Author: Joan Haynes

Nasal Rinsing Reduces Severity of Covid and Other Respiratory Illness

nasal rinsing

SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious pathogens enter the nasopharynx (nose-throat) to replicate.  One way to reduce your risk of covid and other respiratory illness with with  nasal rinsing.  Not just an old-as-time natural treatment, the conclusion of one study of people who tested positive covid revealed “participants initiating nasal irrigation twice daily for 14 days were over 8 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.”   Many people are intimidated but its easy and done correctly, is not uncomfortable. 

Nasal rinsing vs nasal sprays

To be effective, we need to use a volume of water of at least 1 oz (30 ml) to 2 oz (60 ml) or more.  This is NOT the same as nasal sprays which are good for moisturization but are not enough to wash out the nose and back of the throat.

To wash your nose out, 3 things are needed:

  1. Device to get the water up your nose.
    1. Positive pressure squeeze bottle system or machine
    2. Neti Pot which works with gravity
  2. Water. It needs to be distilled or boiled for 5 minutes. Heating it to body temperature makes it more comfortable.
  3. Saline solution.

The easiest way to get started:

NeilMed Sinus Rinse – available at most drug stores or online

NeilMed makes it super easy!  This company has everything you need including product options and instruction videos.  The saline packets are premeasured and inexpensive. 

If you want to make your own saline solution, here’s a basic recipe.  You can experiment with a little more salt and baking soda for comfort. 

  • 1 cup warm water.  (250 mL) Distilled, sterile or boiled for 5 minutes.
  • ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda.  No anti-caking agents or preservatives

For extra infection control you can add ½ tsp of 10% povidone-Iodine to the above saline solution (do not use if you have an allergy to shellfish or iodine).  Be careful as iodine stains. 

Another antimicrobial choice is to use 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts of saline solution.

Webmd has a slide show that walks you through how to do it:

More information:

Another option is Nasal Sprays.  Xylitol & Grapefruitseed Extract products have been studied with covid.

This nasal spray called Taffix has been studied with covid.  It works by creating an acidic environment that lasts for 5 hours.

A literature review about hydrogen peroxide in nasal rinse for covid.

Essential oils have been shown in studies to have antimicrobial as well as antiviral effects.  If you use essential oils in your nasal rinse, be careful as the oils can very easily irritate the delicate tissues.

Here is a summary of studies on this topic.

This is an informative 13-minute video of Dr. Amy Baxter talking about lots of ins and out of covid and nasal irrigation.

Bastyr Center for Natural Health: Anti-Inflammatory Diet

 Chronic inflammation can both lead to and aggravate a number of health conditions. The following dietary suggestions aim to decrease inflammation.

Eat a Low Glycemic Diet

  • Refined grains and sugars can be pro-inflammatory.

Consume 7 – 10 Servings of Fruit and Vegetables per Day

  • Colorful fruits and vegetables contain a myriad of phytochemicals that are anti-inflammatory. Choose a “rainbow diet” of fruits and vegetables from every color.
  • Green leafy vegetables, cabbage family vegetables, onions, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, and pomegranates are particularly anti-inflammatory.

Have Nuts and/or Seeds Every Day

  • Consume a variety of nuts — raw nuts are preferable. Especially beneficial nuts include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and walnuts.

Use Quality Fats

  • Unsaturated fats high in omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Best sources include cold water fish, flax seeds, and walnuts. Flaxseed oil is an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and is great for salad dressings but should not be heated.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil as main oil for sauces, salad dressings, and marinades. Unrefined coconut oil and be used for sautéing.
  • Decrease consumption of foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as soybean, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils. Omega-6 fatty acids can increase pro-inflammatory markers in the body if eaten in excess. Many of these oils are widely used in processed foods, so be sure to read labels.
  • Avoid hydrogenated fats/trans fats in the form of shortening, margarine, and in many baked and prepackaged foods.

Load up on Herbs and Spices

  • Herbs and spices have strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be added in creative ways to most foods. Examples include ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry, rosemary, basil, cinnamon, hops, nettles, and thyme.

Drink Tea

  • Black, green, red, and white tea (Camellia sinesis) may help reduce inflammation due to the high polyphenol and antioxidant content.
  • Herbal tea infusions, such as rosehip and nettle, may also be beneficial.

