon I talked to my neighbor again and she suggested putting a probiotic capsule in my neti pot. I take daily doses of probiotics, but had not yet tried breaking open the capsule and putting it in the pot. I used self-massage on my sinuses throughout the rest of the day, as shown by the naturopath. I also did the compresses and took the tincture as directed.

Now here’s the most amazing part - at bedtime, I emptied the contents of a probiotics capsule into the neti-pot and proceeded to pour the warm water, salt, baking soda and probiotic mixture into my nasal passages. Immediately I felt a terrible burning sensation that went on for a good ten minutes. It was quite painful, but as it subsided, I was filled with a peaceful calm, and then retired to bed and had a good night sleep. The next morning, I awoke and was surprised to find that even as time went on, my head remained pain-free throughout the day. The horrible “ice pick” sinus pressure which was normally in full-swing by 10 a.m. was completely gone. Whenever I felt like I was getting a slight ache, I performed the facial massage to my temples and sinuses I had done the day before. I also used the probiotics in my neti pot a few more times over the next five days, along with my Whole Body Defense from Gaia Herbs, and some grapefruit seed extract (about 5 drops in 6 ounces of water twice a day). I was cured! I really believe those probiotics did some magical trick – although I’m sure some of the other things I did helped as well – because the first time I did it, after the burning came and went, the pain was completely gone and has not returned since.

Some people might still be skeptical after reading this and say, “yeah, you got well naturally, but it took nearly 4 weeks!” Yes, that is true. But how many people do you know who take antibiotics and don’t get well for weeks…or become sick again after thinking they are cured? How many others take one antibiotic, only to have it not improve their condition, and then return to the doctor for one or two more rounds of other antibiotics? This is a pretty common occurrence, and I didn’t want to be one of those people.

Here’s something else important to remember: the first two weeks I assumed whatever I had would go away on its own and didn’t make much of an effort to treat it sufficiently. It wasn’t until at least week two where I realized it was a serious infection and decided to do something. In many cases, the first thing you try isn’t the thing that is going to work. Just as described above, medical doctors often try many different medications before something actually brings results…and still, sometimes, it doesn’t work.

The other factor in all of this that people fail to take into account is the natural immunity granted to your body when you allow it to recover naturally instead of using pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications. These artificially-produced, toxic substances weaken the immune system by wiping out friendly bacteria and depleting the body of vital nutrients. They are also responsible for  a wave of resistant bacteria which could ultimately cause the death of mass numbers of our population in the not-so-distant future. These bacteria become impervious to medications when they are actually needed, and in some cases, cannot be killed at all or will only be taken down by certain medications which are dangerous to use and can cause damage to the human body. Ultimately, I claim victory in this situation because even though it took me awhile to get over this, I did it without compromising my immune system and I gained natural immunity to whatever was making me sick.

Are antibiotics useful?

Remember that the word antibiotic literally means “anti-life”. Antibiotics have their place in the world, but they shouldn’t be used every time you get a flu, cold, or respiratory infection that lasts longer than 7 – 10 days . I once heard a story from a friend who went to the doctor and was given a prescription for antibiotics. When she asked whether antibiotics were really necessary, the doctor replied that she didn’t want to mess around with a possible infection and antibiotics were the best thing. My friend asked whether she would die if she didn’t take the antibiotics and to which the doctor replied, “it’s possible”.  So what if she hadn’t taken antibiotics for her infection? What would be the likelihood of her dying because she did not follow the doctor’s recommendation? Most people have compromised immune systems due to diet and poor lifestyle anyway, but taking antibiotics when your health is compromised will only make the problem later worse – even if it temporarily stops an infection in its tracks.

If you become sick and take antibiotics, you are really only wiping out all the bacteria in your body. You are not dealing with the underlying cause of the illness, which is why you became sick in the first place. This is why people get sick over and over again, even though they have taken antibiotics.

Viewing health holistically

It goes without saying that maintaining wellness isn’t just about curing yourself. It should be viewed holistically through a  healthy diet to give your body the foundation with which to fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections in the first place. It’s also about getting enough rest, drinking enough filtered water, staying active, and avoiding chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, pesticides, and other toxins in the environment.

Would I do things differently in the future? I certainly would. But antibiotics still wouldn’t be part of my solution. Next time I feel something coming on, I’ll react more quickly to implement a natural remedy, and be more aggressive about treatment instead of waiting a week or two. After finding the right treatment, it worked to eliminate my sinus problem because the pain was still severe the day I went into see the naturopath, and when I left her office, the pain was almost 100 percent eliminated. Then, after following recommendations from the naturopath and my neighbor, the infection was gone and did not return. Nothing else I had tried up to that point made much difference.  So, never again will I believe otherwise – proactive measures are the best bet for staying healthy.

UPDATE 10/26/2012:  This last spring I had a pretty severe sinus infection again, and this time it didn’t respond to using my neti pot with probiotics in it.

My solution was to get a clean dropper bottle with warm filtered water (filled maybe about halfway full) and add liquid minerals to it (8-10 drops). I used Best Process by Dr. Morter’s liquid minerals. I switched liquid minerals brands this year because I had used Concentrace liquid minerals for a number of years and they didn’t really work for me (adding it to water).

Then I heated up a hot pack with buckwheat hulls in it (purchased from the health food store), and heated it in the microwave (the only thing I use the microwave for). I lay down on my bed and placed the pack on my forehead and then tilted my head back, and took the dropper bottle and put anywhere from 10-12 drops in my nasal passages and just let it stay there for a few minutes. You can do this while hanging your head off the bed or prop up a pillow to support your head so you can lean it back. After a few minutes, I either just let it absorb naturally or go to the sink and spit it out.

My ND told me that getting those minerals up in the sinus cavity is critical to eliminating the infection. One of the primary causes of most disease is mineral deficiency, and if you look at how deficient our soils and foods are of these important elements, this makes sense. It may take some days or a week or more of doing this multiple times a day until your infection will go away, and I had to do this for about 8 days, but it did work for me.