[PLEASE NOTE THAT AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST WITH NEW INFORMATION, INCLUDING NEW PRODUCTS, WAS PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2016: The One Probiotic That Treats Sinusitis. Comments can be posted there.]
We now know that antibiotics, especially repeated courses of antibiotics, kills off bacteria and alters the microbial community in the sinuses (sinus biome). Research by Abreu et al (in 2012) showed that it is Lactobacillus sakei that is missing in chronic sinusitis sufferers, and that Lactobacillus sakei successfully treats sinusitis. From this research it is clear that Lactobacillus sakei is a beneficial bacteria that can be used as a probiotic to cure sinustis.
It turns out that many brands of live fermented kimchi contain Lactobacillus sakei, and this is what my family used to treat and cure ourselves of chronic sinusitis (and acute sinusitis). So yes, kimchi can be probiotics for sinusitis. It is now over 85 weeks since I've been off all antibiotics and feeling great!
Until now I avoided naming the kimchi brand we used on this site because I believe that many brands of fermented kimchi (with cabbage) contain Lactobacillus sakei, and should be effective in curing sinusitis (this is by dabbing or smearing it in the nostrils - see Sinusitis Treatment Summary link for the METHOD and details).
WHAT BRANDS OR PRODUCTS WITH Lactobacillus sakei WORK?
The brand I use is Sunja's Kimchi (from Vermont). We originally were successful with the Medium Spicy Cabbage Kimchi and when that stopped being fully effective last winter (from overuse? recipe change?), we switched to Sunja's Medium Spicy Cucumber Kimchi (fermented at least 14 days and the jar opened less than 1 week).
Recently I heard from a woman in Nevada who wrote me stating that smearing/dabbing Sinto Gourmet Mild White Napa Cabbage Kimchi into her nostrils was successfully treating her chronic sinusitis (using the method described in the Sinusitis Treatment page)
One person wrote that he successfully cured chronic and acute sinusitis with a fermented sausage starter from Chr. Hansen containing L. sakei and another bacteria. He used it after mixing very small amounts in his Neti pot - initially used it 1 x per day until cured, and then sparingly only as needed (after a cold) or as a maintenance booster once every 3 or 4 months (see his comment in the Contact page for more details). (UPDATE: one name for this product is Bactoferm F-RM-52, which contains Lactobacillus sakei and Staphylococcus carnosus . See 1/12/15 post for more, including my experience with it.)
The Korean product Lactopy shows definite promise because they advertise it as L. sakei from kimchi. However, everything on the package is written in Korean, it needs to be refrigerated, and it is shipped from Korea. One person has written that she has been using it for several months and that it is working (she is using it in her "nose bottle" - in the same manner as one would use a neti pot or by swabbing the inside of her nostrils with a Q-tip). However, trying another method of using Lactopy in a paste with water and then keeping it in the mouth for a while (like a soft lozenge) did not work when my family tried it last winter.
Eating kimchi does not seem to treat sinusitis, even though it may be good for the gut. Only smearing or dabbing it in the nostrils works.
Several people have reported that using sauerkraut has not helped their sinusitis, and scientific studies report that sauerkraut contains minimal L.sakei, if at all.
Others have also mentioned thinking about using lactic acid starter cultures containing L. sakei , whether using it alone or making kimchi with it, but I don't know how it went.
Finally, I would like feedback from you: 1) What brands of kimchi have worked for you in treating or curing sinusitis? 2) What other products containing Lactobacillus sakei have worked successfully for you? And how did you use it? 3) What other bacteria have worked for you in curing sinusitis?
Please let me know by commenting in the comments section or writing me an email. This way I can update this list. The goal is to find ways to improve the beneficial bacteria in the sinuses and so treat, cure, and eventually prevent sinusitis. Thanks!
[PLEASE NOTE THAT AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST WITH NEW INFORMATION WAS PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2016: The One Probiotic That Treats Sinusitis. Comments can be posted there.]