Have you ever heard the expression, “I need that like I need a hole in the head?” Well, it turns out that we really do need holes in our heads. Our “holes” are four pairs of hollow, air-filled sacs called sinuses. They are located over the eyes in the forehead, between the eyes, below the eyes behind the cheekbones, and near the center of the head.
In some ways, sinuses are a mystery. Scientists still haven’t unlocked the secrets of all they do. We know that the sinuses may help to insulate the skull, allow our voices to resonate, humidify and warm the air we breathe, and help to reduce the weight of the skull. Whatever their purpose is, they sometimes can be a pain – especially when you end up with a sinus infection or sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages).
What we do know is that when your sinuses are inflamed, you want relief fast. The concentrated plant oils from two amazing botanicals can do just that. And they are the focus of this Terry Talks Nutrition®.
How Sinuses Should Work
Healthy sinuses are lined with tiny, hair-like projections called cilia. The cilia wave back and forth, pushing mucus out of the sinus cavities into the throat where it is swallowed or into the nose where it can be blown out. But, when the process doesn’t work correctly, you can be in for some real problems.
If thick mucus plugs up the sinuses so they can’t drain, or bacteria or viruses harm the cilia so they don’t efficiently push the mucus out, the lining of the sinus cavity becomes inflamed, the sinuses fill up, pressure builds, and the pain becomes intense. Worse still, the warm, moist, mucus-filled sinus cavity is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, leading to a sinus infection, or sinusitis.
Pain and pressure in the face is one of the most common symptoms of sinusitis. Which sinus cavity is involved determines where the pain is felt. Other common symptoms include headache, yellow or green mucus discharge from the nose, stuffy nose, bad breath, fever, cough that produces mucus, and a reduced sense of taste and smell.
Acute sinusitis is a short-term event that resolves and goes away. However, when sinusitis lasts for weeks, or returns again and again, you have chronic sinusitis. It frequently occurs in people with asthma, and many people with chronic sinusitis have allergies. Experts believe there is a possibility that constant exposure to inhaled allergens that are present year round, such as house dust mites, pets, mold and cockroaches, can cause chronic inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses.
While airborne allergens may have a significant role in causing sinusitis, food allergens can also act as triggers. I have personally witnessed a reduction of sinusitis with the elimination of certain foods, particularly wheat, all grains containing gluten, and dairy foods. Eliminating these foods may not necessarily eradicate sinusitis completely, but they can help increase recovery time significantly. Through trial and error, you may even find a food that is your favorite, and eaten frequently, turns out to be your downfall.
Try eliminating the offending food for several weeks and you may be quite surprised at the improvement in the health of your sinuses. I’m not aware of any studies that can support this. However, based on my own personal experience and from the people I have counseled over the years, a change in diet can lead to significant improvement.
Along with these lifestyle considerations, I believe that eucalyptus and myrtle are two of the most effective botanicals for sinus relief and protection from bacteria.
Sinus Relief from Eucalyptus and Myrtle
Eucalyptus is one of the most well-known plant oils for clearing the sinuses. In this case, I recommend the oil of Eucalyptus radiata. The essential oil of this plant contains 1,8 cineole, alpha pinene, and limonene – compounds that have strong anti-inflammatory abilities.
This natural plant oil thins mucus so it can drain more easily, and also is a natural antibacterial and antiviral to treat sinus infections. Many studies on eucalyptus oil and its key compounds show that it not only reduces inflammation and destroys pathogens, it also helps to strengthen the immune system so that it can respond more quickly to infections.
Another concentrated plant oil that has been well studied and sold in Europe for more than 75 years is myrtle (Myrtus communis cineole) oil. Like eucalyptus, myrtle has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And, like eucalyptus, myrtle also contains 1,8 cineole, the powerful plant compound. This compound stimulates tiny, fluttering projections in the sinus cavities called cilia to move mucus along more quickly, so you experience even more sinus clearing and comfort.
Even More Relief from Concentrated Lemon Oil
For even more sinus relief, you may also want to consider increasing the amounts of the eucalyptus and myrtle oils, along with adding lemon oil for additional sinus-clearing power.
The concentrated plant oils I have recommended are potent medicines. They are very different from those that massage and aromatherapists use (sometimes called “essential” oils) outside the body, as infusers, or topically, on the skin. And if you’ve ever used them for their aromatherapeutic properties, you know what a difference these essences can make to your sense of well-being. However, not every plant oil is only intended for external use. In fact, some of them are toxic if swallowed!
That’s why you need to be sure that the plant oils you use for clearing sinuses and preventing infections are meant to be taken internally. These oils have been examined and certified to be from the correct plant species, contain beneficial key compounds, be safe for internal use, and are extremely concentrated. In fact, they are up to 100 times more concentrated than dry herbs.
Because advanced technology is used to take a “fingerprint” of the oil to confirm its identity, you’ll know that the most important compounds in these concentrated botanicals are present to make the product effective. For example, did you know there are over 900 kinds of Eucalyptus trees? While many share similar characteristics, not all of them can clear and protect your sinuses. And there are 2800 varieties of myrtle, but here again; you want to make sure you’re getting the best compounds from the best species. The best concentrated plant oils are tested for purity as well, so you’ll know what you’re getting.
You CAN Breathe Easy, Naturally!
Chronic problems with sinus infection and congestion can get in the way of enjoying life to the fullest. They not only cause pain and discomfort, they interfere with your ability to savor your meals and smell the flowers. At their worst, they can even interfere with your hearing.
By using the powerful, concentrated plant oils I recommend from eucalyptus, myrtle and lemon, for especially stubborn sinus problems, your congestion will clear in your upper respiratory tract and sinuses. You’ll be amazed at the difference that feeling “clear” again can make!
For milder sinus concerns, Terry recommends taking 160-320 mg of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) leaf oil and Myrtle (Myrtus communis) leaf oil up to three times daily.
For more serious sinus concerns, Terry recommends taking 325 mg of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) leaf oil, Myrtle (Myrtus communis) leaf oil and Lemon (Citrus limon) Zest Oil up to three times daily.