Nasal irrigation has officially gone mainstream. If you haven’t subscribed to the trend yet, it’s when you shoot a saline solution directly into one nostril (usually using a neti pot), allowing it to flow through the nasal cavity and out the other nostril, carrying mucus and irritants out with it. Sound gross? It sorta is, but it’s also an effective way to prevent frequent illnesses, especially during the cold and flu season, and speed up the healing process if you do get sick.
“Nasal cleansing has been used since ancient times as a way to gently wash away irritating offenders,” says Dr. Janet Zand, a doctor of of Traditional Chinese Medicine and licensed acupuncturist based in Los Angeles.
“It’s similar in theory to tongue-scraping. You’re basically cleaning out your nose, taking a bit of the burden off your body.”
Zand isn’t the only doctor on board. In a 2009 study published in WMJ, a scientific journal from the Wisconsin Medical Society, 87 percent of physicians surveyed said that have prescribed saline nasal irrigation as an adjunct therapy for a variety of upper respiratory conditions, including viral upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, allergy, and hay fever.
This treatment to clear clogged passageways is advisable for a week to 10 days, but if you need to use it for longer, you may want to talk to your doctor. Research presented at the Asthma & Immunology 20…