Friday, April 13, 2012

PHARMACY FRIDAY - Pickles for your Sinuses

Here in Oklahoma (and I am sure many other states) we are in the midst of our Spring respiratory allergy season. This year it seems to be one of our worst. So with that in mind, combined with the fact that I am still battling my extreme sinus infection, I have decided to devote all of April to sinus remedies.

As some of you know, my sinus infection has been so extreme that I have had a multitude of mini strokes over the past month. (I am so glad to report that I have had only one or two very tiny ones this week, which I managed to stop/slow down using the acupressure points.)  I have asked everyone possible (friends, pharmacists, store clerks, etc.) what their suggestions were to remedy my sinuses. One of the oddest, yet very effective, suggestions I have had yet was dill pickles, suggested by two different store clerks at that!

Of course, my first thought was, "no way!", but they both explained to me that there are several ingredients in Dill Pickles that aid in relieving your sinuses. One of them strongly emphasized that it had to be DILL pickles, as there was something in the dill weed that was very effective. She also explained that something about the combination of the ingredients, including the cucumbers, especially helped. So I thought, "Why not..." I had a full, unopened gallon of dill pickles at home that had been sitting untouched for months (I had gotten them because I needed the jar), so I figured I would try them.

By the time I got to the end of that first dill pickle, I was amazed at the relief I got. My sinuses eased up considerably for the next couple of hours. But I was still skeptical so I decided not to put too much stock into it until I tried it a few more times. Well, I am 3/4 of the way through that gallon of pickles now, and with every pickle I have eaten, I have received very noticeable relief for two or more hours after I have eaten one. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is a cure in itself, but it sure has given me relief. And coupled with other remedies, I am now feeling considerably better!

This concept fascinated me so I had to do some research to see if I could find out the logic behind why Dill Pickles appeared to be working so well to relieve my sinus pressure. Here is what I found about dome of the ingredients in a jar of Dill Pickles:

 DILL - This wonderful, flavorful herb has more healing properties than I ever dreamed it did! Among those properties is respiratory health. Dill contains components that are anti congestive, anti histiminic, anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory, and kills mold. It aids in clearing the congestion in your respiratory system. As an added bonus, it just might also alleviate the cause of your sinus infection! (bacteria, mold, fungi, etc.)
Here is some more good reading on the subject: Health Benefits of Dill, Dill, Health Benefits of Dill Weed 

GARLIC - Garlic is known to have antiviral properties which helps the body fight against allergies (which is a common cause of sinus irritations/infections). It is also anti bacterial, anti fungal and, best of all, a great, natural antibiotic! Since prescription antibiotics (very strong ones at that) didn't work on my sinus infection this time, I definitely need something like this.

VINEGAR - Be it white or apple cider, vinegar is anti bacterial, kills molds, and is decongesting. It can be a great help in the fight against sinus irritations/infections and its causes. I don't know about you, but when I bite into a big, juicy, dill pickle, it often squirts up into my nose (via the back of my mouth) and that seems to be a good thing because it gets it to where it needs to go.

CUCUMBERS - Little did I know that cucumbers are anti inflammatory (which can reduce swelling in your nasal passages), among many other health benefits! Cucumbers are loaded with Vitamin A, which can help keep the surface lining in the respiratory tract intact. Who would have thought?!

And then, in many jars of Dill Pickles, you might also find mustard seed, which also has anti inflammatory properties and is anti fungal.

So as you can see, amazingly, all the ingredients in a jar of DILL PICKLES may very well work together to alleviate sinus infections/irritations! Looks like Dave and I will have to grow LOTS of dill and cucumbers this year to can lots of dill pickles with.

Have a great, easy breathing weekend!


  1. Great news. I think I still have about 20 mason jars in the basement with dill pickles in them. I don't get allergies but Dearest does really badly once the leaves pop out on the trees. We are just behind you up here in the weather.

  2. Oh, I can't imagine a life without allergies, but I sure would like to! Sounds like he needs to start in now eating those pickles. For his sake, I hope you all have a mild season of it this year.
    I haven't made pickles in years, but plan on making a lot this year. When I do, I am going to pay extra close attention to what I put in them for health benefit purposes. I am sure hot peppers in some would really help the sinuses, too.

  3. That is a new one, thanks! If you buy organic straight from the comb honey (from your area) I have heard mixing a Tbl of honey in warm water twice a day and drinking it gives you a tiny bit of what is high in season and help your body fight it. My aunt (has it bad each year) tried it and said it helped but took a few weeks. I will tell her about the dill, that works a lot faster!

  4. I had heard of doing this with the honey, but I had kind of forgotten about it for allergies. Thanks for the reminder! I do eat a lot of it, though, in my hot teas and I have been using it a lot in one of my sinus relief concoctions (with apple cider vinegar). I should try it more faithfully throughout this allergy season and see how it goes. It is so good for soooo many things!

    Yes, it does make a HUGE difference if the honey is raw and organic! I got in a "discussion" about this just yesterday with the woman at our produce market. I asked if they were ever going to get in raw honey (they have loads of honey, different sizes and brands). She said there honey was raw. I said no, it was pure, but not one jar said raw. She didn't understand so I gave it up. That fresh produce market has been open for as long as I can think back and remember, and that same woman has checked me out as long, and as much knowledge as they have about all kinds of produce stuff, I was surprised that they appear unaware of the difference in honey. I did tell her, though, that unless it actually said, "raw" on the jar, I could not purchase it there. Do I let it go or take her in a print out on the subject? I don't want to try and tell them things about their business, but I would prefer to purchase mine there (small business rather than a chain) and they would probably sell a lot of it.

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