Natural Medicine – Rinsing Your Nose

I was rushing off to work this morning and didn’t want to stop and rinse my nose. It’s kind of gross and takes time that I didn’t really think I had, in fact, I never like to think I have it.  Did I mention I think it’s gross? I commented out loud about rinsing my nose and Jon pointed out that he had just filled a rinse bottle this morning with boiled water, so I really had no excuse to not take a few minutes to do the rinse.

Sinus rinse bottle and saline packet

All my medical practitioners, my primary care, my allergist, my ENT AND my acupuncturist  agree that it is a good idea to rinse your nose. They say that it rinses out viruses, bacteria and allergens, keeping me healthier all around. I think it’s yucky, but today I made the time to do it.

I use a commercial product called Neil-Med that comes with squirt bottles and saline packets. I’m sure you could make your own, but since its so inexpensive, it makes sense to me to go with the sterile, commercial product.

Does it rinse all that stuff out of my nose? Well, I’ll just have to take their word for it. I know that when I’m sick it rinses gunk out of my nose and I feel better. And really, that’s why I make the time to do it. I know that my nose feels better after a rinse, so I work at making the time in the morning and before bed, particularly when my head is stuffy.

One thing I have to mention is that one of my doctor friends, a pathologist, has really impressed on us the importance of always using boiled water and specifically boiled water that hasn’t been sitting around for more than 24 hours. She warned about a brain eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) that have gotten into people’s brains through their nose from the tap water that they used to rinse their noses. It’s rare, but avoidable by using fairly freshly boiled water. Yes, and gross too, but it HAS to be gross and vivid to keep me on the straight and narrow.
I know it is really hard for busy moms to do one more thing, so here is how we have worked it into our normal routine to make sure we have pre-boiled water when we need it.  Keep in mind that once you boil the water it takes a while to cool down enough to use.

We often make tea at night and make sure we boil enough water to have extra boiled water in the morning. Then we boil a fresh kettle in the morning that we use in the evening (Jon often uses boiled water to pre-warm the kids Contigo food containers). I have several squeeze bottles from Neil-Med as well, so I always use a fresh one and make sure I run them through the dishwasher between uses. We also have an electric kettle that makes boiling water as easy as filling and pressing a button.  When the water boils, it turns itself off, so if we forget about it, we don’t have a kettle on the stove.

I have to admit, I’ve been advised to rinse my nose all the time, but I really only make the time when I’m sick. In theory it would keep me from getting sick too.  What do you do to deal with illness naturally?

Happy Greening,

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  1. Are there any concerns with the length of time the electric kettle keeps the water at a rolling boil? I’ve recently become obsessed with this brain-eating amoeba. I’ve timed my automatic electric kettle and it maintains a rolling boil for about 30 seconds; however, in some articles, it’s recommended that you sustain the rolling boil for a full minute. Of course, I found this information AFTER I made and used nasal rinse using my electric kettle (and it’s 30-second rolling boil).

    Am I just being overly paranoid? I’m 28 weeks pregnant (with my first) and it seems I find something new and disturbing to obsess about each week.

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