Last Modified on Apr 18, 2014
When it comes to clearing the sinuses, the first remedy that comes to most people’s minds is likely not a saline rinse. The triggered mental picture of ingesting saltwater through the nose likely does not conjure up images of cleansed sinuses and relief; however, the treatment is particularly effective. Plus, a saline rinse is a much safer option than over-the-counter remedies.
The Problem with OTC Decongestants
When nasal pressure and congestion start, most people are tempted to head straight to the drugstore to pick up “the good stuff,” or in other words, a nasal decongestant. In these cases, though, individuals are likely doing more harm than good. While decongestants appear to relieve congestion, really all the medication is doing is drying out the body – a practice with a negative compounding effect. Additionally, as the body is continuously exposed to conventional treatments, it becomes immune to many treatments, making even effective options less potent.
A More Effective Option – Saline Rinse
A better, safer option compared to an over-the-counter decongestant is a saline rinse. A saline rinse uses a saline solution or mixture of water and salt to clear the nasal passages. The process promotes healing of a variety of conditions including the common cold, sinus infection, and allergies.
How saline works:
A saline rinse is one of the most effective ways to cleanse the nasal passages to relieve congestion and prevent mucous buildup. The balanced mixture of water to salt restores balance in the nasal passages via osmosis. Likewise, the salt has a cleansing effect that helps reduce swelling, which allows mucous to drain more effectively.
How to Use a Saline Rinse:
Using a saline rinse is relatively easy. An appropriate rinse is comprised of ? teaspoon sea salt mixed into 1 cup of warm water. After the salt has dissolved in the water, it can be poured into a nasal spray bottle or neti pot. To complete the rinse, lean over the sink and insert the nozzle into the nose, squeezing to allow the mixture to enter the nose. Allow the rinse to travel through the nasal passages and exit the throat. Complete the rinse as often as needed, but wait at least 30 minutes between each rinse.
Potential Side Effects
While a saline rinse is an effective treatment, even this home remedy is not without potential side effects.
If the rinse is too concentrated, the salt may cause nasal irritation and dryness. Be sure to use an appropriate solution as suggested above.
Sinus infections are among the most common and uncomfortable health conditions; however, effective remedies can diminish recovering time and increase overall health. A saline rinse is one of the most effective ways to clear a sinus infection and prevent further development of infections and illness.
Continue reading below for over 50 reviews from Earth Clinic readers and tell us what you think!
[YEA] 03/27/2014: Cara C. from London, Uk: "I have used a saline rinse daily for years and it works like a charm. Before I started on my daily ritual, I got sinus infections one after another. It was torture. Happily, I have had no sinus infections in 3 years! I use 1 teaspoon of sea salt in my saline bottle mixed with distilled warm water. Once a week I add a dash of hydrogen peroxide."
08/07/2013: Maxwell from Phila, Pa: "Re: Sinus pain with smoke smell... I have been smelling smoke for a month or so with facial, head and ear pain. Been using neti pot with saline solution, dr sending me for a cat scan tomorrow. Any suggestions? Thanks."Replies
08/08/2013: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Maxwell, try oil pulling."
08/25/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Fungal infection or viral infection is likely cause of the odd odor and may be due to the debris peutrefying as the infection decays. Sinus cleanse needs to be with colloidal silver vigoriously squirted into nose, left and right and allow to drain back into throat. Gargle with it also. Use ear syringe to irrigate ears. Using syringe to squirt into ears and into sinus will get colloidal silver into the eustacian tube also. Colloidal Silver will kill fungus, virus as well as bacteria. Do this twice a day for a week."
[YEA] 04/27/2013: Springtime from Or, Raliegh Hills: "Saw three ENT doctor all had different opinions about sinus infection two felt like no big deal "everyone has some type of bacteria, or ecoli or fungus in their nose it is deep in the nasal cavity that they worry abyut" one gave me antibiotic Clindamycin for 30 days. anyhow I just was tired of it! I went to Chinese Medicine who gave me herbs and it was suggested 1/4 tsp sea salt neti pot or nasal spray irrigation 4-5 times a day so I tried it it was easy, and it worked plus sea salt was once used for it's antibiotice type properties."
[YEA] 03/25/2013: Gregg from Augusta, Ga: "Like everyone else on this site, I have really struggled with my sinuses. I found this site about 3 years ago and it has made a huge difference for me.
I started out by drinking ACV and it does work to relieve the pressure. I still use it from time to time during allergy season when I feel the pressure coming on.
For those of you who can't stand the taste, I simply put a shotglass full of ACV (2 - 3 ounces) into 4 or 5 ounces of dark purple grape juice. The grape juice kills most of the bad taste and allows it to go down quickly.
I found that ACV isn't a fix all. An allergist suggested that I look into 'nasal lavage' - which is basically doing a saline rinse. It sounds gross, but by regularly flushing out your sinuses you get rid of all of the pollen, dander, dust, etc that causes sinus problems to begin with.
I am very cheap, so here is my solution. I kept an empty dishwashing soap bottle (dawn, polmolive, etc). I fill it with warm tap water (about body temperature). I pour in some table salt and shake.
Either in the shower or over the sink, tilt your head to one side and squirt the water into the higher nostril. If your sinuses are fairly clear, the water should pour out of the lower nostril (along with all kinds of gunk). If your sinuses are blocked, the water will go in and may not immediately come out of the other nostril. That's ok. The warm water will loosen up much of the crud in there. Have some tissue paper handy and blow to get rid of the water and the gunk.
Tilt your head to the other side and repeat to clear out the other side. You may need to do it a couple of times in each nostril to get stuff really moving. You may also need to blow your nose several times over the course of the next few hours as the stuff continues to work loose.
This will clear a lot of what's in there initially. The trick is to do it regularly (every day during allergy season) so that it gets the junk out before you have sinus issues. I don't do it as religiously as before, but even so, I breathe better than ever and I haven't been sick in 2plus years. I hope that this helps - it's been a Godsend for me."Replies
11/04/2013: Sunny from Ca replies: "Do not use table salt!! Many salts contain added ingridients. Like iodine and anticaking ingredients, check label!! Can use pure sea salt, make sure it disolves! Can disolve in hot water, use drinking water! As sink water contains fluride and chlorine!! PTE free plastics!!"
