Posted by John (San Francisco, CA) on 02/26/2009
[YEA] I'd like to give a cautionary thumbs-up for Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) as a potential remedy for acute and/or chronic sinustitis, and I'd like to continue posting my progress as i'm just beginning this treatment. First, a little history (maybe this will sound familiar to some).
I'm a 41-year-old male in otherwise excellent health who has had repeated sinus problems and infections since 1994. In march 2007 I began to have a series of R-side sinus infections (one was a particularly painful sphenoid sinus infection confirmed my a CT scan).
During this time I did frequently use a neti pot with NeilMed salt packs. It did help to clear and open my sinuses, but there was always one pocket of inflammation that was chronic, that never seemed to heal completely. My infections would always start there, where it seemed that once the inflammation in that pocket reached a certain point, that bacteria would become trapped, and within 5 days I'd have another bacterial infection that would require another round of antibiotics.
By september 2007 my ENT doc said if i got infected again, we'd have to have a serious look at surgery (and for the sphenoid, it is a very delicate procedure as it's located near the base of the skull with a host of delicate nerves and arteries that run along it's walls).
When the next infection began to take hold that september, I decided to take see a well-respected accupuncturist/Traditional Chinese Medicaine doc. The treatment consisted of accupuncture and cooking down chinese herbs that I'd have to drink twice a day. The accupuncture does provide near-immediate relief. I could go from a state of feeling the typical fever/chills and sinus pain from that pocket becoming infected, to having it open up deeply and drain/recover within 2 hours. The herbs evidently helped to reduce inflammation and keep it open, as well as boost my immune system to fight off whatever may be the underlying bacteria/virus/fungus that causes this to begin with.
I have maintained with the accupuncture and herbs until now, but at a tremendous dollar cost, and still have not resolved that ever-persistent inflammed pocket in my R-sinus that is the source of all my infections. (note also that a repeat CT a few months ago showed no underlying blockages or malformations in my sinuses).
A few days ago I could feel the pocket become inflammed again and was on the road to another infection. I found this site and have pretty much been throwing the kitchen sink at it - Oil pulling with sesame oil and oil of oregano, sinus flush with hydrogen peroxide and saline H2O, ACV, and tomato tea (yummy stuff, good temporary clearing!). It kept things at bay, but could not keep that pocket open.
Today I began using GSE as a spray. I took a used antihistamine spray bottle, added a pinch or two of NeilMed salt solition, 8 drops of GSE, and water, and sprayed it in my R-nostril. It stinged a little bit in unaffected areas, but BURNED in the pocket with the inflammation. The burning eased up within minutes, but that pocket opened right up, and i could feel that it was moist and draining easily. I must state that typically the only thing that reliably opened up that pocket was accupuncture, so the fact that this simple remedy did the trick was for me very remarkable.
I continued to spray today once or twice when i felt it was drying up or when it felt it was closing up again, typically every hour or two. I had to dilute the original mixture because it felt a bit too strong, doing more than just keeping it open, but producing copious amounts of clear mucous and sneezing. One thing I noticed about other remedies to open up the sinuses (H2O2 especially) was that while it would open things up, there would be almost a reflex backlash of swelling afterward at some point.
It is my hope that by keeping up with this routine, that the GSE spray will keep the pocket open and allow it to drain and heal, and that whatever is creating the inflammation that is the precursor to my infections (be it bacterial/viral/fungal) will evenually be killed off by the GSE.
Forgive the lenghty post, but I wanted to be thorough. I will keep you posted. My hope is that if it works for me, that it may work for you as well, and we all save thousands of dollars in treating and healing the root of the problem, as opposed to just being in a maintenance mode where we are constantly treating symptoms and not the cause.