Xylitol is a natural sweetener harvested from corn cobs and birch which is commonly used as a sugar substitute. It looks like sugar and tastes sweet like sugar but has amazing health benefits. Xylitol has been used in the dental industry as an additive to gums as Xylitol has been shown to help combat cavities (which is a biofilm). Xylitol nasal irrigations have the additive benefit of not only flushing the nasal cavities and sinuses out with irrigation, but it also has an antimicrobial and anti fungal effect as well. Sinus infections are frequently also caused by biofilms developing inside the nasal/sinus cavities which is almost impenetrable by saline alone. Xylitol has also been shown to decrease nasal congestion to a greater degree than nasal saline. So the next time you are at your local organic grocery store, be sure you look on the shelves for this cheap sugar alternative to add to your nasal irrigation regimen.
How to make Xylitol irrigations at home:
In an 8 ounce nasal sinus irrigation bottle:
- Add 8 oz of distilled water
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of Xylitol
Use 4 oz on each side once or twice a day.
Be sure you frequently clean your irrigation bottle or change it out regularly so that you are not reinfecting your sinuses. Lastly, Xylitol can be life-threatening to animals. Be sure to take the proper precautions around your pets.