Tag Archives: How To Use a Neti Pot

Nasal Irrigation with a Neti Pot May Be the Magic Bullet Against Coronavirus-19

Amy Baxter, MD, holding a Buzzy, the physiologic pain blocker she invented

Amy Baxter, MD, is a pediatric emergency physician, pain management researcher, engineer, writer and mom as well as the founder and CEO of Pain Care Labs in Atlanta. Baxter is probably best known as the inventor of the Medical Design Excellence Award winning Buzzy® physiologic pain blocker. She’s a doctor known for creative solutions to medical challenges.

And now she’s got an idea for lessening the impact of Coronavirus-19 and the severity of COVID-19.

PROBABLE IMPACT OF NASAL IRRIGATION ON CORONAVIRUS-19

Source: Library of Congress

While Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, and other parts of China have been hard hit by Coronavirus-19, nearby Thailand, Laos and Vietnam have had a remarkably low number of cases. Baxter’s take on this is that nasal irrigation (also called nasal wash), a personal hygiene habit  widely practiced in Thailand but not in China, helps explain the difference. 

Performing regular nasal irrigation with a solution of sea salt and warm water is an easy and effective way to clear nasal secretions; improve nasal congestion; decrease post-nasal drip; stop runny nose, sneezing and coughing; alleviate sinus pain and headaches; improve taste and smell and even improve sleep quality. It’s also an inexpensive natural remedy with a very low risk of side effects. (Piromchai, 2019)

 Nasal irrigation has long been considered a good way to remove viruses and bacteria from sinus cavities. Baxter points out that recent clinical trials demonstrate that nasal irrigation reduces the duration and symptoms for other viral illnesses like flu and the common cold. Baxter has multiple reasons for believing that this approach can also be effective with Coronavirus-19. She notes that “SARS-CoV2’s viral load is heaviest in sinuses/nasal cavity.”

Also, the known sex and age discrimination of COVID-19 supports her conclusion. “Children don’t develop full sinuses until teens; males have larger cavities than women, and the cavities are largest [in those] over 70 years,” Baxter says. At least so far, children have been the least affected by COVID-19 while the elderly and men are dying at faster rates.

Regarding the very low COVID-19 death rates in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, Baxter says, “Yes, they wear masks, and yes, they bow and don’t shake hands, but the biggest difference between them and places like South Korea or Japan is that nasal irrigation is practiced by 80 percent of people.” Laos has had less than 20 reported cases, and Vietnam roughly 300. (Hall, 4/20/2020) & (Hall, 5/16/2020)

Last week, on May 15 2020, Thailand reported they had no new cases of COVID-19 and and no deaths from it. “Since the outbreak started, there have been 3,025 reported cases of the coronavirus in Thailand, leading to 56 deaths. These numbers are surprisingly low in a country with a population of 70 million inhabitants that is also a popular tourist destination. (Hall, 5/16/2020)

CORONAVIRUS-19: VIRAL LOAD vs INFECTIOUS DOSE

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient and imaged using a transmission electron micrograph. (Credit: NIAID)

Source: Discover Magazine

Viral load is a measurement of the amount of a virus in an organism, typically in the bloodstream. It’s usually stated as virus particles per milliliter.  A high viral load jump starts the virus’s effort to make its host sick.

Having a high viral load may increase the odds that the recipient will develop COVID-19 while also raising the risk of that person’s immune system’s becoming overloaded in its battle against the virus. An often cited example of this explanation is that someone who becomes infected indirectly by touching a door handle may develop a mild case of COVID-19 compared to a person who inhales a large load of the virus from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. (Boyd, 5/6/2020)

Some disagree but many in the medical community believe that the size of the initial viral load of Coronavirus-19 influences whether or not an individual develops COVID-19. Baxter points out that flushing the build up of viral particles from the sinuses once or twice a day “gives the immune system time to figure out what it needs while reducing the enemy.” (Hall, 5/16/2020)

Source: DailyMail.co.uk

Emerging research indicates that the relationship between viral load at exposure and being sickened by this coronavirus is probably more complex – and also different from that of other communicable viral respiratory illnesses like influenza, MERS and SARS.

Infectious dose refers to the number of viral particles needed to establish an infection. “We don’t know what this is for covid-19 yet, but given how rapidly the disease is spreading, it is likely to be relatively low – in the region of a few hundred or thousand particles, says Willem van Schaik at the University of Birmingham, UK.

“Viral load, on the other hand, relates to the number of viral particles being carried by an infected individual and shed into their environment. “The viral load is a measure of how bright the fire is burning in an individual, whereas the infectious dose is the spark that gets that fire going,” says Edward Parker at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“If you have a high viral load, you are more likely to infect other people, because you may be shedding more virus particles. However, in the case of covid-19, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a higher viral load will lead to more severe symptoms.” (Geddes, 3/27/2020)

“Depending on the virus, people need to be exposed to as little as 10 virus particles — for example, for influenza viruses — or as many as thousands for other human viruses to get infected.

