Well, here we are again in the middle of the changing of the seasons here in Kuwait. Practically everyone is suffering from sinus and ear problems, allergies, colds, or the flu. They are sniffling, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and worse! So, what can we do about this difficult time? Plenty!
There are so many alternative methods of dealing with the symptoms that come alongside any of the above-mentioned ailments. Some of the symptoms are:
- excessive sneezing
- coughing (either dry or productive, depending on the problem)
- drippy or clogged nose
- wheezy or whistling sounds when breathing (coming from the throat or chest area
- tightness or pain in the chest area
- feeling of pressure or pain in the forehead, temples, sides of face, cheeks, and teeth (in the absence of other dental problems)
- ear pain with or without popping or whooshing sounds
- headache concentrated in the frontal area, over the eyes
- inability to taste or smell
The first thing you must do if you are suffering from any of these symptoms or others that may not have been mentioned here is to stop all dairy products immediately. Dairy (like milk, cheese, cream, etc) will cause you to have more phlegm, which you definitely do not want, since you already have a problem with too much phlegm. There are other foods that you would be better off stopping, for example oranges (that includes the juice)(I know, I know, since you were a small child everyone has been telling you to eat more oranges and drink orange juice whenever you were sick because you needed the vitamin C, well just pretend you didn’t hear it from them), onions, most store bought fruit (because they are usually loaded with pesticides and other preservatives that will cause you to become worse), heavy spices, tomato products (again the phlegm problem), and anything else that you have noticed increases your symptoms (you may have an allergy or sensitivity to some other type of food and not even realize it).
Once you have reduced the influence of the foods that you are eating you can then move on to do something about your actual symptoms. If you are suffering from migraines, pressure or pain around the head and face, drippy or stuffed nose, or any number of other sinus type symptoms then there are several plans of action that you can take. The more you do of these the better you will feel. Steaming will always make you feel much better and more clear-headed. Just boil some water until it is steaming hot, and prepare some essential oils or fresh (or dried) herbs. The ones that I have found to work best are the camphorous ones, like eucalyptus, sage, thyme, and pine, but there are others that also work, like mint, marjoram, and rosemary. If you can get these in essential oil form great, otherwise, you can buy the fresh or dried herbs in the supermarket, or even better, grow your own. Once the water is hot and steaming, get your large bowl and towel ready, pour the hot water in the bowl, put in a few drops of the oil or a small handful of the herbs and immediately put your face over the steam with the towel over your head to make sure that none of the steam escapes. Breathe as deeply as you can until you can’t smell the oil or herbs anymore or until the steam dissipates. This process can be repeated up to several times a day. If you try this you will love it, because its action is fast and relieving. Steaming is definitely one of the best remedies for this type of problem. You can use essential oils for small infants as well, either with a vaporizer in the bedroom, or by putting a few drops of the essential oil on their pillow case before they sleep.
You can also have herbal teas. Naturally different teas will have different actions, but all of them will be soothing and warming, which is exactly what you need. The best to have are sage, thyme, marjoram, marshmallow (the plant not the confection), basil, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, mint, and the list goes on, but those are the best choices, and since some of them are available in practically every supermarket, it won’t be difficult for you to find them. These are herbs that are good to always keep on hand, just in case, and even the smallest infant can drink these safely (just remember with a small baby to reduce the concentration of the tea by half or more). When you make your tea, boil the water first, and then when the water is in your cup add a scant teaspoon of the herbs (or you can also put a heaping teaspoonful into a thermos), cover it will a saucer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. The idea is that the water should be tinted but not dark, preferably. The reason that you cover it is because you don’t want the essential oils (which are the most important part of the herb) to escape and evaporate. You can add sugar if you want but you probably won’t feel that you need it since most of the western herbs (American and European) are mild and tasty on their own. You can drink several cups of this type of tea daily until you feel better.
Remember, you don’t HAVE to suffer from sinus problems, colds, the flu, etc. All you have to do is take action and do something about it. We tend to get lazy when we aren’t feeling well, and don’t really feel like preparing whatever it is that we need to do to help ourselves, but we find it easy to get up and make a trip to the doctor. So, instead of making trips to the doctor, make that little extra effort in order to cure yourself. Herbs and essential oils are certainly better choices than the usual antibiotics that conventional medical practitioners love to give out. And when you’re not feeling well, it is difficult to get yourself up and out in the first place. Also, don’t forget that if you catch whatever you are suffering from early, when you first feel it coming on, you will be able to prevent it from getting worse and taking hold. You may never have to be ill again! Wouldn’t that be great?!
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