Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I am experiencing sinusitis, which has worsened over the past 6 months. I have had a few courses on antibiotics, but the headaches from it are becoming unbearable.

A. Chronic sinusitis can significantly interfere with daily life. Studies have confirmed significant decrements in scores for bodily pain, general health, vitality, and social functioning in patients with chronic sinusitis when compared with healthy persons.

Herbal medicine can treat sinusitis very effectively. I recommend that you see a registered medical herbalist (MNZAMH) to get the right prescription for you. Certain herbs strengthen and restore mucous membranes such as goldenseal (__hydrastis canadensis__), or ribwort (__plantago lanceolata__). Marshmallow (__althaea officinalis__) to soothe the inflamed membranes and liquefy the mucous which is stuck in the sinuses – such that it can drain out. Along with a good decongestant such as elder berry (__sambucus nigra__) and decent doses of Echinacea (__echinacea purpurea__) for the immune system to fight the bacteria. I have treated chronic cases of sinusitis with lasting results owing to the restorative properties of herbal medicine. Some have required 3-6 months on a herbal tonic to get the desired results. The herbal Cold Decongestant formula on this website is also very useful for sinusitis.

Coupled with the herbal medicine, it is worthwhile having an allergy test to identify your allergens. For some people, it can be wheat, or dairy, perfumes or wine. Once they remove these allergy triggers, their symptoms markedly reduce.

Salt water nasal irrigation can be very useful in a hot, dry sinusitis condition such as yours. Nasal irrigation kits are available from your chemist (approx $10).

Recurrent infections suggest that there is a biofilm in your sinus cavities. 80% of those having a rhinoplasty operation were discovered to have a 'biofilm' . This is where the bacteria, moulds and fungi can hide in a mucous substrate and create infection periodically. I am able to help you here with enzymes that dissolve the mucous and anti fungal/ bacterial herbs to address this. It takes a course of 1-2 months to get on top of this, but the results are well worth it.