Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Is grapefruit seed extract used in natural sinus relief methods?

Is GSE used in natural sinus relief methods?

The online literature review revealed that grapefruit seed extract (G.S.E.) is used in natural sinus relief methods. For instance, (1) Stengler and Balch (2004)  in their book “Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies, Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Bodywork, and More” included the extract in the Super Seven Prescriptions-Sinusitis list. They prescribed the grapefruit seed extract nasal spray for both acute and chronic paranasal sinus disorders.

(2) The extract has both antiviral and antifungal properties as mentioned in David Rakel’s (2012) “Integrative Medicine.” The extracts are sold as liquid and capsules in health food shops. Sinus Survival Spray consists of grapefruit seed extract, yarrow leaf, calendula, and aloe.

(3) Ron Kendrick (2009) mentioned in “Peasant Remedies for Sinus Infections” that the seed extract reduces paranasal sinus inflammation. The grape seed extract contains polyphenols, linoleic acid, bioflavonoid, and vitamin E. The polyphenols with antioxidant properties work on free radicals that damage cells.  The extract liquid neutralizes viruses’ defense mechanism, making them dormant.  SinusFix pills consist of grapefruit seed extract, butterbur, peppermint extract and many other natural ingredients.

(4) Jon Barron (2008) in “Lessons from the Miracle Doctors: A Step-by-Step Guide to Optimum Health and Relief from Catastrophic Illness” cited research studies that confirmed anti-pathogenic properties of the seed extract. The grapefruit extract is therefore used externally and internally to treat various disorders, including food poisoning and sinusitis.
(5) In “Natural Prescriptions for Women: What to Do—And When to Do it—To Solve more than 100 female health problems,” Susan Berg (2000) highlighted benefits of Sinus Survival Spray containing grapefruit seed extract:
  • The spray irrigates and moistens the inflamed sinus membranes, soothing them.
  • It eliminates viruses and bacteria.
(6) Brigitte Mars (2006) discussed medicinal properties of G.S.E. in her “Beauty by Nature.” G.S.E. or citracidal is known as Citrus paradisi in botanical community.  The extract has antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Both capsule and liquid forms are available. The G.S.E. based remedies are prescribed for the patients suffering from sinus infections, yeast infections, and diarrhea. The seed extract is also used in cosmetics.

(7) Dr. Patrick Fratellone (2004) recommended G.S.E. for the patients having active sinus infection in his book “You’re on the Air with Dr. Fratellone: Answers to Questions Most Frequently Asked about Supplements and Herbs for the Heart.”
But never forget to consult your doctor before using natural sinus relief methods.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Natural remedies for sinusitis from different countries

Natural remedies for sinusitis from different countries

Every country has a tradition of natural remedies for all kinds of disorders, including sinusitis. The remedies mainly consist of local herbs. Today we will provide information about the Russian, Turkish, North African, Tibetan, and Sir Lankan natural remedies for sinusitis and the herbs used.

Cowslip from Russia

Butter rose or cowslip (Primula veris) resolves sinusitis symptoms. Traditional Russian physicians use the flowers, leaves, and roots for the treatment. However, the herb may cause hypertension, itching, and rashes.

Squirting cucumber from Mediterranean region, including Turkey

In the Mediterranean region, squirting cucumber (Ecballium elaterium) is traditionally used to treat sinusitis. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties. However, the herb leads to serious side effects such as renal and cardiac failures and Quincke’s edema.

Ajuga iva from North Africa

The North African perennial musky bugle or ajuga iva (L. Schreb) is an aromatic herb that bears pink, purple, or yellow flowers. The whole plant is used as medicine. The herb has anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcerous properties. The dry herb powder is mixed with honey to make balls that are ingested to treat sinusitis, headache, fever, and stomach pain.

Tibetan formulas

The Tibetan formula Phan Pa Kun Idan (All Beneficial) helps in treating inflammation and phlegm, reduces pain, and resolves signs of sinus disorder. The major ingredients of the formula include
  • ammonium chloride,
  • blue aconite,
  • chebulic myrobalan,
  • dark-blue aconite,
  • false pepper,
  • flame of forest,
  • locoweed, 
  • myrrh,
  • nightshade,
  • sweet flag, and
  • turmeric.

Ggur Gum 13 (Safflower 13) is created for the patients suffering from paranasal sinus, kidney, and liver disorders. The formula consists of
    1. amla,
    2. beleric myrobalan,
    3. chebulic myrobalan,
    4. cinnabar,
    5. clove,
    6. costus, 
    7. fever nut,
    8. musk,
    9. ox or elephant gallstone,
    10. rhinoceros horn,
    11. safflower,
    12. white aconite, and
    13. white sandalwood.

