I’m doing rinses 1 through 3 with a NeilMed Sinus Rinse Bottle, alternating:

1. Manuka Honey sinus rinse, at a ratio of 1 tsp honey to 16 oz saline, which is 1 tsp kosher salt.

2. Iodine sinus wash (avoid if you can’t tolerate iodine!). 1/2 tsp 5% iodine (Betadine brand).

3. 1 plain saline rinse, 1 tsp kosher salt to 16 oz water.

This routine requires a lot of distilled water, so I make my own at home with a counter-top distiller.

Keep in mind with rinses, less is more. Don’t squeeze the rinse bottle too hard, only do the minimum amount of rinsing required for improvement, take days off if inflammation increases, resist the urge to blow forcefully after a rinse – even if you think it can dislodge mucus.

For proper drainage of rinse water, carefully lean forward over a bathtub or sink and tilt your head to the side, as if you’re looking up a chimney. Don’t force this if your neck is fragile. Gentle blowing once or twice per side with a tissue should clear your nasal passages.

Also, do rinses early enough in the day that you’ve got time for sinuses to dry out before bed. Taking a shower after may encourage further drainage. If you’re too congested to breathe through your nose, it’s best to avoid sinus rinses, otherwise you risk trapping water in your sinuses which can worsen infection.

Manuka honey and Iodine each kill staph but in higher concentrations can inflame tissue and harm cilia, the tiny hairs that keep mucus flowing. Increasing cilia response can be a slow process, but once this starts, it becomes a virtuous circle.

Healthy cilia will begin clearing infected mucus and removing irritants, which soon leads to even better sinus ecology.

I’m a patient, and am following my ENT’s advice. Speak to your doctor before trying this protocol, and remember that once-daily plain saline rinses may be equally (if not more) effective, depending on your particular issues.

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