From essential oils to natural ear infection remedies to Chinese herbs, I will try almost anything to avoid antibiotics and other medications when dealing with ear infections or other conditions. I had way too antibiotics of them as a child and they wreaked havoc on my gut, leading to candida, adrenal fatigue, and other issues that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
So for things like sinus problems, I've opted for things like this saline spray to keep my family healthy.
I'm sure most of you have seen or heard of neti-pots, saline nose sprays, or those spray bottles that spray saline wash into your nostrils.
In my opinion, saline wash is a life-saver. Really.
Today I am going to show you how you can easily make these sprays yourself to save a ton of money and hopefully save yourself from needing antibiotics.
I've been making saline wash for years.
I remember in my 20's (yikes! – That was a long time ago.), my grandmother buying me some premade nasal spray in a bottle and telling me how helpful it was.
I thought it seemed ridiculous, but then I was brought up in a home where I was given antibiotics for just about any little sniffle or bug.
Hence a lot of the health problems that I deal with today.
You can read more about how much I avoid antibiotics now in my post “Escape from the Pink Stuff – How We Avoided Antibiotics”.
I will go to great lengths to avoid that stuff. Even though they're free at our local pharmacy – that “free” comes with a heavy health price tag.
Anyway, as the years went on, I started using different forms of saline washes — and found that they work great!
In fact, am now a self-declared expert in making saline nose wash :-).
However, one of the things that bugs me is that you go into your local drug, grocery, or health food store, and buy one of those little neti-pots or saline spray containers, and they give you some little packets of pre-made saline mix to get you started.
Only to have you feel the need to come back and buy more of their little packets.
Well, if you've looked at those packets, really the only thing that is in them is….
you guessed it–salt and maybe baking soda.
Pretty simple, eh?
So I decided to figure out how much of each I needed to use in order to avoid the highway-robbery of buying those little packets (not to mention all the extra garbage they generate. Sigh.)
How I Started Using Saline Spray
For years, I saw those saline spray bottles in the store. My grandmother recommended that I try Ocean®, which she said helped her immensely.
I personally never saw benefits from that kind of thing after trying it once or twice, but that all changed years later.
I was working at a small insurance agency. My boss was from Russia and we at times enjoyed talking about health issues.
At one point, I got quite sick with a cold and my nose, in typical fashion, got very stuffed up (I have very narrow nasal passages, so I get pretty miserable pretty quickly from colds and such).
Anyhow, one day at work we started talking about sinus issues and my boss bought up saline washes. I told him that they never worked for me, and he proceeded to tell me how they used to do it in Russia.
This is what they would do….
Basic DIY Saline:
- put some warm water in your hand
- dump some salt in the water
- breathe the mixture in
- inhale further insuring that the saline mixture goes back to fill the sinus cavities
- hold the saline for about 10 seconds
- blow the saline out
I was intrigued, and tried it.
And it worked — amazingly well, though the salt stung sometimes.
I figured if I could apply that technique to a saline bottle, then I would have something very helpful, and more user-friendly than a hand full of salt water!
I went to the store, bought a starter kit for a saline wash and was on my way.
And I have to say, this has made my narrow-sinus issues at least a little more bearable.
Why Make Your Own Saline Nose Wash
1. It saves a TON of money.
2. Reduce waste from those little packets of saline mix.
3. You can control how much of everything you add easily.
Before we get to the recipe, here are some tips:
Tips for Saline Wash
– Use only pure salt like sea salt or my favorite, Real Salt. Table salt has lots of other things like anti-caking agents, silicon dioxide and even sugar sometimes. I don't want those in my nose, thank you.
– For added sinus-cleansing action, after putting the saline solution into your nose, inhale a bit and hold some of it in your nose for about 10 seconds, and then blow out. I found this technique on my saline bottle's insert and it supposedly helps the saline solution get into all the nasal cavities.
– What type of bottle or neti-pot to use? I like this brand, but I think they are all good. Personally, I don't think that the neti-pots work as well since the spraying action seems to get the saline rinse in my sinuses better than the force of gravity.
– Some advise against continual use of saline washes. I found this article interesting. If you use yours year-round, it might not be a good idea.
– Water Temperature – I prefer my water a little warmer than just lukewarm as it seems to help the salt dissolve better, but please take care to not overheat the water.
– I am not a doctor – so don't use this instead of medical opinion, KO?
If you find yourself in a real pinch and don't have a saline rinse container, you can mix this up in your hand the “Russian” way. Just make sure your hand is clean :).
When to Use Saline Wash
- When you have a cold
- To clean out sinuses to support your body so are less likely to have a cold take root
- As a natural allergy remedy
- To moisten sinus passages in dry weather
This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.
How to Make Your Own Saline Nasal Spray
1 cup (8 oz.) water
1 tsp. natural salt (you can add more for more “punch” but it does sting. I use Real Salt.)
pinch – 1/8 tsp baking soda
1. Warm the water to a temperature that is as warm as you can tolerate (of course, this is a subjective term. The water should not be so hot as to damage your nasal passages. See notes below.)
2. Add salt and baking soda to your saline container (neti-pot or saline spray bottle).
3. Add water and mix / shake to combine.
4. Follow directions for using your saline wash container.
5. Make sure to rinse out your container after use and leave it open to air dry.
A personal note – and optional additions
Over the past few weeks I have been fighting an illness and I ended up making tons of my own saline nose drops (the stuff you put in neti-pots or saline spray containers, like the one pictured above) with all kinds of variations.
I thought it was allergies, but it turned out to be a doozy of a sinus infection.
Since I was pretty desperate, I added a bunch of different things to my saline bottle to aid in my healing. Here are the possible additives for the nasal rinse that I read about and tried (I tried all except the honey)
– apple cider vinegar (just a drop or two. Don't make the mistake I did by adding about 1 Tbsp. Ouch!)
– colloidal silver (from a drop to more.)
– grapefruit seed extract (GSE) – this is supposed to be a great anti-viral agent. Just add a few drops.
– essential oils (I tried eucalyptus, frankincense, and rosemary. I am thinking melaleuca or peppermint would be great too. Just a tip – even one little drop of oregano oil is waaaay too strong. To read more about the Essential Oils I recommend, check out my Essential Oils series. It gets pretty dicey :).) Note – please emulsify essential oils before using them on your body.
– xylitol – some say it aids in making the solution non-stinging. It is also supposed to be helpful against candida and since a number of sinus infections are thought to be viral, this might be a help as well, as xylitol apparently has some anti-viral properties. (Source)
– Manuka honey – I didn't try this but I have read it's a natural antibiotic that has helped many.
More DIY Personal Care Products:
How about you? Have you used saline sprays?
Of course, none of this is to be taken as medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult with your physician before trying any of the remedies here or making any changes to your supplements or diet.