The Nose Knows

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Here in the Northeast, it has been cold and dry for many weeks now.  This can create problems for the sinuses.     I find that the key is keeping them moist and free of dust and irritants.

My 2.5-year-old, Benjamin,  and I have both been suffering with sniffles and irritated noses for the past week or so.  Here’s what I do to make him more comfortable:

  • Keep the humidifier running in his room overnight.
  • Make a massage oil from sweet almond oil (1 oz.) with a drop or two of Thyme essential oil.  I rub this on his chest, back, a bit under his nose and a drop behind each ear morning and night.
  • A daily bath with a drop of Thyme or Eucalyptus essential oil in it.
  • Or, make the bathroom steamy by running the hot shower for a few minutes, then sit and play in the bathroom for 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Try to avoid mucous-producing foods like dairy and wheat and sugar.
  • Get 15-20 minutes of fresh outside air when it’s not below 20 degrees or too windy (which we’ve had a lot of this year).

Here’s what I do for myself:

  • Clean sinuses with saline water at least twice daily using the Neti Pot. This can be a little awkward at first, but once mastered very effective.
  • Use Xlear, xylitol nasal spray.
  • Drink lemon tea – take half a lemon, squeeze juice into mug and drop whole piece of lemon in to the mug, cover with boiling water and let steep 5 minutes, add a teaspoon of good local, raw honey.
  • Drink a blended herbal tea or infusion of Nettle, Rose Hips and Mullein.
  • Keep a pot of water simmering on the stove (sometimes with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves) to moisten the air.
  • Sleep propped up on pillow to avoid post-nasal-drip coughing.

Most health food stores will carry the Neti Pot, sweet almond oil and the essential oils mentioned above.  All can be found online of course.  My favorite resource for herbs and oils is Mountain Rose Herbs.

Happy New Year and happy breathing.  GD Jen

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