Sri Lankan formula

Traditional Sri Lankan physicians make Pitawakk Navaya, a decoction to treat chronic sinusitis. The decoction contains different parts of the following plants:
  • Dry fruits of chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula)
  • Dry fruits of Pipper chavya
  • Dry fruits of Pipper nigrum
  • Dry plant of Solanum trilobatum
  • Dry rhizome of Zingiber officinalae
  • Dry stem of Tinospora cordifolia
  • Roots of Phyllanthus amarus
  • Roots of Pygmaeopremna herbacea

Since all natural remedies for sinusitis are not yet clinically proved, a consultation with doctor is essential.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to treat sinusitis naturally

How to treat sinusitis naturally

Sinusitis can be treated naturally as described in folk medicines of various countries. This article discusses a few common herbs and formulas used in the traditional American, Chinese, and Fijian medicines.

American formulas

Three Spices Sinus Complex ™, a product by US-based Planetary Herbals, consists of dehydrated honey and the three pungent herbs, black pepper, long pepper, and ginger.  The herbal formula is administered to the patients suffering from sinus infections. The tablets are based on the age-old Indian Trikatu formula.
Perennial goldenrod or blue mountain tea (Solidago odora) plant has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. The aromatic herb is a mild astringent.  The leaf tea resolves sinus congestion. Traditional American physician use the herb. A point to remember: A poisonous fungus may grow on some plants of goldenrod. These plants should not be collected and used for medicine.

Verbena (Verbena officinalis) with other herbs such as cowslip and elder may help in resolving acute and chronic sinusitis symptoms. However, the clinical evidences are insufficient.
Angel root (Angelica officinalis), a native to Europe, is popular for its essential oil in America. The tall angelica bears greenish white flowers. The herb formula increases stamina and strength. Our ancestors used it to protect themselves against various infections. The oil is a proven cure for paranasal infections and chronic respiratory disorders.

How to treat sinusitis with Chinese medicine

Try cang and / or ginseng.
Cang er zi (Xanthium sibiricum) reduces allergic rhinitis, phlegm, sinus headaches, and sinusitis when used with other herbs such as mulberry, lian qiao, and magnolia liliflora. Caution: A high dosage of cang reduces blood sugar level dramatically.
Ginseng or “the man plant” protects against sinus infections, colds, and fatigue. The herb has adaptogenic properties, which means ability to develop resistance to all negative influences. Tea or juice of the root enhances immunity.

How to treat sinusitis with Fijian herbs

Fijians use juices, decoctions, powders of different parts of the following herbs for sinus disorders:
Make a decoction of nawanawa’s (Cordia subcordata Lam.) leaf for treating sinusitis. The small tree bears orange flowers and edible yellow fruits.
Use yaro (Premna taitensis Schauer) bark decoction for clearing sinus infections. The small tree of yaro bears sweet-smelling flowers of white color. The leaf juice also relieves sinusitis and conjunctivitis symptoms.
Do consult your physician before trying any of the above herbs.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Six herbs for sinus congestion

Six herbs for sinus congestion

Traditional physicians value different parts of various common trees for the medicinal virtues. The parts are referred to as herbs. This article discusses some of the trees whose parts help in relieving sinus congestion.

Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

The four feet tall perennial plant has dull green thick leaves. The yellow flowers bloom during July-September. The herb is found along meadows, roadsides, and marshes in the western part of the United States of America. The dried leaves and flowers are used as a snuff for inducing sneezing that clears sinus congestion. The root formula suppresses menstruation after the delivery.   

Blue Gum Tree (Eucalyptus globules Labill.)

The evergreen tree can reach the height of 150 feet. The smooth bluish bark peels into shaggy strips. The young blue-green leaves are fragrant and waxy. The native to Australia blue gum trees grow in the western United States of America. The leaves are used in steam inhalation therapy that resolves sinus congestion. The tree has strong ant-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Melaleuca alternifolia

The essential oil Aetheroleum Melaleucae Alternifoliae is obtained from Melaleuca, an indigenous plant from Australia. The pale-yellow color oil has myristic odor. Benefits of the oil for treating various skin disorders are clinically proved. In folk medicine, the oil is also used for resolving symptoms of sinus congestion, cough, tonsillitis, and nasopharyngitis but supportive clinical data is not available.


The plant genus offers several fragrant species with anti-bacterial properties. For example, P. sphacelatum (apple bush) and P. serrulatum have been used as an antiseptic and a decongestant in the Australian aboriginal therapies. For instance, pulp of the sticky leaves is inserted into the nostrils to resolve sinus congestion.

Manuka trees (Leptospermum scoparium and ericoides)

The red and white manuka trees are valued for wound-healing, anti-arthritic, and pain-relieving properties in folk medicine of New Zealand. The fragrant leaf infusion is inhaled as a decongestant that provides relief from upper respiratory tract problems, including sinus congestion and cough.

Common white ash (Bersama tysoniana)

The shrub grows in the coastal forests of South Africa. The 3-10 meter tall tree bears fragrant cream-white color flowers from April to May. Traditionally, the bark powder is snuffed for treating sinus congestion and headaches.
The above herbs for sinus congestion have been in use for ages but they may have some side effects. For instance, blue gum tree oil may cause irritation or burning.
Remember to consult your doctor before using the herbs for sinus congestion.