Acute or first-time sinusitis which has troubled a patient only for a few days generally responds very well to both Chinese herbs and acupuncture. However, many people suffer from chronic sinusitis which refers to an ongoing condition, often appearing to have gone, but which constantly recurs, often manifesting as a post-nasal drip, or headaches. Allergic rhinitis (hayfever) has also been the subject of significant research showing strong evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture.
Chronic sinusitis is notoriously resistant to treatment – even powerful steroid-based drugs sometimes achieve only temporary results, and sometimes very little improvement at all. Chinese medicine also regards sinusitis as a stubborn condition which may need a longer course of treatment and considerable patience to achieve long-lasting results.
This is because there is a resilient, hard-to shift layer of phlegm coating the sinuses. It is a bit like the build-up of oil on the walls of a kitchen where there is a lot of deep frying and very little cleaning. After all, it is not easy to give the sinuses a good scrub! Salt water rinses using a bowl of tepid salty water drawn up into the nasal cavity via the nostrils, or a neti pot, or even a salt water nasal spray, are very helpful in drying and loosening the stubborn sticky substance, but this method is not usually adequate by itself.
Chinese herbs can be very helpful to open the sinuses and nasal passages, to dry the phlegm, and also to reduce the body’s tendency to produce so much phlegm. An important adjunct is diet: eliminate foods which are thought to produce phlegm, and include those foods which help to reduce it.
- Eliminate or at least significantly reduce the amount of dairy products you consume. Please don’t believe that you NEED dairy food in your diet to provide calcium or other nutrients – this is a fallacy disseminated by advertisements – hardy the best place to get nutritional information. Soy milk (especially the commercial kind with all the additives) is also phlegm-producing. Please see the notes below for alternatives to dairy.
- Eliminate or significantly reduce simple sugars. These are found not only in cakes and sweets, but are also found in processed cereals such as cornflakes, muesli bars, sauces, commercial peanut butter, etc. (A visit to your health food store for pure natural peanut butter and other products is highly recommended.) Remember that fruits contain a lot of sugar – just because it is natural doesn’t make it good. So just 2-3 pieces a day.
- Eliminate or significantly reduce rich fatty foods – including excessive quantities of meat.
- Include in your diet foods which help your body to reduce the amount of phlegm produced. This includes such foods as:
Mushrooms, String beans, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sprouts, Strawberries, Pears, Almonds, Tuna, Radishes, Garlic, Fresh ginger, Pungent herbs such as oregano, marjoram, parsely, etc.
ALTERNATIVES TO DAIRY
Cow’s Milk-Free Diet Suitable for Children: Goat’s milk, Soy milk (where phlegm is not an issue), Fruits & vegetables of all colours, Fruits, Dried fruits, Meat, Fish, Eggs, Liver, Kidney, Poultry, Olive or canola oil, oats, rice, semolina, sago, pasta, lentils, baked beans
Specific Alternatives to Dairy: We have been raised on the notion that dairy is essential to health and is often relied on for calcium But this is information found in the promotion of dairy products – hardly the best source of nutritional information. In fact, calcium is found in many foods, and in other cultures, and in days gone by, once a child was weaned, cow’s milk was not relied upon as a source of calcium.
VIT A: [Bones teeth, night vision, skin] Eggs, Liver, Beans, peas, lentils, vegetable margarine, tomatoes, carrots, apricots, green peppers, red peppers. Parsley, broccoli, pistachios, dark leafy greens
VIT B1, 2: [Nerve function] Wholegrain cereals bread, yeast, kidney, liver
VIT D: [Bones, teeth] Vegetable margarine, Sunlight
CALCIUM: [Bones, teethe, nerves, muscle contraction] Fish, Sardines, Canned fish, Shellfish, Eggyolk, Seaweed, Dark green veges, Molasses, Soy beans, Black-eyed beans, Millet, Nuts, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Tahini, Pistachios, Figs. The Recommended Daily Allowance is 1000mg
(u/5 1300mg). You can check the calcium content of the following:
- 75g broccoli = 75mg calcium
- 100g kale = 205mg calcium
- 50g leeks = 30mg calcium
- 1 med orange = 50g calcium
- 75g edamame (young green soybeans in the pod) = 50g calcium
- 100g soy milk = 140mg calcium
- 100g beancurd = 150mg calcium
- 25g almonds = 50mg calcium
- 100g blackberries = 35mg calcium
- 1 cup baked beans = 154mg calcium
- 1 tblsp molasses = 172mg calcium
PROTEIN: [Body tissue maintenance. Immune system] Spinach (49% protein); Broccoli (45% protein); Kale (45% protein); Cauliflower (40% protein); Mushrooms (38% protein); Parsley (34% protein); Cucumbers (24% [protein]; Green capsicum (22% protein); Cabbage (22% protein); Tomatoes (18% protein); Beef (25.8% protein); Chicken (23% protein); Eggs (12% protein).
Other sources are: Soy products, Beans, Lentils, Wholegrain cereals, Rice, Pasta, Nuts, Seeds
FATS: [Energy. Absorption of Vit A, D, E, K. Hormone maintenance] Veg margarine, oils, oily fish, sardines, meat, olives, avocadoes, Nuts, seeds
MAGNESIUM: [Vasodilation, bronchodilation, antistress, anti-Inflammatory, bone and joint health, CHO and Amino acid metabolism] Wholegrains, nuts, molasses, kelp, yeast, greens, apricots
IRON: [Haemoglobin synthesis, function of white blood cells] Meat, Okra, dark green vegetables, dried apricots, lima beans.
ZINC [Growth, development, sexual & reproductive function, immune system, skin health]
Oysters (much higher levels than any other single food) anchovies, pumpkin seeds, pecans, split peas, clams, non-fat dry milk, egg yolk, buckwheat, wholewheat, rye, oats, soy-lecithin almonds walnuts, lima beans, green peas, shrimps, turnips, parsely, potatoes, garlic, corn
CHROMIUM [Insulin efficiency, uptake of glucose by cells, Glucose Tolerance factor, fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism] Brewer’s yeast (10 times higher than other source), molasses, mushrooms, wholegrains.