11/05/2013: Karen from Randolph, New Jersey Usa replies: "Please use boiled or distilled water: http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/neti-pot-deaths-infections-are-neti-pots-safe. There have been two deaths from using contaminated water in neti pots."
[YEA] 03/10/2013: Joseph from Cary, Nc: "Here is a saline rinse you can do anytime for a sinus infection with no special equipment.
I put together the following kit for my bathroom. You can use whatever you have. The idea is to make the solution the same every time, not too strong. You can adjust the salt level to whatever works best for you:
1. Baking soda in a small rubbermaid container.
2. Salt in a small container (not the same container as the baking soda).
3. 4 oz drinking glass (plastic or glass).
4. 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon (or a spoon the holds about 1/2 of a teaspoon).
WHEN TO DO THE RINSE
I do the sinus rinse before bed and then after I first get up. It's amazing how much mucus this clears out in your sinuses.
MAKING THE SOLUTION
I run the tap to get hot water (don't do a sinus rinse with cold water)! Fill a 4 oz glass with water. Put in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pinch of baking soda. Stir.
DOING THE SINUS RINSE
Deep breath a few time to get oxygen levels up before "snorting" the solution. Hold your left sinus shut with your finger. Put the glass to your nose against you right sinus. Bending over the sink slightly so you don't get wet. Breath in with your right sinus to create a vacuum and draw the salt water into you right sinus. Stop when it is pulled into the back of your throat! Put the glass down. Blow and spit out all the mucus and water out of your nose and back of your throat. Switch sides and do the same procedure for the left sinus. Do this twice on each side or until all the mucus is gone. You probably will have to blow your nose a few times to stop it dripping during the process or when you are done."
[YEA] 07/12/2012: Sue from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: "I just want to say that whilst traveling in China, without a neti pot or any kind of nasal spray or lavage equipment and no access to any pharmacy or medical clinic at the time, I successfully used a sterilised travel bottle, normally used as cabin bag 100ml toiletry bottle (like a little squirt bottle), as a make-shift saline rinse bottle.
I was suffering terribly with an acute case of sinusitis with heavy symptoms worsening day by day. I couldn't move I was in such pain in my head and body. I knew instinctively that I needed to do a rinse of some kind but had never done anything like it. I researched Earth Clinic and after reading other peoples testimonies about make-shift salt rinses, gained the courage to try a nasal rinse using whatever I had (travel bottle) and immediately gained relief. I continued it throughout the day with the symptoms improving every hour. Amazing results that honestly, I wasn't expecting to be so significant, so fast.
If you find yourself in unfavourable circumstances and need to use a travel bottle or squeeze bottle, it will be a little messy and it takes a bit of trial and error to work out the right squeeze action and angle of the head, but it still gets results and that's what matters!
I'm completely sold on the concept of a neti pot and will look to using this in my daily routines and also pack a plastic light-weight neti pot into my travel bag wherever I go! Thank you Earth Clinic, what a great resource to share globally."
[YEA] 06/14/2012: Joanne from Victoria, Bc Canada: "I had a SEVERE sinus infection with raw throat for 3 weeks and had tried everything except anti-biotics because they have never worked. When I finally went to the doc he said most sinus infections are viral and therefore the drugs don't work. He said if it went longer than 10 days (when I virus has finished running its course) then a person could consider the drugs. I didn't want them. What worked? Three days using sinus rinse system from the pharmacy with their mixture of one part sea salt and one part baking soda added to filtered and BOILED water, which had been cooled, twice a day. I used this plus sprays of GSE, then Xylitol-based and the one the doctor recommended was the capsicum (cayenne) based homeopathic spray. It did help but the final nail in this vicious infections coffin was sinus rinse. Make sure you don't push too hard as I accidentally blew water into my ear canal and could hardly hear for two days. No fun! Anyway, I recommend Neilmed plastic bottle as it works great.. I treated the top with hydrogen peroxide on a tissue and left the bottom and top out to dry. I rinsed morning and night... Good luck and thanks SOO much to Earthclinic for giving us all this space to share such crucial information. Bless you guys!!"
[YEA] 10/10/2011: Lezlie W from Los Angeles, Ca : "The best cure for sinus infection is a nasal saline rinse. I would get sinus infections that made me super sick for two weeks. At one point they kept reappearing every 3 months. I finally got fed up and went on-line for a remedy. I found a reference to this and decided to try it. It worked pretty effectively and quickly. I used The neilmed brand aftvies scoping out all the options on the drug store shelves. I chose it because it seemed simple compared with the other methods. When I used it, it stopped my cold flu symptoms from putting me in that I need to stay in bed and rest all day state. Then I noticed my running nose and stuffy head went away too. I was still able to function daily as the symptoms declined with the use of the saline nasal rinses. Big difference from the way the infections knocked me out ANC made me feel. I'd say after three days of the washes you feel a big difference and after a week of the washes there's no signs of the infection. Since using this twice, once in the midst of a full blown infection and once at the onset, I haven't had a sinus infection since. It's been a year and a half."
[YEA] 06/20/2011: Jqueen from Atlanta, Ga, 30309: "I went through a whole year not realizing I had a sinus infection & allergies. I took antiobotics and they did NOTHING! Doing regular warm sinus rinses cured the problem. OH! And eating something spicy! That helps a lot too. Make sure to drink vitamins if you're not getting enough from your foods. I recommend it in liquid form. What a difference!"
[YEA] 05/28/2010: Kristin K from Santa Barbara, Ca, Usa: "The CURE for SINUS INFECTIONS: Saline Irrigation with Sea Salt and Warm Water applied directly into sinus cavity.
