Autumn is the ideal time to support lung health.
After Labor Day, we head back indoors for work and/or school. Fall signals the beginning of upper respiratory infections—colds, flu, and sinusitis.
The American Journal of Medicine estimates there are close to 24 million cases of acute bacterial sinusitis in any given year in the United States. New research at Harvard Medical School finds Staphylococcus aureus the most common bacteria involved in sinusitis—and one quarter are methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections, dangerous “superbugs.”
Antibiotic overuse—the cause of MRSA and other superbugs—is now pandemic, spread by use in animal feed as well as given by doctors for almost any ailment, even some that may be caused by allergens like fungi. According to Lancet Infectious Disease, the most powerful antibiotics are now largely inadequate in fighting the latest superbugs.
Prevention is always the best medicine—and a fall detox is a powerful way to support lung and respiratory health. Most people consider the day after Labor Day the beginning of fall—making this an excellent time to get ready for the new season ahead. As the colors of summer become transformed into the vibrant hues of autumn, we are reminded that “change” is in the air!
The first step in any detox journey is acknowledging the mind-body connection. You need to prepare yourself emotionally for this time of year.
Infuse your system with the Bach Flower Remedy Walnut, which is especially helpful in adjusting to transitional periods in life. As you begin to clean out your refrigerator, focus on cleansing foods and drink, and leave your old habits behind. Walnut can offset negative influences and “stuck patterns,” allowing a tranquil mind-set to ease you through fall detox.
The Pre-Fat Flush Diet
Give yourself a week to prepare your body—diet-wise—for this season’s fat flush, becoming more conscious of food choices. This week, begin to eliminate metabolism downers and liver stressors—sugar and its kissin’ cousins (high-fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners including bloat-producing sugar alcohols), caffeine, and trans fats in processed foods. Also cut back on foods that make you pooch and puff out—alcohol, beans, carbonated beverages, diet soda, excessive raw foods, gum, processed and salty foods—all those nutritionally empty carbs.
Many people find that simply sticking with just one week of this transitional diet helps them shed a few pounds. By implementing small changes every day—giving up sugarless gum and diet soda, for example—you not only lose weight but also begin to feel better all over—no more headaches, no blood sugar highs and lows, no brain fog, and (best of all) a no-bloat belly. With those kinds of benefits, you can afford to relax and go slow.
Interestingly, one classic feature of Fat Flush—cranberry juice—appears to offer protection from MRSA and other infections. Testing cranberry juice against a placebo liquid that looked the same against a number of infectious bacteria, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute were surprised that Staphylococcus aureus, which is “usually very good at forming biofilms,” showed the most significant response to cranberry juice.
Basic to all Fat Flush protocols, Cranberry H20 not only helps flush fat and other toxins from the body—but also appears useful in heading off sinus infections. For more specifics on preparing for autumn detox, read Fat Flush for Life, my season-by-season approach to boosting metabolism and cleansing your body safely.
For superior probiotic protection against many superbugs, I always recommend taking a daily probiotic like Flora-Key to shore up your system. It’s especially important this time of year as cold and flu season starts to make its reappearance.
Flush Away Upper Respiratory Irritants
Recent Australian research finds that both bacteria and fungi (including molds) are to blame for chronic sinus infections. Fungi and molds thrive in the sinuses, where they thrive on mucus lining your sinus passages and produce endotoxins that irritate sensitive sinus membranes. Even worse, fungi create an insulating platform on which bacteria live and thrive—isolated from both your own immune defenses and the antibiotics some doctors still prescribe.
That’s why Autumn Fat Flush includes nasal irrigation—an Ayurvedic practice that the journal American Family Physician has called as “effective adjunctive care” for chronic rhinosinusitis. To keep your nasal passages clear of fungi, dust, and fall allergens (inhibiting breathing and irritating mucus membranes), simply dissolve ½ teaspoon of plain, non-iodized salt and baking soda in 8 ounces of filtered, warm water in a neti pot (available at health food stores) or nasal bulb (found in drug stores).
Stand in front of the sink, and bending forward tilting your head and keeping your mouth open, apply the pot or bulb snugly against your nasal passage and allow the salt water to drain from the opposite nasal passage. Then repeat on the other side.
For more severe or chronic sinusitus, you may want to consider pulsed irrigation. FDA-approved, the Grossan Hydro Pulse nasal/sinus irrigation is also available in pharmacies or online.
Fat Flush for Life