The sinuses (there are several pairs) are air pockets in the bones of the skull. (Yes, we all have holes in our heads.) They connect to the respiratory tract, and when the nasal passages get inflamed, the sinuses may be involved (sinusitis means “inflamed sinuses”). This inflammation may also be triggered by seasonal allergies or infection. A sinus infection might need antibiotic treatment, but home remedies may reduce the inflammation.
I just read your column in which a person with sinus problems advocates using a saline solution twice a day. I have been doing this for years when my sinuses start to act up. The only difference is I make my own saline with water and table salt.
One recipe for saline solution to wash nasal passages calls for one-quarter teaspoon salt to eight ounces of tepid water.
When I was a child, my mother told me to gargle with salt water for a sore throat. I just heard Dr. Oz on Oprah recommend salt water in a neti pot for improving sinus conditions. Are neti pots safe to use?
A neti pot looks a little like Aladdin’s lamp. You put lukewarm salt water in it, hold your head upside down, and pour the solution into one nostril until it runs out the other. This ancient Indian practice helps wash out the nose and sinuses. It should be safe. But you can achieve the same effect with a saline rinse found in most pharmacies.
Source Credits: Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic