This isn’t really a TCM article per se. Then again, I do have “musings” and “reviews” sections in my category listing, so I suppose this belongs there. Anyway, I was given this product to review and here I am about to review it. I received no monetary compensation for this review but I did get a gift pack, and of course, the product itself.
NasoClear. A saline nasal spray. Now say “saline nasal spray” ten times really fast.
We can all relate. We get blasted by a gust of wind, get a chill from an overzealous aircon, or something like that. In Chinese Medicine Terms we call that invasion of Wind-Cold. Or perhaps our bodies are oversensitive to certain allergens, and our noses react by trying to trap the allergens in snot.
No matter what, we’ve all gone through it.
We may go through it in different forms. Some have a feeling of chronic stuffiness, like some schmuck stuffed a bunch of cotton balls up the nose. Others seemingly have a constant non-stop stream of mucus. Still more have a feeling of goo dripping down the back of their mouths – the so-called post nasal drip.
There are many ways to find relief. Personally, I’ve had many patients with chronic sinusitis find relief with acupuncture treatment. Other patients find relief with certain herbal formulae – my favorite being a modification of Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San or Cang Er Zi San.
However, there comes a time when you simply need to get rid of some stuffiness there and then. In those situations, we would prefer having a handy, easy to use modality. Options available include menthol inhalants, medicated sprays, and saline sprays. There are also those who would irrigate their inner nostrils with special ceramicware. My only beef with those is that the water used must be saline, in my opinion, and clean.
Menthol inhalants make the nose feel cool, but one doesn’t really relieve the mucus, in my opinion. Medicated sprays work by causing a physiologic reaction via the autonomic nervous system – causing an artificial expansion of the airway. These work short term but are not recommended for long term use because the body eventually reacts to them. In fact, prolonged use may lead to a rebound reaction by the airway, leading to smaller air passages, and thus, more symptoms.
Our body fluids are slightly salty. That’s why when we get an intravenous line inserted, the most basic fluid being fed into the line is normal saline solution. This is meant to duplicate the salt levels in our own body fluid. Why is this important? Well, think about the what happens to our hands and fingers while we swim? Note how they get wrinkly. Why is that?
What happens is based on the concept of osmosis. This means that water tends to flow from an area of less concentration to more concentration. The water in our bodies is salty compared to swimming pool water. Hence, water tends to flow into our body, bloating us. Now, imagine that kind of water going into our nostrils that are already congested. I rest my case.
So NasoClear is a quality product of Unilab. Now you might think, what’s so special about what is essentially salt water? (nothing, as long as it’s sterile, actually) What’s so special about this particular product, seeing as there are other similar products in the market? (I’m actually about to tell you.)
In my case, my problem is the relative ease with which my poor Taft Avenue Air exposed nostrils clog up, leading to post nasal drip. While I would not get the gastrointestinal upset that many others who suffer from it do, it is still a problem for me due to the stuffiness and the irritation I get from the slime on the back of my throat. I’ve tried other saline nasal sprays before and they’ve helped.
Directions are pretty clear
For me, what sets this apart is the packaging. I’m not talking about the box. I speak of the spray mechanism itself. It comes with a nice cover that makes you unafraid to stick this thing up your schnoz over and over.
It comes with a stopper to prevent the spray activating inadvertently. Nice
The spray itself is easy to administer.
Easy to use spray, with stopper to prevent spraying while in your pocket.
All in all, I found this product useful in helping me get rid of phlegm and mucus that are already there in my upper airway and I have a hard time blowing out. I personally didn’t find it very useful in long term prevention, but that’s where acupuncture and herbs can help.