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Are Lingering Sinus Issues Causing You Trouble Year Round

This month I want to discuss Phlegm and lingering issues around the ears and the lungs and the sinuses.

In Chinese Medicine, the allergies, colds, and sinus infections are in similar categories. Our food choices, our ability to digest that food, and the prolonged nature of stress are creating challenges for your sinuses. Read on to see some practical things to work on to improve your sinus health.

Remember that you don’t want to over dry your system. It’s easy to take TOO MUCH Sudafed, Mucinex, or herbal formulas that dry up phlegm in a climate that is still DRY even while it is raining.

3 Challenges to Healing Your Sinuses:

1. Digestion and Food Choices:

Underlying these problems, at the root of it all we have digestion and phlegm. In Chinese Medicine we say that the stomach makes the phlegm and the lung (and sinuses) store the phlegm. Phlegm is described as sticky and tenacious and in Colorado’s damp dry climate breaking up lingering phlegm can be challenging. Be persistent in eating healthy foods including 2 servings of fruits and 6 servings of veggies (or working towards this) every day. Eat all the colors as they all have different nutrients.

If your appetite is low, then choose ginger beer, ginger candy, or ginger tea to stimulate your appetite and heal your gut. Choose cooked, gentle foods like soups, broths, and smoothies.

Radish: One food that is amazing for phlegm is radish. Eating radishes regularly really helps to break up phlegm. If you do not like spicy red radishes try the watermelon or daikon radish. A little goes a long way.

Apple Cider Vinegar: A shot of this in the am or before you have your meals can increase stomach acid and help you lose weight and maintain healthy gut flora, but be careful if you have reflux, discomfort or burning at the rib cage. If you have those symptoms I like Multizyme from Standard Process to increase digestion without acid.

Fermented foods are also great: Kimchi if you like spicy or sauerkraut or fermented veggies – adding a spoonful with lunch or dinner is the dose. If you digest dairy well, cottage cheese is good, but leave the cheese and milk at a minimum. If you like kombucha or kefir, it can replace alcohol. (A little alcohol relaxes the liver, but too much stresses it out further.)

2. Low Stomach Acid:

Without stomach acid we do not properly break down iron and proteins and b vitamins leaving us with vulnerable tissue and lots of emotions. A body looking for protein will take it from your joints leading to joint pain and inflammation. It will take it from your stomach lining or your muscles leading to hernias or reflux. It is easier to get overwhelmed or cry if your b vitamins are not adequate.

3. Prolonged Stress:

Prolonged stress is a problem and it’s especially problematic during a time when we have almost gotten used to bad news. We discount how stressed we are and how much it is impacting our sleep, our energy, our digestion, our moods. All of these things create more problems. Not sleeping creates more inflammation. Joint pain creates poor sleep.

Lingering symptoms in the ears indicate a half in half out condition. Basically the body is not resolving the condition fully. Poor digestion or wrong diet create and prolong these conditions. Stress gobbles up the nutrition we do put in. These problems can lead to inflammation, pain, injury and can contribute to developing heart disease and joint problems.


Guiding folks through solving their health challenges is what I do. Figuring out where to start and holding your course, longer than you may think you need to, is key. If symptoms are lingering, then the body does not have everything it needs nutritionally to heal. Increase your healthy foods and resist those junk foods. Having a coach reminding you to keep at it until your symptoms resolve and to try to figure out how to destress during these times is helpful.

If you are having lingering symptoms, come in and get on an herbal formula. I can also diagnose you by phone and RX you through Fullscript for direct ordering to your home or drop ship the order.


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