Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Feeling Under the Weather
Chinese Herbal For Sinus/Allergies/etc.
The ingredients list.
I managed to come down with what appears to be a sinus infection. The symptoms include dizziness, massively itchy, runny nose, headache, wobbly knees but no apparent fever. The pool at the health club is a suspect at this point but, of course, I'll never know for sure. In any case, a quick dose of antibiotics would probably nip it in the bud but doctors are pretty careful about giving out decent antibiotics unless you're at the point of collapsing (not quite there yet). Besides, it takes so long to get an appointment that you're typically either half-dead or cured by then (solving the first issue).
So, what to do, what to do... Chicken soup? Airborne? Tried both. They might have helped a little...but by noon I was feeling dizzy and by late afternoon the nose was uncontrollable and the knees were about to give out! I figured I'd stop by the local chinese herbal store as a last resort and see if they had any miracles up their sleeves. They showed me this herbal called Pei Min Kan Wan as a general nose and sinus remedy. Sound risky? Could all those Chinese be wrong? I was getting desparate and feeling really miserable by this point so I bought some for a whopping $3! Ironically, that is less than my co-pay for either a doctor's visit or for prescription drugs (and I have a pretty decent health plan).
As soon as I got home, I hopped on the Internet so see what everyone was saying about it and also to check out the ingredients. I was particularly looking for nasty critters and for plants that I might be allergic to. I didn't see anything too nasty either way. The centiped gave me a start until I googled the latin name, Centipeda minima, and realized it was a plant (not the multi-legged critter) and that it was apparently quite useful for Sinus issues. Here's what a nutrition web site said about Centipeda minima:
Centipeda is a plant that is gaining wide use because of its effectiveness and reliability in treating a variety of respiratory conditions. It is used for colds and acute and chronic allergies. Centipeda relieves symptoms in the eyes, nose, sinuses and lungs. These symptoms include conjunctivitis, stuffy and runny nose, sore throat, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Centipeda has expectorant properties that aid in the removal of excess phlegm. The active components of centipeda include flavonoids that reduce allergy reaction, and scientific research indicates that Centipeda inhibits histamine release from mast cells.
So, the big question is, "did it work?" Well, after a few hours of sleep and about 8 of the little pills (instructions are for 3-5 per dose), my nose has finally stopped and the headache/pressure and dizziness are much less prominent. Overall, I'd say it helped me a fair amount. A few herbals and a lot of sleep.
The disclaimer: no scientific testing was involved; the above text is not a claim that this or any other herbal will work for anyone or for any particular ailment. This was just my personal experiment with herbal medicine to attempt to overcome a nasty case of sinusitis.