“Scientists do not know how many virus particles of SARS-CoV-2 are needed to trigger infection. COVID-19 is clearly very contagious, but this may be because few particles are needed for infection (the infectious dose is low), or because infected people release a lot of virus in their environment.

“In the case of the original SARS or influenza, whether a person develops mild symptoms or pneumonia depends not only on how much virus is in their lungs, but also on their immune response and their overall health.” (Lakdawala & Gaglia, 4/18/2020)

Whether viral load or infectious dose turns out to be a deciding factor for becoming ill with COVID-19 and/or having a severe case of it, it’s clear that the state of your immune system and your overall health is of the utmost importance. When our sinuses are blocked with gunk, we can’t breathe well through our noses. And we all know from personal experience that being able to breathe freely is vital to our physical and mental health. Nasal irrigation washes out nasty viruses, bacteria and fungi from our sinuses and nose – and helps us breathe fully and easily.

NASAL IRRIGATION FOR COVID-19

Clinical trials have shown that practicing nasal irrigation reduces the symptoms and duration of viral illnesses like the common cold (a simpler coronavirus is one of 100 viruses causing a ‘cold’) and the flu. Its impact on Coronavirus-19 hasn’t been fully studied yet but Dr Baxter “believe[s] strongly that nasal irrigation is the key to reducing COVID-19 progression of symptoms and infectivity.” She points out that the viral load of SARS-CoV2’s is heaviest in the sinuses and the nasal cavity. (Hall, 5/16/2020).

Many in the medical community believe that the viral load of Coronavirus-19 influences whether or not an individual develops COVID-19. Baxter points out that flushing the build up of viral particles from the sinuses once or twice a day “gives the immune system time to figure out what it needs while reducing the enemy.” (Hall, 5/16/2020)

Nine new registered trials investigating the effects of nasal irrigation on Coronavirus-19 are currently underway: at Stanford University, the University of Kentucky, NYU Langone Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt University and elsewhere. (Hall, 5/16/2020)

Dr Baxter recommends that anyone who has been exposed to or is positive for COVID-19 do nasal irrigation with the following solution:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of povidone-iodine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (see note below)
  • Mixed with 8 ounces of lukewarm boiled tap water

Povidone-iodine is a broad spectrum antiseptic solution commonly used for skin disinfection before and after surgery. It kills a broad range of pathogenic microbes – bacteria (Gram-positive and -negative), viruses, fungi and protozoa. Povidone-Iodine is also known as iodopovidone. Some brand names are Betadine, Wokadine and Pyodine, available at stores like CVS and on Amazon.com.

My note: Use sea salt, not processed table salt in your nasal irrigator. Table salt is very harsh and will sting.

PRECAUTIONS WITH POVIDONE-IODINE

So I did a little research into povidone-iodine to see if I was willing to run it through my sinuses and found an article called Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic posted by the National Capital Poison Center. Reading through the information there on how to use this antiseptic safely and the warnings about who should avoid using it, I decided it wouldn’t be safe for me. I have a thyroid condition and am generally hypersensitive to many substances (including a large number of pharmaceuticals) so will forego povidone-iodine and continue using sea salt and filtered water in my neti pot.

I recommend reading the National Capital Poison Center’s short and informative article to see if providone-iodine would be safe for you.

NETI POTS FOR NASAL IRRIGATION

Using a neti pot is an inexpensive and easy way to irrigate your sinuses and nose. They often look like little tea pots or genie lamps and come in a large variety of shapes and materials.

Neti pots are gravity-based containers designed for pouring a saline solution into one nostril and having it flow out of the other nostril. They were developed in ancient India as part of a set of purifying and cleansing ayurvedic yogic practices. References to neti pots appear in Indian writings from 3,000 BC – though they were likely invented centuries before that.

HOW TO USE A NETI POT

Here’s a video of how to use a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses to remove any nasty allergens, bacteria, viruses and molds that have taken up residence in there. Though the process may look scary or disgusting, you’ll find it easy and highly beneficial once you get the hang of it. I recommend doing it in the shower.

A few suggestions:

  • You can buy those more expensive packages of neti pot salt or get a big container of pure sea salt and use some of it. I like to use Pink Himalyan Sea Salt (fine) or La Baleine Sea Salt (fine). Do not use processed table salt. It’s harsh & will sting.
  • I recommend getting a ceramic rather than a plastic neti pot – much easier to keep it clean. The ceramic ones can be sterilized in the dishwasher. I’ve used the same white ceramic model for a few decades.
  • Using warm, filtered water in lieu of distilled water should be fine too.
  • If you use your neti pot in the shower, you don’t have to worry about dribbling the salt solution down your shirt and can also lean against the shower wall to get your head at the right angle so the solution doesn’t run down the back of your throat.

