A listener emails to ask for the origin of the expression “lukewarm”. It would be lovely if there was a story here about a certain Sir Luke of Warwick whose support of King John vacillated somewhat – sometimes he was hot for the King, and keen on supporting his cause, and then on other occasions his enthusiasm ran cold...“wandering about like brown’s cows” means ambling around like a drunk. And that is the most likely source.
It would be nice if there was such a story, but it’s not the case.
The first time I tried it, the sensation was a little unpleasant, but after that I didn't mind it at all. I quickly learned that making certain you have allowed the water to drain out before standing upright is important. About 2 hours after I tried it the first time, I ducked my head while getting into my car and was nonplussed to see (and feel) water rushing from my nose in a torrent! I was happy that there was no one in the car with me - otherwise it would have been fairly embarrassing. After that, I tried to make sure that I stood over the sink with my head down until all the water drains out.
Is it efficacious? Most definitely. I had been having sinus headaches for weeks before I tried it, and while they haven't completely gone away, they have been less frequent and of less intensity. For the first time in ages, I can sleep most nights without a "Breathe R*ght" bandage on my nose. If you are having nasal problems, I think you may want to investigate a Neti Pot.
So where does "lukewarm" come into it? Last week, mr. kenju saw the Neti Pot on our sink, and asked if it was "his". I said, well, it can be.....meaning I had already used it and there was still some water in it that he was welcome to use. He asked what I meant by saying "It can be." Long story short, it turns out that he thought we each had a neti pot, and on learning that we only had one to share, he was a bit grossed out by knowing that he had put something up his nostrils that had recently been in mine. I had to laugh. Don't married couples share lots of things (and body orifices) like that???
After that, he decided that he ought to use sterile water when he did the nasal irrigation. The directions that came with our pot say to use sterile or distilled water, but that's a pain in the neck ; requiring boiling it and letting it cool. Do you know how hard it is to get water to a temperature considered "lukewarm" in a microwave? It's next to impossible. So tap water is the way to go, in my opinion. If you think that your tap water has cleanliness issues - then by all means use some method to get sterile water - but ours is fine (having been tested several times) - so I use that. When he decided to prepare his own pot, he asked me what temperature "lukewarm" was - and that's how I got on the subject. I think I've known what was meant by 'lukewarm' since I was a child, and it was odd to me that he didn't really know. But now we know the derivation of the word as well.