Ahhhhh spring! Warmer weather (except when we get snow or icy windy rain in Illinois), getting outdoors breathing in all that fresh air (or rather, pollen), smelling the pretty flowers (a.k.a. sneeze-bushes as my husband calls them).
Are you walking around giving the evil eye to your friends and family who are symptom-free at this time of year? Let’s see what we can do about that to make you feel better. Here are 5 tips to help clear your sinuses.
Inhale steam from a hot shower. You can also lean over a bowl of hot water and cover your head with a towel so the steam stays close to you. Caution with the temperature – you want it hot enough to steam but DO NOT burn yourself! This will help to loosen the mucus.
Spice It Up
Add cayenne pepper, horseradish, garlic, or onion to your meals to help get rid of excess mucus. An easy way is to add one or several of these ingredients to a homemade soup with bone broth & veggies. (If you don’t have time to make your bone broth – they sell it now in the health food section of the grocery store or you can order online).
I can almost feel my sinuses opening even when I read the word horseradish. Some people love it, some don’t – but it might just be the thing to eat a dose of it to clear you more quickly.
ACV + Honey
Add apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tsp ea.) in 6 oz water. Drink it up to three times a day for a few days to thin out the mucus to make it easier to expel. Because ACV is acidic, I always recommend swishing your mouth with water afterwards.
If 6 oz seems like too much, you can condense it down in less water and drink it like a shot. Since you’re using it to help clear symptoms, if you can get organic ACV and a local honey, those would be best. But if you can’t, trying this is still better than having to rely on lots of OTC remedies from the pharmacy.
Reduce Phlegmy Foods
(Here, I often get an “Awww, no, do I really have to….???!) A lot of people’s daily diet includes foods that trigger mucus: flour products (breads, pastas, crackers, cookies), hard-boiled eggs, chocolate, fried or processed foods, sugar, dairy, and orange juice (yep, I said orange juice. It’s super super phlegmy). Reduce these until you feel better and it really will help you faster.
Blow Your Nose (Gently)
Okay, I know this one sounds like, Well, Duh! But I want to say two things about it. First, blow your nose GENTLY – too forcefully and you’ll blow mucus and germs into your ear passages and that can lead to ear symptoms like itchiness, earache, and muffled hearing.
Second, get it out rather than swallowing it down! Even if that means you have to hork, hawk, hack (pick your favorite word!) it back up – you want to get it out of your body.
Otherwise it’s sending all that stuff down to your stomach to process and if your healthy natural stomach acid is weak (a real problem nowadays with all the medication that turns off stomach acid) then your stomach can’t kill off all the bacteria like it should normally. So help your body and get it out.
If this isn’t enough to get your symptoms under control, then come in for acupuncture. Don’t let yourself be miserable this spring. Click here to book now.