Don't go out and buy the OTC drops for plugged noses! Use things you have a home. This recipe works for all ages, my infant benefited a lot from it!
Take 1 level tsp. salt to 1 cup boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then cool off. My infant had a hard time breathing while nursing, so I put 2 drops in each nostril before nursing and at night.
I have used a similar saline recipe, but the RN who recommended it to me emphasized the importance of using Kosher salt. Standard table salt is too harsh to be injested that way. Also, add a pinch of baking soda to cut down on the the burning sensation.
There's a little misunderstanding here regarding isotonic versus hypertonic salines. Isotonic means having the same salt (electrolyte) content as the body. Hypertonic means having a higher electrolyte content as the body. Isotonic solutions, such a Pedialyte, are good (essential) for rehydrating the body. (Normally, plain water is just fine, as we get enough of our electrolytes from the food we eat.) Gatorade is, in fact, a terrible rehydrator, because it's hypertonic--it contains too much salt and potassium, and thus draws water out of the body.
Isotonic solutions, therefore, rehydrate. They're good (if sterile) for rehydration of the eyes, nose, mucous membranes. They will not pose harm to an infant, and the poster above who cautioned that 1/4 t per cup of water was much too hypertonic for an infant should be thanked.
Hypertonic solutions, on the other hand, draw water, including the water in secretions, out of tissues. Thus, if you have pharyngitis, and a throat full of mucus and pus, you want to be gargling with a mildly hypertonic solution, to draw the mucosal secretions out of the pharynx and tonsils, so that it can be expectorated. Be careful not to swallow too much hypertonic solution, however, or you'll feel very nauseated, and may vomit. I get frequent pharyngitis, and I prefer to use solutions that are more strongly hypertonic, because I want the grossness pulled out of my throat with only three or four gargles--I use one (1) teaspoon of salt per cup (8 oz.) of water, and I make the solution as hot as I can tolerate. Note well, however, that I'm an adult, and know how to gargle with this stuff without swallowing it. I would never administer a solution this strong to anyone else. It takes some skill to be able to gargle without swallowing, and flipping one's head back and forth can cause dizziness.
Buffering the solution with sodium bicarbonate is a good idea.
Make sure, especially if you're instilling homemade eye- or nosedrops into a baby's or child's eyes or nose, that you've kept everything as clean as possible. Wash and dry the vessels you use with very hot water; use distilled water, if possible; measure the salt and bicarb with a spoon that's just come out of the dishwasher. You don't want to be rehydrating a kid and infecting him with staph at the same time.
The advice nurses at Kaiser recommend only 1/4 tsp. of salt per 8 oz. of water. My 5 1/2 month old currently has the cold and this was the home made recipe for saline drops that I was given. I'll give it a shot. I have also tried sitting in a hot steamy shower room with the door kept ajar just a tad, and it seems to help his nose run a bit. It's just so hard to help calm a fussy baby, who is so congested.
I used the water, salt, soda recipe this past winter and it works great!
I made it in larger batches and used it to gargle away my sore throat. Its the only thing that gets the icky coating off the back of my throat when I'm sick.
I bought one bottle of otc saline nasal spray last year and I just keep refilling it. The bottle creates a mist so its easier to use.
** Make sure you clean it well each time you refill it!
I use hot soapy water with a little bleach and rinse well.
I use the soda/saline mixture but was advised to use only Sea Salt. Works for me for mild allergies.
Thanks alot for the saline drop recipe. I totally don't have any money to purchase saline drops from the drug store.
This is twice as much saline as needed. This concentration could be dangerous, especially for an infant. It should be 1/2 teaspoon/8 oz water.
thanks for this great tip on these saline drops, it helped my two boys lots, i have four children so taking a trip to the pharmacy for saline drops with all my kids, thats out of the question,LOL, thanks again
I agree with others here that this is alot of salt. This is the recipe that is traditionally used for salt water gargles, but saline drops need to be less salty.
I am a pharmaceutical compounding pharmacist. Weighing one teaspoonful of household salt, I get 5.36 Gm. Based on this, if you dissolve 1/2 teaspoonful in 10 oz water, you will end up with a 0.9% sodium chloride isotonic solution (ignoring other minor components of table salt). If you use the proprietary "Sinucleanse" packet, an isotonic solution is obtained by dissolving one packet in 10.2 ounces of water. Write me at clerkmaxwell AT hotmail.com for further clarification. Please place a distinct title in the email, so I won't delete it as junk mail. Good luck, Harold.
Wow. All of you have helped me so much by reading all your feedback. I have had the flu for a month now. I work at a day care so a couple days of getting better, and I'm sick all over again. I've been to the store and couldn't believe how much all these nose drops are. I cant believe it is this easy. I cant wait to try it out. I'm doing the 1/2 salt to 8 oz hot water and maybe a pinch of soda. I only have idolized salt. I hope it works okay.
But, after using nasal drops, is it okay to swallow all the post-nasal drip, or is it better to blow the nose after?
What about with 1/2 a tsp. baking soda added to the cup of water?
Thank you so much for the info! my husband, myself, and my 7 month old son just got sick =( The 1/2 tsp in 8oz is perfect, cleared my lil guy's nose up immediately!
I googled homemade saline solution because our foot dr gave me a bottle of .9% sodium cloride to use as a wash and rinse for some stubbed toes on my husbands diabetic feet. When I went to the pharmacy for more, they told me we needed a perscription. Can I use your remedy for his feet? A liter bottle is over $4.00. Should I use salt with iodine or Kosher Salt? Thanks Nana
You should only use non-ionized sea salt. Same thing used for healing body piercings. You can find it at any natural health food store. A 1lb container costs like $2.
the iodized salt has iodine, not a good thing to use, it will irritate the lining of your nasal passages. Use plain old table salt. Also, make sure that the water is not cold or hot. Too cold and you will feel like you had a drowning incident, too hot, you will of course get burned. YOu want the solution to be as close to normal body temperature as possible and the solution should be as close to normal saline as possible. Amy, google (sinus wash). But don't buy any expensive equipment, use a bulb syringe and you will be fine.
I checked with an experienced pharmacist on the correct ratio/proportions necessary to make a nasal saline 0.9% isotonic* solution. Use 250 ml (1 cup) of distilled water (or purified by boiling 5 min then cooled). To this, add 1/3 or 2.25 grams of non-iodized canning or pickling salt.
Note: some sites say anywhere from 1/4 to 1 tsp. The correct proportion to achieve 0.9% is exactly 1/3 teaspoon.
Store in a sealed/covered container for up to 5 days. Use the solution as close to body temperature as possible for better absorption.
* Isotonic means "same as body" saline levels.
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