[Updated July 14, 2021] A QUICK SUMMARY OF SINUSITIS TREATMENT METHODS using kimchi, refrigerated, and frozen probiotics. These work especially well for chronic sinusitis, recurring sinus infections (acute sinusitis), or when sliding toward sinusitis. Only treat when needed - when there are symptoms. Improvement may occur quickly - within hours or days. [Info. on products & results.]
The successful and easy do-it-yourself sinusitis treatment came about after reading the sinusitis research done in 2012 by Abreu et al. They found that not only is the sinus microbial community out-of-whack (dysbiosis), but also the probiotic (beneficial bacteria) Lactobacillus sakei is missing in chronic sinusitis sufferers, and that L.sakei would work as a sinusitis treatment if put into the nostrils. I found that some kimchi brands contain L.sakei. Since dabbing the kimchi juice (or other L. sakei product) in our nostrils as needed, all family members are free of chronic sinusitis and off all antibiotics for 8 years.
We now only treat with a Lactobacillus sakei product as needed, usually for only a few days. [These days we use the high quality refrigerated product Lanto Sinus.]
All these treatments are self-experimentation - effects can vary, and be positive, negative, or no effect. Also, at this time, the FDA only allows probiotics to be sold as a "dietary supplement" in the US and not as a medical treatment.
KIMCHI TREATMENT - When treating sinusitis with kimchi, we use live (fermented & not pasteurized) vegan (no seafood added) kimchi. (Choosing vegan kimchi is a personal preference.) Typically Lactobacillus sakei is in kimchi from about 2 weeks after being made (some brands earlier) to about 2 1/2 months after being made. L. sakei can be found in many brands of kimchi, but not all brands.
TREATMENT METHOD USING KIMCHI: 1) Wash hands. Use a clean spoon to put a little juice from the kimchi jar into a small clean bowl. 2) Dip finger in the kimchi juice and dab or smear it along the insides of one nostril (about 1/4" to 1/2" into the nostril). 3) Dip finger in kimchi juice again and repeat in other nostril. 4) Do this several times. Try not blow the nose for at least a few minutes. 5) Throw out any unused kimchi.
[Note: Put the main kimchi jar back in the refrigerator. Also, once opened, take kimchi juice from it for no more than 6 days because the L. sakei will die out within a week (due to oxygen getting in).]
My rationale was that I was inhaling the bacteria this way and that they would travel up the nasal passages on their own to the sinuses. And they do! I did this regimen once or twice a day until I started feeling better, then did it less frequently, and eventually only as needed. Don't use if sinuses feel fine - no need for "booster doses". [NOTE: Do not use kimchi juice in a nasal rinse or neti pot - kimchi juice does not belong in the sinuses!]
REFRIGERATED PROBIOTIC TREATMENT METHOD - Use either option with a refrigerated Lactobacillus sakei product (we use Lanto Sinus) to treat chronic sinusitis, acute sinusitis, or if we're "sliding toward" a sinus infection or sinuses feel "off". Once opened, the L. sakei is most effective for at least 3 months. Use once a day as needed. Do not use if sinuses are feeling fine - no need for "booster doses".
TREATMENT METHOD USING REFRIGERATED PROBIOTIC - OPTION 1: 1) Spoon a little of the powder (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon) into a small clean bowl. Add about 1/8 cup sterile (boiled & cooled), bottled, or distilled water. 2) Stir. 3) Dab or smear (going about 1/2" into each nostril) using a clean finger or swab, or spoon a little into each nostril. Can repeat once for a maximum of 2 times per nostril. Try not to blow the nose for about 15 minutes. ... OR ... OPTION 2: Just swish about 1/4 teaspoon of the dry powder in the mouth, and then swallow it. Then don't eat or drink anything for at least 1/2 hour (to give it a chance to travel to the sinuses and throughout the respiratory tract).
