Commercial saline nasal washes are good, but are more expensive than making your own. Commercial washes contain only salt and water with no sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate makes the saline solution work better as a mucus solvent. By making your own nasal wash, you can make a solution that is more effective than most commercially available solutions.
Isotonic nasal washes match the approximate salinity of your natural body fluids. To make an isotonic salt and baking soda nasal wash, add one teaspoon salt to one pint of distilled water in a small bottle or jar. Seal the jar and shake until the salt dissolves. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the jar. Be sure to use baking soda, not baking powder. Shake the jar until the baking soda dissolves.
Hypertonic nasal washes have more salt than your natural body fluids. This recipe is an approximation of the natural salinity of sea water. Hypertonic solutions can be irritating with frequent usage, but often work more quickly than isotonic solutions. To make a hypertonic salt and baking soda nasal wash, add one teaspoon salt to one pint of distilled water in a small bottle or jar. Seal the jar and shake until the salt dissolves. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the jar. Be sure to use baking soda, not baking powder. Shake the jar until the baking soda dissolves.
Using the Rinse
Fill a neti pot or a turkey baster with the saline solution. Stand with your head tilted back over a sink. Doing a nasal rinse when you shower is a good idea because you can do the rinse in the tub before your shower. Place the spout of the neti pot or turkey baster in one nostril and squeeze about half of the liquid into your sinuses. Remove the pot or baster and allow your sinuses to drain. Place the pot or baster in the other nostril and repeat.
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