Cleaning Our Sinuses of Viruses

Just as we can clean viruses from countertops, we can also clean them from our sinuses and lungs

Cleaning Our Sinuses of Viruses
Two of the most direct, effective, and safe ways to combat the early stages of a viral infection are all but being ignored.(nullplus/Shutterstock)
Ashley Turner
Did you know that one of the most important ways to reduce your chance of succumbing to a virus is cleaning the nasal passages and throat? Fostering oral and nasal hygiene is exponentially more effective than masking and sanitizing everything. In fact, Dr. Peter McCullough, a highly credentialed and published cardiologist, internist, and epidemiologist, says this strategy alone has been shown to reduce progressive disease by up to 75 percent.

Some viruses live in the nasopharynx (the part of the throat that goes up into the nasal cavity) for any duration of time up to 10 days before causing respiratory problems and inflammation. However, many compounds kill viruses upon contact, such as hydrogen peroxide, iodine, essential oils, and saline (saltwater).

There are various solutions that have been used as prophylactic and healing measures for COVID-19. It's best to use distilled water, as tap water can contain an ameba called Naegleria fowleri that is able to trigger a dangerous brain infection. Additionally, tap water has minerals and can have bacteria that irritate nasal cavities. To prepare, combine one of the following solutions in a neti pot.

The solutions:

  • 2 teaspoons betadine (povidone iodine) and 6 ounces water. You can use 1/2 teaspoon Lugol’s iodine instead.
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of 3 percent food-grade hydrogen peroxide and 8 ounces pure warm water
  • 1 teaspoon colloidal silver in 8 ounces pure warm water
To prevent burning in the nasal cavity, stir 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher or unrefined salt into the solution until dissolved.

Use a neti pot to rinse the sinus cavity using a few ounces of the solution per nostril. Gargle with the rest of the solution and spit it out. It's advised to use a glass or ceramic neti pot to avoid plastic exposure.

Seeking to prevent or aid the body in illness? Do a nasal rinse or nasal spray with the solution above followed by mouthwash every time you're in a densely populated public place or have a known exposure. This can be done up to twice daily.

If you have an active infection, rinse up to four times daily. Follow it up with a quality mouthwash. I favor mouthwashes utilizing antimicrobial essential oils such as cinnamon bark, orange, clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

Keep in mind, overuse of nasal and oral virucides has the potential to negatively impact the microbiome within the sinus cavity. The delicate balance of microflora inhabiting the area can be disrupted with constant exposure to antimicrobials such as iodine, colloidal silver, or hydrogen peroxide.

While natural compounds are usually more protective than synthetic ingredients that go in and wipe out the microbial ecosystem, it's wise to be judicious with frequency of use. This strategy is intended for short-term use. Please keep in mind that this isn't medical advice and is intended for educational purposes only. Please check with your doctor before starting this therapy.

With up to 75 percent effectiveness, nasal virucidals should be one of our primary methods of contagion control. I wish this were a bigger part of the mainstream conversation and approach.


Nebulizing can offer a powerful treatment to the airways. A nebulizer is a little machine that changes liquid into a mist of fine droplets that are inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask. Nebulizing allows for various health promoting compounds to be quickly administered in direct contact with the lungs and entire respiratory system.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a mild antiseptic agent that is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. It is a safe, affordable, and mild disinfectant that has a wide variety of uses from cleaning surfaces and minor wounds to using it as a mouth and nasal rinse.

Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen when applied to affected areas which causes foaming. This occurs because most living cells contain catalase, an enzyme which interacts with H202 and converts it into water and oxygen. The oxygen free radicals have a negative charge that damages the cell walls of pathogens. Interestingly, white blood cells produce H202 to fight pathogens.

While a quick google search will reveal many arguments against nebulizing H202, many holistic practitioners have used this remedy for respiratory health with great success. Remember, many agents kill the virus on contact, including hydrogen peroxide. Food grade hydrogen peroxide used in an appropriate dilution can be a safe, short term intervention.

The Solution:

250cc saline (8 ounces) 3 cc 3 percent food-grade H202 (3ml or roughly .5 teaspoon) This makes a concentration of 0.04 percent

Saline can be prepared by boiling 4 cups of water. Once boiling, remove from the heat and stir in two teaspoons of unrefined salt. Mix until completely dissolved and allow to cool to room temperature before using. This is a .9 percent dilution.

Nebulize this solution as a preventative measure as well as a strategy for early acute illness. If you are coming down with symptoms, you can nebulize this solution up to every hour or two.

Use a nebulizer that plugs into the power source as opposed to a battery operated one. Typically, the plug-in versions are much more powerful and effective over the battery operated models.

Please keep in mind that this is not medical advice, and is intended for educational purposes only. I am not a physician. Please check with your doctor before utilizing this remedy.

Dr. Ashley Turner is a traditionally trained naturopath and board-certified doctor of holistic health for Restorative Wellness Center. As an expert in functional medicine, Dr. Ashley is the author of the gut-healing guide “Restorative Kitchen” and “Restorative Traditions,” a cookbook comprised of non-inflammatory holiday recipes.