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How to Address Sinus Infections Naturally | Podcast #368

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A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is a common problem that causes your sinuses to swell up. The sinuses become inflamed and cause symptoms similar to the common cold. Many people can contract a sinus infection after having a cold or the flu. A bacterial infection usually causes sinus infections, but viruses or fungi can also cause them. These infections can either be acute or chronic.

Dr. J and Evan discuss nasal flushing, which can help clear the mucus out of your sinuses. It is one of the most effective home treatments for a sinus infection. They also emphasized the importance of rest, filtered air system, and other nutrients to boost the immune system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 –   Introduction
2:17 –   Nasal flushing products
10:03 – Mucus and nebulizer
16:54 – Sinus anatomy


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For today’s podcast, we’re gonna be talking about how to address sinus infections naturally with Evan today. Really excited. Good topic here. It’s a common topic that people are experiencing especially in the winter season so we’re gonna go through it. What we gotta do to heal fast from sinus infections naturally. Evan, how are we doing today? 

Evan Brand: Hey, doing really well. Why don’t we start with the conventional approach? What is that? If you go to your ENT with a sinus infection, what are they doing? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends, I mean, some are gonna be more antibiotic hesitant and say well you know it could be a viral infection, right? You know, almost a quarter of all antibiotics are actually prescribed for sinus infections. You know that? It’s crazy. So, most of the time, they’ll wait and see how bad it is. See if you have a fever, uh, usually like you have that punch in the face kind of feeling where your teeth are really starting to hurt, chronic headache and then you’re having a fever usually they’re waiting seven to ten days or if it’s gotten better and then gotten worse again and it’s usually seven to ten days out with a fever then they’ll start to, you know, typically prescribe antibiotics. Again, most sinus infections are viral so you know, you have to get to the root cause of that so a lot of times antibiotics won’t work. The problem with antibiotics is you’re swallowing it, it’s going 2 or 3 feet away from the actual issue so you’re basically dropping a systemic bomb to instead of hitting a localized area. Now, there are some more, I would say functional based medical doctors that may do some kind of an antibiotic in a compounded powder like an amoxicillin, something like that in a suspended solution or powder and they put it in a sinus rinse bottle like this and then you can flush your nose with that. Better, right? At least it’s more localized. We’ll talk about some strategies using saline flushes and different things that I recommend to help get that under control, naturally and not have to destroy your microflora in the gut. So, that’s a big thing out of the gates which can be very helpful. I got a sinus infection last week from a viral infection that my kids brought home. I never have been exposed to so many bugs since I have two young kids, 2- and 4-year-old boys that go to an outdoor wilderness school and they bring stuff back home from all their classmates and so I’m getting inoculated every single day and so we’ll talk about some of the strategies that I take so I can recover fast. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I still hear a little bit of you. So, what are you doing? You mentioned you got some kind of tools on your desk there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, couple of things out of the gate, you know, to irrigate or flush that area out can be very very helpful. One, to flushing the viral particulate out. Two, we may add in some components to actually help kill what’s up in the nose as well. So, we have our saline, so you can either do NeilMed saline, which is really good. We’ll put links down below. The Neti Xlear is really great. I’ll kind of go back and forth between those. I have both. And so, we’ll take this and you’ll add eight ounces of water in one of these types of bottles. This is actually the best bottles. It’s made by Xlear. It’s Xlear’s bottle. It’s the best because of the plastic isn’t cheap so when you press it, it recoils really fast so when you’re doing good flushes, sometimes you’re pressing and then you’re having to let it reload so to speak and it’s just a really good plastic. Some of the plastics are weak so then, it kind of just stays sunken in so I also have a NeoMed bottle, definitely a cheaper plastic. And there’s another bottle by Walgreens. It’s even cheaper. So, this one is okay, you know, they give it away with like 60, 70 packets of saline so it’s pretty cheap. It’s a nice bottle. I have like three or four of them lined up in my office sink so when I’m in between patients, I’ll just give it a good flush. And so, we’ll take the saline packet. We’ll mix 8 ounces of water; we’ll add it to it and then I’ll take either food grade hydrogen peroxide. You could do regular hydrogen peroxide from the drug store. It’s not as big of a deal if you’re nebulizing it. Again, it you’re flushing it, if you’re nebulizing it, you probably wanna go more food grade just to make sure any stabilizers are out. And then, I typically just fill it up just enough to cover the bottom part of the cap. That’s it. Just about that.  

