Homemade Saline for Sinus Rinse:
- Salt – pickling (“canning” salt) or Kosher salt are best because they are free of iodine and other preservatives. Regular table salt is OK in a pinch if you can’t get pickling salt.
- Water – use bottled, distilled water if possible. Tap water or well water risk microorganisms, and are definitely NOT for anyone who is immunosuppressed.
- Temperature – use the final saline solution at body temperature, or slightly luke warm. NOT HOT.
The Recipe for Hypertonic Saline, for really stuffy noses, acute sinusitis:
- 1 liter water (about 1 qrt)
- 2-3 tsp salt
- 1tsp baking soda
- Mix, microwave to dissolve, allow to cool (don’t use it hot!!)
Mistakes to Avoid
- If you make up a large quantity, store it in the fridg, warm-up only amount needed for each use – should last about 4 days. Do not let sit at room temperature – refrigerate – or it will grow mold, fast.
- If you add things like Manuka honey for antimicrobial benefit, don’t overheat – too much heat will kill active enzymes and proteins in the honey. Don’t waste that expensive Manuka!
Last point: use the saline misting sprays during the day – these will help keep your nasal epithelium moist and optimize nasal hygiene. However, a study published in 2002 (Olson’s group) reported that these nasal nebulizers do not reach the sinuses.
To get the rinse into the sinuses where it can do some good, they found, requires active irrigation like that provided by the bulb syringe, the squeeze bottle arrangement, or the plug-in systems based on a small electrical pump. Olson’s group did not compare the neti / netti pot, but I speculate that the n-pot might be a little less effective simply due to the passive nature of the flow of saline. It doesn’t use a strong force to flush the sinuses out. One the other hand, if that is all you or your child will tolerate, it is much better than nothing at all.
We’ll have more information about different additives to sinus rinses in future posts.
Together, in this series we reviewed the use of saline rinses to control allergic rhinitis, and to control sinusitis and chronic rhinosinusitis: the medical evidence that they make a difference, how to do the rinses, how to make your own, and some mistakes to avoid.
If you take a look at ealier post, http://wp.me/pR4iB-2k , you will see some convincing evidence of the value of saline sinus rinses. It has been my own experience with saline rinses over more than 10 years, and those of my patients, that have convinced me of the value of this natural remedy.
If you or your children are struggling with asthma, allergic rhinitis, or sinusitis, I urge you to give this a try. This is a great alternative to swallowing more medications! And WAY better than surgery. Trust me: if you go with surgery, you MUST do the rinses. So you might as well start with them – you might avoid surgery all together.
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Best health and success to you and your families.
Thank you for visiting, and see you here again next week. Please post a comment so that we can all learn to achieve sinus health, and healthy airways. And please, “be excellent to one another.”
Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor ;~D)
Saline Sinus Rinses: part 4 of 4
Nasal saline for chronic sinonasal symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. Pynnonen, et al. Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Vol. 133(11): 1115-1120; 2007.
Nasal rinsing with hypertonic solution: An adjunctive treatment for pediatric seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis. Garavello, et al. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology. Vol. 137(4): 310-314; 2005.
Radiographic comparison of three method for nasal irrigation. Olson, et al. The Laryngoscope. Vol. 112: 1394-1397; 2002.