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Q & A Session on Nasal Congestion with Dr. Michele Burklund, NMD - Blog Puriya

April 25, 2019


This session with Dr. Michele Burklund is all about NASAL CONGESTION!

The questions for this video include…

  1. What are the ingredients of the Breathe-Ease Balm?
  2. Can the Breathe-Ease Balm help with Headaches?
  3. How do essential oils help with nasal congestion?
  4. Can the Breathe-Ease Balm help with seasonal allergy-related nasal congestion?
  5. Can I use the Breathe-Ease Balm while I’m taking an antibiotic?
  6. Why does my nasal congestion get worse when I lay down?
  7. Is there any type of tree nut or peanut oil in the Breathe-Ease Balm?
  8. What other natural remedies do you advise for nasal congestion?
  9. Are there any foods that can reduce nasal congestion?

If you want your questions to be included in our future FB lives sessions write a comment below-we would love to hear from you!

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:01) – Hello everyone. Good morning. My name is Dr. Michele Burklund, and I am the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya. A lot of my role has to do with coming up with new amazing botanical formulations, writing a lot of the medical literature and also educating our customers. Each week we have a question and answer session here on Facebook Live where I cover a certain topic. Previous topics have been pain relief, eczema, dandruff, and this week we are doing nasal congestion, which is a very big one and pretty much everyone has had it at least one time in their life. So, I’m gonna wait a couple of minutes, I want to remind all of you that please sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t, the link is above in the description. And you will get reminders of when our Facebook Live will be next and also what the topic it’s on, so if it pertains to you, you can join us. Also great announcements about our company and our products and amazing health tips.

(01:08) – You can also follow us on Facebook Live too directly from Facebook as well. This week we are talking about nasal congestion, like I said, and I also want to remind you that we are not doing live questions because we have so many questions that we’ve put together every week from our previous ones and we answer it on a certain condition. But I will do my best after our question and answer to answer any on the comments that you have below, and also if you have another question, especially about a different condition, go ahead and write it in the comments or send us an email, and we will include it in our upcoming sessions.

(01:52) – And remember, if you email us, somebody from Puriya will also get back to you and answer your questions soon as well. This week, nasal congestion, so much to talk about. And here at Puriya, we have a product called the Breathe-Ease Balm. And so when I talk about the product related to night nasal congestion, it’s going to be focused on that one. And the first question, leads in very well, it is: “What are the ingredients of the Breathe-Ease Balm?” And that is a great question, first we have Eucalyptus oil, and the oil is derived from the leaves through a steam distillation process. We actually use the Eucalyptus Australiana, specifically that plant because of its therapeutic actions as well. Not only does the essential oil smell amazing and give you that great feeling with aromatherapy, but it has decongestion properties as well as strong anti-bacterial, anti-microbial properties as well.

(03:02) – We use it for both of those reasons, because if you have nasal congestion, and it can typically be from allergies or from an infection. So the anti-microbial element can help as you’re breathing in and helping to clear the sinuses. We also have peppermint essential oil in there, which has been an effective remedy to help with sinus inflammation. When you get nasal congestion, it’s from a variety of reasons. First, it’s excessive build up mucus in your sinuses and inflammation. So it’s both of those things together that we wanna focus on when we formulated our Breathe-Ease Balm. A lot of clinical studies have shown peppermint essential oil to be an effective remedy for sinus inflammation, for headaches, and even a lot of different things like upset stomach too. And let’s not forget, it’s a powerful essential oil that has great anti-microbial properties as well.

(04:05) – One of my favorite essential oils is also in the Breathe-Ease Balm, lavender essential oil. It has over 78 nourishing constituents and a lot of people call it very fittingly, the first aid in a bottle, exactly for that reason. Lavender can help reduce sinus pressure, it can help reduce inflammation, and it’s a great essential oil that has a lot of anti-microbial properties as well, if it’s related to an infection. And, of course, tea tree oil, one of our favorites here at Puriya, and there’s many reasons why, it contains over 100 different compounds in the essential oil with so many different active medicinal properties in it. And it’s a broad range anti-microbial, so many different studies have shown it to be effective over different types of bacteria, whether it’s Gram-negative, Gram-positive, as well as fungus and yeast.

