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Salt Water Nasal Rinse May Prevent Colds

January 02, 2008 | 12,994 views

Daily salt water 'irrigation' of the nasal passages may help protect against the common cold.

Nasal irrigation treatment was "effective" in reducing overall incidence of colds among practitioners, according to Dr. Richard Ravizza of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. Ravizza presented the findings recently at the 50th Scientific Assembly of the American Academy of Family Physicians, held in San Francisco. Ravizza told conference attendees that nasal irrigation has been a part of yoga health-oriented "cleaning rituals" for centuries. He explained that many practitioners use a small, narrow-spouted teapot-like utensil, called a "neti," to pour lightly-salted warm water into one of the nostrils. The head is then moved so that the water runs out. Adherents also make what Ravizza called "forceful exhalations" to expunge the remaining water, and further cleanse the nasal passages of residue.

The authors found that students who used the daily saline rinse experienced a significant reduction in the number of colds contracted compared with non-users. On average, those engaging in nasal irrigation had fewer colds over the study period, the authors say, compared with the placebo or untreated groups. Of course, forcing water up one's nose is not for everyone. But Ravizza noted that, after an initial week-long adjustment period, "50% of the subjects who formed the nasal irrigation group characterized (the procedure) as pleasant. Many said it was soothing, others said it was comforting." Of the remainder, 21% said they had "neutral" feelings regarding the procedure, while 29% found it uncomfortable.

COMMENT: Proper hygiene is integral to optimal health. As mentioned in a past newsletter, Advanced Hygiene includes a twice daily facial dip which may not be as hash as the "neti" pot as one merely submerges one’s face in water and lightly inhales and then expels the water. I fully believe that this may a major essential ingredient to slowing down the aging process and improving overall health. I will have an article posted on Advanced Hygiene in my Articles section on my web site later this week.

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