Evan Brand: That’s like a dash. I mean just a tiny amount. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And you know, you went too much if you put it into the water and then I would just pour it into the saline, my finger over and just shake it up and then you know you did too much if you feel any kind of irritation or burn. You can so you can always start less and kind of work your way up and then if you do too much you can just add a little bit more water to it and back off so that’s a good option right there. Another option I have is I’ll do like my GI clear 3 silver and I’ll add a cap full of that to it. You can do that. You can add just straight up betadine iodide. I’ve stopped doing that because of the orange color. It just stains. It’s really annoying so I’ll go to, like, a clear simple potassium iodine which is good. Those are a couple good options out of the gates and so we’ll basically irrigate 2 to 3 seconds of flow, clear everything out and blow your nose in between. 2 to 3 seconds of flow below your nose. That’s a good way to do it out of the gate. Now, there’s a couple of other strategies that you can do, so some of my sinus sprays that I’ll use and so I have 3 big sprays so here’s extra rescue which is really a good one because it has six different herbs in there. It has, like pau d’arco, parsley, eucalyptus, oil of oregano, tea tree, right, so it’s really good. Six different herbs and so what I’ll typically do out of the gates if you’re new to using the product. I’ll do it, about 2 sprays in each nose, about ten minutes before a sinus flush. What I find is, it starts to, like, agitate and release all the mucus. That’s kind of stuck to the inside of the sinus cavity and so like five to ten minutes before spray it, wait, and then do a sinus flush. I find that it releases things a lot better. So, that’s really good there. And once you’re better with it and you feel more comfortable, you can do it after as well. Just see how you feel. If you’re really, really inflamed too, there’s another product called Xlear max, which is a good one.  

Evan Brand: I’ve never tried that one. I’m scared of that one. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Well, the rescue one, I think, is like the strongest form, like a killing perspective. The Xlear max is more, like anti-inflammatory. So, the big difference is, this, the last one was grapefruit by the way and the Rescue.  

Evan Brand: Okay. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so in the max, the difference is it still has the same saline, still has the same xylitol. So, this has xylitol plus six herbs, okay, saline. This says xylitol saline, the difference is it has aloe so it’s a little bit more soothing, all right, for the sinus. It has the grapefruit as well, which, so it still has some killing effects in it and it has some capsicum which is like a homeopathic anti-inflammatory. So, this is like, if you’re like the tissue is really inflamed, really raw, this is a better one. This one’s really good for killing because of the different herbs that are in there. And then, there’s a regular one out there. I have it upstairs, as well, which is the regular Xlear and that’s more like people that have chronic sinus issues, you can use that more every day and it’s a little bit more gentle where it’s just the xylitol and the grapefruit extract and it has the saline and again the benefit of that, the xylitol, it really kind of knocks down some of the bacteria that could be there. It prevents biofilms from adhesions so biofilms are like the protective shields that a lot of the bacteria used to protect against the bugs. So, that’s very helpful. And so, the nice thing is if you do the saline, right? Oh, by the way, the water reverse osmosis or distilled, make sure it’s high quality filtered water. Do not use your general tap water, very bad, so make sure it’s really good. Don’t even use, like, river water, it’s gotta be really good clean filtered water. Like even now and then, I’ll use the water out of my faucet because I have a whole house activated charcoal system so it’s still good but I also have a RO system where my countertop is, so that’s where we cook in and drink out of that water so I use that 99% of the time. So, I’ll use that, I’ll add the packet, fill it up to 8 ounces, pack it and then I’ll add either hydrogen peroxide or silver. It’s good to have a couple that you rotate through just in case there’s some resistance which is, you know, meaning like there’s some bacteria or viral resistance. It’s going to have a couple of things there and then I also have just a straight grapefruit and saline solution as well. This one is okay. It’s gentle and so those are good ways to do it. I recommend, start to do it before you flush like 5-10 minutes before because a lot of times it just releases a lot of mucus and then it allows the flush to do really well and then depending on how you feel afterwards, you can also try it after a flush and then give it a sprayer. So, once everything’s really clean and see how you do afterwards. So that’s a good start out of the gates. Of course things like N-acetylcysteine are wonderful. NAC is great. That helps with the inflammation. Really helps drying up the sinuses. I’ll do glutathione, as well. I’ll do high-dose vitamin C. We’ll add in some different nutrients, zinc, those kinds of things as well. All the good immune nutrients, vitamin D decrease all the sugar consumption. A lot of that is very very helpful. I also have a red light in the office and so I’ll kind of go up against it and let the red light get in there because that’s very anti-inflammatory as well. 

