Geshundeit! Don’t Forget To Flush.


Spring may be the sneeziest time of year. As I witness another poor soul enduring an unrelenting sequence of sneezes (allergy ‘attack’), whose face and eyes are obviously itchy and irritated, it’s difficult for me to keep quiet. I too have been in allergy hell.

There is a solution to enjoying the outdoors during the height of the Spring Allergy Season. I’m not talking anti-histamines or seasonal shots, or even a pocket full of tissues. I continue to be surprised how many don’t know about the inexpensive homeopathic remedy called sinus rinsing. With it, there is no need to accept the misery.

Are you flushing? You should try flushing, I gently tell the stranger honking into his tissue. The concerned stare back at me tells the answer.

For me, a healthy, happy self is as important as brushing teeth, drinking water, and eating fresh veggies from the garden. Flushing is such an improvement over the pill-popping side effects (and cost) that I now use it nearly every single day without so much as thinking about it. When something works that well, why not share the good news?

I don’t plug many products, and this home flushing kit has nothing to do with toilets or kids putting things down them. Sinus rinsing — I call it ‘flushing’ — is the non-invasive solution to a body’s histamine response (which isn’t fun). Allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust may have their place in nature, but they certainly don’t belong up your nose.

Illu nose nasal cavities
Image via Wikipedia

As the live oak trees and wildflowers and (soon after) ligustru shrubs share their Gold Dust with the world to propagate their species, our immune systems treat those tiny particles as a germ or pathogen. The resulting response to these invaders is what we lovingly refer to as allergies. If left unchecked, a more insidious secondary sinus infection can result.

Your body creates mucosa (a/k/a snot) and sneeze reactions to help expel the little intruders. Should pollen build up in the sinuses, the histamine response worsens. Flushing is a matter of assisting your body in what it’s already doing.

When the tip of my nose gets tingly, that’s the signal to rinse. The bottle of distilled water is warmed for just a few seconds in the microwave (my preferred temp), with the pre-measured isotonic packet shaken in.

Relief is immediate as particles are pushed out of the sinuses and the histamine response abates. Perhaps another repeat in the middle of the day or an hour or so before go to bed is all it takes to stay sane. It’s like a warm bath for the nose.

A few things to know before you rinse:

  • ears, nose, throat, and sinuses are all connected
  • tears and snot are just the right salinity for cells, and so is isotonic rinse water
  • never put tap water — packet or not — up your nose as chemicals in treated water are not for sensitive nasal cells; they literally implode to achieve osmotic equilibrium which is why pool water up the nose and on the eyes really hurts
  • you’ll want to rinse over a sink to minimize the mess inside, but sometimes I’m so dirty after lawn chores, I’ll just do it outside in the yard instead
  • rinse water is pushed up one nostril, fills the sinuses, then drains with any pathogens out of the other one
  • I like to sing a silly song while sinus rinsing to keep the rinse water from going down my throat and to entertain my kids (it just looks weird singing while water is squirting out your nose)
  • if the rinse water is draining down your throat, you’re either doing it wrong or your sinuses may be blocked, impeding flow out the other nostril
  • sinus rinsing is a preventive, not a cure
  • we take this kit with us as a quick eye wash at the beach should sand get into the eyes

After working in the yard, it’s encouraging to see all the chunks (mulch, leaf debris, etc.) that emerge from my head that would still be lodged in there the next day. Out with the demons!

Watch the short demonstration video below. Try it! It’s weird at first, but that passes. It doesn’t hurt at all, costs only a little (starter kit, replaced every 60 days), and will help immensely in keeping your eyes and nose clear for the wonderful sights and smells of a spring spent outdoors. My favorite!

Happy Allergy Season!

8 thoughts on “Geshundeit! Don’t Forget To Flush.

    1. So glad to know! How can more people NOT be doing this? Isn’t it fabulous? It has been years since I had a sinus infection, and I would normally get 2-3 per year before I began rinsing.


  1. Man, I wish I’d known about this when I was in Tokyo, where the air is thick with cedar pollen this time of year (someone went a little nuts planting cedar after the war, as part of the effort to rebuild). A significant percentage of people develop an allergy after years of exposure – hence all the masks you see in Tokyo this time of year – and I was one of them. By the end of my stay in Japan, I could barely breathe in cedar pollen season. Good news is that so far, I don’t seem to be allergic to LA.

    One of the many suffers I caught on film (well, virtual film):


    1. “Pollenution.” That’s a great word, JF, for that picture. Thanks for the link.

      Our bodies are fine-tuned to keep the foreign matter out or fight off intruders that make it in. Sometimes, they just need a little help to keep from getting overwhelmed.


    1. Don’t be desperate! Try the squeeze bottle — I find it much easier to use (and more effective for a rapid-flush) than the NetiPot. Plus, the squeeze bottle system can double for flushing sand out of an eye (osmotic solution is easy on the eye too). We bring it with us to the beach.


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