Tag Archives: Sea Salt

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.

 

81ahy-s2lkl-_sy679_

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)

 

51jqdlfaitl

 

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. 

imgres

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/

 

© Copyright 2016. & 2018 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

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

Sea Salts vs White Table Salt

 

 

(Source: sodiumbreakup.heart.org)
(Source: sodiumbreakup.heart.org)

 

Our bodies need salt to work properly. So what’s wrong with getting it from good old table salt?
I’ll compare the ubiquitous Morton’s Salt with a popular, easy to find sea salt, Pink Himalayan, to address that question.
salt-was-gold
SALT IN HISTORY
  • As early as 6,050 BCE, Egyptians made religious offerings of sea salt to their gods.
  • The earliest known treatise on pharmacology was published in China around 2,700 BCE. A major portion of this work was devoted to a discussion of more than 40 kinds of sea salt.
  • In about  2,200 BCE, Chinese Emperor Hsia Yu levied the first tax ever – on sea salt.
  • Sea salt was a valuable trade item between the Phoenicians and the lands in their Mediterranean empire.
  • In ancient Greece, slaves were traded for sea salt – an unsatisfactory slave was said to be “not worth his salt”.
  • The word salary is derived from the word salt. Sea salt was highly valued and its production was legally restricted in ancient times so it was often used as a method of trade and currency.
  • Salad is also derived from salt – from the early Roman practice of salting their leafy greens and vegetables.
  • Among other English words derived from sal are sauce and sausage.
  • Salt has been a symbol of fertility over the ages – it’s the root of the word salacious.
  • Revered as a precious mineral, salt was once traded ounce per ounce for gold.
  • Salt bars were, and are still, used as money in parts of Ethiopia.
  • Marco Polo reported that in Tibet, cakes of sea salt were pressed with images of the emperor and used as currency.
  • During the War of 1812, the American government, unable to pay their soldiers in coin, paid in salt brine.
Salt was deservedly highly esteemed throughout history – from the sea, necessary for life, full of minerals and other trace elements. The commercially processed table salt generally in use today, with its trace minerals removed and chemicals added, has essentially been rendered toxic.
(SaltWorks, 2016A) & (Hardin, 2014)

 

(Source: www.sunflower.ch)
(Source: http://www.sunflower.ch/en/moneymuseum/coins?&id=409)

Ethiopia, Amole Salt Bar (obverse)

 

 

 

 

PROCESSED TABLE SALT

 

1952-ad-morton-salt-girl-mascot-food-grocery-kitchen-cooking-baking-rain-child-original-print-ad_3109973

Refined salt (table salt – the ground up white stuff found in salt shakers in most American homes and on the tables at restaurants) is basically refined sodium chloride with additives, such as anti-caking agents to extend its shelf life and keep it from clumping together in salt shakers. (Food52, 2012)
In the refining process, the salt is  soaked in a solution which may contain sulfuric acid or chlorine and various bleaches. Then it is heated to a temperature that removes its minerals and other trace elements that our bodies need to function. Some processed salt is then spray coated with  an iodide as it moves along a conveyor belt before getting packaged. (Hardin, 2014) & (The Salt Institute, 2013)
(Source: foodmatters.tv)
(Source: foodmatters.tv)

 

IODIZED TABLE SALT
‘Iodized’ table salt manufactured in the US has had potassium iodide added to it. This synthetic form of iodine is also problematic. When an iodide is added to refined salt, a stabilizer, generally dextrose (a sugar), must also be added to keep the potassium iodide from breaking down and releasing iodine fumes into the salt container, giving the salt an unpleasant chlorine-like odor.  So you’re getting sugar along with your salt when you use iodized table salt. (Fentress, 2011) & (The Salt Institute, 2013)

 