That’s the basic way to use a neti pot to get the gunk out of your sinuses and nose – clean hands, warm water and sea salt.

See NATURAL TREATMENT FOR SEASONAL POLLEN & MOLD ALLERGIES for more information on using a neti pot to clear seasonal pollens, mold and fungal biofilms out of your nasal sinuses. (Hardin, 5/26/2019)

Many thanks to Christian Lillis, Executive Director of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, for sending me the 5/16/2020 article on nasal irrigation for Coronavirus-19. The mission of the Peggy Lillis Foundation is to build a nationwide Clostridium difficile awareness movement by educating the public, empowering advocates, and shaping policy.

REFERENCES

Boyd, C. (5/6/2020). The AMOUNT of coronavirus you get infected with decides how severe the illness is, SAGE scientist warns. DailyMail.co.uk. See: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8291955/AMOUNT-coronavirus-infected-decides-severe-illness-SAGE-scientist-warns.html

Geddes, L. (3/27/2020). Does a high viral load or infectious dose make covid-19 worse?
See: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2238819-does-a-high-viral-load-or-infectious-dose-make-covid-19-worse/#ixzz6N6fwfHOf

Hall, C. (4/20/2020). Nasal Irrigation Is the Key to Reducing COVID-19 Progression, Doctor Says: Amy Baxter, MD, Say6s Nasal Irrigation May Be the Best Way to Treat Positive Coronavirus Patients. See: https://bestlifeonline.com/nasal-irrigation-covid-19/

Hall, C. (5/16/2020). This One Habit May Be Why Thailand Has So Few COVID Cases, Doctor Says: This Personal Hygiene Habit May Help You Avoid the Coronavirus. See: https://bestlifeonline.com/thailand-coronavirus-hygiene/

Hardin, J.R. (5/26/2019). NATURAL TREATMENT FOR SEASONAL POLLEN & MOLD ALLERGIES. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2019/05/26/natural-treatment-for-seasonal-pollen-mold-allergies/

Lakdawala, S. & Gaglia, M. (4/18/2020). What We Do and Do Not Know About COVID-19’s Infectious Dose and Viral Load: Two virologists share their thoughts about these often-used terms. DiscoverMagazine.com. See: https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/what-we-do-and-do-not-know-about-covid-19s-infectious-dose-and-viral-load

National Capitol Poison Center. (2019). Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic. See: https://www.poison.org/articles/povidone-iodine-safe-use-of-a-common-antiseptic-193

Piromchai, P. et al. (2019). Effectiveness of nasal irrigation devices: a Thai multicentre survey. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542345/

© Copyright 2020. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

What I Did for Sinus Misery

Updated and reposted on 6/8/2018.

CLIMATE CHANGE HAS LANDED US IN ANOTHER BAD ALLERGY SEASON AND I’M HEARING FROM MANY PEOPLE THAT THEY’RE IN MISERY AGAIN WITH SEVERE SINUS CONGESTION. SO I’M REPOSTING THIS PIECE DESCRIBING THE PROTOCOL I CAME UP WITH TWO YEARS AGO FOR CLEARING SINUS CONGESTION WITHOUT PHARMACEUTICALS.

I RARELY SUCCUMB TO VIRAL ILLNESSES BUT LAST WEEK, DURING A TIME OF GREATER THAN USUAL STRESS, WAS FELLED BY A NASTY HEAD COLD THAT FILLED MY SINUSES WITH GUNK SO I COULD BARELY BREATHE AND THEN PROGRESSED INTO MY LUNGS WITH A DEEP, WET COUGH.

THIS PROTOCOL WORKED AGAIN. I’VE USED BOTH PRODUCTS IN MY NETI POT THREE MORNINGS IN A ROW AND HAVE FELT INCREASINGLY BETTER EACH DAY. THIS TIME AROUND I MIXED BOTH SUPPLEMENTS TOGETHER:

  • ALLICIDIN – A POTENT GARLIC EXTRACT TO DEGRADE THE SLIMY BIOFILMS THAT HAD FORMED IN MY SINUSES
  • REPHRESH  – PROBIOTICS TO REBALANCE THE CLEARLY OUT OF BALANCE FUNGAL AND BACTERIAL FLORA IN MY SINUSES

THIS METHOD ACTUALLY FIXES THE PROBLEM RATHER THAN TEMPORARILY EASING THE SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM. IT’S A LIFE SAVER FOR ME SINCE MY BODY REACTS VERY BADLY TO BOTH DECONGESTANTS AND ANTIHISTAMINES.

