Cure for the common cold!

Ok, so it’s not a cure, but as I chase down another kid with the dreaded Kleenex in hand, you have to wonder if there is a better way.

While it may be difficult to use with young children who don’t know what’s good for them, I found a great aid a few years back for those nasty head colds, especially if they turn into the even nastier sinus infection.

Sorry, it’s not an easy to swallow pill paid for by your insurance, though the science behind it is just as conclusive. It’s a bottle of saline solution you squirt up your nose. No, don’t stop reading yet. It’s not as bad as it sounds. And you shouldn’t be thinking ‘snot washer’, instead think (and google) ‘nasal rinse’.

Warning: graphic description following 🙂 Basically, your body produces snot to ‘wash’ out the infecting viruses or foreign objects (for those of you whose children shove peanuts and small items up their noses). The faster and better it does this, the sooner you get better. Since you can’t increase your mucous output, you have to use something else – the nasal rinse. Fill a bottle with warm water, add a little salt and baking soda (1/2 t. of a 2 to 1 salt/baking soda mix to 8 oz. water), lean over the sink and rinse away. Ta dah! You’re doing five days of snot work in one.

You can use your own bottle, but squirting up while leaning over is easier said than done. And leaning over makes sure the water goes in one nostril and out the other (nostril, not ear) without getting to the back of the throat , which is less than pleasant. Save yourself some pain and buy one ready made from NeilMed for $3.99 or at many of the local stores that now carry them.

And the science says it helps decrease healing time with a cold, sinusitis, and even divers who have ear pressure troubles can benefit.

Study after study show how effective it is, but a $5 bottle doesn’t get pushed with the doctors as well as a $500 drug and all it’s reps.

For example, in 150 adults with chronic sinusitis, over 70% had an improvement in symptoms while a third decreased their medication usage. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001 Jul;125(1):44-8) Fewer symptoms and less medication are hallmarks of great alternatives to typical care. Why take an antibiotic with all its risks when simple salt water will work as well or better?

Personally, I had a sinus infection while pregnant with my fourth. I had the full-blown infection: fever, tender face, aching teeth, head feeling like it would explode whenever I leaned over to pick up one more Lego on the floor. Being in my first trimester, I didn’t really want to take medication I didn’t need to. While searching for an alternative, I stumbled across the sinus rinse. It was an answer to a prayer. I rinsed four times a day, and by day two had gotten over the hump and started improving. By day five or six, I was back to my normal nauseated self – not ‘nauseating’, I was pregnant, remember.

Enjoy and may you and your family be snot-free!


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