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Natural alternative to sudafed/decongestants?

Are there any natural decongestants/mucus looseners other than saline? Herbs, supplements, etc?

A friend of mine swears by star anise infusion, she puts a few drops up her nose with an eyedropper. I also have heard of steaming your sinuses over a bowl of rosemary or thyme infusion (you know, the towel-tent thing).

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I have never tried this, but I came across it while reading earthclinic.com the other day.

2 cups tomato or V8 juice
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
As much hot sauce or cayenne pepper as you can stand
1 tablespoon lemon juice

VERY IMPORTANT: Drink it HOT and SIP ... This sends the bacteria killing fumes into your sinus passages.
Note: Adding celery salt and a dash of worcestershire sauce make it taste like a bloody mary..
1. Get as close to the ingredients listed as possible... When you feel better, go buy the real thing. It WILL make a difference.
2. Drink as much as you can as often as you can until you are SURE the infection is gone. This is past the time when you "feel better."
3. Drink it HOT and SLOWLY, so you get those fumes going up into your sinuses. This mix is highly anti-bacterial and will KILL the infection.

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Thanks for the tips! Has anyone used apple cider vinegar before for this kind of thing? I've heard it's good to drink with water to battle cold/sinus/infections. I will look into this...

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For a decongestant, nothing beats ephedra.  You have to be really careful with it though - don't use if you have high bp, drink lots of coffee, etc.  Might be worth talking to an herbalist about.

For a more holistic approach try miso and stinging nettles.

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Thanks mdvegan!

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check the "allergies" thread above too.

but i recommend the neti pot (nasal lavage). you clean out your sinuse w/ salt water, regular water is actually irritatng to your body and can cause more congestion, you need the salt.... it works amazing. I would recommend this before you try anything else b/c you need to rid your sinuses of the mucus by firstsoothing the membranes...they keep you congested b/cthey are inflamed and the mucus cannot drain properly.

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lucidanne beat me to the salt water lavage suggestion. i'd follow it with something like olbas oil: you can buy a little stick inhaler of it- a quick sniff of that'll knock your socks off- or use the oil in a burner, a few drops on a pillow/hankie, in the bath, for massage- like you would use vicks vapour-rub... etc etc etc.

its very good stuff. they even make suckable pastilles, which my mother swears by, but which taste vile to me ( i'm not a 'minty mentholy things in the mouth' loving kinda girl) .

http://www.olbas.com/olbasoil.htm

i'm glad you're trying alternatives to decongestants, they work really well, but they're also really hardcore and can have rebound congesting effects if used for too long/too often.

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Ephedra?

But isn't that the natural form of the active ingredient in Sudafed (pseudo-ephedrine?)

Didn't they ban Ephedra (I believe it was used as a diet aide) a couple years ago bc all those people were dying for overdoses?  I seem to remember something about a football player dying during pre-season training. 

Also, didn't they take all the Sudafed off the pharmacy shelves and replace it with those plastic cards that said Sudafed so that if you wanted it you had to go to the pharmacist and ask?  I heard the people who ran meth labs would clean out the pharmacies and to go home and make methamphetamine.

If it's been banned, how could a herbalist or anyone else get it?

Or am I confused here?

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Ephedra?

Didn't they ban Ephedra (I believe it was used as a diet aide) a couple years ago bc all those people were dying for overdoses?  I seem to remember something about a football player dying during pre-season training. 

I was going to say the same thing.  :)  I thought Ephedra was banned in the US too??

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i think the ephedra was banned totally bc of its effects on the heart....it works like speed.

and the sudafed, well, i guess if you dont boil it down w/ gasoline  its perfectly safe (lol)

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For a decongestant, nothing beats ephedra.  You have to be really careful with it though - don't use if you have high bp, drink lots of coffee, etc.  Might be worth talking to an herbalist about.

For a more holistic approach try miso and stinging nettles.

The only kind of miso I have is the paste to make soup...(is that the only form?) and how much ? 1 c. of the soup per day? Thanks

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i think the ephedra was banned totally bc of its effects on the heart....it works like speed.

and the sudafed, well, i guess if you dont boil it down w/ gasoline  its perfectly safe (lol)

Sorry, but you've got that a$$ backwards.  Ephedra is safe is small doses as long as it isn't mixed with caffeine and aspirin, creating an ECA stack which is similar to speed.  Mormons (who do not use caffeine) even use Ephedra as a tea for sinus problems and upper respiratory infections.

The people who are attacking Ephedra are probably the same ones who tell us that a vegan diet cannot possibly be well-balanced. 

Just like vegan living, you need to know what you're doing to do it safely.

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For a decongestant, nothing beats ephedra.  You have to be really careful with it though - don't use if you have high bp, drink lots of coffee, etc.  Might be worth talking to an herbalist about.

For a more holistic approach try miso and stinging nettles.

The only kind of miso I have is the paste to make soup...(is that the only form?) and how much ? 1 c. of the soup per day? Thanks

Yes, I drink one strong cup of miso (about 2 Tb of miso to 8 oz. water) a day.  Be careful not to OD if you have high bp because of the sodium.

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Thanks mdvegan! I will definitely try that  :)

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The people who are attacking Ephedra are probably the same ones who tell us that a vegan diet cannot possibly be well-balanced. 

Just like vegan living, you need to know what you're doing to do it safely.

Very true.
Altho it's unfortunate Epherdra is banned in the US, I can understand why.
It's a very potent herb and should be used only in small amounts.  However, Americans are famous pill poppers in general and in order to protect the general populace, it was determined safer to ban it.

BTW, it is used in chinese medicine and available here.  It's in my cold formula. ;)

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i think the ephedra was banned totally bc of its effects on the heart....it works like speed.

and the sudafed, well, i guess if you dont boil it down w/ gasoline  its perfectly safe (lol)

Sorry, but you've got that a$$ backwards.  Ephedra is safe is small doses as long as it isn't mixed with caffeine and aspirin, creating an ECA stack which is similar to speed.  Mormons (who do not use caffeine) even use Ephedra as a tea for sinus problems and upper respiratory infections.

The people who are attacking Ephedra are probably the same ones who tell us that a vegan diet cannot possibly be well-balanced. 

Just like vegan living, you need to know what you're doing to do it safely.

When I used to read the newsgroup alt.support.diet, the self-proclaimed "experts" said that an ECA stack was one of the few "chemical" things you could take to increase your metabolism.  I tried it away back 10-12 years ago and it didn't seem to make that much difference.  Now with my blood pressure issues, I don't dare try it even if I could find the ephedra.

Btw, I'm off one blood pressure med and only taking 1/2 a pill a day of the other one.  I'm also wearing size 12 pants today for the first time in many years.  I'm pleased with my progress losing weight and I'm doing it the healthy, smart way.    8)

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Well done, our T! I wish I could do as well. I weigh in on Friday AM at the pharmacy on an old style balance scale. But for some stupid reason, every Thursday I manage to eat something really salty and swell up. Last night it was fermented bean curd! (Golly, I love that stuff!)

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