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The coronavirus has seemingly stopped the world from spinning and has resulted in over 320,000 deaths worldwide. At this time, there is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus and doctors and scientists are moving fast to find a cure. Amy Baxter, an MD from Atlanta, says that if if you have the virus there may be something you can do to fight it. Baxter is known for her forward-thinking approach to well-established beliefs and she is recommending a solution no one else is talking about. She claims that infected patients can attack the virus with nasal irrigation.

3. Nasal Irrigation

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Baxter says that she “believe[s] strongly that nasal irrigation is the key to reducing COVID-19 progression of symptoms and infectivity.” And more importantly, her research and discussions with ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) and pulmonary colleagues support her theory.

Nasal irrigation has been around for over 5,000 years and can rid your sinuses of bacteria and viruses. Baxter says that recent studies on the flu and other colds show that nasal irrigation can lessen the symptoms and duration of the sickness. Studies have not yet been conducted to see if this is the same for coronavirus.

2. Why It Works

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Baxter believes this method could work to stop the virus from overrunning a person’s immune system for a few reasons. The first reason is that “SARS-CoV-2’s viral load is heaviest in sinuses/nasal cavity.”

The second reason is that coronavirus is more deadly in the elderly and men. Baxter says, “Children don’t develop full sinuses until teens; males have larger cavities than women, and the cavities are largest [in those] over 70 years.”

In addition, Baxter says that the reason deaths are so low in southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Laos) is because “they wear masks, and yes, they bow and don’t shake hands, but the biggest difference between them and places like South Korea or Japan is that nasal irrigation is practiced by 80 percent of people.”

1. How to Do It

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If you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has it, here is Baxter’s guide on how to do a nasal wash:

“Do a hypertonic nasal irrigation with 1/2 tsp. povidone-iodine in the a.m. and in the evening with 8 oz. boiled lukewarm tap water, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. salt per cup H20.”

She recommends using the NeilMed sinus rinse bottle instead of a neti pot because the pressure seems to be more effective.

If this concept is still foreign to you, here is Baxter’s fun analogy to Lord of the Rings. She says, “Imagine the nasal cavities are Saruman’s orcs, building pits of flame. It takes a while to create enough invaders to march down to the throat, then the lungs. During the five days of non-smelling, headache, and/or sore throat as the rose-crowned orcs multiply, imagine flushing the whole works out twice a day.” This “gives the immune system time to figure out what it needs while reducing the enemy.”

In summary, nasal irrigation may be effective in avoiding respiratory problems arising from COVID-19. Flushing the sinuses can stop the virus from spreading to your lungs and causing damage throughout the body. A nasal wash is a safe and risk-free solution to try.

Related: COVID-19 15 Ways to Protect Yourself
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