Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Home Remedies

I got sick with a sinus infection this week. The only other one I've ever had was while I was pregnant with Moira & it was really bad. I was always in pain, couldn't really talk & couldn't sleep. I didn't know what it was until a long while into it.

This time, the 2nd day into it, I knew what it was. I was determined not to go into the doctor to ask for antibiotics. Better for the pocket book & better for my immune system. I started searching the web for sinus infection home remedies. There were tons of ideas. Here's the website I ended up at - Natural Cure Reviews.

I selected a few to try (pretty much at random). I figured I'd give it a couple days.

I started with this idea -
"Place the [heat pad] against your face in the area where your face hurts from the sinus infection (careful not to make it so hot it burns you - you just need warmth), and hold it there for a minute or so. Then, take it off and place the ice pack in the same spot for a minute or two.

Go back and forth between hot and cold for 30 minutes or so. At first it doesn't feel like it is doing much, but it usually breaks loose the mucus so I can breath better. If I do it a few times a day over a couple of days, it usually gets rid of the infection."

It was easy & pleasant. I enjoyed it. I did it numerous times throughout the day.

Then I tried something more intense- snorting garlic onion tea....

"Boil fresh garlic, white onion, and salt.
Inhale the steam (careful not to burn yourself).
Once the mix has cooled to a luke warm state, put 1/4 Cup of the liquid into a ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Lay your head way back over the sink, and place the corner of the bag into your nostril. Slowly lift the bag up so that the mixtures makes it way into your nostril. It doesn't taste yummy, but it doesn't burn and it gives you instant relief!!"
I neglected to follow this one -
"*be sure to AVOID refined sugar, dairy, and wheat during this phase to help speed recovery"
(On day one I was having my cake & eating it, too.)

I woke up this morning and the pressure in my head seemed worse, not better. I wondered if I should give up. Then, I was talking with a prudent friend on the phone & telling her I was ready to go see a doc. She asked me if I had been gargling salt water. I was in the middle of trying to tell her that I'd done something more intense (snorting garlic tea), when a fight broke out amongst the youngins & I had to hang up.

Truth was, I hadn't tried the salt gargle. It seemed too simplistic. But, I decided to give it a go. And... I felt SO much better. I was really amazed. I know to most of you out there, this is not genius. You probably all know about the power of gagging on salt water. But, I didn't. I can't believe I almost spent the time & money to go see a doctor & plea for antibiotics.

I am not against doctors. And, I am not a huge home remedy gal. But, sometimes... What harm is a little salt water going to do you? Why not give it a try.

What sort of home remedies do work for you & your family?


I just went through medical expenses for 2009, while trying to organize my tax documents.

Here's a painful example of way overspending to go to the doctor, because I wasn't thinking.
I thought my kids had chicken pox. But, I wasn't sure. I tried to get advice from other mothers. But, we still didn't know. And, we had adult company coming from out of town, who had never had the pox. So, I felt like I needed to know. So, I took my kids to the doctor. Here was my foolish mistake. Since all I needed was an i.d. of the bumps, I only needed to make an appointment for 1 child. I made an appointment for all 3! $173 is the cost of one appointment at our office. I was the idiot who willing paid $519, instead. What else would I buy without even really considering the price. This one was so unnecessary. Next time I plan to think!


Stef said...

I have never thought of the salt water gargling!! I had a major DUH moment when I read this. I'm going to try it next time I'm severely stuffed up or possibly have a sinus infection.

I use a sinus rinse (my kids hate when I do it - grosses them out) but it totally relieves that horrible pressure up there. I learned all these neat tricks when I was pregnant with sinus infections that I couldn't take meds for. My OB explained to me why pregnant women are most susceptible to sinus issues... but now I can't remember....

Do you have any home remedies for sore throats? I've been drinking the throat coat tea and using honey in my warm water... but its still sore and raw feeling :(

Melissa Joy said...

I'm a really big fan of $20 copays, lol. ;)
I don't honestly try a lot of home remedies anymore - I've turned into a skeptic because I have never had a lot of luck with them. Boo.
I have a lavendar sachet next to my bed, and I agitate it when I have trouble falling asleep (don't know if it helps but I love the smell!); I also drink chamomile tea when I need to relax or sleep.
I inhale steam when I have laryngitis or a sore throat (Stef!) and gargle salt water and drink tea that is thick with honey (not just sweet but *thick*). I learned those tricks as a vocal major. And, eh, they help a little I guess. So sure, I do them.
But as for other things that work for me and my family??
Can't think of much. :)
I loved this post, by the way! Especially snorting garlic and onions - ack.

paisley and lace said...

My children thought it was the grossest thing ever anyone could ever possibly ever do...till they tried it and it worked! This can help, too, when you feel a cold might be coming on. More often than not, it chases it away. :)

Stef said...

yikes! Your office is pricey :(

I wish kids still got the chicken pox and we could have chicken pox parties and get it all over with :)
I'm going to have to go search for a party so my kids can catch them before they're older than 10.

Hummingbirder said...

I had a sinus infection one time. I tried putting my head over steaming water with calendula flowers in it. I put a towel over my head and repeated this every hour or so. My sinus infection cleared up quickly without any antibiotics. I love natural remedies that work that well.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing what you tried - what worked and what didn't.

We're big into home remedies around here. We try to avoid medications at (almost) all costs. :)

So glad you're feeling better!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing what you tried - what worked and what didn't.

We're big into home remedies around here. We try to avoid medications at (almost) all costs. :)

So glad you're feeling better!