My story: I had bacterial sinus infections on and off for 4 years and this last winter is the first year I did not have bacterial sinus infections. I saw 3 ENT specialists and have tried everything from antiobiotics through saline irrigation (netti pot) using Hydrogen Peroxide or Apple Cider Vinegar. The last year I have been finally free of sinus infections by using Sea Salt and warm water only in my irrigation. What I found it its the technique of HOW you use the irrigation; not WHAT you put in the solution. For me the trick was using an irrigation system that got the warm salt water all the way up into my sinuses. I was using the netti pot while kneeling on the batrhoom floor and holding my head upside down to get the water up into my sinuses. Now I use a water squirting devise (a brand name) that is sold to spray a stream of water to clean teeth. A friend told me about using a water spraying teeth cleaning machine for sinus irrigation years ago and I finally tried it February of 2010 with excellent results. The technique of daily squirting the warm water directly into my sinuses has what kept me from chronic bacterial sinus infections that I had in the past. I had tried Hydrogen Peroxide, Vinegar, Baking Soda etc all with stringing and irritation. The electric water spraying device has worked the best hands down.
I am writing this because this site helped me so much in trying different ways to treat my bacterial sinus infections. I was very depressed and frustrated because the ENT specialists I saw only wanted to do surgery on me. One told me specifically that I could not clean out the bacteria with sinus irrigation when I asked him about it. I believe that I can clean out bacteria and what the ENT said is not true. The sad thing is that MDs do not make any money off of telling people to do sinus irrigation at home. I just wish I had started doing sinus irrigation years ago!
Good luck, keep at it and listen to your body."Replies
11/12/2010: Laura from Ashland, Wi replies: "A coworker friend of mine told me about this almost 10 years ago and I haven't been on antibiotics for a sinus infection since. She called it a "Chinese remedy" and instructed to use a nasal aspirator like used on babies. You fill the aspirator with salt water and, tipping your head sideways over a bathtub, push the water up your nose. It feels like you jumped off a diving board and forgot to plug you nose. You just gently blow it back out again, and what comes out with the water is what causes your infection. My friend told the first time there were scabs and dirt etc.
My dad was against homeopathic for years; until when, he complained about an especially bad infection to me, I insisted he try it. Now, he tells me about like he's instructing me and that he's eternally grateful to me and it's the only thing that has been able to dent his infections that have lasted weeks. I'm still wondering about using this for an ear infection with blocked Eustachian tubes, which I have right now. I tried it in the bath and it took about 1/3 of the pressure away. I'm not sure it was the best for that."
12/12/2010: Linda M from Mckinney, Tx replies: "Laura, can you tell me what ratio of salt to water you used? Also, did you boil the water first? When I was growing up, my mother always used a saline solution as "nose drops" on us to clear out congestion. I just can't remember the proportions. Thanks."
04/12/2011: Wyked1 from Newark, Ohio, Usa replies: "I am not familiar with the nasal irrigation but after irrigating my ears several times, my ear Dr. (who must be 80 and has been my ear Dr. Since I was 5) recommended the over the counter oral irrigation but in lieu of that said I could use the bulb syringe. It works well but you have to use good force and have the water as warm as possible without burning yourself.
If you have never had your ears irrigated it feels amazing when it is finished however, it will make you dizzy so if you are doing it yourself, have someone nearby.
Since I have sinus trouble also I am thinking I should invest in the oral system so I can irrigate both."
01/23/2012: Annie Joan from Portage, Wi replies: "First, it is REALLY important to only use "pickling salt" because it has no preservatives or anything that could further irritate your nasal passages. I use the Niel Med squirt bottle. I use 1 teaspoon of pickling salt every time I do my sinus rinse and fill it with warm water- a little above room temperature. The salt will burn at first, but it is SO worth actually being able to breath again. I unknowingly lived in an apartment with mold for 3 years. Now I have esosinophilic pnemonia, rhinosinusitis, have had 3 surgeries (because of breathing/nasal problems) Use to be in the ER at least once a week. I used over 200 tissues a day because I couldn't blow my nose because it was swollen completely shut into the back of my throat. And since it was so swollen and irritated, it ran literally all day. I couldn't sleep because I had such severe apnea.
Finally I met my "lung man" and he perscribed Azelastine HCR and Fluticasone Propionate (nasal sprays, apparently the best known combination). Since I couldn't spray anything up my nose, I was put on a high dose of Prednisone to reduce swelling so I could use the nasal sprays. After I started using them, although I still get chronic sinus infections, I can actually breathe through my nose (usually).
So anyone with issues like mine, I STRONGLY suggest forgetting about ENT doctors and going to a polmunologist (lung doctor) that specializes in allergies. There is a reason you have problems like this. It isn't normal to go through these things."
[YEA] 02/20/2010: Carissa from Flagstaff, Az: "Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! I have been suffering for a little over two weeks now from cold turned into ugly sinus infection. I work with toddlers and I thought that it would take me forever to feel 100% again, which is very important when working with young, energetic ones! Dreading the money it would cost to visit a Dr. (as I do not have health care) I decided to try something natural first. Thank goodness for this website! I mixed just a little over 1/4 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of baking soda and a tiny cap-full of hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of warm water. I used a baby ear/nose bulb and rinsed like there was no tomorrow. A whole mess of green/yellow mucus came right out of my nose and continued to after the treatment every time I blew my nose. Immediately after the all of the gunk came out I could breathe again, pressure was gone and I was happy! I am very grateful for this amazing website!"Replies
[YEA] 01/06/2011: Sheila from Coats, Nc replies: "Thank you so much for the saline rinse with the baby bulb post! I have suffered from sinus infections for years. I was skeptical of the rinse at first, but decided to try it and wish I had known about this years ago! I couldn't believe what came out! I can finally smell threw my nose again."
[YEA] 01/06/2011: Melissa from Kings Park, Ny replies: "that was the greatest thing to ever happen to my nose! Best mixture! Ive been using the neti pot with a plain old saline solution for days with no relief. I broke out this mixture with a baby bulb and feel a million times better!"
[YEA] 09/14/2011: Cory from Lincoln, Ne replies: "I had never had a sinus infection until 4 days ago. I woke up one morning and the left side of my face felt like it was going to explode! I couldn't eat because my teeth hurt so bad, I couldn't even touch my left cheek bone without a lot of pain. I am a single mom with 3 kids all under the age of 7, I couldn't miss work and I don't have the money to go to the doctor. I tried apple cider vinegar it helped a little but I needed relief NOW!! I tried this rinse and it was AMAZING!!!! Everything cleared and now 2 days later I feel great! One thing I did that helped a lot was I slowly inhaled through my nose, so the solution would get all the way into my sinuses, below my eye, where it hurt the worst."
