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Is Nasal Irrigation More Important Than Hand-Washing?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola


  • Flushing your sinuses may be an effective way to inhibit the progression of a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 by lowering the viral load in your sinuses
  • Research has demonstrated that nasal irrigation reduces the symptoms and duration of viral illnesses such as the seasonal flu and common cold
  • Nasal irrigation and gargling with hypertonic saline has been shown to reduce the duration of the common cold by 1.9 days and reduce transmission within the household by 35% by reducing viral shedding when done within 48 hours of symptom onset
  • You may also be able to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 migrating into your lungs by gargling a saline solution or using a povidone-iodine solution such as Betadine Sore Throat Gargle
  • Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide or colloidal silver may be even more effective. A recent review found 0.5% hydrogen peroxide effectively inactivated a range of human coronaviruses, including those responsible for SARS and MERS, within one minute of exposure

By now, you probably understand the importance of hand-washing to prevent the spread of infectious illness. But did you know flushing your sinuses might be an even better way to inhibit the progression of a viral illness such as COVID-19? In an April 20, 2020, article,1 MSN’s Best Life features the recommendations of Dr. Amy Baxter, a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nasal irrigation, she says, is a rarely discussed strategy that can help reduce the progression of illness in those who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. In an April 2, 2020, response2 to a BMJ paper about the lack of personal protection equipment on COVID-19 frontlines, professor Robert Matthews also brought up the importance and potential usefulness of oropharyngeal washing to protect health care workers from infection. As reported by MSN Best Life:3

“Nasal irrigation, or a nasal wash, has long been considered an effective way to remove viruses or bacteria from sinus cavities. Baxter has multiple reasons for believing that this approach can be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus from worsening in a sick patient.”



The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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July 3, 2020

Over 30 years ago I visited a doctor as I had sinusitis. He prescribed sulphur tablets to use in an inhalation and a camomile sinus wash. Of course it worked and I have since bought a Neti pot.

Dee Cee
July 3, 2020

I just ordered a nebulizer and a bottle of food-grade hydrogen peroxide (12%). Using food grade is important because the chemical stabilizers that are added to cheaper hydrogen peroxide are bad for your sinuses and can really harm you. Also, you have dilute the food-grade type down to 0.5% in order to use it safely. 12% will burn your skin.

Olivia Kroth
July 6, 2020

I have gone to a Voodoo doctor lately who finally taught me how to flush the toilet. Have not mastered the art of flushing the sinuses yet, but will keep learning, trying hard, learning and learning.

When will we get a text about how to flush a toilet by our Duran star writer and Literature Nobel Prize candidate, “Jayte”? Am waiting, hoping, waiting, waiting, hoping, hoping, waiting …..

Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 6, 2020

not keen on the writer either, but this comment is just mean spirited without any bother on your side to fact check. Rather antifa and very unbecoming. If you criticize then offer why the writing was trash. Your opinion has no merit. Nasal irrigation does have merit though. Author never said it was a cure but it certainly has a proven track record. Anything to reduce viral load. What is almost amusing though is that he has no stance on this. Some articles write that corona is not real, another tells you how to avoid it or cure it. If… Read more »

July 6, 2020

for once this has merit. Wash hands first of course. There is no ‘this is more important than that’ when it comes to simple precautions like this. Also boil the water before using for a sinus flush since water, even treated water straight out of the tap can harbor amoebas etc. Then let cool down to the right temp for use. If used regularly boil a bunch of water and store in a glas jar for later use. It’s not a cure, but it can certainly help. For people who travel frequently, very useful right after a flight.

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