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Allergies Health Center

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Natural Allergy Relief: Saline Nasal Sprays

How do I use this natural remedy for managing my allergies at home?

You can easily make a saline solution to wash your nose and sinuses at home. This natural remedy can be used with a bulb syringe, a Neti pot (a ceramic or plastic container that looks like a genie’s magic lamp), a plastic squirt bottle, or your cupped hands.

To make the saline solution, mix two to three heaping teaspoons of non-iodized salt to one quart of water. It is best to use kosher salt that has no additives. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to this solution. Store your saline solution at room temperature and mix before use. If the solution stings when you use it, use less salt.

To use this natural remedy, fill the bulb syringe or Neti pot with the saline solution. Stand over the bathroom sink and lean your head forward. While leaning over the sink, tilt your head to one side and pour the solution directly into one nostril. Aim the stream of saline solution toward the back of your head -- not at the top of your head. Never force the solution into your nose.

The solution will go into your nasal cavity and run out the other nostril and down the back of your throat. Gently blow your nose and spit out the drainage to clear the nasal passages and throat. While irrigating the nose, it is best to stand over the sink and irrigate each side of your nose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, if you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave it open to air dry. Also, regularly clean the irrigation device (with bleach, in microwave, etc.).

What if I’m not using this natural remedy correctly?

If you’re unsure about using a saline nasal spray or saline solutions for home irrigation, talk to your doctor or allergist. Your doctor can show you how to use this natural remedy to keep your nose clear of thick mucus and debris so you can breathe better.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on June 06, 2014
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