09/16/2011: Joyce from Lansdowne, Pa replies: "I have had chronic sinus infections caused from allergies for many years. I was taking Singulair and Veramyst and sometimes Advair. I do not like to take medication and looked at many natural supplements and herbs to take. I discovered the Sinus Rinse last spring and tried it. I have not taken any medications since. At first I used it twice per day for a few days and it cleared my sinuses and my allergies. I will not do without this again."
03/20/2012: Amber from San Bernardino, California replies: "I'm commenting on the salt/ baking soda// peroxide/ warm water mix; I was wondering if it was safe for small children and babies? Thank you for any replies."
[YEA] 01/18/2010: Pete from Springfield, Mo: "Sinus Infection Remedy
I have been dealing with a sinus infection for over a week now and found the saline rinse suggestion this evening on earthclinic and could not wait to give it a try. After mixing the solution I realized that I was having a very difficult time getting the rinse into my sinuses, during the process however I had an epiphany of how it reminded me of scuba diving. In scuba diving when water gets into your mask you tilt your head back and blow out out your nose to fill the mask with air and push water out the bottom, inevitably rookie divers often pour water up their nose at the beginning of the process, myself being no exception. I got out my scuba mask, poured some saline rinse into it, pressed it to my face and simply tilted my head back and sure enough it worked like a charm. As long as the mask seals well there is little mess and it is a very controlled way to pour the rinse into your sinuses. I felt relief within minutes, the rinse really does work. I plan to buy a spray bottle, but have doubts about its ability to really flood the sinuses, when at home I think I'll keep using my scuba mask."
01/15/2010: Mb from Littleton, Co: "I still use a nasal rinse "recipe" given to me by an Ear Nose and Throat specialist which is: 1/4 tsp. salt, pinch of baking soda and 2 capfuls of Alkolol with about 1 cup of water. The Alkolol is especially great if you have irritation in your nose. I use a baby bulb syringe and use 1/2 of the mix in each side 1-2 times per day. Super easy if you do it in the shower too!"
[YEA] 10/31/2009: Alex from Hawthorne, California: "This is how i cured my sinus illness. I read it in a comment from Mexico city. Boil water add salt, not the fine salt, but the grain one add some amount of hydrogen peroxide. drain your noses with a pump you get in the stores called sinus rinse. I suffered from sinus for 5 years. and to the point that i lost the sense of smell.
the next day i woke up spilling blood and mucus from my front forehead literally felt it where it was coming from. after three days of blowing my nose with ugly looking mucus, staring feeling the smell of chicken on a BBQ grill. I almost cried because i could feel the sense of smell.BELIEVE ME IT WORKS!!!!! Any questions email @ email@example.com"Replies
11/02/2009: Javier from Lebanon, Pa replies: "How much of each stuff do you mix? Thank you"
[YEA] 07/24/2009: Darren from Dunstable, Bedfordshire England UK: "Hello..just wanted to say a big thank you to Earth Clinic,I have been suffering from sinusitis for approx 2 months now following a cold & bronchitis. I,ve never had sinus problems before, that i was aware of, after reading about the salt water sinus rinse i gave it a try last night aronnd 6pm and again before bed at 11pm. the result was amazing and almost instant! I made up a solution of a tea mug of warm pre boiled water, 1 teaspoon of ordinary table salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. the 1st session was just with salt & after reading more added the baking powder later. I had a good sleep for the first night in ages and this morning woke to a virtually clear nose and head and feel great!! The method i used was simply to pour the solution into a handy small plastic bottle, and while over the sink tipped my head back and poured it up my nose until it came out my mouth and spat into sink/ while there blowing residue out my nose, result is instant. I have been on 2 courses of anti biotics recently to no effect. also my chesty cough has almost gone too, maybe due to no post nasal drip im guessing. Really hope this helps someoone else.. many thanks."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 06/30/2009: Jason from Fort Lauderdale, FL: "Hi, I tried using coconut oil in my nasal rinse by mixing a 1/8 of a tsp of coconut oil into 16 oz of water mixed with one of those salt & baking soda mixes. I was hoping this would help my with my chronic sinusitis. I do not recommend doing this because now my nasal passages have been even more blocked then before and I am losing sleep over it. Please let me know if there are any suggestions how to counter this unexpected development from the coconut oil? Thanks! Again, do not try mixing coconut oil with your nasal rinse solution. Coconut oil works well on the outside of your body and with food but not in your nose."Replies
06/30/2009: Moniluv from Orlando, FL replies: "Jason - use some peroxide and water. 50/50 in a nette pot, and that should clear up your sinus."
[YEA] 06/11/2009: Sheena from Glasgow, Scotland: "I wasn't sure whether I had a cold or it was seasonal allergies, but I've had a sore throat & congested nose for a few days and then my ears became blocked. Without a Neti Pot I tried a saline rinse using a straw and it did produce a lot of snot and with it some relief. I bought a small water bottle with a spout small enough to fit up your nose, performed a proper saline rinse (same method as with the Neti Pot) and voila - I can hear again. This works - it may be a little icky but worth it. I used 500mls warm water and roughly a tsp of ____ Salt. Thanks folks."Replies
[SIDE EFFECTS] 04/18/2010: Tanya from New Delhi, India replies: "did saline wash for 4-5 times and suddenly the pressure in the ear increased. what to do now?"
04/18/2010: Thenewguyintown from Westwood, New Jersey, Usa replies: "Sounds like a perfectly normal response to me. You may want to consider using H202 in your ears. Check this site for further info"
06/05/2010: Lisa from Spokane, Wa replies: "You may have pressure in your ears from blowing your nose too hard after rinsing with the saline wash. I did the same thing and was told that I pushed some of the water from my nose into my ears. Try blowing your nose very lightly without closing either nostril after using the saline rinse. Hopefully that will eliminate pressure from forming in your ear(s). It worked for me."
