I’ve long been a fan of using Listerine as an oral antiseptic: instead of flossing, I shoosh the stuff between my teeth in the morning, and have not had a tooth/gum infection since I started doing this (and I used to get them all the time).
Then I took to using Listerine at the first sign of a cold. One day I figured: the next time I get that tickly feeling at the back of my throat, I’ll start gargling the stuff as far to the back of my throat as I can without swallowing the stuff (which I did once by accident; it is HORRIBLE). Gargle, gargle, gargle, two or three times a day.
It may have been coincidence or selective memory at work, but since I have taken up this practice about 3 years ago, it seems to have helped on many occasions to ward off the sore throat and chest cold, but unfortunately leaving the nasal congestion.
Then last year I thought to myself: if Listerine can fight the good fight in the gums and throat, let’s carry the fight to the nasal cavity. I’d already been in the practice of snorting a small amount of water and holding it for 5-10 seconds before blowing my nose to, er, improve the yield in my Kleenexes. So I figured I’d add some Listerine to the water (about a 50/50 solution) and see how it went. After all, the nasal cavity connects with the throat, as anyone who has snorked milk out their nose while laughing or seen it happen can attest; maybe flushing some Listerine through that area would help.
Again, it may have been coincidence, but last winter I did the snorting and gargling of Listerine trick three times when I felt the onset of a cold coming on, and each time the symptoms stopped getting any worse and went away after 2-3 days. I’ve even grown to like the burning sensation: “Yes! Fire! Fire is the cleanser!”
When I mentioned this “trick” to coworkers who were coming down with colds, most thought I was crazy. No one ventured to try my method. They pointed out that the nasal tissues are very sensitive, which 's why people snort cocaine and other drugs. Also, if this were really effective, wouldn’t it have been discovered and promoted by the Listerine folks themselves in their advertising?
It so happens that I began to feel under the weather just today, and just did my first hit of the winter. I hope I’m not risking permanently losing or dulling my senses of smell (and taste) with this “treatment”… Am I?