First I was out with flu-like symptoms and now it seems like I got a sinus infection on top of it. Can this get any worse now? I ran two times last week and then took a break again, because I was simply not ready (at least that’s what I thought). I did not run for 8 days before that and now missed two long runs because of being sick and one long run because of being on vacation (went before I got sick). I really see my goal of running a marathon in under 4 hours slipping away. I do not like this. I am nursing the sinus infection as much as a I can, but there is only so much you can do. I am not a happy camper. This needs to stop. So, since I am not running I thought I post about how I am fighting my sinus infection. For one this posting will help me to remember the steps and to see what works and what doesn’t, but maybe it will help somebody else as well.
I think I wrote about this before, but I am known to frequently have sinus infections. I used to go to the doctor for this all the time, but taking antibiotics and becoming immune to some is not something I wanted to do forever and so I spent a lot of time researching home remedies to fight sinus infections. Over the years I have been successful in fighting off about 75% of the sinus infections myself and only a handful required me to go to the doctor and ask for medical help. So, now with this sinus infection heavily impacting my marathon training schedule I did some additional research to add more weapons to my war chest to fight this sinus infection.
Here are my home remedies to fight a sinus infection:
1) Use a Neti Pot. I use a Neti Pot for nasal irrigation to flush out bacteria and viruses from the sinuses. I usually use a Saline pack that dissolves in water, but this time I am also adding a drop of baby shampoo to the water. I read about this before, but never tried it. The baby shampoo is non-irritating and gently helps to clean the sinuses. I used it 3 times yesterday and overall I have to say that my sinuses did considerably well overnight. It is difficult for me to use the Neti Pot at work in the office, so hopefully I will make it through the day just fine.
2) Green Tea with Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar. I love green tea because it offers many health benefits. When I have a sinus infection I mix it with Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey to help with the sore throat that usually comes with a sinus infection. The vinegar helps to loosen the mucus on the throat and the honey soothes + naturally fights bacteria and using honey helps to cover up the taste of the vinegar a little bit.
3) GSE or Grapefruit Seed Extract. This is a new one for me, but I decided it cannot hurt – only help. GSE is considered to be a very powerful herbal antibiotic. I am not sure if I would call it an antibiotic, but overall it has a reputation to help fight infections in general and so it is a welcome help in this case to fight off the sinus infection. It is available in liquid form as well as a tablet. My local grocery store only had the tablets and since I did not want to wait for an online order I decided to use the tablets.
4) Zinc. Zinc is considered helpful fighting anything related to a cold and sinus infections. It has antioxidant effects and is a vital piece to the body’s resistance to infection and it helps to fight off the viruses for cold and sinus infections. There are different studies with mixed results, but the common take-away seems that an increased consumption of Zinc helps to reduce the length of an infection. This is extremely important for me as I do not want to lose more fitness than necessary. Again, it cannot hurt to add it to the mix.
5) Gargle with Salt Water. I always increase the amount of water that I am drinking when having a cold, but in this case I actually use luke-warm salt water and gargle with it several times through-out the day. Doing so helps to reduce the swelling and discomfort that comes with a sore throat. At the office this is more difficult to do and so I just go to the restroom once per hour and gargle with warm water only.
It took me a few days to realize that I am having a sinus infection this time. The symptoms were overlapping with the symptoms I had from the flu-like infection and so I probably let it get worse unknowingly. Well, I am in full swing now to fight back and I am hoping that tomorrow will be the first day where I can go back running. I would like to go running today, but I am not going to push it.
Question: What home remedies do you use for common colds or sinus infections?