The Dummies’ Guide to Neti Pots : A Nasal Irrigation Tool

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Those who use a Neti pot really love it, whereas those who don’t, think it’s pretty disgusting.

By the way what is a Neti pot? A Neti pot is a container that looks like a small teapot, it is used to clean out one’s nose. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose.

It is an essential tool for the practice called “nasal irrigation”. This practice is also called Neti and has been used by practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga in India for thousands of years.

Traditional methods are like coins, they grow dearer, as they grow old.

Although the practice of nasal irrigation originated in India, today there are numerous people in Europe and the United States who use this simple technique as part of their daily routine. In the United States sinus problem is the one of the reason people see a doctor.

Neti Pot for Sinus HEalth
Source: Suzanne Schroeter on Flickr

With increasing pollution and chemicals in our environment, there is an enormous rise in the number of people who suffer various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses.

Does Neti Pot Work?

Yes, it does work. This nasal irrigation tool is one of most effective tool available. People practice Neti on a daily basis to keep their sinuses clean and breathing easier. Most of the people who practice nasal irrigation, find it soothing and pleasant.

Neti Pot Helps Cure Sinus Infection and Allergy Symptoms

If your nasal passages are blocked because of pollution, pollen, dust and other irritants, then nasal irrigation is one of the simplest technique to be of invaluable benefit. While there exist numerous advanced techniques using various herbal oils and herbs, the simplest Neti technique uses water for the irrigation process.

Lukewarm water is used to gently cleanse the nasal passages. A soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. Use of a Neti pot is recommended to ease this process.

Many health practitioners consider the nasal passages to be the doorway for most diseases. The nasal passage, with its finely-tuned mechanism of hairs and mucus membranes, which are intended to catch and restrain foreign entities from entering our bodies, actually is one of the ways nature protects us from diseases.

Unfortunately, this filtering mechanism can become overloaded through high exposure to pollution, chemicals, fragrances, pollen and dust. Cleansing this filter regularly allows it to operate more efficiently.

Neti is a powerful technique that works wonders for chronic sinusitis and allergies. It has a remarkable effect on upper respiratory tract infections, especially hay fever.

Neti pot should be used according to one’s nostrils and with a smoothly tapered conical tip at the spout end. This facilitates support on the nostril walls of varying sizes.

Moreover, this minimizes spillage as it plugs the inlet nostril. Steps for using Neti pot and homemade Neti Pot solution recipe:

Neti Pot Solution Recipe and How To Use a Neti Pot?

  1. Prepare the saline solution with lukewarm water and fill the Neti pot. Do not use hot water as it is irritating and dangerous. While cool water is not soothing.
  2. Tilt your head to a side and insert the spout of Neti pot gently into raised nostril creating a seal between the Neti pot and nostril.
  3. If it drains out of your mouth, lower you your forehead in relation to your chin.
  4. If you are calm, the water flows right through. But if you aren’t, it just won’t flow. If you keep breathing through your mouth, relaxed, the water should gently flow through the nose on its own.
  5. Raise the Neti pot slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution (Neti Pot solution) through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril. During the process breathe through your mouth.
  6. When you’re done, exhale firmly several times to clear the nasal passages.
  7. Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.


Pros of Neti Pot:

  1. One of the chief benefits of the neti pot as a sinus treatment is that it has limited side effects.
  2. Neti pots and other nasal irrigation devices remove the dirt and debris from cilia, the small hairs in the nose, and mucus.
  3. Another upside to the neti pot is that using it for sinus pain may also help alleviate other symptoms.
  4. It works best to treat the symptoms of thick, dry, or crusty mucus or chronic sinus problems.

Cons of Neti Pot:

  1. The biggest known downside to neti pot use is; long term neti pot use may cause potential damage to the immune mucosal layer in the nose.
  2. The neti pot is not a cure-all. People who have tried a neti pot but are still experiencing sinus pain should see a doctor.
  3. Although neti pots are generally well tolerated, using undistilled water can lead to excess bacteria forming in the sinus cavities, which can lead to serious illness or death.
  4. As it helps remove the bad mucus, saline may also dilute or wash away these beneficial antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents.

Used occasionally, a Neti Pot can effectively provide relief from nasal congestion and pressure, just make sure to take proper precautions when cleaning, storing, and using your neti pot.

Neti Pot Instructions : Things to Keep in Mind

Neti Pot is no doubt a great nasal irrigation tool to cure sinus infection and other nasal allergy. However, while practicing you are probably inviting Neti Pot dangers.

  1. Nasal irrigation is generally considered to be safe, but a small percentage of regular users experience mild side effects such as minor nasal irritation.
  2. People whose immune system isn’t fully functioning should ask their doctor before trying nasal irrigation because they are at greater risk for infections.
  3. Anyone who is prone to frequent nosebleeds or who doesn’t have a good swallowing mechanism might want to avoid nasal irrigation.
  4. Do not use tap water for nasal irrigation. If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses by using a Neti pot, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution.
  5. Rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry otherwise it can harbor bacteria that can cause infection.

How Often Can You Use a Neti Pot?

Three times a week was often enough once symptoms subsided. No matter how well one cleans your nasal irrigation device, you should not keep it forever. Just as you toss out your toothbrush every few months, throw out your Neti pot and buy a new one.

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