NOTE: Use once a day when needed, perhaps for only 3 or 4 days in a row, then wait a day or 2 or 3 to see if more is needed. If too much is used at one time (many times in each nostril - such as 5 times in each nostril), then the throat and sinuses may feel very dry, perhaps even a feeling of light-headedness or a feeling of "too much probiotics" for a few hours up to a day. It is better to use less, not more at once. One may feel totally healthy after only a few days. Then stop using the product until needed again.
FROZEN PROBIOTIC TREATMENT METHOD - We used this method for frozen products containing L. sakei (e.g. sausage starter culture Bactoferm F-RM-52, which contains Lactobacillus sakei and Staphylococcus Carnosus). These come as freeze-dried powders in a packet, and should be stored in the freezer. They treat both chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis. Don't use if sinuses feel fine - no need for "booster doses". Once opened, the L. sakei only stays alive at most a few months (it may feel weaker in as little as 8 times of use), even though the package is put back in the freezer. L. sakei is anaerobic - dies off when exposed to oxygen.
TREATMENT METHOD USING FROZEN PROBIOTIC: 1) Take package out of freezer and mix a small amount (about 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon) of bacteria powder with 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (distilled or boiled water). (Note: Put remaining bacteria package back into freezer). 2) Mix and let the bacteria-water mixture sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to "wake it up". 3) Wash hands. Dip finger or swab into bacteria mixture and smear it along the insides of one nostril (about 1/2" into the nostril) and repeat procedure in other nostril. OR...Can slosh a little of the mixture into the nostrils with a little spoon (because it is very watery) and inhale deeply. 4) Can repeat one more time if dabbing/smearing (for a total of 2 times maximum in each nostril). Try not to blow the nose for a few minutes. Make a new L. sakei and bottled water mixture to use for each treatment.
NOTE: Use once a day when needed, perhaps for only 3 or 4 days in a row, then wait a day or 2 or 3 to see if more is needed. If too much is used at one time (many times in each nostril - such as 5 times in each nostril), then the throat and sinuses may feel very dry, perhaps even a feeling of light-headedness or a feeling of "too much probiotics" for a few hours up to a day. That is why it is better to use less, not more at once. This is self-experimentation.
IF THERE HAS BEEN "OVERUSE" OR "TOO MUCH OF A PRODUCT": To increase bacterial diversity after weeks or months of only one kind of treatment (using only when needed) or feeling we've overused a product (e.g. start developing symptoms), we may try something else (maybe once or maybe more). For example, swishing a multi-strain probiotic (dry powder in the mouth) or new brand or type of kimchi, or new L. sakei product (if the overuse was from kimchi), and see if we feel more "balanced" or better.
There are whole communities of microbes in the sinuses and respiratory system - and when they are out-of-whack, there are symptoms. A few times over the past 7+ years, we've felt like we've overused a product which results in "too much of certain microbes" (we feel "imbalanced" or on rare occasion some symptoms may appear, such as a lot of mucus, or slight sore throat), so then we introduce another product - even doing it one time (sometimes more) may correct the situation. That is, to restore balance. It's all self-experimentation!
FINAL NOTE: Some of the beneficial bacteria we looked for in a (refrigerated) multistrain probiotic are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium species. We may occasionally use (swish in mouth) interspersed in-between other L. sakei treatments or even sometimes when the sinuses seem a little "off" (e.g., mucusy or phlegmy, or perhaps the sense that have to keep clearing the throat).
FOR MORE INFO. ON L.Sakei BRANDS, PRODUCTS, WHAT OTHERS SAY: BEST PROBIOTICS FOR SINUSITIS . (Lots of valuable information.)
ALL ABOUT THE SINUS MICROBIOME: MICROBES LIVE IN OUR SINUSES.
THE SINUSITIS TREATMENT STORY PAGE TELLS OUR BACKGROUND STORY USING KIMCHI AS A SINUSITIS TREATMENT.
There are also a number of other sinusitis posts on this web-site - click on the category SINUSITIS. Some of the posts are about the latest sinusitis research.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor and cannot give medical advice. I am only sharing my family's story and what others have reported to me.