If you’re like me, you’ve just spent the last two weeks celebrating the holiday season with friends, family, and loved ones—among such unspoken company as beer, cocktails, fatty feasts, and cold, cold weather. It’s a fantastic recipe for a well-celebrated holiday season, but it’s also the perfect recipe for disaster: the sinus infection.
Don’t despair too quickly. You may not need that emergency visit to the doctor for a dose of antibiotics. You may be surprised to learn of a few kitchen foods that can help cure your cold or sinus flare-up. Forget about the bitter teas, herbs, and strange vegetable concoctions—here are three delicious, and quite surprising, foods that can help fight off your sinus infection.
Chocolate contains naturally-occurring theobromine, a chemical that suppresses vagus nerve activity, which is responsible for causing coughing. Researchers in London found theobromine to be effective at reducing coughs in a medical trial, and they encourage further research to determine just how much chocolate alone can help.
Cayenne pepper, of the capsicum family, is a stimulant that works on all sorts of functions and systems of the body, including digestion and circulation. (In fact, it’s the one food that’s been clinically proven to increase metabolism! Check out the full article here.) Cayenne stimulates the passage of mucus from the body and can help to dispel unwanted green goblins from your head and chest. Just think of a time you’ve eaten too much hot sauce or hot salsa and had to get a tissue to blow your nose. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to your herbal tea and drink ‘er down. Get the tissues ready, because you’re going to need them soon!
Grandpa’s Hot Toddy.
Yup, a bit of alcohol may be just the thing to reduce your poor inflamed sinuses. Alcohol, in small amounts, has an anti-inflammatory effect on the mucus membranes, and it can help to reduce a fever. Mixed with the warmth of water, which acts as a demulcent and soother, as well as a squeeze of fresh lemon, which helps to break down mucus, you’ve got yourself a cocktail for health.