Curing a sinus infection without antibiotics

January 30, 2012

If you are a sinus person like me, you’ve probably had your fair share of semi-sleepless nights, slumped in the most upright position you can manage, your mouth dry and cracked from trying to suck air into your congested head.

You’ve probably been on antibiotics several billion times to get rid of the thick mucus hiding out in your skull. Probably a bacterial infection, they said.

I actually have not had a sinus infection in awhile. Changing my diet made a huge difference! It’s sorta common knowledge among holistic health folks that eliminating dairy is the trick. It might be, I don’t have scientific proof. But it worked for me, along with eliminating sugar and taking better care of myself in general. That was back in like, 2007.

Pre-baby, I mean. When I could sleep in until noon if I liked, go to yoga daily, spend hours in the grocery store and kitchen planning and preparing meals.

Suffice it to say that sleep deprivation and an all-too-often habit of grabbing cheese as a quick snack was probably enough to land me back in Sinus Town.

So here we are. Danny has been sick too. Both of us. For 3 weeks. It started simple with a runny nose, then gained momentum into what I considered “time to go to a doctor.” I’m all for natural cold remedies, but when I’m spending 20 minutes with my neti pot to get any sort of flow going, it’s time, in my opinion, for antibiotics.

Well, our doctor disagreed.

10 days out, you’ll likely be in the same place with out without antibiotics, he said. Bacterial or not.


I know docs are hesitating more and more with antibiotics, and I like that. But I was still surprised that 3 weeks of snot wasn’t enough to warrant a prescription.

So here we are, using every natural remedy I can conjure up. Because of course, while breastfeeding you can’t take decongestants either.

Thought I’d share with you what’s been working to make me feel better. And, fingers crossed, I seem to slowly be getting healthier just like the doc said. Danny too.

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktails
As strong and as often as I can handle – ACV in water.
Can’t give this to Danny though. Well, I could try, but he’d probably never trust me again with his sippy cup.

Hot herbal tea
All day. I like ginger with lemon. Occasionally I’ll make it with real ginger, but mostly I get Traditional Medicinal brand from the store.
Tried to get Danny to drink some semi-cooled tea, he wasn’t impressed but I got some in him. Not quite the same without the steam.

Adhesive nasal strips
These are so incredibly not sexy at all. And YES I need a size large. Ahem. They physically open your nose to allow more space in there. Love that.
Don’t make baby size. Damn.

Peppermint Oil
I smear this stuff all over my face, especially right over the places that are congested. It is amazing at opening up the sinuses and alleviating pain. But if it gets too close to your eye – watch out. Gotta be careful.
I mixed a drop with olive oil and massaged into Danny’s chest under his clothes. Unfortunately it gave him a little rash so I stopped. Sometimes I do put a drop in his humidifier though!

This stuff supposedly helps boost your immune system. I should have taken it at the first sign of a cold. Next time I won’t wait.
Been giving Danny a liquid baby version.

My darling neti pot
I could not live without you, sweet neti. Every morning and night, and sometimes in between. How else could I dislodge the nasties deep in my head? See you soon. Love, Michelle.
When Danny was an infant we’d put saline drops in his nose, then use a nasal aspirator. There’s no use trying now, he throws a huge fit.

So while we are still on the mend I’m wondering if all those years I really needed antibiotics. And I’m feeling grateful for this toolbox of non-drug remedies.

You may also be interested in:

Top 10 ways to kick a cold’s butt before it kicks yours
Ear infections: Garlic is the most delicious natural remedy

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