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We obtain iodine from eating fish and shellfish, eggs, cereal grains, legumes, dairy products from factory farmed animals fed with iodized salt, and some food additives. There’s also iodine hidden in cough expectorants; antiseptics; drugs such as sulphonamide, lithium, dopamine, steroids, aspirin,  certain heart and anti-diabetic drugs; and natural supplements such as kelp and seaweed. (Hardin, 2014)
Iodized salt adds greatly to our iodine intake. As a result, people in the West risk iodine overload. As much as 75% of the body’s iodine is stored in the thyroid gland and used to produce hormones regulating metabolism. Too much iodine causes the levels of these hormones to become dangerously unbalanced, leading to metabolic and immune disorders. (Thomas, 2009)

TABLE SALT CONTAINING SYNTHETIC IODINE

refined_salt

SEA SALT CONTAINING NATURAL IODINE

unrefined_salt

 

BENEFITS OF REFINED TABLE SALT?
(Source: www.thehealthminded.com )
(Source: www.thehealthminded.com)
Refined salt is cheap. It’s added to almost all manufactured foods and most food eaten in or purchased from restaurant chains and other restaurants.
On average, Americans consume more than 3,400 mg of refined salt per day. Of this amount, about 75% is derived from processed food. The other 25% comes from sources such as water treatment and medications.
Processed salt is a significant ingredient in most processed foods and restaurant meals – many individual meals contain far more than a day’s worth of sodium.
Processed table salt provides virtually NO benefits for the body and causes numerous health problems. (Hardin, 2014)
Refined table salt has had all its health giving trace minerals removed during processing. These minerals, naturally present in sea salts, help balance blood pressure. “Consequently, table salt causes gross blood pressure fluctuations, instead of stabilizing it. This well-known danger has created an entire industry of ‘low sodium’ foods.” And, by the way … those stripped trace minerals are then sold to supplement manufacturers! (Corriher, 2008)

 

 

REFINED TABLE SALT IN PROCESSED FOODS

Sodium Content in Processed Foods

(Source: preview.www.thedailygreen.com)
(Source: preview.www.thedailygreen.com)

 

“Processed foods are very high in sodium, but it is always in the form of table salt, artificial flavors, or flavor enhancers. In the ultimate heart-health irony, low sodium products often contain monosodium glutamate, a sodium-based excitotoxin that causes heart attacks in people who do not have enough magnesium (from organic vegetables and sea salt). It is probably the most common reason for mysterious heart failures in young athletes, who simply fall-over dead at sporting events. The profuse sweating imbalances their electrolytes even further, to become the final straw on the camel’s back.” (Corriher, 2008)

 

(Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)
(Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)
ADDITIVES IN REFINED TABLE SALT

A Partial List of Additives in Refined Salts

(Source: Real Salt)
(Source: Real Salt)
“Contrary to popular belief, table salt is not just sodium chloride. It also contains additives that are designed to make it more free-flowing. Ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate are commonly included. Aluminum intake leads to neurological disorders, particularly when no selenium is provided to help the body to chelate it. Aluminum bio-accumulates inside the body, causing further degeneration over time. Talc is a known carcinogen, though its effects upon ingestion have not been heavily studied. While it was once used in baby powders, the majority of such products now use cornstarch instead of talc, because of the known health risks. The F.D.A. has a special provision to allow talc in table salt, even whilst it is prohibited in all other foods, due to toxicity issues. According to current regulations, table salt can be up to 2% talc.” (Corriher, 2008)
The US FDA has approved  at least 18 chemicals to be added to refined table salt for various purposes that have nothing to do with health. These chemicals provide NO nutritional benefits. (Corriher, 2008) & (Trainor, 2014)

 

A TIP
Be sure to use only a sea salt, NOT refined table salt, in your neti pot or you’ll be treated to an intense burning in your sinuses … a clue to how harsh refined table salt is.

 

 

 

HIMALAYAN PINK SEA SALT

 

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Himalayan pink sea salt is actually mined from  250,000,000 year old salt deposits located in a mountain about 300 km from the Himalayas, in the Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world, located in Pakistan. It’s beautiful pink color comes from large amounts of iron oxides and the other trace minerals in it.

