Postnasal drip (PND), when the glands in your nose and throat continually produce mucus, is a common medical condition that originates in the frontal sinuses in the forehead, above the eyebrows. We have four pairs of sinuses, which are chambers in the skull lined with mucous membrane. The main functions of the frontal sinuses are to moisten inhaled air and to keep the throat lubricated with a trickle of mucus discharge. This is normal and harmless but becomes a problem if it occurs in excess.
The frontal sinuses drain at the dome of the nasal passage as it curves towards the throat’ so the mucus discharge drips down the back of the throat. Problems occur if the mucus discharge from the frontal sinuses becomes thick or sticky and is produced in excessive amounts. This can happen for several reasons, including your diet, an infection, allergy and constipation. There are some foods, including hot chillies, dairy products, ice cream, bananas and refined white rice, that produce excess mucus in the body. Smoking and chewing tobacco provokes the same response. In the case of infection and allergy, the mucous membrane of the sinuses produces a discharge to ‘wash away’ the irritant.
PND can cause throat problems because the discharge, dripping down the back of the throat, can irritate the lining. If this discharge is infected, and you’re run-down, it can cause the tonsils to become inflamed – in other words, tonsillitis.
In traditional medicine, it is generally accepted that chronic constipation and digestive problems related to candida overgrowth and gut dysbiosis (bacterial overgrowth) cause gut toxins. The body tries to eliminate these through mucus.
People who suffer from chronic constipation often complain of postnasal drip and/or frontal headaches. Long-term constipation is a common cause of excess sinus discharge: when toxins do not get eliminated naturally, the body produces more mucus to take up the role of removing them.
Excess mucus, production can also be triggered by airborne irritants, including pollutants such as chemical or petrol fumes or smoke, sprays (eg, some perfumes, deodorants, insect repellents. household product) and allergens such as pollen or dust mites. This is simply a reaction of the body to wash out the irritant.
These are my suggestions:
- Avoid milk cheese, butter, cream, yoghurt, ice cream, chilled drinks, excess white rice, bananas, citrus fruits, chillies, rich curries, coconut milk mushrooms, yeast-containing foods such as bread and pizza, spicy sauces, beer and white wine.
- Put two drops of Dr Ali’s Sinus Oil, which contains mustard, kalonji and sesame oils, in each nostril to facilitate drainage. Use twice daily for one month. Take a half teaspoonful of Lauq Sepistan, twice daily for 15 days.
- Put a sachet (a half teaspoonful) of sea salt into a jal neti pot and fill with warm water, then stir. Breathing through your mouth, tilt your head to the left, put the nozzle into the right nostril, and pour the water into the nostril. The water will trickle out of the left nostril.
- Repeat with the left nostril. ( Sinus Cleanse kit.)
- Stand or sit comfortably, arms loose, upper back straight and shoulders back Close your mouth, look straight ahead and inhale deeply through your nose. Now breathe out quickly, pulling your stomach in. Pause then repeat. Do 20 cycles daily. (See Therapeutic Yoga by Dr Ali & Jiwan Brar).
- Massage your throat daily with peppermint balm.