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I got my first sinus infection in college, and get them every year or so. My first sinus infection drove me nuts. It lasted about 2 weeks. I started off using medicated nasal decongestant spray. It worked well for 3 days, until I had to stop using it per the use instructions. After that I used saline nasal spray, which helped ease the symptoms a bit. But it didn’t help me get better, and I was still uncomfortable. I needed to find some way to make my sinus infections go away faster, or better yet, prevent myself from getting sinus infections.
Note: I am not a doctor, and I am not attempting to make any medical claims. I am simply subjectively observing how uses of certain products make me feel.
I first researched sinus infections. What causes them? Most sinus infections are viral, so antibiotics do nothing to make the infection go away. In small percentage of cases sinus infections are bacterial and antibiotics may help, but it’s impossible to determine which infection you have. Because so few cases of sinus infections are bacterial, and due to my desire to avoid antibiotics (they’re so over-prescribed, it’s contributing to antibiotic-resistant stains of bacteria), I ruled out that as a cure for my sinus infection.
About this time, I started hearing more about essential oils. I already knew that many researchers claim that tea tree oil (melaleuca) was antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. I had found that peppermint oil acts as a decongestant for me, though short lasting. A little more research found that some researchers claim that lavender oil is anti-inflammatory, and eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antiseptic, and antibacterial.
I decided to combine these oils with saline and try it as a nasal decongestant spray and sinus infection buster.
Optional but helpful: small funnel that fits in your spray bottle
Makes 1/4 cup (2 oz). You can scale down but I’ve found I like to mix at least 1/4 cup at a time and fill multiple bottles.
1. Fill the measuring cup or microwave safe container with just over 1/4 cup distilled water. Place the water in the microwave and heat until the water boils. Keep heating the water until it has boiled for 1 minute (the CDC says this will kill pathogens and make water safe to drink).
2. Carefully pour 1/32-1/16th teaspoon finely ground salt (grind course salt with a mortar and pestle and measure after grinding) into the water and stir to dissolve. Allow the water to cool.
3. Pour the saline water into your spray bottles.
4. Add 1 drop per ounce of water of each tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils. (If you have a 1 oz bottle, 1 drop each oil per bottle. If you have a 2 oz bottle, 2 drops each oil per bottle.)
5. Secure the spray cover on each bottle. Shake well to mix.
6. To avoid burning yourself, ensure the nasal decongestant spray solution cools to room temperature before using. Shake before each use. Spray 1-2 sprays in each nostril as needed.
[As I state in my Disclaimer, I am not a doctor. I describe the way I use this product; use this product at your own discretion.]
I use this nasal decongestant spray almost daily, before bed and when I wake up. I get congested when I lay down/sleep, so this helps keep my sinuses open a little more. I also think this may help prevent me from getting sinus infections. I’ve only gotten one in the 2 years I’ve used this spray, when previously I got at least 1-2 per year.
For a sinus infection, I use at least 2-3 times per day or as needed to ease my symptoms.
Since I have sinus pressure issues when flying, I use this spray before takeoff, as needed during flight, and post-flight. By doing this, I have eased much of my flying-induced sinus pain and pressure.
Any time I feel sinus congestion, I use this nasal decongestant spray.
This nasal decongestant spray costs me $1.89 per ounce to make-including the spray bottle! 1 oz of just the saline-oil solution is only $0.06. Six cents! The least expensive saline spray I have found to purchase is $1.38 per half ounce, or $2.76 per ounce. My recipe is cost effective, all natural, and easy for me to make!
Water – $0.99/gallon at Walmart. (.25 cups/16 cups)x$0.99=$0.015
Salt – $10.45/16 oz. 351 servings of 1/4 tsp per 16 oz. 1404 – 1/16 tsps per 16 oz. $10.45/1404=$0.007
Tea tree oil – ($17.00/3 oil pack)/1 oz. (1 drop/(591 drops/oz))x$5.67=$0.0096
Lavender oil – ($17.00/3 oil pack)/1 oz. (1 drop/(591 drops/oz)x$5.67=$0.0096