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One of my daily winter health rituals: Hot flannel to the face and salt gargle.

Morning rituals are important, they are the way you want to open the day, set the tone, arrive and be present to yourself and all you do and be for the day ahead. Rituals be it: movement/exercise, breathe work, meditation, a swim, nature time, a cuppa, breakfast, singing, writing, is something that brings us joy, a feeling of aliveness and wellness, connection and awakening. Life is crazy busy for many of us and it is easy to jump straight into making school/ work lunches, getting family and self ready for the day or straight into the 'to-do' list. Making time for morning rituals supports you to: manage stress, being present and mindful, cultivating a positive and productive mindset, with focus, clarity and intention and also to experience joy and connection.

Before I do any of the above mentioned, the first thing I do when I wake up is (No! not having a glass of hot water and lemon), but do my hot flannel face press and salt/herb mouth gargle ritual, and that sounds like a mouth full! It takes about 3-5 minutes max on 'get up and go' days or on 'no hurry days', I take more time to choose the oils or wander in the garden to pick some herbs for the hot basin water and give my self 2 or 3 rounds of face steaming. It makes such a difference to the facial /oral well-being. Each of my family members who are either up making breaky or still stealing more time under the cosy doona also get a 'good morning wake up scented hot flannel' (and told to go and rinse their mouth.. I am a bossy boots). When my dear friends come to stay I treat them with this delight too. One of my best friends calls it "The vapor castle", now its official title.



  • Waking up the the face with hot and/or cold water will revive you from your slumber state and bring you to a soothing and invigorating present moment.

  • Cleansing, hydrating and relaxing the face.

  • Gets congestion in the sinus and throat moving.

  • The world suddenly looks brighter... we can all do with that.


  1. Make a basin full of steaming hot water (you may need a glove to squeeze it out) or run a face washer under very hot water until soaked and cooled a little enough for you to squeeze the water out. It has to be hot!

  2. Add a drop of essential oil to your washer or basin for the aromatherapy experience, like lemon, pine, spruce, eucalyptus or sprigs of fresh herbs in the water like rosemary.

  3. Soak the flannel and squeeze out the water, you may need to wave it about for a few seconds to cool slightly but it needs to be as hot as you can stand it. Then, press into the shape of your face, your eyes, cheeks and around your neck and throat area. Feels amazing right now! Breathe and Good Morning. Skin pores singing, hydrated and glowing!.

  4. And for extra invigoration, you can follow up with splash of cold water on your face at the end.


I make up a clinic blend of pure salt brine, herbal extracts and essential oils for myself and clients. It is best to make it up and have it on hand, otherwise it won't happen.

WHY Gargle?

  • You don't want to be swallowing all the unfriendly bacteria gathered overnight with your first glass of water.

  • Sore throat relief: Gargling with warm saltwater can help soothe a sore throat by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria.

  • Oral hygiene: Saltwater with herbs or on its own can act as a natural mouthwash, helping to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote good oral health.

  • Helps loosen mucous from the throat and sinus that is much better to move out than have hanging around, collecting more bacteria.

  • The oral/nasal cavities are one of your first lines of defense against bacteria, viruses and other unfriendly matter and keeping the tonsils, mucous membranes and oral microbiome healthy will boost the immune function and protection in that area, helping to prevent those unwanted agents from traveling further into our systems or causing local infections.

  • I have noticed with myself and clients who do this daily that they are less prone to catching colds and flu. The daily irrigation with salt and herbs cleans the passages and kills unfriendly bacteria regularly. And if you feel a sore throat coming on, do it several times a day.

  • If you are someone who makes a lot of mucous in your throat and nose/sinus- this daily practice will really benefit you. It will loosen and get the mucous moving and you will be clearing your nose and throat from phlegm for the next 10-15 minutes. And practices like steam inhalation is good for you too.

  • I prefer salt/herb gargles over harsh disinfectant types of mouth washes on a daily basis because these can kill your friendly oral bacteria over time, which are important for the function of your oral microbiome and health of your teeth.


  • You can make your own salt rinse by adding 1/2-1 teaspoon of good salt to hot water and allow to dissolve, top up with cold so it is just warm. You want it to be pretty salty.

  • You can also add a sage or thyme herb infusion (that you have made the night before with herbs bought or fresh from your garden) as the cool water you would add to your concentrated salt.

  • But as it it is labor some to make the mouth wash every day from scratch, it is best to make a big batch of concentrated salt water in a glass bottle to use daily. The concentrated brine I make is by dissolving big chunks of Himalayan salt crystals in a jar of filtered water and then adding herbal extracts or infused herb tea's like sage, thyme, myrrh, propolis and green tea and essential oils. I make about 500ml at a time.

  • Add 20ml of the salt/herb concentrate to a glass of warm water.

  • Gargle for 2o-30 seconds, really leaning back to flush the back of the throat, then spit out. Repeat 3 times. You can do this morning and evening after brushing teeth.

  • The rinse will come out of your nose too, if you have leaned back enough and this way you can clear your nose by blowing out each nostril after you spit. Its like a mini version of "Flow" nasal rinse.

  • EXTRA TIP- use 20ml of salt concentrate to dip your pikster or floss cleaning tool into, and clean between your teeth. Your mouth will feel so clean and fresh!

  • Now you can drink your first glass of hot water and lemon for the day!

And now you can walk into your day, fresh and clear, whether enjoying more self care routines before work or moving straight into the flow of the day.

Give these a go, enjoy and feel the benefits.

P.S My Mouthwash concentrate is made in bulk on a regular basis. Let me know if I can bottle some for you.

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