 Get your Probiotics

  • Fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotic bacteria which help to keep the digestive tract healthy and may reduce inflammation. Food sources include kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kimchi.

Avoid Chemicals

  • Many industrial chemicals and pesticides can irritate the immune system. Choose organic foods and “green” personal care and cleaning products. Refer to the Environmental Working Group for more information.

Minimize Alcohol Intake

  • While modest intake of red wine has an anti-inflammatory effect, excess alcohol intake can increase inflammation and irritate the digestive tract.

Practice Stress Reduction

  • Psychological stress can increase the inflammatory response. Physical activity, yoga, and meditation may be helpful to reduce stress.

Consider Food Allergy Elimination

Food allergies can often cause inflammatory symptoms in the body. The common food allergens are milk, eggs, fish, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and shellfish.

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Naturopathic Care for Seasonal Allergies

Instead of masking allergy symptoms temporarily with medications, naturopathic physicians are trained to look at the big picture to uncover root causes of your susceptibility. 

The Total Load – the collection of challenges to a person’s health

Your total load varies by day, week or over the years.  Like a bucket that is too full, the body ability to cope becomes overwhelmed and creates allergic reactions.  Instead of focusing on a “single cause”, you can make a “little difference in a lot of areas” then the whole system works better. 

  • Food sensitivities & proinflammatory foods
    • Particulate matter:  pollen, dander, dust mites, mold
    • Toxic chemical exposure: fragrances, off gassing of indoor paint & furniture
    • Improper breathing impairing the airway
    • Nutritional deficiencies – omega 3, phytonutrients, B-vits, Vit C for example
    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Stress responses creating inflammatory chemicals
    • Chronic or acute infections

Natural Supplements to manage symptoms: 

While you are working on the underlying causes of allergies, the symptoms still need to be managed.

2 – 3 weeks before allergy season

  • Supportive daily supplements – Multivitamin, Omega 3 oils, Vitamin D, Probiotics
  • Bioflavonoids which stabilize mast cells which release histamine.  We carry Aller C by Vital Nutrients.  2-3 capsules, 2 – 3 times/day. 
  • Optional – Nettle tea with local honey.  1 to 3 cups daily.  Steep 20 minutes for the most benefit.  Nettle is traditionally used for symptoms of allergies and raw local honey may be useful to slowly desensitize people to local pollens by slowly exposing the immune system. 

Once Symptoms Hit: Treatment for Acute Allergies / Hay fever symptoms

  • A higher dose of mixed bioflavonoids with Vitamin C (Aller C by Vital Nutrients) 3-4 capsules 3 times/day
  • Quercetin (a single bioflavonoid) – high dose instead of mixed bioflavonoids.  1,500 mg 3 – 4 times daily for a few days.  This works great for hives, watery eyes, sneezing and even histamine symptoms for some food intolerances. 
  • Herbal Tincture – Allergy Sinus Tincture made at BNHC – eyebright, goldenseal, horseradish, nettle, yarrow.  2 dropperfuls every 1 – 2 hours as needed.   Tastes terrible but worth it because it works!
  • Homeopathic Eye drops to sooth itchy red eyes. 

Seasonal allergies can knock down people for weeks and have them relying on medications that have side effects.  With Naturopathic medicine, you have the opportunity to return to a healthy state with positive side effects for your whole body.  Let us know if we can help! 

No More Bedwetting

Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting) is a common and embarrassing problem.  There can be various factors that may play a role such as bladder size, a hormone imbalance, chronic constipation, a or a structural problem. Read More about Bed-wetting from  But sometimes all it takes is a lab test.  I have been helping kids and young adults identify food sensitivities that cause bedwetting since I learned about the link over 20 years ago at a nutritional medical conference. 

The Food – Bedwetting Connection Evidence is Not New

A study done of 100 children in 1965 and published in the reputable Annals of Allergy showed the evidence but was long forgotten in conventional medicine.  The study was summarized by Dr. James Breneman in 1978: “Of the 100 patients subjected to the food exclusion program, 87 were completely controlled as long as they avoided their particular food allergens … The average number of days to control these 87 was 4.87 … the ingestion of a food to which the patient was sensitive would temporarily reproduce enuresis.” 2  Of the 100 children, 13 did not improve due to non-compliance or other explanations such as bladder infection, inflammation, and a physical obstacle restricting flow of the urine out of the bladder.