(05:07) – That’s a whole ‘nother subject, but we love tea tree oil just because of all the amazing great things and how helpful it is in so many different conditions. And we also have olive oil, and we use that as more as like a carrying oil to mix all of our essential oils in there, and olive oil in itself has many amazing medicinal values. And then we mix it with beeswax. And we like beeswax a lot as like the natural component to help bind everything together, and it also has a lot of great therapeutic actions within itself too. There’s over 300 constituents with great fatty acids. It helps lock in the moisture as well. So combining that together with the essential oils, the olive oil, and the beeswax, is the perfect natural base to deliver all those great therapeutic actions of the essential oils. That was a great question.

(06:07) – The next question is: “Can the Breathe-Ease Balm help with headaches?” Yes, it can help with headaches directly related to nasal congestion. So the sinuses become inflamed and you have your sinuses here and a lot of your sinuses here that really cause a lot of that headache tension, and it can be from the inflammatory response or the nasal congestion itself or typically both. So the Breathe-Ease Balm can help with headaches related to nasal congestion specifically. So I hope that answers your question. How do essential oils help with nasal congestion?” So many different ways, the tea tree oil has been thought to reduce sinus inflammation. So there’s been a lot of interesting studies on that. And of course, fight bacteria, which I’ve mentioned before. Eucalyptus has several different properties, it’s thought to help clear the mucus out of the airways, and studies have shown that it can help relieve coughing. A German study found that eucalyptus essential oil is an effective remedy for inflamed sinuses as well. So our goal, of course, with the essential oils is to reduce that inflammation, and if it is bacteria-related, deliver those anti-microbial properties.

(07:39) – This is a good question as well, moving into that: “Can the Breathe-Ease Balm help with seasonal allergy-related congestion?” And yeah, so, seasonal allergy congestion is not related to an infection, it’s related to an increased immune response within the body. But what that ends up causing is increased inflammation in the sinuses and an additional release of histamine. And I wanted to talk about a study performed in Australia that analysed the anti-inflammatory effects of specifically tree tea oil and found that it helped reduce swelling and inflammation related to hypersensitivity. So a hypersensitivity reaction is an allergic reaction, the body is overreacting to something that’s actually considered a non-harmful substance, whether it’s pollen or dust or something like that. So I thought that that study was very interesting, that not only has it shown that these essential oils can help reduce inflammation, but directly related to an allergy and hypersensitivity reaction.

(08:51) – And in traditional medicine for thousands of years, eucalyptus has also been known to help clear sinuses and help breathing. But I really liked that study that came out of Australia and analysed tree tree oil as well. And this is a great question because a lot of people always get confused if they can use different natural things while taking pharmaceuticals. So this question is: “Can I use the Breathe-Ease Balm while I’m taking an antibiotic?” And yes, the Breathe-Ease Balm is topical, and it will only help work synergistically with the antibiotic. It’s not going to interfere with the antibiotic in any way, it’s helping to address the symptoms while the antibiotic goes deeper and fights the infection. So they work great together, our Breathe-Ease Balm is helping, it’s delivering antimicrobials on a different level and helping clear that congestion so you can get over your upper respiratory infection faster. But as a doctor, I always want to recommend that if you are taking an antibiotic, after you finish taking it, we always need to replenish the gut flora that we have lost, because so much inside your gut has to do with your immune response and we wanna support that, and so I’d always recommend either eating a lot of fermented foods and replacing and rebalancing your gut flora naturally, or taking a probiotic to give it a little push and help replenish all the good bacteria you lost as well.

(10:30) – Okay, next question: “Why does my nasal congestion get worse when I lie down?” And I think that pretty much happens to everybody. You have nasal congestion all day, and you’re so tired, and then you go to lay down and it gets so much worse. So there’s two factors involved in that. The first one is simple gravity, when you lay down and you’re more horizontal, your sinuses aren’t able to drain as easy, so you feel more congested, and secondly, when you change your body position, there’s going to be more blood flow going to the upper part of your body and your face, meaning that if you have inflammation in your sinuses, and you increase blood flow, there’s going to be more inflammation. So it’s kind of twofold, it’s the gravity issue and being horizontal, and then also the increase of blood flow during inflammation increases inflammation as well. So that’s always difficult. And we’d always recommend using our Breathe-Ease Balm when you go to sleep for that reason, and if you have a lot of congestion, try to prop up your head a little bit to help you sleep, just because the gravity issue when you’re so congested, as well.