Evan Brand: Man, I should have paid better attention to the label on that Max. I was afraid of that one because I thought that one was more intense than the rescue. I’ve done the Rescue forever. I kind of like the berm. You will get a little burn with that Rescue one but the way you talk that Max is actually more soothing than the Rescue. The Rescue is more hardcore so I need to try the Max, I’ve never experimented with it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think the big thing in the Max is just people are already, like more inflamed because there’s less killers in there, it’s grapefruit. It’s got the same sodium chloride, it’s got the aloe which is soothing and that has the Capsicum. I’ll do that right now actually. 

Evan Brand: That’s very cool and the question came in about colloidal silver so in some of the rinses you could do a little bit of silver. We, also, have talked about it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I already talked about that so I said you can do the hydrogen peroxide, add it or like I’ll do my nano silver like my GI Clear 3 or some kind of a silver so you’d add like a dropper or 2 worth of silver in there which is what I have for there. So, you can do silver, you can do hydrogen peroxide and you can also do some iodine. Those are your three good ones that you could do. You could also throw in like someone in the chat wrote about like oil of oregano or tea tree or something of that. Maybe overkill if you’re already using the Rescue afterwards or before because you’re already adding that to it.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. And so, we could do that in a nebulizer protocol too, so if we’re doing a hydrogen peroxide or a glutathione or a silver nebulizer that could be another sinus support. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The problem with the nebulizer, I find it’s just, it’s deeper, it’s better for, like lower respiratory stuff. The problem with, like the mucus that comes out of the nose, it’s very tarry. It’s very sticky, right? And so, what is the mucus? Well, you have one just mucus which is clear which is like your body trying to flush bacteria or virus out and then you have the immune system interacting with the infection and then the dead soldiers, right, of that fight, that battle are essentially all the green and yellow and so the more dead soldiers, right, the more battle we go from like light yellow to yellow to darker yellow to green, right? So, the darker, right, and the, the more chunky the mucus is, the more there’s an immune fight happening up there and so what happens is, you have, you know not that, this is the best analogy I can think of is you have all these dead soldiers from the immune reaction just like sitting up there and sticking all to the sinus cavity preventing breathing oxygen exchange and also some of that can eventually go down the eustachian tubes which connects to the back which can go to your ears then you can start to get an ear infection and all that dead debris can also become like fertilizer for like a bacterial infection down the road. So, you got to get it out. So the problem with nebulizer, it’s in a vapor form so it doesn’t have the ability to push the junk out and so with a nice bottle like this pressurized, you can come in there and you can really pull all that stuff out and push it out where you’re not gonna get that with a nebulizer so your nebulizer is gonna be, you can still do it, I still did it daily but it’s gonna be better for lower respiratory issues and this have all the same stuff in it a nebulizer will, the difference you’ll have the pressurized force behind it to really get it out. Push it out. That’s the difference. And there’s some like I mean there’s sometimes, I mean I won’t get graphic but like I’ll blow my nose I’m good right? I’m good, go flush it out and then there’s twice the amount of junk left behind after the flush that was that what I couldn’t get out through blowing and so you get a much deeper cleanse of the sinus cavity with this because a lot of times you’re getting stuff out literally in this upper forehead area in here and so you’re just getting a lot better release.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, you mentioned NAC already, which NAC got banned from amazon so if you need access to it, Justin seems on your store, I believe I’ve got a glutathione NAC combo. I do not have an NAC by itself. What do you do, do you have something to offer there? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We have different products like in my line have a detox amino product that has more other stuff in it. I just have a straight NAC here. I’ll go, there’s a couple of brands that I’ll go back to before, in between 90% are out so a lot of times I just have to get brands right now. That I typically wouldn’t get if we had a better supply chain with NAC right now but yeah we’ll put a link down below anyone needs NAC, they can reach out to the office but to highlight back on what you’re saying there, NAC is super helpful and then also there’s a Nasaline you can get which is like a pressurized syringe which is great. So, you suck up the saline from the bottle, it’s like a syringe, you put it up against your nose and you press it, that’s helpful. Also, I find too if things are really stuck, sometimes you need to go like pulsations so you need to like squeeze hard, relax, squeeze hard, relax, squeeze hard, relax because I find that the pulsation sometimes will free up some of these mucus that’s really tarry and sticky so that can be very very helpful.     

Evan Brand: Knock on wood, I never ever get sinus infections. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t either. It’s my first time. 