Food Sensitivities are Not Food Allergies

Despite the words often being used interchangeably, there is a difference.  

Food allergy symptoms are sudden (minutes to hours) and often dramatic such as with peanuts.  An Epi Pen is often needed, and the person must never eat the food.  Testing for food allergies will not rule out food sensitivities.

Food sensitivities are different.  The time from ingestion to symptoms developing can be hours or even days later.  This is why people do not associate their symptoms with ingesting the food.  Sensitivities to foods can cause a wide variety of other chronic symptoms besides bedwetting: headaches, gastrointestinal issues, musculoskeletal pain, mental and emotional changes, skin issues and more. 

Are Foods Causing Your Symptoms? 

Please refer to our article: Are Foods Causing Your Symptoms?  Understanding Testing Options.  


  2. Breneman JC.  Nocturnal Enuresis, A Treatment. Annals of Allergy. 1965;185-191. (summarized in Dr. Beneman’s book, Basics of Food Allergy, 1978, Chapter 8, pages 54-66., as cited on in an article by Jonathan V Wright, MD, at

How The Liver Detoxifies:

Your liver is a workhorse. The work of detoxification is happening everyday, whether you’re “on a cleanse” or not. The liver’s detoxification process is complex, but most simply is divided into two steps, aptly named Phase 1 and Phase 2. This infographic found on shows an overview of how the liver works.

Pathways and Nutrients:

Phase 1 Detoxification:

The purpose of Phase 1 is to reduce toxicity of chemicals. This process occurs via a special set of enzymes, called Cytochrome P450. Antioxidants is very important for this phase, to neutralize toxic metabolites as chemicals are broken down.

Slow Phase 1 detoxification may occur due to lack of blood flow, sometimes a result of aging or low physical activity. It can also run slow due to deficiency in vitamin and mineral cofactors needed for enzyme function (like riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, and iron). Heavy metal toxicity is especially damaging to this phase. 

Extra fast Phase 1 detox can be problematic as well, especially if Phase 2 is slow; in this case, antioxidants become overtaxed and may cause oxidative damage and/or chemical sensitivity.

Phase 2 Detoxification:

Toxins processed through Phase 1 continue to Phase 2, called conjugation, where a side group is added to improve the body’s ability to eliminate the toxin. There are six main pathways in Phase 2, and some chemicals can be detoxed through more than one. 

  • The Sulfation Pathway:  detoxifies bacterial toxins, Tylenol, BPA, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, neurotransmitters, and xenoestrogens (estrogen-like chemicals).
  • The Glucuronidation Pathway: detoxifies medications like aspirin, food additives like benzoates and preservatives, and some steroid hormones. 
  • The Glutathione Transferase Pathway:  detoxifies heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides.
  • The Acetylation Pathway: detoxifies histamine, serotonin, salicylic acid, tobacco, and car exhaust.
  • The Amino Acid Conjugation Pathway: detoxifies toluene (a solvent), benzoate (a food preservative) and other environmental chemicals.
  • The Methylation Pathway: detoxifies hormones, neurotransmitters, or toxins, by making them water soluble; detoxifies amines (serotonin, melatonin, histamine, tyramine, and all of the catecholamines: dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine), phenols (salicylic acid—aspirin, cannabinoids, estradiol, and BPA), and many other chemicals. Genetic mutations in the methylation cycle can cause mental/emotional imbalance, migraines, hormone imbalance, and toxicity.

Important cofactors throughout Phase 2 include B vitamins, especially methylated versions of folate and B12, trace minerals such as iron, manganese, and molybdenum, amino acids like choline, cysteine, methionine, taurine, and others, like magnesium and vitamin C.


Liver detoxification is complex! Be cautious about signing up for just any “detox” plan, because it’s very important to keep the liver and all it’s pathways in sync. A great detox takes the individual and symptoms into consideration. If you are interested in trying a detox, working with a Naturopathic Doctor can enhance your results. I’d love to help you choose the solution that’s right for you. Contact me at Boise Natural Health Clinic for your spring detox!