 

Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan

(Source: www.bestphotosite.net)
(Source: www.bestphotosite.net)
Himalayan pink sea salt provides many health benefits:
  1. Provides your body with all essential minerals and every trace mineral that it needs
  2. Generates hydroelectric energy in your body’s cells
  3. Increases conductivity in nerve cells for communication and information processing
  4. Helps to create an electrolyte balance
  5. Increases hydration
  6. Dissolves and eliminates sediment to remove toxins
  7. Extracts excess acidity from your body’s cells to stabilize PH, including the brain cells
  8. Enhances the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal tract
  9. Controls the water levels within the body, which regulates them for proper functioning
  10. Aids in reducing the common signs of aging
  11. Balances the sugar levels in the blood
  12. Regulates you blood pressure
  13. Stabilizes irregular heartbeats
  14. Prevents muscle cramps
  15. Aids in proper metabolism functioning
  16. Strengthens bone structure. Osteoporosis in many ways, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body
  17. Balances PH (alkaline/acidity) and helps to reduce acid reflux
  18. Promotes kidney and gallbladder health – helps the kidneys to pass excess acidity into the urine
  19. Regulates health sleep patterns naturally
  20. Helps maintain sexuality and a healthy libido
  21. Prevents gout and gouty arthritis
  22. Prevents goiters
  23. Regulates water content both inside and outside the body
  24. Helps maintain muscle tone and strength
  25. Lowers incidence of sinus problems, and promotes over-all sinus health
  26. Supports healthy respiratory function – clears mucous plugs and sticky phlegm in the lungs, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis
  27. Eliminates persistent dry coughs – just put a dash on the tongue
  28. Prevents varicose veins and spider veins
  29. Helps treat emotional disorders
  30. Preserves serotonin and melatonin, known antidepressant neurotransmitters
  31. Stops excess saliva production
  32. Is a strong anti-stress element for the body
(Astarita, 2015) & (Natural Health International, 2014)

 

(Source: www.buzzle.com)
(Source: www.buzzle.com)

 

See What Are the 84 minerals in Himalayan Salt? for additional information on the health benefits of and uses for Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. (Garvin, 2015)

 

 

 

OTHER DELICIOUS SEA SALTS

A few other noteworthy sea salts to try – each has a different taste and texture (Hardin, 2014) & (Loesch-Quintin, 2012):

 

Hawaiian Red Sea Salt

(Source: shop.thespicelab.com)
(Source: shop.thespicelab.com)
This fine or coarse grained red sea salt is rich in trace minerals and iron. It gets its color from a natural mineral called Alaea, a volcanic baked red clay. Hawaiians traditionally use this salt in ceremonies to cleanse, purify and bless tools, canoes, as well as in healing rituals for medicinal purposes. It has long been prized by native Hawaiians for its spiritual and health benefits. (SaltWorks, 2016B)
Next to Himalayan pink sea salt, Hawaiian Red Alaea is my favorite salt. I sprinkle it over salads to add crunch and an earthy taste.
I also put some on the palm of my hand and lick it off to restore balance to my cells if I’ve become dehydrated.

 

 

Celtic Sea Salt (Sel Gris)

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Celtic sea salt is naturally extracted through sun drying and is grayish in color. It supplies, in bio-available form, all 82 trace minerals needed by the human body for optimal health.
Health benefits provided by Celtic sea salt:
  • Regulates heartbeat and blood pressure
  • Eliminates mucus buildup
  • Improves brain function
  • Balances blood sugars
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Reduces toxins
  • Increases energy
  • Provides electrolyte balance
  • Builds immunity
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Prevents muscle cramps
  • Generally restores good digestion
  • Will keep virtually indefinitely if properly stored
  • Contains all 82 vital trace minerals
(Holistic Health Reforms, 2014) & (Water Benefits Health, 2013)

 

 