[YEA] 02/13/2009: Adina from Detroit, MI: "it's simple but not every one can stand it...in your nasal saline rinse, just add one tbs of ACV and rinse your nostrils as you would normaly and do about 3 rinses a day for 2-3 days...it's miraculas how this works... but again not every one can stand the acidity of vinegar...if your tired enough as i was you will try anything..."
[YEA] 01/04/2009: Cindy from Alb, NM: "Wow!!! After 8 weeks of pain from a sinus infection, 3 doctor visits, 4 prescriptions of antibiotics and 2 bottles of narcotics, I found something that finally worked! I was up in the middle of the night desperate to find something to curb the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. This was the website that did it for me. I went to the pharmacy and purchased saline water. Bought the seasalt in pressured can but I'm sure any would work. I immediately felt relief and by the next morning was beginning to truly feel better. Used the spray 4 times a day for 4 days and am now using it night and day. No more meds flowing through my body! I am so grateful for this website. I have already spread the word!! Thank you for all the info!"
[YEA] 12/10/2008: Betty from Saskatoon, Sask., Canada: "How to use nasal irrigation:
I have had problems with sinus infections for many years mostly because of a deviated septum. Antibiotics greatly disturb my digestive system so I avoid them. I use the salt/baking soda solution rinse regularly, but the infection I have now is more resistant to the nasal rinse. I am going to try adding Hydrogen Peroxide to the rinse.
If you don't own a rinsing kit, use a small ladle. Mix your solution,( I use 1/2 tsp. salt and soda each to 1 cup warm water), fill ladle, dip nose in ladle while holding one nostril closed and inhale until you taste it in the back of mouth. DO NOT swallow. Hold solution in nose as long as possible. Let drain. Repeat with other nostril, then blow. You may want to use a paper towel. Repeat at least twice a day. Avoid use rinse less than 1 hour bed going to bed to avoid swallowing salty solution. Works well, and won't damage sensitive nasal tissues like a forceful spray may do."
[WARNING!] 12/10/2008: Betty from Saskatoon, Sask., Canada: "I have no medical training. However, I would strongly recommend NOT using these remedies for young children. They would likely swallow the solution. The sodium content is too high for anyone to swallow. Also there is the likelihood and danger of children choking, or inhaling the solution into their lungs causing further infections. Use a nasal spray to gently draw the mucus out instead."Replies
12/12/2008: Jimmy from Beverly Hills, Ca, USA replies: "There is no need to worry about the sodium content of saline solution. It is used on small children all the time to clear congestion. If they do swallow some, it is in such a small quantity there is no need for concern. This is a ridiculous warning."
12/13/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Hello Betty, If the saline you are afraid to use is called Normal Saline solution, throw all your fears away, because normal saline is isotonic (saline in normal saline is the same as in our blood) and not very likely to cause harm to you or your little ones. However I do recommend that you continue to give them water to drink, not normal saline."
[YEA] 11/07/2008: Cynthia from Clarksburg, MD, US: "Sniffing warm salt water helped my sinus infection. I gargle with it for a sore throat but never thought about my sinuses. I suffer from large sinus cavities, so large that every dentist/hygienist I see remarks about them on my x-rays and always warn that I would have major pain when I get a sinus infection. I had just used an anti-biotic to cure one infection about 3 months ago and did not want to get any more. Found this site after the pain got so bad and the fastest fix was to try sniffing warm salt water. Tried it first last night, then again this morning. The pain is less and the swelling is going down. Tonight I will try the Apple Cider Vinegar steam therapy and see what happens.
Thanks soooo much to everyone who contributes to this website!!!"
[YEA] 09/25/2008: Sharon from Milton, USA: "Saline water has long been a remedy from doctors, but I have improved upon the method of SNUFFING! I bought the cheap generic brand of saline and quickly used it then refilled it with a new solution of water and a pinch of salt. USE it frequently and liberally. Plus, an ice pack applied to the forehead helps. Don't let it stay too long but move it around. NO FROST BITE, PLEASE!"
[YEA] 07/06/2008: Bob from Melbourne, Florida: "Salt rinse cures my sinus flare ups: I never had problems with sinus until recently when I was diagnosed with allergies from all outdoor things. I was taking shots but, had no luck. I moved and they wanted to start the damn shots over again from the weakest dosage. What a scam!!! So, I decided to do as I was always told. Spray the nose pathage with salt water. I first bought the solution from the drugstore and now, make my own and place in the bottle I bought. I spray up my nostrils in the shower, pinch my nose, shake and blow the crap out. Boy, the next few days I felt great. Now, I only use it as a monthly or so routine. If I sense I have an allergic affect or sinus flare up then, a spray or two a few days or a week or so will solve the problem. I've been sinus ache free and medicine free for a four years now. Darn glad I found your site to tell others and to learn how to take care of myself without a prescription (otherwise known as a low dosage poison). Thanks for the time, Bob!!!"
[YEA] 06/13/2008: Carlisa from Studio City, CA: "I have has a stuffy head for 3 years. Due to lack of exercise and working indoors in air conditioning and pollution. I have even become VERY allergic to cigarette smoke and I used to SMOKE!I Live in Los Angeles but was visiting Miami and got a horrible sinus infection BACTERIAL with green boogers and sore throat etc. I used this mixture and felt relief in 20 minutes and have used it for 2 days and am draining everything and have lost all pain from the infection:
buy saline nasal spray- $2 usually. I pulled the top off and added one cap full if HYDROGEN peroxide (store brand) and 4 drops of oil of oregano and 2 drops of baby shampoo. 2 squirts per nostril. leave it in there then blow out your nose. Use this throughout the day. I also oil pulled because of this infection and had a very messed up scratchy throat- that helped my voice sound more normal- and then before bed drank a hot cup of water with a whole clove of garlic cut in half with cayenne pepper. Its nasty if I could taste it! But by morning my coughs were effective and mucus is coming out! I am feeling much better. Don't forget your ACV and Vitamin C -- I get chewables I feel it also helps my sinuses pretty immediately.
Hope this help you all with SINUS issues and SINUS Infections. I also do Hydrogen inhalation and love it. THANK YOU EARTHCLINIC."
