For the past few days in Kuwait we have been having some unusual weather. Cloudy, a little humid, dusty, sometimes sunny and warmer, then rainy has been our daily serving of weather and it looks like it’s taking its toll on us, the people who live here. Although this is the time to sit outside at night and chat at a coffee shop, café, or restaurant, while taking advantage of the cool, breezy weather, unfortunately it’s not so good for our sinus health. This is the time of year when lots of people are suffering from sinus complaints, and this includes people who don’t normally have such problems.
If you go to a conventional doctor you will most likely be given the usual antihistamines or steroids to control your allergic reaction or dry up your excess mucous, and if those aren’t what you are complaining of, then you might even get sent away with nothing more than Panadol, and thus, have to live with your drippy sinuses, and perhaps a headache that you don’t normally have. Well, don’t worry, because help is on the way, and it’s only as far as your kitchen!
If you are one of those people suffering from a runny nose at this time of year, welcome to the club, I also found myself suffering from sinus drainage this year. First of all you really need to cut out dairy as much as possible, and also yeast products if those bother you. (Even if they don’t bother you normally, sometimes it helps to stop them for a period of time, until the season passes and then you can go back to them). Then, you can take in plenty of warm fluids, like herbal teas, hot soups (but preferably clear not creamy ones), and other hot or warm foods, and also plenty of fresh vegetables, preferably cooked. And everybody knows what happens when you eat horseradish! Instant sinus drainage! So, if you suffer from sinus blockage or stuffiness, get right out to your local supermarket or Japanese food supplier (or restaurant), and get some nice hot horseradish to eat with your food.
Try to stay away from places that will increase your symptoms. This means, don’t hang around with people who smoke (or sit outside with them), try to keep your home as dust free as possible, stay away from chemicals and pollution as much as possible, and stay away from pets, plants, and other possible allergens (which you will have to determine yourself, through experimentation).
You also need to do steam inhalations as much as possible at this time, in order to keep your sinuses as free as possible. All you have to do to make a wonderful home steam inhalation is to get some nice cooking sage or thyme, and, if you have rosemary that is nice too. Boil some water and get it ready. Prepare a large steady bowl, a spoon, a towel (to cover your head with), and a place where you can sit comfortably with your head over the bowl with the towel over your head. Once everything is prepared, you can take a handful of the sage and/or other herbs, and crush them lightly in your hand. Pour the hot water into the bowl, drop the herbs in, and swish them around lightly with the spoon, then get your towel right away and situate yourself with your face over the bowl, the towel over your head, and the steam going directly into your sinuses with every breath. You should be prepared to stay there for at least several minutes, taking deep breaths and letting the herbal aroma permeate into your sinuses. Once you feel that the steam has dissipated, you can either continue by adding more hot water, or stop if you feel that you have had enough. If you have essential oils, even better, because when you steam with essential oils, their benefits are directly received by our nasal mucosa and enter our bloodstreams immediately which make the action against the sinus inflammation or mucous buildup even stronger. Some good choices in essential oils would be thyme, eucalyptus, and pine. These three oils are some of the strongest and safest in the world, but all you need are a few drops! Remember, even if you don’t have those herbs or oils around the house, and if you can’t find them anywhere (as they are scarce here in Kuwait) then you can always use other herbs that you find around your kitchen, like marjoram, oregano, chamomile, lavender, or even just plain hot water! If you don’t have time to steam, then the next best thing is to inhale the essential oils right out of the bottle. Although this is not as effective as steam inhalations, it is still better than nothing.
Also, don’t forget to wash your nose regularly with water, and try to sniff some up a little as well. For those who find that difficult, you can make a saline solution by taking a little salt (preferably sea salt, of which there is plenty available here in Kuwait), and mixing it with water, which you can put into a dropper and use in your nose from time to time throughout the day. This solution will help you a great deal, and will enable you to breath better if you are suffering from sinus blockage. Now, for those of you who are not faint of heart, you can actually wash out your sinus passages with this saline solution that you have made, and doing so regularly is really a great idea for continued sinus health.
Another helpful thing that you can do is reflexology. If you press on the areas around your finger and toe nails, and on the tops of your fingers and toes, you will be helping to clear out your sinuses. If you can’t do it yourself or don’t want to, then seek the help of a professional reflexologist. Acupuncture is good for sinus problems and acupressure is as well. But, before you go to people for treatment, make sure that the ones doing the treatments are professional, because here in Kuwait there are so many different places offering such treatments, and one wonders how qualified a lot of them are? You also have some Ayurvedic options in Kuwait, which are well known to be helpful and beneficial for sinus problems.
Since we can do nothing about the weather here in Kuwait, and this is the time of year that we enjoy for warm, comfortable, breezy evenings, we might as well do our best to enjoy it while it’s here, because pretty soon it’s going to be hot and we will be wishing that this weather were back. So, if you suffer from sinus problems, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the weather too, but that you must take other precautions in order to stay healthy and comfortable. It’s certainly not the end of world, is it?