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Variations

from Kara Ferguson, Finance Manager

I love Brussels Sprouts – and this is such a quick way to make them.  Adapted from Whole Foods Market recipe.


  • 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 30 to 35 minutes stirring/flipping once or twice. Cook until deep golden brown, crisp outside and tender inside. Loose leaves will be especially brown and crispy.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and serve.


Rosemary Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary to Brussels sprouts before roasting. During the last 5 minutes of roasting, add 1/4 cup pine nuts. Stir well and continue roasting until Brussels sprouts are tender. Before serving, toss with 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese.

Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts
During the last 5 minutes of roasting, add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup pecan pieces. Stir well and continue roasting until Brussels sprouts are tender.

Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
After roasting, allow Brussels sprouts to cool to room temperature. Toss with 4 cups baby kale mix, 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese and 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Ruby Beets with Balsamic Glaze & Fresh Herbs

from Emily Yuen, ABT

Potent antioxidant powerhouses, the mighty beet will bring a splash of color and rich flavor to your harvest table.

Recipe from

Servings: 8


3 pounds beets – scrubbed and trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons organic butter (if dairy sensitive substitute gee or non-dairy butter)
2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
fresh herbs (for garnish)


  1. In a large saucepan, cover beets with lightly salted water by 1 inch. Simmer beets, covered, 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender, and drain in a colander.
  1. Cool beets until they can be handled and slip off skins and stems. Cut beets lengthwise into wedges. Please note: beets may be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead. Just cover and place in the fridge. Bring beets to room temperature before proceeding.
  1. In a large skillet, stir together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and Organic Valley Salted Cultured Butter. Add beets.  Over moderate heat, cook beet mixture with salt and pepper to taste, until heated through and coated well.

Serving Suggestions:

Choose one of the following fresh herbs to enliven the senses of your holiday guests:
~Thyme – use 1 teaspoon
~Rosemary – use 1/2 teaspoon
~Basil – use 2 teaspoons or more
~Chives – to taste
Rinse the herbs well, pat dry, reserve beautiful sprigs for the garnish. Finely chop and sprinkle herbs over the beets.
Toss gently, garnish and Enjoy!

Pets, Kids, Lawn Chemicals and Alternatives  

Did you know that lawn spray has been found on 70% of pets up to 8 days after application?  Find out more about allergic reactions and the dangers of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides on the studies below.  Learn alternatives to safely manage weeds see below.

Your lawn isn’t the only place you maybe exposed to dangerous chemicals. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s great links for keeping your children, pets and your home safe from toxins. Consider testing for toxic chemicals in your body at BNHC.

Information and Studies about Pets and Lawn Chemicals:

Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Detection of herbicides in the urine of pet dogs following home lawn chemical application.

Case-Control Study of Canine Malignant Lymphoma: Positive Association With Dog Owner’s Use of 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides

Household chemical exposures and the risk of canine malignant lymphoma, a model for human non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

An observational study of the potential for human exposures to pet-borne diazinon residues following lawn applications

Dogs are ingesting, inhaling and otherwise being exposed to garden and lawn chemicals that have been associated with bladder cancer

Helpful Links

Organic Landscape 

Organic Lawn Care 101

Rutgers Organic Land Care Manual 

Other Pesticide Resources

Pesticide Action Network In the U.S., one of every two men and one of every three women are likely to develop cancer over the course of a lifetime — and pesticides are part of the reason why.

DIY Weed Spray –by Dr. Becker published in Planet Paws

“This DIY home spray is very effective at killing foliage (all plants) so it’s important to make sure it only contacts the weeds you want to kill (as it will also kill grass). Also note vinegar that is 10-20% acetic acid means it’s much stronger than regular vinegar, which is why it’s so effective for killing foliage. The essential oils add a serious extra kick for pesky weeds, but there are some cautions to be aware of before mixing up this potent brew: I recommend wearing protective gloves and eyewear (vinegar burns if you accidently get it on your skin) and if you’re sensitive to smells, a mask is also smart. Mix the three ingredients in a well-ventilated area and store in a heavy duty, non-corrosive container (the solution will dissolve cheaper plastic spray bottles quickly).