Evan Brand: I don’t know what to, what to attribute them to like you said is it an exposure, is it a weak immune system, is there a gut connection to it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just part of the viral infection so viruses tend to go in two major areas. They go upper respiratory or lower respiratory, right? So, a viral infection that goes too deep can eventually become pneumonia. A viral infection here can become a major sinus infection and so by being on top of this, you have your tools, your sinus flush is your best for your upper respiratory, your nebulizer is best for your lower respiratory and so you can prevent those things once you have viral infection, it’s replicating it creating inflammation. You could prevent these things from going too far with those tools. 

Evan Brand: Well, that’s a great point you just made which is the possibility of it turning into pneumonia so people listening are like well why should I care, why should I try to do this and speed the process up, why should I try to intervene? Well, because you don’t want to create more systemic inflammation or lead to something more serious especially in a person who’s 80 years old or above, you know, that could create much more problems if they didn’t treat it while it was just up here and it went further south. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and if someone’s sick and they’re trying to prevent it, I think two to three flushes a day is good for, like, prevention especially while you’re sick. I think it can’t hurt just doing straight saline rinse once a day in general. I wouldn’t add any killers or anything to it. Just a straight saline. I think it is fine, just to kind of keep your nose clean at the end of the day. You wanna do that, I think it’s fine. If you’re sick, I’m going like every hour or two, I’m flushing my nose out just because at one it feels really good. It’s really clean and just as long as you’re not irritating the mucus, you know, its isotonic solution, so you have like the sodium, the chloride, it has the bicarbonate in here. Those are the two major compounds, right? Like sodium chloride is basically your sea salt, right? And then, you have your bicarbonate in there. So those are the two major ingredients and then of course this is like USP grade so it’s just really really clean.

Evan Brand:  And what do you mean by that? For people listening, what you’re saying is that pH balance so it’s not gonna irritate your sinus cavity. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You can’t just take regular, like, clean water and put it in your nose. If you will absolutely burn it and irritate it. It would feel like someone punched you in the face because the mucous membranes need a certain pH and a certain level of sensitivity so it’s kind of like using eye drops, right? Same thing. You need to have, like, saline-based eye drops. This is, you’re using sodium chloride.  Pharmaceutical grade plus the bicarbonate which is baking soda. That’s everything nice and balanced for the tissues. So, when you flush it, it shouldn’t irritate the sinuses and it should have allow it too feel nice and smooth and gentle afterwards and then if you have some kind of infection brewing even preventative for a bug just add a little bit of silver or hydrogen peroxide in there or a couple of drops, you know, some iodine that’ll give you enough killing capacity to knock down any bugs that could be multiplying but I’m going every hour or two, for me it just feels really good very soothing. It feels like plus if you blow your nose too much, you just keep your nose all raw around the side so it’s nice to have a nice clean flush. I kind of call it like, it’s like a bidet for your nose. It’s kind of how I look at it. 

Evan Brand: That’s hilarious. You know, this would be a good strategy for travel too. So, if you need something portable like the excellent Rescue. If you’re on a plane or after you get off a plane it’d be a good idea to boom boom do a couple of sprays that’ll be great. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, also, amazing for kids. Kids cannot honk their nose, blow their nose or the damn right. They just cannot get a good blow in there and you get these things on the market like a nose Frida which you know we have one you get like that deep in the cavity. We’ll do the whole nose Frida for you to think about the nose and then we’ll do this with my kids, flush it out and you’ll see so much junk come out. This is how kids get ear infections right? If you look at sinus anatomy, once you go up this far, there’s this canal, right here that goes straight to the ears and it’s called the eustachian tube and with kids it’s a little bit flatter a delta kind of angles up a little bit so it’s harder to get things uphill with kids because it’s a little bit flatter so it’s easy for the mucus and the junk to go into the ear and then you have an ear infection and of course like if your kids are getting ear issues to the food, sugar and of course high dairy products are gonna create more mucus, more mucus in the sinus cavity can make their way and so if your kids are more mucusy, one make the diet changes but two get their nose cleaned out as well so it doesn’t travel to the ear and this is why you want the mucus cleared up because if you let all the mucus and all this coagulation of all the immune soldiers so to speak, stay up there, it can make its way to the nose and now you have an ear infection. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point about the diet. I know we got to run here in a minute or two but that’s a good point about the diet if you are looking for like preventative maintenance strategies, I mean obviously you can’t just live in a bubble and not get exposed to things but you wanna have the good foundation of your diet to reduce inflammation, I mean so many people come in and say they have quote sinus problems, really it appears that they’re food allergies because once they clean up their diet, they get rid of gluten, they get rid of dairy all of a sudden their sinus is clear. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And people have, like, allergies to the environment. One, have a really good high quality air filter. We recommend the Austin air because it has the activated charcoal, the Zeolite plus the Hepa. Hepa is, like, usually standard in most if you’re on a budget. You know, go with the Hepa to start but definitely get one that has an activated charcoal, Zeolite, the Austin air, the filter lasts five years per replacement so you don’t have to spend as much money replacing it every six months and the activated charcoal and the zeolite filters out more toxins but I’ll tell patients like you know, do a flush you know in the morning when you get up, do one after you’re outside working and then do one before bed. Just the saline’s fine. You could do a little bit of spray, you know, before or after. Try before that’s helpful but just try to get the allergen out especially before bed because if you have all these allergens way up here and they’re creating inflammation that could be a stress response during sleep that’s preventing you from deeper restorative sleep and so the sinus can be flush really helpful along with some of the uh some of the remedies that we have here. 

