Saline nose wash (also known as “lavage”)
Seems nasty—isn’t. I use the Salt Aire system and mix my own solution (the one that comes with the system burns my nose and is expensive to have to buy over and over again). You can also use a Neti pot or any of the other systems. This is one of THE best ways to keep your nasal passages clear and moist (less of a chance that you’ll catch a cold if they stay moist).
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Recipe for “home made” salt solution for nasal wash: 1 liter distilled water
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons kosher salt
It’s important to use distilled water to avoid the impurities in other sources, and to use kosher salt, to avoid the iodine found in “regular” salt. I believe sea salt is also acceptable. Just put them all in a container together–that’s it!
The amount of salt can be tweaked a bit to strengthen the mixture. If you find that it burns your nose, use less salt. I don’t have any trouble with this recipe and use heaping teaspoons, as it seems more effective.
For “on the go” or if you just can’t bring yourself to use the above saline nose wash—get some saline nose sprays (over the counter at any drug store)—get the generic kind to save $–tilt your head way back and use nose spray as drops—letting the liquid go down the back of your nose to your throat. Doesn’t taste great, but does the trick.
Use a humidifier at home—minimum at night, but all day if possible. Be sure to clean it regularly!
For a sore throat—a combination of gargling with salt water and taking advil or Tylenol can ease sore throat pain a lot.
Apple Juice / Ginger Toddy for when you have a sore throat
1 cup or mug Apple Juice (I like to use the “not from concentrate” juice or cider)–pour into a small pan
add same amount of water to the pan
Cut up one to two inches of fresh ginger root (after washing—no need to peel)
Add ginger and boil in juice / water for 10 minutes or so (you can turn off the heat and let these steep for awhile too if you’re not in a hurry)
Take out the ginger pieces, pour half of the liquid into your mug and add the juice of one lemon, lots of honey and some cinnamon.
2 servings—serve hot!
If you clear your throat a lot—Mucinex (without decongestant!) will thin the “stuff” on your vocal cords if you drink a lot of water with the pill. This medicine is non-narcotic and can be taken anytime you want to be sure to have a clear throat. (Check with your doctor to be sure this is okay for YOU!) I take it every time I’m suffering from a little “stuff on my cords” and have a voice lesson or have to perform, for instance. Guaifenesin syrup (expectorant found in Robutussin) is exactly the same thing in liquid form.
Please check with your doctor before trying anything above.