Living in this state, a person expects to have allergies and a stuffed up nose quite often, and if you’re anything like me, it’s easier to count the times that you have been able to breathe clearly than it is to determine how often you can’t. I know, you’re probably thinking you could never squirt something up your nose; I was hesitant at first but out of shear desperation, I tried it and I am so glad that I did!
There are varying recipes for this floating around the internet, but I’ve tried both of these that I’m listing here. Some sites claim to use a whole teaspoon of salt with just a pinch of baking soda. I find that hard to believe since the Neti-solution has slightly over 1/4 teaspoon in the entire packet. Yes, I measured it. The only ingredients in those little packets are roughly equal parts of sodium chloride (salt) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). It does state that you can use two packets, but that would be almost 3/4 of a teaspoon, nowhere near close to 1 teaspoon just for the salt. The measurement I use for my homemade nasal rinse is about 1/2 teaspoon; which is equivalent to about 1-1/2 packets.
The salt is what cleans out your nasal passages but you need the baking soda to make the solution more ph balanced so it doesn’t burn. Make sure you use sea salt and not the highly processed table salt you buy from the grocery store because it contains things like anti-caking agents, silicon dioxide and even sugar sometimes. The same thing goes for the baking soda you use. It can contain all of those things and even other stuff like aluminum. Nope, not going in my nose.
And make sure you only use purified water. It might seem like a sci-fi movie, but those brain eating amoebas actually do exist! They can’t survive the purification process and they also say boiling water kills it, but I will stick with bottled water for my nose.
Everyday Nasal Rinse
For single use mix
1/4 teaspoon sea salt without Iodine
1/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
8 ounces warm filtered water
Add all ingredients to whatever bottle you want to use. Lean forward over the sink, tilt your head downward and slightly to one side. Breathe through your mouth, place bottle to one nostril, and gently squeeze the bottle full of nasal rinse until it starts to run out the opposite nostril. Tilt head the opposite direction and place bottle to other nostril. Repeat process. You may need to adjust your head to find the correct position so the rinse does not go down your throat or into your ears.
When you’re finished with the rinse, gently blow your nose to get any remaining rinse out.
After each use, make sure to let your bottle air dry completely and wash with soap and hot water periodically.
You can also mix this in an airtight container and scoop out what you need each time.
1/3 cup sea salt without Iodine
1/3 cup aluminum free baking soda
Shake to mix well!
When you’re ready to use it, scoop 1/2 teaspoon into a squeeze bottle or a Neti-solution bottle that has been left over after using all those packets, or you can even use an old spray bottle from a nasal saline product and then re-fill the bottle. Just make sure to clean it well first. You can also use a bulb syringe, like the ones you use for a baby or there are some cool sinus irrigation systems with a special nasal adapter you can use. There are also less expensive nasal rinsing systems.
Some say not to use this everyday due to an increased chance of a sinus infection, but I have not found that to be the case. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. It helps keep our nasal passages clear. Maybe using too much salt on a regular basis can irritate or dry out the nasal passages and that is what causes sinus infections because it robs the sinuses of the natural defenses? That’s just a guess on my part.
For Infections or Severe Allergies/Occasional Use
3/8 tsp sea salt without Iodine (you can use 3 scoops from a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon)
1/4 tsp aluminum free baking soda
8 ounces warm filtered water
Follow the above directions
To make more than one use for severe allergies:
1/2 cup sea salt without Iodine
1/3 cup aluminum free baking powder
Mix well and store in an airtight container.
Use 5/8 tsp in 8 ounces warm filtered water.
You can use 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp to make 5/8 or you can guesstimate and use a slightly heaping 1/2 tsp.
I know of several people who add essential oils and other ingredients to the rinse when they have an infection and they say it clears it up without the need for antibiotics, or at the very least, it helps clear it up faster. Others say never to use any essential oils on or in a mucus membrane. I’m on the fence about this. I haven’t tried it, I just use the regular mix.
Ingredients you can add:
1 drop organic apple cider vinegar
1 drop colloidal silver
Manukka honey or raw honey- a very small amount, possibly 1/8 tsp
1 drops eucalyptus and 1 drops rosemary essential oils
1 drop tea tree oil
I nebule of Ipratropium bromide (Atrovent®) solution (used in nebulizers) can be added if ok with your doctor.
Do not use oregano oil. Even one small drop is too much. This essential oil is very powerful.
Do not use if you have an ear infection or your nose is stuffed up enough that you can’t comfortably have water flow through your nostrils. Never force the water through with excessive pressure.