- The nasal lavage is a simple and effective home treatment for the following complaints:
- Sinus infections (acute or chronic)
- Allergies to inhaled substances (dust, pollens, mold, etc.)
- Colds, flu
- Nasal passage irritation
- Nasal congestion
For acute problems perform the nasal lavage up to four times per day until resolved. For chronic problems it is usual to do the wash one or more times daily, continuing for several months.
- Salt – Sea salt is best
- Neti pot, container or bulb syringe
- Filtered or bottled water
- Towel or wash cloth
The technique, outlined below, may seem unusual at first. However, once learned, you will quickly realize how beneficial this technique is for sinus problems.
- Locate a workable container. You can use a neti pot, bulb syringe, a small teapot, or a turkey baster.
- Fill the container with lukewarm salt water. The salt-to-water ratio is 1 teaspoon sea salt to 1 pint (2 cups) water. Filtered or bottled water is best.
- Have some tissues within reach for this next part. Over a sink, tilt your head forward so that you are looking directly down toward the sink. Insert the spout into your right nostril. It is important that you breathe through your mouth. Turn your head to the right and let water move into the right nostril and exit the left nostril. Normally, you will feel the water as it passes through your sinuses. It is fine if some of the water drains into the mouth. Simply spit it out and adjust the tilt of your head, so the water drains out the other nostril, eventually.
- After using a cup of water, repeat the above procedure for the other nostril.
- To finish, expel any remaining water by quickly, but GENTLY blowing air out both open nostrils 15 times over the sink. Avoid the temptation to block off one nostril, as doing so may force water into the Eustachian tube. Do not forcefully blow your nose after this treatment, or you can do more harm than good. Have tissue handy in case more water needs to be expelled later on.
Dr. Juli Mazi
Naturopathic Doctor Soquel – Santa Cruz
2840 Park Ave. Ste. A Soquel, CA 95073