HERE’S A VIDEO EXPLAINING THE NUMEROUS  HEALTH BENEFITS OF PREMIER RESEARCH LABS’ NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT, ALLICIDIN:

 

I COULDN’T FIND AN INFORMATIONAL VIDEO ABOUT REPHRESH.

BOTH ALLICIDIN AND REPHRESH  ARE AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON.

 

 

ORIGINAL POST 10/9/2016

Source: www.entspecialistinbangalore.com
Source: www.entspecialistinbangalore.com

 

Those of you who know me personally or follow this blog know  my focus is on addressing the underlying cause(s) of a health problem rather than simply putting band aids on its symptoms – and also that I generally react badly to pharmaceuticals. So when my sinuses became horribly stuffed up during the second long period of very hot, wet weather this past summer (mercifully over now) and the congestion kept getting worse instead of going away, I knew I had to figure out what was causing this misery in my sinus microbiome and how to fix it.
After suffering through chronic sinus problems for decades, culminating in two surgeries to remove nasal polyps, and not wanting to live that way any more, I’d set myself the task of stopping my allergies and thought I’d succeeded once and for all. Yet, after many years of relatively easy breathing, this past summer’s extreme weather did me in.
My symptoms this time around were:
  • Intense pressure above and below my eyes – felt like polar bears were lodged in the sinuses behind my cheeks, pressing down on my upper teeth
  • A chronically dripping nose
  • Frequent, violent sneezing spells
  • A raw throat from the post nasal drip
  • Inability to breathe through my nose
  • Lack of energy
  • Molasses brain
  • Momentary temperature spikes
  • Feeling like Spanish moss was wrapped around my vocal cords
  • Occasional laryngitis
  • Coughing and need to clear my throat
  • Blocked up ears
  • Chronically dry mouth
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste
  • Gasping for air while eating
  • Interrupted sleep since lying down made everything much worse
  • Bad breath (not that I could smell it myself)
  • Generally feeling exhausted and disgusting
I was miserable but at least I didn’t develop a sinus infection or start growing nasal polyps again before figuring out what to do.

 

Here’s a 3-D Animation describing how the sinuses work, what can go wrong, and a medical procedure for blockage that I’d never want to have:

 

 

WHAT I TRIED

First I turned to my old standbys for sinusitis and various promising-sounding things other people suggested, each of which provided a modicum of relief for short times – 10 minutes to a few hours:
  • Washing my sinuses out with a mixture of sea salt and filtered water
  • Sinusin (a homeopathic nasal spray)
  • Aller-Max (a gluten free, non-drowsy supplement containing quercetin, bromelain, and Vitamin C)
  • XClear (a nasal spray containing xylitol)
  • Sinusalia (a homeopathic supplement)
  • Firmly pressing on acupressure points on my face and chest that impact the sinuses
  • Two homeopathic remedies, Drainage Tone and Aller Chord II
  • Coating the inside of my nostrils with castor oil
  • Dots of eucalyptus and tea tree oil below my nostrils
  • Using an electric steamer/inhaler to make my sinuses drain
  • A ThermalOn Dry Eye Compress (to put moist heat directly over my sinuses)
  • Avoiding dairy
  • Eating more fermented foods
  • Belly laughing to stimulate my vagus nerves
  • Himalayan Chandra Neti Wash Plus
Clearly this persistent sinus congestion was different from anything I’d experienced before. I felt frustrated and exhausted – pretty much like this but nowhere near as cute:

 

Source: www.sendscraps.com
Source: www.sendscraps.com

So I did some more research and learned about the formation of biofilms in the sinuses.

 

 

 

BIOFILMS: BACTERIA & FUNGI

“Biofilms are highly structured communities of microorganisms that attach to one another and to surfaces. The microorganisms group together and form a slimy, polysaccharide cover. This layer is highly protective for the organisms within it, and when new bacteria are produced they stay within the slimy layer. With the introduction of antibiotic-produced glycogen, the biofilms have an almost endless food source that can be used once antibiotic exposure has ended.” (Oak Crest Institute of Science, 2013)
Many types of bacteria clump together inside protective biofilms, making the bacteria inaccessible to pharmaceuticals and natural substances that would weaken or kill them – producing chronic misery when this happens inside our noses and sinuses.

