With Cathy Burkemper


What About Sinus Problems?

How Much Vitamin C?


Q: I heard something about using Xylitol for sinus problems.  Isn’t Xylitol used as a sweetener?


A Yes.  Xylitol is an all natural sweetener that offers many health benefits, such as; reducing the amount of dental cavities, and to help prevent chronic sinus and ear infections.  When used as a nasal wash, Xylitol actually prevents the bacteria from adhering to the nasal tissues and simply causes them to be washed away.  Cleaning the nasal passages removes the infection causing bacteria as well as the irritants that trigger allergies and asthma.  It’s sort of like regular hand washing to remove germs.  Middle ear infections have been shown to be significantly reduced by using Xylitol.  Look for pre-mixed washes containing Xylitol.  A very good one is called Xlear.


Q: How much Vitamin C should a person take on a daily basis?


A: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of our most studied vitamins.  Long ago it was determined that scurvy was found to be a gross deficiency of Vitamin C.  The most important function of Vitamin C is in the formation of collagen protein.  Collagen is basically the glue that holds us together.  It is present in all our tissues; skin, cartilage, tendons and bones.  It is somewhat difficult to establish dosages because the need for Vitamin C differs with each individual.  For example, under times of stress or illness, your requirement would be higher than normal.  Smoking or being on antibiotics will negatively affect absorption of Vitamin C.  I would recommend anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 milligrams per day, in divided doses for an average adult.  It is a water soluble vitamin so you don’t have to worry about toxicity.  If you begin to develop loose stools, cut back the dosage.  If ascorbic acid tends to bother your stomach, buffered forms of Vitamin C are available.  Some symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are:  bruising, bleeding gums, anemia, shortness of breath, joint pain, decreased healing of wounds, broken capillaries and excessive hair loss.


This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.


Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.