Spray weeds directly with solution in the heat of the day, in direct sunshine, preferably when temperatures are above 70 degrees. The solution works best when the soil is dry, so don’t apply it the day rain is forecasted.

Keep pets off of sprayed areas until dry (as solution can be irritating to skin). This nontoxic weed killer is super effective, but won’t harm the earth or the animals contacting the weeds after it dries. Happy spraying, and here’s  to green, non-toxic lawns.”

Mullein Cold Infusion – Herbal Remedy for Chronic Coughs and Irritated Lungs

By Emily Dickerson, NMD

The respiratory infections that spread and persisted across the Treasure Valley this past winter and spring were brutal. Sinus congestion and coughs lasted for  weeks, and often for months. Following respiratory infections came seasonal allergies, which caused bronchial irritation and respiratory symptoms to linger for even longer. Many of my patients have had difficulty differentiating between infection and allergies. Their lungs continued to be irritated and inflamed, and they have had difficulty getting their coughs to go away. Soon we will transition into the heat of the summer months, with potential for forest fire air pollution to irritate our airways. A mullein cold infusion may be just what the doctor ordered.

My favorite remedy for chronic lung irritation is a mullein (Verbascum thapsus) cold infusion. Mullein is a soothing lung tonic and is safe for all ages. It helps to resolve chronic coughs and lung irritations and promotes restoration of lung health.

Why cold infusion instead of hot infusion?

A cold infusion extracts the components of mullein that are beneficial to the respiratory tract. A hot infusion extracts different properties, so it is important to focus on herbal extraction via cold infusion for respiratory benefit. A mullein cold infusion is indicated for dry, harsh, hacking coughs, weak lungs, kidneys, and as a nervous system support. It is a great herb for hoarseness, bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, hay fever, and respiratory conditions in general. A mullein hot infusion may be used for colic, constipation, facial neuralgia, and urinary tract irritation. You will also find it in a garlic-mullein combination for external ear drops used for earaches.

I recommended a mullein cold infusion to many of my patients this year. I would like to continue to share it in hopes that it might help any of you that are still suffering or will suffer from chronic lung irritation.

Parts used: The leaves are used for lung support, so that is what I am focusing on in this article. Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning that it lives for 2 years and changes from its 1st year to its 2nd year. The leaves that are best for a cold infusion are those in the 1st year, which is before it grows a stalk. If wildcrafting, make sure that you harvest mullein that is not polluted. Focus on areas away from heavy car or foot traffic.

Simple instructions for how to make a mullein cold infusion:

Infuse 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh mullein leaves (chopped or crushed) per cup of water; or 1 handful of mullein leaves per gallon of water. A cold infusion is very simple to do! You simply place the herb in cold water, let it soak overnight, remove the herb, then store in your refrigerator. Using cold water instead of hot water optimizes the lung-benefiting, demulcent properties of mullein.


  • Adult, acute: Drink 1 cup every 2-3 hours.
  • Adult, chronic: Drink 1 cup three times per day.
  • For kids, the strength of the infusion should be decreased, but dosing intervals are the same.

Benefits of Fermentation

By Emily Yuen, ABT

Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms – bacteria, yeast, and mold – transform food and extend its usefulness.  Eating and drinking fermented foods introduces beneficial bacterial into your digestive system and help reverse certain health conditions and increase your immune system function.

Bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid which is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacterial.  The fermentation process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. It also help preserve nutrients and makes the food more digestible which increases your ability to absorb nutrients.

Dairy Options

Some people find that fermenting dairy foods make them easier to tolerate.

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Aged cheeses

Non-Dairy Options

If you are sensitive to dairy, there are plenty of fermented foods that aren’t made from dairy.

  • Water or coconut kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Fermented Veggies: beets, garlic, and other garden foods
  • Kimichi

Benefits to Making Your Own

Save money
Leave out foods you are sensitive to
Ferment to your taste
Spice to your taste
Use up extra garden veggies

Cut down on the need for supplements
Preserved foods last months & preserves nutrients

It’s Easy to Get Started

Wellness Mamma Benefits of Fermented Foods Article.
Body Ecology Recipes.
Body Ecology More Recipes.