Just in the past week two people have asked me for my homemade saline nasal wash recipe, so I know it’s time to post it on the blog.
You may already know that I like to make a lot of my own natural products, and this is no exception! Often, it is easier than you think. You get to control the ingredients, many of which you may have at home or can easily purchase. It is empowering, can be fun, creative and frugal too.
Benefits of saline nasal wash
Most of you are probably familiar with nasal sprays and have used a saline wash or spray at some point on yourself or with your little ones. Here are some of the more common uses and benefits of a saline solution:
- Daily nasal washes can help reduce symptoms for people with chronic sinusitis and allergies
- Clears out thick mucous and helps reduce nasal congestion by thinning secretions
- Helps to relieve nasal dryness
- Reduces coughing and other symptoms of post nasal drip
- Soothes inflamed membranes
- Helps clear stuffy congested noses for infants and babies who cannot yet blow their own noses. Have you ever tried to nurse a baby with a stuffy nose? They cannot, they need their little noses to be cleared and this is a gentle and effective method. This can also help reduce and relieve their cold symptoms.
Saline solutions are similar in composition to that of our body and can actually cause less tissue damage and be more soothing than plain water. Obviously we are not talking here about pouring a cup of salt into a cup of water…ouch – that would sting! It is all about ratio.
What is xylitol ? why do I add it?
Xylitol, is a sugar alcohol and is naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables and can also be extracted from fibrous material such as corn husks and birch. Xylitol has long been used as a natural sweetener, although there is some debate as to it’s health benefits as such, mostly due to the methods of it’s production. There is also research showing that xylitol can help remineralize enamel and help prevent cavities. Some of the early studies conducted in Finland in the 1970s were already showing the effectiveness of xylitol on the prevention of cavities.
Xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria by preventing them from sticking to the tissue. Bottom line, if they can’t stick they can’t cause infection. Xylitol helps to reduce germs, irritants and pollutants. So, adding xylitol to a nasal spray makes the saline solution even better!
Some people add essential oils to their nasal washes and people often ask me about this. While some oils are very effective at combating bacteria and preventing infections, many of them are not safe to use internally, especially with babies and kids and some oils can cause irritation as well as allergic reactions.
There is so much more information about xylitol and it’s uses for oral health, upper respiratory infections and even otitis media, but this post is really about adding it to your nasal wash. If you are interested in reading more, HERE is an article about some of the uses with case reports.
1 cup of boiled water – It is very important to use boiled filtered or distilled water for this, since the amoeba that could be present in regular water can pose a real danger.
1/2 tsp salt – for infants I use 1/4 tsp – I use natural Real Salt like this one
1 tsp xylitol
A pinch of baking soda
mix all the ingredients in a glass jar and cover. After it has cooled pour into smaller squirt bottles or spray bottles. Use as often as needed.