Bacterial biofilm in a person with chronic sinusitis

Credit: Thiago Freire Pinto Bezerra et al, Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol. (Impr.) vol.75 no.6 São Paulo Nov./Dec. 2009
Credit: Thiago Freire Pinto Bezerra et al, Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol. (Impr.) vol.75 no.6 São Paulo Nov./Dec. 2009

And to make the sinus congestion situation worse, fungi (molds are types of fungi) have also been shown to form biofilms on the mucosal linings of the sinuses and nostrils. (Healy et al, 2008).
“You might be wondering why antibiotics and antifungal drugs are ineffective for chronic sinus infections.  It’s because of the Bio-Film formation.  Biofilms are colonies of microbes that form a mass which is resistant to drug therapy.
Chronic Sinusitis, nasal polyposis, asthma and eosinophilia are quite common and may co-exist as a syndrome.    Chronic bacterial or fungal sinus infection with Bio-Film formation has been implicated in this syndrome.  Many of these patients have been on multiple courses of antibiotics and/or antifungal drugs which are completely ineffective because of bio-film formation.    Many of these patients have undergone repeated nasal sinus surgeries, and are commonly steroid dependent from chronic use of prednisone.” (Dach, 2014)

 

 

 

A LINK BETWEEN ANTIOBIOTICS & BIOFILM FORMATION

Here’s more evidence for how antibiotics can be harmful: ‘Scientist Finds Link between Antibiotics and Bacterial Biofilm Formation Cause of Chronic Ear, Sinus, and Lung Infections’.
From the article:

“Researchers from the University of Southern California and the Oak Crest Institute of Science have discovered the link between antibiotics and bacterial biofilm formation leading to chronic lung, sinus and ear infections. The study results, published in the current issue of PLOS ONE, illustrate how bacterial biofilms can actually thrive, rather than decrease, when given low doses of antibiotics.

“’This research addresses the long standing issues surrounding chronic ear infections and why some children experience repeated ear infections even after antibiotic treatment,’ said Paul Webster, Ph.D., lead author, senior staff scientist at USC and senior faculty at the Oak Crest Institute of Science. ‘Once the biofilm forms, it becomes stronger with each treatment of antibiotics.’” (Oak Crest Institute of Science, 2013)

 

And from an article called ‘Antibiotic Use Increases Risk of Developing Chronic Sinusitis’:

“Yes, of course this makes sense!…. Many rounds of antibiotics have an effect not just in one area of the body, but kill off both good and bad bacteria in many areas of the human body. The researchers in this study found that taking antibiotics for a reason OTHER THAN SINUSITIS was associated with an increased risk of developing chronic sinusitis (as compared to those people not receiving antibiotics). Use of antibiotics more than doubles the odds of developing chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps. And this effect lasted for at least 2 years. Other research has already associated antibiotic use with “decreased microbial diversity” in our microbiome  and with “opportunistic infections” such as Candida albicans and Clostridium difficile. Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and diabetes are also linked to antibiotic use. In other words, when there is a disturbance in the microbiome (e.g.from antibiotics) and the community of microbes becomes “out of whack”, then pathogenic bacteria are “enriched” (increase) and can dominate.” (Silgailis, 2016)

Source: www.slideshare.net
Source: www.slideshare.net

 

WHAT WORKED TO BREAK DOWN THE BIOFILMS

This was helpful information. Now I knew I was probably dealing with biofilms that had started growing in my sinuses and nostrils to protect colonies of bacteria and molds. This certainly explained why nothing I’d tried was slowing down my ever increasing sinus congestion.
I remembered that a garlic supplement called Allicidin had been effective in breaking down the biofilm-covered spores  containing a nasty bacterium called Clostridium difficile  that had taken over my colon in 2010. I’d read that some people with sinus infections had found relief from washing their sinuses with probiotics so I decided to try the same with Allicidin. I emptied the contents of an Allicidin capsule into my neti pot, added filtered water, and irrigated my sinuses with the mixture.
This worked immediately! It was messy, involved a fairly intense burning sensation, and left a mild smell of garlic in my nose for a while afterwards – but I was able to breathe through my nose again for the first time in many weeks. If you’re going to try it, I suggest doing it in the shower.

 

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This information about Allicidin is from Dr Johnson’s Premier Nutrition.

The Broad-Spectrum Anti-Infective Properties of Allicidin™

  • ANTIBACTERIAL – Various researchers have shown that garlic extracts exhibit a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positve bacteria including species of Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Bacilus, Helicobacter pylori, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • ANTIFUNGAL – Garlic extracts have a strong antifungal effect and inhibit the formation of mycotoxins like the aflatoxin of Aspergillus parasiticus. Pure allicin was also found to have a high anti-candidal activity and was effective against various species of Candida, Cryptococcous, Trichophyton, Epidermphyton and Microsporum.
  • ANTIPARASITIC – Garlic extract has been used for centuries to treat people suffering from dysentery, intestinal worms and intestinal protozoan parasites such as Giardia, Leishmania major, Leptomonas colosama and Crithidia fasciculate.
  • ANTIVIRAL – Research shows that garlic extracts are effective against numerous viruses that cause colds and flu. Evidence points towards allicin and ajone as the main components responsible for the antiviral activitiy.
  • BIOFILM DEGREDATION – Biofilms are sticky slime that surround large clumps of bacteria. These biofilms protect pathogenic bacteria and helps them spread throughout the body. Stabilized allicin has been shown to have a powerful capacity for biofilm destruction, therefore rendering bacteria helpless.

