The Benefits of a Neti Pot

Have you ever used a Neti Pot? What’s a Neti Pot you ask? Well, a Neti Pot(sometimes spelled “Netti”) is a small plastic pot (or it could be ceramic or metal) that’s used to rinse your nasal passages. The idea is to wash away mucus buildup and soothe irritated nasal passages in a more natural way.

I had heard about them from several people before I broke down and bought one of my own.

I have found that when used regularly it really does make a difference! I typically have my worst trouble with allergies in the Fall…I think it’s the ragweed that does me in. But this Fall has been extremely easy for me in that respect.

While I did take Zyrtec off and on for a couple weeks back in August (before I started using my neti), I haven’t had any since then. In past seasons I’ve had to take allergy meds consistently from late Summer until the dead of Winter.

Here are the basic steps for using one:

1. Fill the pot with lukewarm water

2. Add some salt and stir until dissolved. Sea salt is recommended, but some manufacturers will include a supply of salt with the Neti Pot with your purchase. I use the SinuCleanse brand pot, which comes with a good supply of saline powder packets.

3. Lean over the sink, place the spout of the pot into one nostril and then tilt your head slightly so the water will pour through that nostril, through your sinus passage and come out the other nostril. (Sounds gross, I know, but once you get over the grossness of it it’s really not that bad.)

4. Blow the water out of the nostril you began with.

5. Repeat #’s 3 & 4 with the other nostril.

Here are some other things I’ve read/learned:

1. Breathe with your mouth open. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a bunch of salty water leaking from your sinuses into the back of your throat. Sometimes even with my mouth open I’ll have some leakage, but I’m getting better at learning how to breathe.

2. Don’t snort the solution into your nose. That would be bad. I guarantee that if you do you’ll be very sorry.

3. If you feel stinging in your nose area, try using less salt until you build up your tolerance. (I find that if my sinuses are swollen I’ll feel some stinging in my nose, or worse, behind my eye. While I find it quite unpleasant, it’s not a show stopper. For the eye burning, I apply a little pressure with the tip of my finger to the upper inside corner of the eye area, below the end of my eyebrow. That usually relieves the stinging for me.)

4. I’ve also noticed that my left sinus passage is typically more swollen than the right and that if I rinse my right sinus first, then try the left, I’m more likely to experience burning in the left nostril. But if I start with my left, that doesn’t happen.

As I’ve mentioned, I use the SinuCleanse brand pot. I bought it at Walgreens, on sale for $14.99. I’m on my second neti. My first one met a horrible demise…I dropped it into the toilet one morning as I was loading it with salt before getting into the shower. Sure, I had to reach in to pluck it out, and, yes, I could have run it through the dishwasher and it probably would have been just fine…but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it again after that.

That brings up another thing. In all the demos I’ve seen I’ve never heard it suggested that you could use it in the shower, but that’s actually my preferred place/time to use it. I typically use it only once a day, so I figure…why not use it in the shower? I’ve already got my makeup off, and if anything goes wrong, I won’t have to change my clothes!

And speaking of frequency, because this method is drug-free, you can use it as often as you need.

There are lots of videos on YouTube on the subject, but few are really informative. Most are of people making it appear like a horrible experience. I watched several of them and picked out one that I felt was helpful.

This video goes into some history of the neti pot and why you might want to use one. It also talks about some other beneficial practices. It is by Ellen Kamhi from It’s about six minutes long, so get comfy…

Sinus Relief Naturally

Have a happy, healthy day!

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