I used to get four to five sinus infections a year, followed by chest infections, coughing, the whole nine yards. Sometime in the late ‘90s, I started using nasal saline morning and night. Since then I’ve had only one sinus infection.
At first, I bought the plastic squeeze-and-sniff bottles of saline at the drugstore. As prices rose, paying $4+ for less than two ounces of salted water began to feel foolish. Big Lots had it for much less, and that was fine for a while. Later on, I started mixing my own at home.
Recipes on the Internet vary. I use one cup of water, boiled, and ½ to one teaspoon (non-iodized) salt, with three drops of grape-fruit extract concentrate as a preservative. Some recipes add a pinch of baking soda as a buffer; it makes the water more soothing. Most recipes omit the grapefruit extract, and if you boil the water, it is safe to omit it.
There have been news stories of people getting dreadful infections from using un-boiled water in homemade nasal saline. Since seeing those, I boil the water and still use the grapefruit extract. The extract is sold at health food stores. Although it’s a bit expensive by the bottle, it is used by the drop and lasts a very, very long time–years, in fact.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.