 

Ideal for Supporting the Following Conditions:

  • Fungal (mold/candida) and Bacterial Infection
  • Acne support
  • Biofilm Overgrowth
  • Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Health
  • Bladder Infection and Frequent Nightly Urination
  • Sinus Infection and Congestion
  • Animals: Heartworm

 

Ingredients:

Allicin Organosulfur Complex™…………………………………………………………………………….350mg
Garlic (bulb) Extract (Allium Sativum), Bear Garlic (leaf) (Allium ursinum)

Botani-Pro Blend™ ……………………………………………………………….115mg
Organic Hyssop (leaf, stem) (Hussopus officinalis), Parsley (leaf)(Petroselinum crispum), Asparagus (Stalk) (Asparagus officinalis)

Allicin………………………………………………………………………………..1,890 mcg
(from Allicin OrganoSulfu Complex™)

Other Ingredients:

Vegetable Cellulose Capsules
100% solvent-free, excipient-free vegetable capsules.                                                                             No magnesium stearate (a toxic excipient), corn, milk, soy, salt, sugar, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, binders, glues or other toxic tagalongs as found in tablets and gelatin capsules.

 

WHAT WORKED TO KILL THE MOLDS AND BACTERIA

Now that the biofilms growing in my sinuses had been disrupted, exposing the molds and bacterial colonies proliferating in there, I set about finding a combination of probiotics to zap those bacteria and molds.
As a starting point, I turned to Chris Kresser’s excellent article Chronic Sinus Problems: Another Role for Probiotics? and also looked through the many readers’ comments to see what other sinus sufferers had found helpful.  I recommend this article to you.  (Kresser, 8/18/2015)
Based on a convincing recommendation by one of Kresser’s readers, I first emptied the contents of two capsules of Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula into my neti pot, added filtered water, and did a nasal irrigation with the mixture. This helped a lot – but only for a few hours.

 

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Bio-Kult contains these live bacteria cultures:

Bacillus subtilis PXN 21
Bifidobacterium bifidum PXN 23
Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
Bifidobacterium longum PXN 30
Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
Lactobacillus plantarum PXN 47
Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
Lactobacillus helveticus PXN 45
Lactobacillus salivarius PXN 57
Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis PXN 63
Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

 

So I went back to Kresser’s article to search more deeply and followed  some links to two articles by Silgailis, where, in her readers’ comments, I found information about the effectiveness of two probiotic bacteria,  lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus, for sinusitis. (Silgailis, 2015) & (Silgailis, 2016)
Bio-Kult contains some l. rhamnosus (but not a lot) and no l. reuteri. So I did another Google search for a supplement containing only these two particular strains of probiotic bacteria and found a product called RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement that contains large amounts of l. rhamnosus GR-1 and l. reuteri RC-14. L. The box says, “Balances Yeast & Bacteria to Maintain Feminine Health”.
Yeasts, like molds, are fungi. So this probiotic combination looked promising for treating  my sinusitis. L. rhamnosus in particular is known to be effective against both fungi and pathological bacteria. (Kiefer, 2008)

 

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The Product Description on Amazon:
  • RepHresh Pro-B is a probiotic feminine supplement taken orally once daily to balance yeast and bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus, yeast, and other bacteria are all naturally present in your body and optimum feminine health occurs when there is a healthy balance of these elements to support feminine health.
  • RepHresh Pro-B feminine supplement contains patented and clinically tested strains of probiotic lactobacillus that have been shown to work with your body to balance yeast and bacteria.
  • RepHresh Pro-B supplement lets you take control of your feminine health every day by helping to maintain flora in a normal range.*
  • RepHresh Pro-B is a natural supplement and comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule.
  • RepHresh Pro-B is the #1 feminine probiotic supplement in the US in the latest 52 weeks ending 16 March 2016 according to The Nielsen Company data.

 

Ingredients;
L. rhamnosus GR-1, L. reuteri RC-14, Dextrose Anhydrate, Gelatin, Potato Starch, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide

So, when this probiotic supplement containing large amounts of lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus arrived from Amazon, I emptied the contents of two capsules into my neti pot, added filtered water, and did a thorough nasal irrigation with the mixture. As with the Allicidin mixture, this burned a bit but was very much worth it!

Source: allergycorpgroup.com
Source: allergycorpgroup.com

Since it’s a good idea to switch up your probiotics periodically,  I’m now taking the Bio-Kult probiotics supplement by mouth and RepHresh Pro-B on alternating days to maximize the variety of helpful probiotics supporting my gut microbiome.