Fleur de Sel

(Source: food-hacks.wonderhowto.com)
(Source: food-hacks.wonderhowto.com)
Fleur de Sel is believed by many chefs to be the best finishing salt on earth.  Its irregularly sized and unevenly shaped refractive crystals range in color from from barn owl gray to oyster white.
Fleur de Sel is also very high in mineral content as a result of the well-controlled evaporation process used by the salt rakers who harvest it from the salt pans where the sea water is evaporated. It contains 0.25% calcium, 0.37% magnesium, and 0.09% potassium – as well as varying trace quantities of iron, zinc, manganese, and dozens of other minerals. These combine with the sodium chloride to form a well-rounded and mellow finishing salt. (Bitterman, 2014)
(Source: www.monticelloshop.org)
(Source: www.monticelloshop.org)
There are numerous other healthful and beautiful, unrefined sea salts. See The SaltWorks® Gourmet Salt Guide and The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts for information about them and additional information on the health benefits of the sea salts described above. (SaltWorks, 2016B) & (Hardin 2014)

 

 

(Source: www.trusper.com)
(Source: www.trusper.com)

 

 

 

MORE READING ON SALTS

If a fascinating and easy to read history of salt is tantalizing to you, I highly recommend Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History.
Mark Bitterman’s Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes is a satisfying guide on how to use the various sea salts.
And my favorite post of the ones I’ve written so far: The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts (Hardin, 2014).

 

 

“There is a real misunderstanding about salt. On one hand, our consumption of salt seems to be killing us. On the other hand, we cannot live without salt. So, in order to answer this loaded question we must first explore the differences between table salt and unrefined salt.”
– Radiant Health Strategies (2010)

 

 

Camels Transporting Salt Across Desert in Mali

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Astarita, D. (2015). Discover 32 Amazing Himalayan Pink Salt Benefits, Plus Why Table Salt is ‘Bad’. See: http://www.mikeanddonnagetalifestyle.com/discover-32-amazing-himalayan-pink-salt-benefits-plus-why-table-salt-is-bad/

Bitterman, M. (2014). The Four Facets of Fleur de Sel. Salt News.  See:  http://www.saltnews.com/2006/12/the-four-facets-of-fleur-de-sel/

Bitterman, M. (2010).  Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes. See: http://www.amazon.com/Salted-Manifesto-Essential-Mineral-Recipes/dp/1580082629/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1336427112&sr=8-10?tag=food52-20

Corriher, T. (2008). The Truth About Table Salt and The Chemical Industry. See: http://healthwyze.org/reports/115-the-truth-about-table-salt-and-the-chemical-industry

Fentress, S. (2011). Why Does Table Salt Contain Iodide?  See: http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/table-salt-iodide/

Garvin, K.S. (2015). What Are the 84 minerals in Himalayan Salt? See: http://www.livestrong.com/article/534033-what-are-the-84-minerals-in-himalayan-salt/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=healing+properties+unrefined+salts

Holistic Health Reforms. (2014). Why Use Celtic Sea Salts?  Health Freedom Resources. See:  http://healthfree.com/celtic_sea_salt.html
Kurlansky, M. (2003). Salt: A World History. See: http://www.amazon.com/Salt-World-History-Mark-Kurlansky/dp/0142001619

Loesch-Quintin, L. (2012). 10 Salts to Know. Food52.com. See: http://food52.com/blog/3377-10-salts-to-know

Natural Health International. (2014). Himalayan Crystal Salt.  See: http://www.himalayancrystalsalt.com/health-benefits.html

Radiant Health Strategies. (2010). All About Salt.  See:  http://www.radianthealthstrategies.com/healing_power_of_salt.php

SaltWorks. (2016A). History of Salt. See: https://www.seasalt.com/salt-101/history-of-salt/

SaltWorks. (2016B). The SaltWorks® Gourmet Salt Guide. See: https://www.seasalt.com/salt-101/saltworks-gourmet-salt-guide/

The Salt Institute. (2013). Iodized Salt. See: http://www.saltinstitute.org/news-articles/iodized-salt/

Thomas, P. (2009). What Type of Salt is Best? Ecologist.  See:  http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/health_and_beauty/270993/what_type_of_salt_is_best.html

Trainor, B. (2014). Refined Salt vs Sea Salt: 5 Reasons to go Natural. See: http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/2014/09/09/refined-salt-vs-sea-salt/

Water Benefits Health. (2013). Celtic Sea Salt: 10 Key Health Benefits and Usage. See:  http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/celtic-sea-salt.html

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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