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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.
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I am asthmatic and I use saline water. Do I need to get it from the chemist or can I use one of your recipes? Thanks for any help you can give me. I mix this with Ventolin solution.
I was going to say the same thing as fatboyslimsmom. I too have to use solutions for breathing using a nebulizer and would never dream of taking the chance of a lung infection from a non-sterile product and also what if you accidentally did not mix the exact correct amounts. :-( I know all too well how expensive these medicines are, but please be safe and get them from your chemist. Saving a bit of money is not worth risking a long stint in the hospital or possible death!
If you use unsterile saline solutions you risk obtaining a bacterial infection or it can even worsen your asthma if it is caused by allergens. The sterile bottles of saline really are not that expensive either for the amount of use they get. Take care.
I have been having problems with breathing. My nose seems to be stuffed pretty much from the inside, but when I blow my nose, there is nothing there, no mucus, just something I could not detect. My nose remains blocked at all times and it makes me desperate during the day and also during the night. Sleeping becomes a problem since I can't breathe. The chemical solution given by doctors, helps, but since I need it several times a day, I did not want to bother any doctor for more. So I wanted to make my own nasal drops at home. The pure saline doesn't help, so I mixed 1 bottle of chemical nasal drops with 6 bottles of self made saline solution. And that helps. The saline solution itself doesn't help me breathing again. It perhaps clears the nose inside for a moment, but it could not enable me to breathe normally.
So my question is: is there a saline solution which works in my case? Which means without the use of the chemical nasal drops from the doctor. Any help please?
By Ghanshyaam R. from Paramaribo, Suriname
See your physician you could have an obstruction.
You could have a sinus infection, in which case you need antibiotics or steroids. If drops and sprays aren't working then something is wrong.