One of the most common mistakes I see doctors make
is the prescribing of antibiotics without first performing
a culture. This is especially true for sinus infections.
Time and time again I have seen people given antibiotics
for sinus infections without a culture. The majority
of the time antibiotic therapy fails. The problem
is that antibiotics work against bacteria, though
the majority of sinus infections are fungal in origin.
If a fungal infection is present in the sinuses, antibiotic
therapy will not only fail, but the therapy will make
the condition worse. The sinuses, like various other
parts of the body, contain beneficial bacteria. These
bacteria, among other functions, help to control fungal
overgrowth. As antibiotics kill off the beneficial
bacteria, the fungal infection becomes free to grow
Fungal infections of the sinus cavity are actually
extremely difficult to eradicate. My former business
partner suffered with a fungal sinus infection for
seven years when I met him. He was prescribed antibiotics
over and over without any success. A few doctors did
run cultures, though the cultures failed to show infection.
I made him a concoction of osha’ root, cayenne
pepper, and licorice root. The next day a large fungus
ball came out of his sinuses. Analysis by a medical
lab determined that the infection was a very aggressive
black fungus. The constant antibiotic therapy just
increased the hold the fungus had in his sinus cavity.
Further complicating the problem is the fact that
the sinus cavity is a warm, moist environment. This
is the perfect growing environment for fungus. When
trying to fight fungal infections, two problems arise.
First, any fungus being killed can become food for
the surviving fungus. Second, if even one fungal spore
remains the infection may rebound.
Many feel the best way to address sinus infections
is to first get a culture so the type of infection
is known. If the infections are proven to be bacterial,
pharmaceutical or herbal antibiotics, such as pau
d’ arco, are recommended. Fungal infections
are best addressed by trying to restore the flora
in the sinus cavity. Probiotic supplements, or probiotic
foods, such as yogurt or kefir, can help. A probiotic
powder, such as acidophilus powder, may be made into
a liquid, with the addition of distilled water, for
nasal irrigation, or snuffing. This will help elevate
levels of beneficial bacteria in the sinus cavity.
Eating horseradish may also help. Horseradish root
contains a volatile oil, with extremely strong antiseptic
properties. When ingested, the oil is absorbed into
the bloodstream, and excreted through the respiratory
passages. By trying to breathe through the nose, the
oil is forced up into the sinus cavity where it can
help fight infection.
Limiting the intake of simple sugars, high glycemic
foods, and yeast products may also help. Consumption
of alcohol and caffeine should also be eliminated.
Maintaining a healthy immune system is also essential.
A few suggestions are the herbs amla berry, schisandra
berry, astragalus, jiaogulan, and myrrh. Other recommended
supplements include 50 mg of zinc daily, 200 micrograms
of selenium three times a day, and 10,000IU daily
of vitamin A. Vitamin C is important, though excessive
doses are not recommended. Natural sources of vitamin
C are more effective than synthetic forms. This is
why I recommend amla berry, which is my favorite source
of natural vitamin C.