- Double my usual intake of water to make sure that my sinuses stayed moist but to also make sure my body had enough hydration to fight the cold.
- Drink hot herbal teas to help add some immune boosting herbs and used the cup under my nose to steam my nasal passages
- Used the tried and true method of chicken noodle soup
- Bathed my sinuses with the use of a Neti Pot and warm saline solution
- And finally a good helping of Wasabi with some sushi!!!
Well, sadly this time around I had to do something different. I had to cut out the enjoyment of some Wasabi and sushi while I was sick to help release my nasal passages due to a study that was done a few years ago that showed that while spicy food did clear the sinus passages, the clearing did not last for long and the rebound effect was actually worse than the original relief! During a study done at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California, the use of wasabi as a decongestant is actually not a good choice.
“During the current study, Cameron and his colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California asked 22 people to dissolve a lentil-sized amount of wasabi on their tongues multiple times at one-minute intervals, and then report whether the spice affected their sinuses. The researchers also used a device to objectively measure participants' nasal congestion before and after tasting wasabi."
What they were able to find was that in the use of wasabi in the sinuses did clear mucus for the increase of airflow, but the swelling caused by increased blood flow after, actually decreased the nasal passageways. With the decrease of passageway space in the sinues the normal congestion when returned would be worse than prior.
This rebound effect is something that I actually have experienced and had made me begin to wonder within just the last few years which is why when I became stuffed up this time around and thought about all the wonderful food I was going to eat I instead decided to do a little research. Now the good news here is that I was unable to find other studies on other spicy options like the many forms of chilies or horseradish or even standard mustards, but I will continue looking and hopefully I will be able to find some better news for so many of us who prefer to use a more natural approach to illness. Hopefully this is strictly a wasabi based issue!
Stay tuned, cause I am not done searching, I love me some spicy food when I am sick!