 

Source: www.probiotics-for-health.com
Source: www.probiotics-for-health.com

 

 

A Note on Vaginal Infections:
Vaginal infections are most often caused by an overrun of a yeast called Candida albicans. If your gut microbiome is out of balance or you use feminine hygiene products that destroy the balance in your vaginal microbiome, you’re likely to get at least one  – if not many more – vaginal  infections in your lifetime. See ‘Warding Off Chronic Yeast and Bacterial Infections’ to learn how to use probiotics to prevent both chronic bacterial and yeast infections.  (Kiefer, 2008)

 

Source: ufhealth.org
Source: ufhealth.org

 

 

USING A NETI POT

This video shows how to use a neti pot for sinus irrigation:

 

In the morning, I use my neti pot in the shower where it doesn’t matter how messy the process becomes. I’ve also installed a small, chlorine-removing water filter (available on Amazon, easy to install) so fill the pot directly with warm, filtered water from the shower head. The filter is a Rainshow’r CQ-1000-NH Dechlorinating Shower Filter. And, when I’m not using any of the supplements described above,  I put some inexpensive La Baleine Fine Sea Salt in my neti pot in lieu of the salt packets the woman in the video uses. 

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In the evenings before bedtime, I use the neti pot over the bathroom sink.

 

 

HIMALAYAN CHANDRA NETI WASH PLUS

Over the years, I’ve found it helpful to add this neti pot wash made by Himalayan Chandra occasionally when I use my neti pot in the shower. And now that those nasty sinus biofilms have been degraded, this wash has become effective again.

71ympe-sutl-_sy679_

 

The wash is available on Amazon.

“Neti Wash Plus contains zinc and herbal extracts that add anti-microbial and anti-viral support to your nasal wash. Zinc helps to tone and astringe the nasal passages reducing excess mucus and promoting clear, healthy sinuses. Studies show that Zinc reduces the duration and symptoms of the common cold, slowing the replication of rhinoviruses which typically cause colds. Neti Wash Plus contains Zinc Acetate –a form of Zinc shown to be more effective in shortening the duration of the common cold. Neti Wash Plus also contains extracts of Grapefruit Seed and Goldenseal Root, found by scientists to inhibit the growth of hundreds of strains of pathogens. Grapefruit Seed Extract has been used by the natural foods industry for over 20 years as an antibiotic, disinfectant, and antiseptic. Perfect for use with the Himalayan Institute Neti Pot.*

“Ingredients:   Zinc acetate, Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis), Phellodendron bark (Phellodendron amurense), Coptis root (Coptis chinensis), Barberry root bark (Berberis vulgaris), Grapefruit seed extract, vegetable glycerin and distilled, purified water.”

 

 

TWO HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR ALLERGIES AND SINUS CONGESTION

Before Allicidin succeeded in disrupting the biofilms, I’d started taking two homeopathic remedies my chiropractor had recommended for this summer sinus misery but then stopped when the congestion just kept getting worse. Now that the molds and bacteria living inside those biofilms have been exposed and destroyed, I’ve started taking these remedies again and am finding them helpful.
ALLER-CHORD F – a homeopathic remedy for food allergens

aller-chord-f-2oz-r0714

DRAINAGE-TONE – a homeopathic remedy for swollen glands, sinus congestion, and skin eruptions

drainage_tone_2oz_r0116__20790-1460662495-1280-1280

Both are made by energetix.

 

 

SOME ADDITIONAL IDEAS

While researching this post, I came across this interesting idea for breaking down biofilms in the nose and sinus cavities:
“New sinus therapeutics, including baby shampoo sinus irrigation and probiotic sinus rinses, can lessen symptoms and ward off sinus infections, according to doctors at Baylor College of Medicine.
“These new therapies are targeting the bacteria in ways that haven’t been utilized in the past,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, director of the Sinus Center at Baylor. “These techniques are helping those with chronic and acute sinusitis. Whenever I tell my patients about the new therapeutic protocols they’re very surprised, but they get the results they want and need.
“He said the concept behind baby shampoo irrigation is cleansing the naval cavity with a surfactant. By doing this, the biofilms, or oily layers that bad bacteria create to protect itself from irrigation, are broken down.” (Parsons, 2015)

 

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I haven’t tried the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo technique myself (and don’t think I will because of the product’s toxic ingredients*), but here’s a report from someone who did and found it tremendously helpful. (Mertes, 12/4/2013)
 * Ingredients in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Acrylates Copolymer, Yellow 6, Yellow 10, Parfum.
At least it doesn’t contain carcinogenic parabens.
Perhaps there’s a  baby shampoo that’s free of toxic ingredients and still acts as a surfactant to break down biofilms. Please let me know if you come across one.

