Flush Those Germs!

Three simple steps to protect your nose and throat from invaders this cold and flu season.
by Kate Hanley

It isn’t just for fresh breath. In a Japanese study, gargling with water three times a day was found to dramatically reduce the incidence of upper respiratory infections.

Whether you use the small watering can–shaped neti pot or an over-the-counter saline nasal spray, giving your sinuses a daily rinse with salt water helps the mucous membranes function optimally. The result? Invaders are more likely to get flushed out of the body before they can take hold, says Jennifer Johnson, ND.

A nasal sanitizer operates on the same principle as the ubiquitous hand-sanitizer—a base of alcohol acts as an antiseptic and kills germs. A nasal sanitizer (such as Nozin; nozin.com) is used on the rim of the nostril to prevent airborne bugs from penetrating the body.