06/18/2008: Charlotte from Johannesburg, South Africa replies: "I read about adding baby shampoo into saline spray to cure sinus infections. What i want to find out is, Does it also work for infants or its only for the adults only. Why I am asking is because my nephew who is 6months old seems to be suffering from symptoms of a sinus infection."
05/14/2012: Joanne from Victoria, Bc, Canada replies: "I would not advise using baby shampoo in a nasal spray. The main ingredient is a skin irritant and it's loaded with synthetic chemicals. It's better to keep it natural especially for a baby..."
[YEA] 03/05/2008: Beth from Greeneville, TN: "I have chronic sinus problems. About a month ago, I developed a cold, which of course turned into a sinus infection. I did one round of antibiotics to no avail. Yesterday I started searching the internet for natural remedies and came across this site. First I tried the apple cider vinegar remedy (2 tablespoons in 8 oz. of water), which didn't seem to help. Throughout the day, I started feeling worse and worse -- achy all over with the chills, a bad headache, and of course, sinus pressure and a sore throat from the post nasal drip. Then I tried the saline rinse method. I didn't have a netti pot, so I mixed 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and added a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. I put this mixture into a plastic squirt bottle (the kind used for condiments -- with the pointy top). I tilted my head to the side, squirted the mixture up one nostril, rolled my head around, let it wash through my sinuses then tipped my head forward and let it run out the other nostril. I did this several times on both sides, and repeated it a few hours later before I went to bed. All day and all night I felt HORRIBLE -- chills and sweats alternately, achy, etc. When I woke up this morning, my head felt better, but my nose was stopped up. I went into the bathroom and blew my nose, and a GIANT wad of blood, mucous, and pus came out -- which was the first time I'd had something like that in a while -- previously I had been using Dayquil and Nyquil, and these kept me pretty dry, but it just left all that stuff up in there and hardened it, I guess, leading to pressure and headaches constantly. Well, the rinse cleaned ALL of that stuff out, and today is the first day I haven't had a headache in WEEKS. The chills and achiness are gone too. My throat is still a little sore (raw from the constant post nasal drip over the last few weeks), but I plan to continue using this remedy for the next few days... hopefully my throat will clear up too. I HIGHLY recommend this remedy."Replies
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/18/2008: Vanya from Pretoria, South Africa replies: "I have discovered that I have a hiatal hernia in Feb of this year, and from May onwards I have consistent sinusitus, at least once a week my nose got blocked. Becasue I am allergic to Penicilin, my Doctor indicated that it will take from 6 - 12 months to recover. I am trying the normal rising routine with hot water in a bowl and breathing it and gargling with hot salt water.
I have tried the olbass and the hot salt water breathing in the steam, but it hurt my nostrils too much and made me hyped up to the point that i needed relaxants to go to sleep at night.
HELP! I have had a terrible reaction to most of the mediciation becos of the hernia. But still took them regardless."
[YEA] 01/28/2008: George from Naples, Florida: "BAKING SODA NASAL RINSE I used baking soda and warm water and have not had a sinus problems in two months also used cayenne pepper to lower my blood pressure"
[YEA] 01/24/2008: Murray from Los Angeles, California: "You have many comments about saline irrigation. However all saline is not the same. Many OTC prepared saline product contain Benzalkonium or other preservatives. These can impair normal nasal cilia movement. Best to use a powder or salt to make your own solution. One teapoon of salt or Breathe.ease XL to 500 cc (or one pint) of water makes isotonic saline. This is usually best, though some prefer hypertonic. To make hypertonic use less water. Hypotonic - less salt is harmful to nasal function. If you tried OTC saline and found that it burned, try making it yourself without the preservatives."
[YEA] 01/08/2008: George from Naples, Florida: "baking soda nasal rinse -- I mixed baking soda and warm water and did a nasal rinse and I have not taken any sinus meds in over a month and I use to use take them every day. After the rinse for about 1/2 hour you keep blowing stuff out your nose but then its like magic. THANK GOD."
[YEA] 01/06/2008: Steve from Santa Cruz, CA: "I have been suffering from a hefty nasal infection and found your website. I tried a variation of the neti pot alternative that was mentioned here on this forum. I emptied a nasal spray bottle and filled it with the warm salt water combo and sprayed all i could into the nasal passages. I was surprised how much gunk came out. Another nice surprise was that I am now feeling sooo much better!! The salt works it's magic fast - I had instant relief from the burning and the constant nasal drip. Next time I come across a neti pot, I think I'll pick it up! Hope you find relief from this remedy!!"
[YEA] 10/13/2007: Abraham from Atlanta, GA: "IT REALLY WORKS!
Upside down Sinus Flooding treatments have cured my Sinus infection problems.
My chronic Sinus infection ( sinusitis ) problems were cured by flooding my nasal passages with peroxide, baking soda and kosher salt after first using antibiotics to get rid of my Sinus infection. I don't believe that flooding is effective against established infection, but it is effective against the germs that cause infections.
*'3% Hydrogen peroxide: One part.
* Baking soda: One or two pinches.
* Kosher salt or sea salt: One pinch.
I buy a cheap, salt and pepper set. I use a drill to widen the holes in the tops, and I use them to add the baking soda and kosher salt to the mixture.
* Filtered water: Ten to forty times as much water as peroxide.
The Sinus Flooding process:
* I place a towel and a tissue nearby.
* I stand over my sink and point my forehead down into my sink.
* I forcefully spray the mixture into each nostril to force the antiseptic mixture around any swollen turbinates or polyps.
After my Nasal Passages fill up, additional spraying may cause the mixture to come out the other nostril.
I make sure that the container tip is firmly implanted in my nose so that it's difficult for the liquid to come back out of that nostril.
* If it stings, I wait for the stinging to subside and then repeat the forceful spraying, into each nostril, until the sprayer is empty.
* I keep my head down for a few minutes to let the mixture seep into all areas.
A lot of the mixture can foam out of my nostrils, down my forehead, and into the sink. A little messy. I keep my eyes closed so that it doesn't drain into my eyes.
* I lift and tilt my head upwards, while it's over the sink, and let my nose drain.
The discharge can look pretty bloody, foamy and nasty. Since my nasal membranes have healed, there is much less foam and NO blood.
* I then stand up and use the tissue to clean my forehead of foam and discharge.
* I don't blow my nose for a few minutes.
This allows the mixture a little longer to do its job with my head in an upright position.
[YEA] 03/18/2007: Li from Wooster, OH: "About 1/2 way through a cold when I get stopped up and/or notice nasal secretions no longer clear, I know it is the start of sinus infection. Instead of ATB I have had much success with 1/2 to 1 cup warm tap or distilled water and 1 tsp salt (whatever dilution you feel you can tolerate). Using a clean baby nose syringe, I put head back and gently instill the saline water. It will drain through your sinuses and down throat. After everything loose I blow my nose and voila! No sinus infection brewing. And no ATB to mess up my belly. It is not the most pleasant thing but works terrific to avoid sinus infection. Hope you get the same success!"
[YEA] 03/18/2007: Kate from Port McNeill, Canada: "Salt water snizzzle is what its called. Boil water , add 1/2 tsp of salt to 1 cup water. Sniff it up your nose by using a teaspoon. Three times a day. It works wonders, you can also add a bit of baking soda if you like."
[YEA] 03/16/2007: Jen from Somersville, CT: "I had terrible sinus pain for two days, so bad it hurt my face, nose, and into my teeth. Nothing would touch it! After reading about salt water, I mixed some table salt with warm water in the palm of my hand and sniffed it. It didn't hurt, helped clear my sinuses, and by the next day I was pain free!!!!"
[YEA] 03/12/2007: Rodney J from Kaysville, Utah: "Rod here again. Here is one that is really amazing! If you have a sinus irrigation system like the Grosann system, to 500 ml of saline solution, add 1 tsp of h202 to the mix and run in through your sinus. It is somewhat uncomfortable if you have a bad sinus infection, but the end results are incredible! I do this when I get a bad cold and it usually cuts 2 days off the duration off the cold."Replies
04/18/2011: Terri from Bruner, Missouri replies: "Here's instructions I just got from my doctor today, and already I'm feeling much better!
1 quart water
1 Tbsp sea salt (non-iodized)
Pinch of baking soda
Betadine to color like weak tea - when infected.
Use daily 4-5 times per day when infected.
Use once daily when not infected w/o betadine.
USE BLUE BULB SYRINGE TO IRRIGATE WITH."
03/28/2012: Daisy from Jacksonville, Florida replies: "I actually responded more fully in a related thread -- Betadine and Hydrogen Peroxide Sinus Rinse -- but this worked amazingly well for me, after years of doing the regular salt/baking soda rinse with good but not remarkable results. Adding the few drops of betadine made an incredible difference!
Only thing is that if someone is going to try this, they need to make sure it's *povidone* iodine (Betadine Solution or its generic eqivalent) and not some other form of iodine, or even a different betadine product, because it's not the same thing. I've tried tincture of iodine and Lugol's (at different times, not together) in my saline rinses, and they stung like nothing else, maybe even increasing the irritation and swelling. This doesn't!"
[YEA] 03/07/2007: Aghper from Montreal, Canada: "I just want to let you know I had a sinus/cold infection for two weeks, I was in a similar situation a month ago and the doctor prescribed me antibiotic even though I had no fever/ headache,. I took it for 10 days. This time I was desperate I did not want to take antibiotics again so started reading earthclinic. I bought a NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit and tried their formula but did not help(it was to light the salt content).I took One tsp of salt(no iodine) and rinsed using neti pot technique.In two days my mucous was back to regular color. I have paid 18$ for the kit,you don't have to buy it as long as you can find a plastic bottle will do it. Thanks earthclinic for making this site available."
[YEA] 02/24/2007: Deb from Mesa, Idaho: "I've been suffering with sinus infections since my thirties, (I'm 47 now)and the only remedy that works for me is saline solution spray often, daily."
[YEA] 02/14/2007: Chuck from Seattle, WA: "At 54 and having broke my nose years ago I have battled sinus problems for years. being very active I hated how my bouts with sinus issues would completely wear me out. One year ago I was diagnosed with adult activity induced asthma. I have had to learn when i can and can't do long runs and then do more hikes. last year after being on 40 days of antibiotics really left me wore out. What has helped is using a nasal flush system with sea salt and warm water. I prefer a soft plastic bottle that allows for full gentle spray that flushes the sinus. Right now am at tail end of cold and through out was able to keep sinus open. did also use ACV and Hydrogen peroxide so far works great"
[YEA] 01/07/2007: A.C from Atlanta, GA: "I had a cold for about a week and a half. It finally developed into one of the worst sinus infections I have ever had---to top it off, I am 6 months pregnant. After 2 days of pure misery, I went to the doctor. He gave me an rx for an antibiotic. After 2 days of taking it and pseudo ephedrine round the clock, I was still miserable. My head pounded, my nose was totally clogged on both sides, and my head felt like it was going to explode. Desperate to try anything, I went to Walgreens and purchased "SinuCleanse"--a product complete with a neti pot and saline packets. I used it every 2 hours for the first day, along with drinking the ACV/water mixture 2x's/day, and by the second day, I had relief. I could breathe and could tell my head was starting to clear up! By far the best thing that I had tried! Thanks for your website! It has helped tremendously!"Replies
[YEA] 12/14/2012: Sinupetsa from Johannesburg, South Africa replies: "Saline rinse has worked for many people so far and would recommend it only if it will be done properly. By this, I mean that sterile water will be used."
[YEA] 01/02/2007: Elizabeth from Sioux Falls, SD: "Sinus infections have plagued me for years. With the last two infections I got on it right away. I went to the natural foods store and bought a Neti Pot (a small pot made specifically to irrigate the sinuses). This pot uses regular table salt - NOT sea salt because it is too harsh - with water. I also used SilverBiotic. I am not sure which cured the infection but it lasted only two days. Usually it lasts several days. I was thrilled."Replies
12/08/2012: Caterina55 from Warwick, Ri replies: "I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to come across this post. I started looking recently, after my doctor told me that I did not have a sinus infection (confirmed by an X Ray). I have spent ten years battling with chronic sinus infections, congestion, and allergies. This really works!! I use the spoon with a 1/4 tsp of salt and then run to my bed and hang my head off the side. I did this 7 times today and the difference is remarkable. You can feel the salt pulling the fluid (congestion) and relasing. I sat up after about a minute each time and immediately blew my nose. I believe the concentration of the salt produced the results as I have described them because, I have been using the various sinus rinses, netti pot's, saline mist aerosol, gel, colloidal silver, nasonex and Fluticasone for years and none of which compare to this simple remedy. Thank you!!"
[YEA] 10/05/2006: Aunt Ida from Tahlequah, OK: "I used to get frequent sinus infections, requiring high doses of antibiotics until about 1987, when my old aunt Ida told me to try sniffing warm salt water up my nostrils from a teaspoon. She said, "Just put some salt in the bottom of the spoon and cover it up with warm water. Stir it with your finger and sniff. Then hang your head over the bed and let it run into your sinus cavity"
The first time I tried this, I had way too much salt in the teaspoon: WOW did it HURT! Later I got it down to an art, about 1/4 a pinch of salt in the bottom of the spoon is usually plenty strong. I vary the dosage according to the symptoms. At first, sniffing water up my nose was very difficult to accomplish. The natural fear of drowning prevents this from being a pleasant experience. Now when I'm getting a sinus infection I place the spoon under my nose and sniff just about as hard as I can without hesitation. I've never had to use antibiotics again.
Thanks, Aunt Ida"
[YEA] 09/15/2006: Erin from San Diego, CA: "My 12 yr old son just did this when he woke up this morning. He has chronic allergies and sinus troubles from Sept-May and a nurse friend suggested this to me many years ago. It has worked wonders for my kids anytime allergies or congestion kick in. He went from not being able to breathe at all this morning, to breathing comfortably."
[YEA] 08/04/2006: Carol from Belcamp, MD: "MIX 1 TSP SALT AND 1 TSP BAKING SODA WITH 1 QT WATER AND AND DUESCH YOUR NOSE. WILL GET RID OF A SINUS INFECTION, TAKES A COUPLE OF TIMES. WAS GIVEN THIS CURE BY A DR AT WORK IN THE 60'S."
[YEA] 07/06/2006: Heidi from Lake Stevens, WA: "I've tried many of the remedies on your site (though not the inhaled ACV). All helped with my sinusitis to some degree, esp. the neti pot. Except hydrogen peroxide made the infection WORSE ... I think acidifying the nose helps, but making it more alkaline might make it worse for some people. I gave up dairy too, because that decidedly made things worse. Anyway, I still ended up on major antibiotics and steroids, though not as often. But what has worked consistently for me these days is a saline solution (as in the other posts) plus 3 drops of iodine solution per bottle of spray. Iodine kills anything, and it sinks into the skin. It's also very portable, so I can take my iodine solution on the plane or whatever. I imagine it might kill viruses that land in your nose after you've been next to a bunch of coughing people, though maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. Iodine seems to promote skin healing (if the skin is unbroken), so maybe it makes the nose healthier too. So far, there has been no downside to using it twice a day. I sleep with no postnasal drip these days. Nice website, BTW!"
[YEA] 03/25/2006: Rita from Laurel Hill, NC: "I am one that has been put on antibiotics since i was little for sinus infections. I tried this (1/4 teaspoon salt and warm water)just a few minutes ago and I already have results. My head isn't hurting as bad. Almost instant relief with just trying it one time. I have been pumping myself full of medicines today and this is the most relief that I have had in 2 days. The only thing now is that my ear is stopped up. But I can deal with that. If and when the pain comes back I'll do it again. Thanks for the remedy.."
[YEA] 03/23/2006: AS from Boston: "I've had chronic sinus infections to the point where alot of antibiotics won't work any more for me. I remembered being a kid and any time I got a sore throat my dad would have me gargle w/salt and it always helped. So one day I was desperate the antibiotics weren't working (mind you I was being put on antibiotics at least 4 times a yr for sinus infections) so I broke down and got a large bowl (big enough i could fit my face into it) put in warm water and salt i then pulled the water/salt into my nose held it then blew it out into the sink I would do this until the water was gone or I was tired of doing it. I have had sinus infections in the last year and every time I did the salt mixture sometimes I'd have to do it once or twice a day for two or three days. It cleared up the infection and I didn't have to be put on antibiotics. Hope this might be of help to others as well!"
[YEA] 02/11/2006: Renee from Lakewood: "I started using saline nasal spray multiple times throughout the day when my sinuses start acting up. I have severe problems with dryness and vertigo and the saline really helps!"
[YEA] 01/11/2006: Barbara : "I learned this from an Aunt who had been dealing with sinus infections for years. It works for me too. I put a little salt in the palm of my hand, mix with warm water, plug one nostril and sniff the water & salt solution up. Repeat for the other nostril. It works."
[YEA] 12/19/2005: Tish from Granger: "Please, please, please add this recommendation: gargling with salt water and flushing your nose/sinuses out with salt water helps with sinus/allergy and headaches. Take 1/2 tsp salt and 8oz warm water. Gargle first then you can use a waterpic device from the drugstore, or get a little device like you use to suction out a babies nose. Fill with saltwater and shoot it up the nose. Don't inhale, just relax and let it go though the nasal cavity. This really relieved all my sinus/allergy problems (in addition to using acv.)"
[YEA] Genine from Santa Clarita, CA: "I saw the remedy for a sinus infection which included a coffe cup of warm water and a pinch od salt. Then to breathe it up each nostril and blow. I also saw someone who included baking soda. So, I took a small cup of warm water, about 1/2 tsp of salt and baking soda, and took it up each nostril out of the palm of my hand. My left nostril was completely clogged and though a barely got some up it, it loosened what was there and I then repeated it until I could breathe from both nostrils. The pressure on my cheek bones is lessening already. Thank you so much for this website."
[YEA] Iris from Syracuse, NY: "Over 6 years ago I stopped consuming all dairy products after I had struggled with chronic sinusitis On occasion there is dairy in my food without my knowing and to cure the sinus infection (even a full blown infection) I mix up a warm salt water and rinse out sinuses. It's gross, but by doing this three times a day I will have rid myself of the fever and infection all together in just a couple of days. It's brilliant and easy and cheap!"