 

Source: www.forbes.com
Source: www.forbes.com

 

Another suggestion from my chiropractor, Denice Hilty Siedzik:
“You may want to consider emptying a probiotic capsule in a little water and swishing it in your mouth and swallowing just before bed. Be sure to not drink anything after. This may also help healthy bacteria migrate to your sinuses.” (Siedzik, 2016)

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND MOLDS: LOOKING AHEAD

 

Source: www.climate-change-guide.com
Source: www.climate-change-guide.com

Unless you’re in steadfast denial, it’s obvious that climate change is real and that here in the Northeast US we’re likely in for warmer winters with fewer or no hard freezes plus longer, hotter, and wetter summers – ideal conditions for molds to proliferate. I know that Lower Manhattan, where I live, receives waves of pollens (which I’ve never been allergic to) blowing in from the west in the spring and fall so it eventually occurred to me that greatly increased numbers of mold spores were probably also blowing in now.  I’ve been reactive to molds for as long as I can remember.
And if this wet, warming trend continues, it will be increasingly difficult to cope with molds in future years. So I was highly motivated to figure out how to improve my ability to deal with these minuscule airborne fungi and keep my airways open.

 

Source: iomfoe.org
Source: iomfoe.org

 

 

 

BETTER EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS ASPECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

After breaking down the biofilms in my sinuses and nose with Allicidin and then zapping the molds and bacteria with the probiotics in RepHresh, the things and techniques listed in the WHAT I TRIED section above now help again to reduce sinus inflammation and keep me breathing through my nose.
Now that it’s October, the hot, humid weather has mercifully stopped, but I know my sinuses are still being exposed to an increased level of molds in the air. Since the initial irrigations with Allicidin and RepHresh in September, I needed to repeat the two-step treatment once last week when we had a return of some warm, humid days and the mold levels were high again.
Having these tools in my ongoing battle with nasal allergies, I now feel better equipped to deal with the hot, rainy summers in our future.

 

Source: www.silentjourney.com
Source: www.silentjourney.com

This is my earlier post on Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. (Hardin, 9/16/2014) in case you want to read more about sinuses and the gut microbiome.
And here’s a link to my 2011 article Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study in case you’re interested in how I vanquished C. diff without resorting to any antibiotics – which had degraded by gut microbiome over the years and set the stage for my colon’s being colonized by that nasty bacterium in the first place.

 

 

Source: www.pinterest.com
Source: www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Dach, J. (12/30/2014). BioFilms in Chronic Rhino Sinusitis. See: http://jeffreydachmd.com/2014/12/biofilms-chronic-rhino-sinusitis/

Dr Johnson’s Premier Nutrition.  (2016). Allicidin. See: http://www.drjsupplements.com/allicidin/

Hardin, J.R. (2011). Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study. Oriental Medicine Journal, 19:4, 24-37. See http://issuu.com/davidmiller4/docs/c._difficile_omj_article_lo_res

Hardin, J.R. (9.14.2014). Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/09/18/probiotics-sinusitis-sinus-infection/

Healy, D.Y. et al. (2008). Biofilms with fungi in chronic rhinosinusitis. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 138:5, 641-647. See: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0194599808001058

Kiefer, D. (2008). Warding Off Chronic Yeast and Bacterial Infections. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/3/warding-off-chronic-yeast-and-bacterial-infections/page-01

Kresser, C. (8/18/2015). Chronic Sinus Problems: Another Role for Probiotics? See: https://chriskresser.com/chronic-sinus-problems-another-role-for-probiotics/

Mertes, M. (12/4/2013). How I beat my sinusitis by snorting baby shampoo. See: http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/how-i-beat-my-sinusitis-by-snorting-baby-shampoo/article_f5086ea0-b9a6-5a9c-9fc3-f96090a4ac1e.html

Oak Crest Institute of Science. (2013). Scientist Finds Link between Antibiotics and Bacterial Biofilm Formation Cause of Chronic Ear, Sinus, and Lung Infections. See: http://www.oak-crest.org/oakcrest-news/scientist-finds-link-between-antibiotics-and-bacterial-biofilm-formation-cause-of-chronic-ear-sinus-and-lung-infections/

Parsons, J. (4/6/2015). New ways to flush out sinus infections. See: https://www.bcm.edu/news/head-and-neck/new-ways-to-flush-sinus-infection

Siedzik, D.H. (2016). Personal communication.

Silgailis, M. (2015). The One Probiotic That Treats Sinusitis. See: http://lactobacto.com/2015/01/12/the-one-probiotic-that-cures-sinusitis/

Silgailis, M. (2016). Antibiotic Use Increases Risk of Developing Chronic Sinusitis. See: http://lactobacto.com/2016/08/30/any-antibiotic-use-increases-risk-of-developing-chronic-sinusitis/

 

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DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.