Washing the nasal passages with saline solution is an ancient practice that is still performed today. The salty liquid is similar in composition to the body's own natural fluids (such as tears). Saline solutions are used to cleanse the nasal passageway, to reduce dryness, to help clear mucus and to reduce swelling in the nasal tissue. While saline solutions are commercially available, making your own using a few household ingredients is simple and effective.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1 tsp iodine-free salt (pickling or canning salt works well)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 pint distilled or filtered water (you can also use tap water that has been boiled and brought to room temperature)
- Small bowl
- Clean, airtight container for storage
Heat the water until it reaches a lukewarm temperature. You are aiming for body temperature, so test by touching the water to your skin in order to get the ideal temperature.
Pour the salt and baking soda into the bowl. Baking soda is a buffer that helps the solution to adapt to the pH of the body, while also improving its mucus-dissolving properties. Carefully add the lukewarm water to the salt and soda.
Mix the salt, soda and water together until all the ingredients are fully dissolved.
Pour the completed saline solution into a clean, airtight container, preferably one made of glass.
Tips and warnings
- Discard your saline solution after one week. If it looks cloudy or there is floating debris present, discard and make a new batch.
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