Feeling sick and stuffy often brings to mind your family’s go-to natural remedy for cold and allergies. Some of us also usually resort to over-the-counter medicine. However, there is a natural method that can help alleviate cold and allergy symptoms. This is called nasal irrigation, nasal wash or sinus flush.
The name may sound scary but it is actually a simple procedure. You can do it at home or in the office. It also doesn’t require that many things to do it.
Benefits of Nasal Irrigation
Reduces Allergies – Nasal irrigation helps to remove allergens that you may have inhaled from your environment. In this way, your allergic reactions are greatly reduced or even eliminated.
Removes Bacteria and Viruses – This process helps you to reduce infection in the body by getting rid of bacteria and viruses in your nasal passage.
Removes Mucus – Get relief from your cold by washing away mucus that’s blocking your nostrils from breathing properly. This always allows you to absorb nasal medication better.
Reduces Nasal Swelling – If you have a stuffy nose, nasal irrigation can provide great relief by helping you increase airflow to your nose.
Reduces Dryness and Irritation – Having to blow your nose because of a cold or allergies often results in dryness and irritation. Nasal irrigation provides relief by moisturizing your nasal passage.
Nasal irrigation can also help alleviate a number of respiratory issues including chronic and acute sinusitis.
What to Use
For this procedure, you will need the following:
- 1-2 cups of clean, warm water (distilled, sterile or boiled)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt, preferably non-iodized
- Irrigation tool – You can choose from a neti pot, a nasal syringe or a nasal irrigation bottle.
- A small cup or bowl for mixing
How to Do It
The steps are quite simple. Be sure to do everything with clean hands.
Step 1: In a clean cup, pour clean, warm water and dissolve the salt into it. Pour the solution into your irrigation tool.
Step 2: Stand in front of the sink and lean over, tilting your head to one side. Make sure that your chin and forehead are level to prevent liquid from going into your mouth.
Step 3: Breathe through your mouth. Insert the spout of your irrigation tool into your upper nostril and let the solution drain through your bottom nostril. Repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Clean your irrigation tool thoroughly after each use.
NOTE: If you have recently had sinus surgery, you must not blow your nose for the recommended time.
Many people who follow this self care practice have experienced major relief from their seasonal allergy symptoms. Now you can feel free to smell the flowers and not end up with a stuffy nose. Nasal irrigation can also help alleviate a number of respiratory issues including chronic and acute sinusitis.
It is a good practice to keep in mind especially during allergy season but it can be done year round. As a daily practice, you can do this early in the morning. You can also do this an hour before bed to help you relax, and breath better and deeper for improved sleep. Try it today and see if it helps you too.
Feature Image: Original Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash.