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Naturopathy/Sinus & nasal douche

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QUESTION: Hi Kristina,
I use a product called ‘Flo’ which is a sinus and nasal douche - see: http://www.enttech.com.au/products/flo-sinus-care - which has greatly improved my crusty/bleeding nostrils, hay fever and post-nasal drip.
The problem is that it is expensive to buy the refill sachets (am on a pension) and I wonder if I can make up my own solution at home which would be a safe, long-term equivalent to the ingredients the manufacturer shows on the packaging. It states: Sodium Chloride (0.75mg/ml when reconstituted), Potassium Chloride and Xylitol.
Can you please advise how I could make it at home?
Many thanks,
Lyn

ANSWER: Hello Lyn,
Yes, you certainly can make up your own solution.  Just be sure you have pure, good quality products to begin with.  Here are some of the options:
Always remember to use distilled, boiled, or filter water cooled to lukewarm.  Start with a saline, of plain sea salt or other non-iodized salt 1/8-1/2 teaspoon per 8 ounce cup ( 1/4 tsp is common, but sometimes you may want it to be stronger to pull more mucous out).  
You can also add up to an equal amount of baking soda. This helps neutralize the pH of the solution and make it more comfortable (as salt does sting).  
You can also add the xylitol, which helps with drawing mucous out (such as during a sinus infection) and also prevents bacterial from sticking to the nasal passages.  It's not harmful to include but you might not need it everyday.  
In the long run, this ends up being much less expensive than the packets, and you can customize the formula more (stronger or weaker saline, with or without the others).  
In health,
Dr Conner

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for your detailed reply, Kristina.
Regarding the xylitol, can you tell me the quantity I should use per 8 ounce cup to add to the salt and the baking soda?
Also, like the sachets, I'm assuming that I can keep using this on a long-term basis without any harm?
Many thanks,
Lyn

Answer
I would 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the xylitol, as well.  1/4 teaspoon would be less drawing.  You can buy in bulk powder or in packets, like sugar packets.  And yes, these are all safe to use long term, the few adverse issues with nasal washes have been with contaminated water (so be sure you use a good source).  However, it it makes any symptoms worse it's a good idea to take a break and see if the rinse is contributing.  

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Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM

Expertise

Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental/ Chinese medicine, Nutrition, Natural Family Medicine, Detoxification/ Cleansing, Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Acupuncture

Experience

Licensed Naturopathic Physician for 11 years Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL

Organizations
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member and Secretary

Education/Credentials
Bastyr University, doctor of naturopathic medicine University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, residency in family and integrated medicine National University of Health Sciences, master of science in Oriental medicine

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