Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeling Stuffy?

Getting a cold or flu at this time of year is no fun.  Oftentimes, we get past the aches and pains only to find ourselves miserable with the stuffy nose and the post-nasal drip.  Yuck!  There's not a lot you can do, because this is your body's way of expelling germs and bacteria.  You have to let it do so!  Those over-the-counter antihistamines are doing you no good, if you are trying to stop the mucus.  They only stop the natural process the body takes in making you well.

You can help the process, however, and work with your body.  First is to drink lots of fluids.  This helps your body create that nice moist environment and gets the mucus moving - which is what you want - move it and the germs and bacteria OUT!

Second, try a bit of steam.  Boil some water on the stove, adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil.  These can be bought in many health food stores, co-ops, bath stores, and pharmacies.  Take the water off the stove and hold you head over the pot at a comfortable distance.  Place a towel over your head as a tent to hold in the steam and inhale through the nose.  Keep your eyes closed and don't try this if you have asthma.

Third, take a bath.  Place some peppermint oil (5-6 drops) in the bath, close the door or curtain and breathe in the steam.  Also, this allows you to relax the muscles which will create some space and ease in breathing, allowing the mucous membranes to release and move the mucus out.

Fourth, try the neti pot - not a spray, a pot.  A neti spray may shoot the bacteria and germs into the system, rather than expelling.  Use the pot 2-3 times a day and help the mucus move out!  Mix an 1/8 to a 1/4 tsp. salt with your water.  This process can be gross, but mucus is not pleasant, so sometimes the solution is not pleasant, but works well!

Take care of yourself and your body will do the same.  Work with the body, not against it.  How will you keep yourself well this week? 

1 comment:

  1. If using a netipot don't use tap water. It can give you a fatal infection. “If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution,” said Louisiana State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard. “Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose.” It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry.

    Use of inappropriately prepared neti pot proves fatal