The cause of chronic sinus infections is often yeast or mold. The Mayo Clinic has reported that they believe more than 90% of chronic sinusitis is caused by mold in the sinuses. Candida yeast and dormant viruses are common culprits as well. Though antibiotics may give temporary relief, they aren’t able to treat a fungus or virus. Use only an anti-microbial, meaning that it targets multiple types of organisms (fungi, bacteria and viruses) or simply an antifungal. Note that steroidal inhalers can reduce sinus swelling but encourage fungi to colonize more over time. This treatment should be accompanied by a low carbohydrate diet (no sugar, low starch). Sugar feeds microbes!
Use 3 (or 4*) components faithfully for at least a month if you have chronic sinusitis. Don’t discontinue treatment until at least one week beyond the end of congestion/infection. Treatment may need to be repeated if symptoms return, which means not all the microbes are gone. Be sure you are not living or working in an environment with high mold spore counts in the air.
If you also have systemic Candida yeast overgrowth, you may need to treat this as well. This is common and usually starts in the bowel, spreading to the sinuses and other areas of the body.
- Do daily sinus irrigation. See handout titled ” Sinus Irrigation.”
- *Use a biofilm disruptor, and perhaps a mucous-busting supplement according to label instructions IF you have mucous. If nasal fluids are thin and clear, you don’t need to use this. The purpose is to break up the mucous “bio-films” created by fungi and bacteria that anchor them into your sinus walls.
- Use an antifungal medicine. This could be a prescription med such as diflucan (fluconazole) dosed at 100 mg every other day for one to two months OR Amphotericin B mixed as a nasal irrigation liquid (must be ordered from a compounding pharmacy). If you prefer, you can use an over-the-counter anti-fungal herbal tincture or oil used for steam inhalation treatments 2 to 3 times a day (see below). There are many anti-microbial tinctures and oils that kill fungus, and they can be purchased singularly or in blends of several herbs. This includes Pau d’Arco and Cat’s Claw, which are very effective.
The purpose of the antifungal medicine is to kill the organisms that are causing the swelling, inflammation and narrowing of the sinuses. Some antifungal herbs are quite powerful. If you are pregnant or have a serious medical condition, consult a physician or pharmacist before using these herbs, even just as a sinus inhalant.
For doing inhalation treatments with an anti-fungal, boil several cups of water on the stove, remove the pan from the stove, and add a dropperful or two of tincture or several drops of an essential oil. Put your face down over the steam, and drape a large towel over your head and tuck it in around the pan so as not to lose steam. Breathe deeply for about 5 minutes. Do this 1-4 times a day.
Take BioGenesis’ Pro Flora Oral Health Chewables, one tablet twice a day for at least two months, even if you have discontinued the other parts of this treatment earlier. Purchase from a practitioner or online at www.shop-biogenesis.com or www.pureformulas.com. The purpose of this supplement is to restore the good flora in the mouth and sinuses. Good flora in the sinuses is as important as good flora in the bowel! These good bacteria keep bad bugs like molds, yeasts and bacteria from setting up residence in your sinuses.
Chew the pill until you can’t chew it anymore. Try to keep the liquid in your mouth for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. Don’t have food or other pills in your mouth at the time, and wait another 1-2 minutes after swallowing before you eat.
The treatments are listed here in simplified form to use as a worksheet/checklist.
For occasional infection, treat until 1 week after symptoms are gone.
For chronic infection, treat for at least 30 days even if symptoms clear before 3 weeks.
Always do sinus irrigation first, and preferably all steps in the order listed below.
- Clear mucous and microbes with sinus irrigation X X
Irrigate sinuses twice a day. See handout “Sinus Irrigation.”
Use Neti pot to irrigate. The solution is:
1 cup warm or room temperature water
1/8 tsp rock salt or sea salt (do not use more than this)
1/8 tsp baking soda
- Break up biofilms that protect the bugs. X X
Spray 1-2 times in each nostril at least twice a day or take pills as directed.
If it’s a spray, gently blow your nose before using. Insert nozzle into nostril and depress pump completely while breathing in through your nose. Clean nozzle after use and replace safety cap. Allow half an hour before doing any other sinus treatment. You may also use grapefruit seed extract, garlic or any of the biofilm disruptor supplements.
- Kill bugs with steam inhalation + anti-microbial tincture X X
Breathe tincture steam 2-5 minutes twice a day.
Use tincture of Cat’s Claw (Una de Gato), Pau d’Arco or some other good anti-microbial tincture. Boil 3-4 cups of water in a small pan on the stove. Remove the pan from the stove area, add 1-2 dropperfuls of tincture, and hold your face over the water with a towel over
your head to prevent steam escaping. Breathe deeply through your nostrils for 2-5 minutes.
- Restore good bacteria: Pro Flora Oral Health Chewables X X
Chew 1 tablet twice a day. Product is from Bio-Genesis.
Chew slowly, trying not to swallow. Chew tablet until it’s liquid and hold liquid in mouth for
1 – 2 minutes before swallowing.