SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious pathogens enter the nasopharynx (nose-throat) to replicate. One way to reduce your risk of covid and other respiratory illness with with nasal rinsing. Not just an old-as-time natural treatment, the conclusion of one study of people who tested positive covid revealed “participants initiating nasal irrigation twice daily for 14 days were over 8 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.” Many people are intimidated but its easy and done correctly, is not uncomfortable.
Nasal rinsing vs nasal sprays
To be effective, we need to use a volume of water of at least 1 oz (30 ml) to 2 oz (60 ml) or more. This is NOT the same as nasal sprays which are good for moisturization but are not enough to wash out the nose and back of the throat.
To wash your nose out, 3 things are needed:
- Device to get the water up your nose.
- Positive pressure squeeze bottle system or machine
- Neti Pot which works with gravity
- Water. It needs to be distilled or boiled for 5 minutes. Heating it to body temperature makes it more comfortable.
- Saline solution.
The easiest way to get started:
NeilMed Sinus Rinse – available at most drug stores or online https://shop.neilmed.com/collections/sinus-rinse
NeilMed makes it super easy! This company has everything you need including product options and instruction videos. The saline packets are premeasured and inexpensive.
If you want to make your own saline solution, here’s a basic recipe. You can experiment with a little more salt and baking soda for comfort.
- 1 cup warm water. (250 mL) Distilled, sterile or boiled for 5 minutes.
- ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda. No anti-caking agents or preservatives
For extra infection control you can add ½ tsp of 10% povidone-Iodine to the above saline solution (do not use if you have an allergy to shellfish or iodine). Be careful as iodine stains.
Another antimicrobial choice is to use 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts of saline solution.
Webmd has a slide show that walks you through how to do it:
Another option is Nasal Sprays. Xylitol & Grapefruitseed Extract products have been studied with covid.
This nasal spray called Taffix has been studied with covid. It works by creating an acidic environment that lasts for 5 hours.
A literature review about hydrogen peroxide in nasal rinse for covid.
Essential oils have been shown in studies to have antimicrobial as well as antiviral effects. If you use essential oils in your nasal rinse, be careful as the oils can very easily irritate the delicate tissues.
Here is a summary of studies on this topic.
This is an informative 13-minute video of Dr. Amy Baxter talking about lots of ins and out of covid and nasal irrigation.