(11:44) – Okay, next question: “Is there any type of tree nut or peanut oil in the Breathe-Ease Balm?” And that answer is no. We have essential oils, we have olive oil, and olives are actually a fruit, and we have beeswax in that formulation. So there are no tree nuts. Another great question that I love to answer as a doctor is: “What other natural remedies do you advise for a nasal congestion?” So, first,  humidifiers can be great, because it adds more moisture to the air, it can help ease your sinuses. You can also do that by taking a really warm shower and shutting the doors and windows to increase that steam. Neti pots, I don’t know if everybody is familiar with neti pots, but it’s a pretty popular remedy where you have a lot of congestion, to pour water in one side of the nose and to come out of the other. And there’s specific little neti pots that are used for that. And also, I would always advise using sterile water, because you’re putting it into the mucus area, and that’s a very important part of your body that you want to make sure that it is sterile water. Neti pots can be highly effective, just make sure that the water source is very clean and sterile.

(13:14) – One of my favorite things, but it always depends on your location. When I was living in a small village in Greece, we had surprisingly eucalyptus everywhere. And whenever I thought I was about to get a sinus infection, I would grab a whole bunch of leaves from one of the trees, and I would rip it up to get a lot of the essential oils out, and I would just boil the water inside the house, and have all the essential oils come out and breathe that with the steam. So you get the steam and the essential oils. I know that not a lot of people live near eucalyptus plants, but if you do, just boiling that water during the day, even if you wanna mix different herbs in and you’re in the city or something, having that nourishing steam with some great medicinal plants is always beneficial when you’re suffering from an upper respiratory infection.

(14:04) – And I also like discussing if it’s allergy-related and you have a lot of congestion, nettle tea, it helps because it’s a natural antihistamine, and histamine’s a big factor in seasonal allergies. So, there are actually a lot of great things you can do for nasal congestion: utilizing steam, and the hydrotherapy, and trying neti pots, different things. And another thing that very few people know about is the wet sock treatment. And that helps kind of move your lymphatic system and change the blood flow from your head down to your feet, because your body is trying to warm up the sock. So what it is is you take wool socks, and you get them wet, and you try to make them as cold as possible. Some people even put them in the refrigerator for 10 or 15 minutes. And then before you go to bed, and I know this sounds horribly uncomfortable, but it’s been highly effective, you put the wet socks on your feet and you go to sleep.

(15:07) – So the goal is for your body to warm up that area that feels the cold, and it brings blood flow down there. So it helps move the lymphatic system and change the blood flow to decrease inflammation and decrease sinus congestion. So even though it might sound uncomfortable, it’s considered an ancient therapy technique and a warming technique to stimulate your body’s own system and get it to warm that area. So when you wake up in the morning, you will have dry socks and hopefully less nasal congestion. That’s one other thing I wanted to throw in there. And I like this question too: “Are there any foods that can reduce nasal congestion?” And, yes, definitely. So, there’s a lot of foods that have been shown to increase mucus production and specifically dairy. So we have milk, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream, butter, and also red meat has been shown that it can increase mucus production as well.

(16:07) – So you have the mucus producing foods, and then, there’s also, for seasonal allergies, there’s the high histamine and histamine-producing foods that can make your sinuses worse as well. High histamine foods can actually be fermented foods, it can be alcohol, especially like wine, eggplants are shown to help to increase histamine, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, seafood, there’s a whole list. But I would say, especially when you have an upper respiratory infection, reduce the mucus and eliminate dairy during that time, because it increases the mucus production. And if it’s seasonal allergy related, I would actually advise you to focus more on low histamine foods in general during that time when you have an allergy, whether it’s seasonal or if it’s an ongoing exposure. Of course, if it’s an ongoing exposure, I would also advise you to eliminate it so you don’t have that constant histamine response as well. So, let me check, I think that is all of our questions for today.

(17:18) – So, all of you that are watching, if you have any questions, you can put them in the comments below, or you can email us at Puriya. And also we’re doing it on specific conditions. So instead of just answering a whole bunch of random questions every week, we’re doing very condition-specific. So anybody who’s interested in this condition, we will get you to watch it, and we can be more cohesive in how we answer questions. I also want to remind any of our new viewers too to sign up for our newsletter. There is a link above in the description, and that’ll remind you of any new question and answer sessions we have, or if you forget to watch us live every Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. Also, we’re going to be interviewing a lot of great people in the holistic living space, whether it’s naturopathic doctors or different people that can help in many different ways. I’m really excited about this series. And it’s to help teach you that, here at Puriya, we have a lot of amazing, great products that help with the symptoms, but we want to deliver you a complete approach and help with the root cause and also teach you great ideas for clean, healthy living as well. So, that answers everything. Thank you very much for everyone joining me today, and I will see you next week. Take care.

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