Antibiotics overprescribed for sinusitis

We've been following a trend in medical research that has been casting antibiotic use in a new light (see previous: 1, 2). As drug-resistant bacteria continue to evolve and spread, the healthcare establishment is responding by trying to avoid antibiotic use in cases that are self-limiting, or where viral causes are often to be suspected. A few years ago, ear infections. Next, bronchitis. Now, sinusitis: a new study underlines that antibiotics are grossly overprescribed in this condition, and casts some doubts on the use of inhaled corticosteroids as well.
Acute sinus infections (most often viral) tend to clear up fairly well on their own. The problems can come when the infection becomes chronic, often seeing folks take multiple trips to a doctor for a prescription of Amoxicillin. Not the best strategy, it seems - for your personal health, or for the health of the environment (which, truly, isn't really separate from you, but we won't get into philosophical expounding...). So consider some tried-and-true herbal therapies:
  • a nice, hot tea of red clover blossoms. Consider mixing in some goldenrod flowers - and, if you or someone you love is feeling a little 'fussy', some catnip leaves as well.
  • tincture of lobelia and myrrh, rubbed around the sinus area (around the eyes, nose, even the back of the neck - be careful not to get any in your eyes!!!).
  • if you're prone to allergies (often an aggravating / complicating factor), try red Reishi or a fresh stinging nettle extract.
  • nasal irrigation (neti).
Echinacea and/or eyebright may not be bad ideas either. Consult with your local herbalist to see what blend might be best matched to your whole self!

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