nasal irrigation

Washing your sinuses out with salt water is known as nasal lavage and is one of the best things you can do to resolve sinus issues. It’s great for low grade infections which produce chronic symptoms like sinusitis, irritation and allergic reactions. The sinuses are perfect breeding grounds for infection because they are moist and warm. Nasal lavage used regularly can flush debris, mucus, allergens, bacteria and viruses from the passages, reducing irritation and giving them a chance to recover naturally.

The downside to nasal lavage is that it isn’t a quick fix. It can take a few months to gradually resolve the problem. However, if you are prepared to be patient and persistent, the upside is that it is a much better alternative to antibiotics, antihistamines, sprays and surgery.

What you need:

  • 1 teaspoon good quality sea salt / Himalayan salt
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 cups pure, lukewarm water
  • Neti pot, , sinus rinse bottle ( these are especially designed for nasal irrigation but you can also use a bulb syringe, turkey baster or small watering can)

What you do:

  • Dissolve the salt and bicarb in the water
  • Fill container with the salt water – you are going to use one cup per nostril
  • Working over a basin, put your head down and then tilt your head slightly to the left side. Breathe through your mouth and pour or squeeze water into the left nostril and let it run out the right nostril. Don’t use so much pressure that it hurts your ears.
  • Some of the water may end up in your mouth – just spit it out.
  • When you have used a cup on the left nostril, repeat with the right, again using a full cup.
  • Finally, blow air out both nostrils at the same time to eject any water remaining. Don’t block a nostril when you do this to avoid pushing water into the Eustachian tube.

Can be repeated up to four times a day in acute conditions, or once to twice daily for chronic problems.