Nose-Cleaning Salts

The first in Pharmacopoeia Germanica, an occasional series featuring some of the mysterious products you will find in German pharmacies:


"Emser Nose-Cleaning Salts — physiological — with natural Ems salt.  Medicinal product for purification of the nose." 

You snort them, apparently.  My friend swears by them.  "It’s like breathing ocean air!  You should try it!"  I haven’t worked up the courage yet.

9 thoughts on “Nose-Cleaning Salts

  1. The package inscription is an indication for westernworld’s opinion. Why should one snort “Spülsalz”? “Spülen” is “to flush” or “to wash”.


  2. Oh yes, I agree. Once you get used to it you’ll never want to stop. Nasal (or sometimes sinus, although it doesn’t really reach the sinuses) irrigation is all the rage in the U.S. as well. But you don’t need special Emser Nasenspülsalz to do it. That’s just a gimmick, although the Germans do like to pretend that they invented the whole idea.


  3. What do you mean, “a gimmick”? I couldn’t make it through the day without Nasenspülsalz! The fresh breath keeps me going!


  4. This is kind of silly… I don’t know what to make of this.

    I once worked in an overheated office with a laser printer. Had a bad problem with nasal congestion and nasal irrigation was a help. Over at Wikipedia there’s an article about this and some links. You don’t need Emser. It’s easy enough to make your own saline solution.

    But, of course, you’re not really serious.

    What this might be, Andrew, is yet another shard of the broken trans-Atlantic mirror in which you hope to catch a glimpse of your identity.

    American or European or both (and both are not really possible)? The recurring question of this blog. Hence the continual juxtaposition of the two cultures.

    I’m thinking–I’m assuming that, in presenting these artifacts of German life like a mock anthropologist, you are resolving your own crisis of identity. What is really strange is that your audience consists mainly of Germans and not Americans.

    Of course, if you’re having fun, more power to you.

    But I wonder how American you are. Born in Brussels, as I was reading recently on your website. Hmm. Father in business, diplomacy? Starting off life that way, even if you moved to America at an early age, would surely implant in your mind doubts and uncertainties about Europe and America and your relationship to either of them.


  5. If you really feel your nose needs cleaning and you’re into true artefacts of German life, try Pöschl’s Schmalzler (absolute market leader for Bavarian snuff). You WILL need to sniff it and it’s not for sissies, apparently. And the cleansing effect to your nose is guaranteed.


  6. Of course it’s really easy to make your own saline solution, except that it is much more pleasant if you get the proportions right. So, using a little overpriced package of Emser salts and a Nasendusche (the German equivalent of the Neti pot) seems worth it to me.


  7. at first, it seems quite strange to even try this. but giving it a second thought, it proves to be useful. preparing saline solution is easy,but with the right proportions its a different case.


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