Evan Brand: It’s a good call. Well, if people need help, they can reach out. You can book a consultation with Dr. J at justinhealth.com. So, if you have sinus issues or other health symptoms, you wanna talk, see what’s going on, see if we can help that would be justinhealth.com for Dr. J, or if you need help from me, that’s Evan, evanbrand.com. We’re available worldwide. So, most of these products we can get and we can ship to you. I know a lot of people internationally have trouble getting some of this stuff, silver and NAC. Some countries are just weird and it’s hard to import stuff but usually we have. Our team is great with logistics. So, I think it’s good to just have a stash of this stuff if you don’t already, don’t wait till you get the sinus infection then try to order, get it. Get it now. Get it, get prepped. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They have a bottle of it there. Someone said, can you do too much of it. I would say it depends, right. I would say, if you have an active infection, I think you’re gonna be fine just make sure the water is clean, RO high quality water. Make sure you’re using a good quality sodium bicarb, I think if the killers are making you more sensitive, right? You could always do your spray or killers before and then do the just the saline without anything in it after so then everything’s clean and flushed out so then you don’t have anything overly abrasive in your sinus after the fact, that’s a good way to do it and if that’s still a problem you could even, you could even just do a saline flush and not anything else after that. It’s still better than nothing just to get everything out of the sinus cavity but worst case do your spray before and then afterwards just the flush. And they have spray that are just silver too, so you have, I have a silver spray too. You can just do that, I’ll do that for my kids sometimes because they’ll complain about it like just the feeling it’s a tiny tinge of a burn for like 10 seconds and so I’ll do the silver sometimes with them. Oh by the way, my kid had a pink eye issue, used to silver spray, opened his eye up, I just like this, I went, gone in two days. So, silver is excellent for some of the pink eye stuff, I would never do it with this. That would burn but the silver is good. I hope that makes sense. Any other questions about that so far?  

Evan Brand: I think we got most of the questions answered here, there was one question about getting mucus after food and these were things like yogurts, ice cream, soy sauce, wheat products, well yeah, I mean it sounds like food allergy so obviously I would clean up your diet. I don’t recommend any of those foods, maybe if it’s like a coconut cream ice cream with low sugar maybe but beyond that all of those foods to me sound like potential irritants. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sugar and inflammatory foods, especially excess sugar and inflammatory foods will cause mucus, that’s part of the inflammatory response, that’s just part of it. Yep. That’s part of the reason why people have sinus infections outside of just getting upper respiratory tract viral issues.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Absolutely. How many people are going to the ENT and getting a paleo diet prescription, probably not many.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, and there just gonna recommend steroids, Flonase, steroids, antihistamine, they’re not really ever get to the root cause that’s the problem and so It’s really good that people are bringing these things to the light, you know, this guy Dr. Mehta, I think it’s Dr. the NeilMed guy, he’s really been on top of it, which is great. I mean this is an MD that’s talking about using really good options to clean out your nose and then you know having more of these sprays together is really good and having things that can add to them, I mean, just amazing and a lot of these viruses live in your nose so preventatively we can be on top of it, you’re out with a bunch of people, you know, instead of being overly worried about washing your hands which you know, that’s fine, wash your hands but flush your nose, easiest thing, flush your nose.    

Evan Brand: Totally more valuable in my opinion for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So guys, to reach out to Evan, evanbrand.com. Evan is available worldwide for health consultation support. I am as well, Dr. J, justinhealth.com, we are here to help you out. We’ll put some links here. Give us a little bit of time. I’ll put the links down below very soon so you can see some of the products that we use. Also, we’ll put some of the products that we recommend from our own store so you guys can get an idea of what we like. All right, any questions feel free to put them in the chat. We appreciate it. Share with family and friends, they could benefit and have a phenomenal day. Take care.

Evan Brand: Take care. See you next week.

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