Readers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS offer their perspectives and suggestions on methods of clearing clogged sinuses, or sinus cures.
A demonstration of the boiling eucalyptus sinus cure.
ILLUSTRATION: CRAIG SPONSELLER
In a previous issue, Carolyn Prentiss offered Ralph Orsi a home remedy for sinus trouble. Her advice—to throw a handful of eucalyptus leaves into a pot of boiling water and then to make a tent with a large towel to cover your head and the pot—can't be scoffed at.
The May 1972 issue of SOVIET LIFE indicates that the Russian scientists are getting into eucalyptus as medicine: "A new medicinal preparation, chlorophyllyptus, has been derived from eucalyptus leaves at the Ilya Mechnikov Microbiology, Vaccines, and Serums Research Institute in Kharkov. The drug is effective against staphylococcus germs, which are resistant to antibiotics. It is prescribed for blood infections, inflammation of the lungs, various complications due to staphylococcus infections, and some other diseases."
Star Prairie, Wis.
The following sinus cure works great for me: Roll up a large towel, hold it by the ends, and dunk the middle into a big pan of boiling water. Wring it out hard and place it on your forehead for as long as you can stand it. Raise it, then put it back again until it begins to cool. Repeat the whole procedure two or three more times. Five minutes or so of this clears my sinuses, especially if I lie down and rest or sleep immediately after the treatment.
But prevention is better than cure. Try wearing a cap or hat whenever you're outside on a cold and/or damp day. If this works as well for you as it does for me, you won't feel your sinuses again until you forget the head protection.
Walter F. Faustman, Jr.
In answer to C. Prentiss, who asked for a real sinus cure: There's none that I know of, only methods that give temporary relief. But there is prevention, in such a simple and logical form that people disdain it: the modern version of the old-fashioned nightcap!
Whatever headgear you choose, you must cover your head at night . . . summer, winter, spring and fall. Woolly ski hats are great—especially the covered—face style—to keep warm the sinus cavity under the eyes. Or pull a lighter ski or sailor's cap down over your cheekbones.
It's most important to cover the ears, too. Gals especially are reluctant to spoil their hairdos. Forget it . . . just get that hair up in a bun (for extra insulation) and cover those ears.
You'll find that night hats slip off long hair. To avoid this, I've used a warm flannel diaper folded in a triangle and worn Aunt Jemima fashion. On hot nights I wear one of those terry-cloth turbans you can pick up at a notion counter for 98¢. l have a drawerful of night head-coverings and wouldn't dream of going to bed without one. I use night-shades too, as does my husband, who won't cover his head because he perspires so. However, he only suffers from lower-cavity sinus pains, so it's not so important.
Granted, you won't look very glamorous in bed in a ski hat or diaper, but I'll guarantee that your sinus will clear up and you'll awaken refreshed and free from pain. This old precaution was given me by a Scottish lady long ago. I've blessed her these many years and am glad to pass her advice on to all sinus sufferers. It's so simple that it sounds silly . . . but it works!
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