By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: January 2013
Dr. Wanda Harris, The Herbal Lady.
Many times people think they have a cold or sinus infection, when what they are experiencing is allergy induced sinusitis. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 13 percent of adults (about 30 million people) have been diagnosed with sinusitis. The U.S. Center for Health Statistics reports that the number one chronic complaint in the United States for the past 20 years has been sinus problems. When you combine the numbers between chronic sinusitis with upper respiratory allergies, the number of people with sinus problems rises to a whopping 60 million – a quarter of the population.
Wanda Harris, doctor of naturopathy, The Herbal Lady in Owasso, is always amazed by the number of people who have been prescribed antibiotics for these issues. “Chronic sinus problems stem from inflammation, which only makes them more likely to become infected,” Dr. Wanda points out. “And another large part is due to viral infections, like a cold. Anti-biotics only work on bacterial infections.” She also notes that many people take antihistamines to combat allergies and sinusitis, but these only address the symptoms and are not a cure for problems that Dr. Wanda believes result from a weak immune system.
“If you can build up the immune system, you can get rid of inflammation and reduce sinus problems,” says Dr. Wanda, who says that the health of the immune system originates in the colon. “There are many natural ways to combat these problems without the use of antibiotics and antihistamines.” Dr. Wanda first recommends a person address his or her diet to ascertain if certain foods are causing the allergy problems. The most common contributors to food allergies are dairy products and gluten-bearing grains like wheat, rye and barley. She suggests that patients try fasting from these foods for a few days, and if their symptoms clear up, these foods are probably contributing factors. The patient should then replace the foods with organically-grown fruits and vegetables, legumes, and gluten-free grains such as brown rice and corn. The patient can also partake of a modest amount of fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir, free-range organic chicken, and grass-fed organic meats from buffalo, lamb and beef. “These foods help to balance the digestive system while eliminating allergic reactions,” says Dr. Wanda.
Sometimes food allergens aren’t the problem. A person may just be suffering from poor digestion, in which foods are not broken down properly in the digestive tract, causing stagnation which creates congestion in the lymphatic system and translates to the sinuses. To improve digestive health, Dr. Wanda recommends adding proper enzymes to the diet through supplements from Nature’s Sunshine, like Proactazyme, Food Enzymes, or High Potency Protease, all taken with lots of water to help break up the mucous the digestive tract is producing. She also recommends a good colon cleanse, like Nature’s Sunshine’s CleanStart or Tiao He Cleanse. To keep the digestive tract clean, she recommends fiber supplements like Nature’s Three or Psyllium Hulls Combination and probiotics like Probiotic Eleven or Bifidophius Flora Force.
For immediate sinusitis relief while establishing these long-term objectives, Dr. Wanda recommends nasal irrigation with sea salt and warm water in either a bulb syringe or Neti Pot to help flush out trapped mucous and heal the cilia in the sinuses, which are hairs lining the mucous membrane and are designed to help clean the airways. To break up congestion, she recommends traditional herbal remedies from Nature’s Sunshine like Fenugreek and Thyme, ALJ, and if the mucous is yellow or green, Goldenseal and Echinacea and High Potency Garlic.
There are all kinds of natural remedies for sinusitis, and Dr. Wanda Harris, The Herbal Lady, wants to help find the right one for you. To begin on your journey to a better immune system and healthier sinuses, call to set up your consultation and personalized plan.