The way the neti pot works is that a saline solution is poured up the nose to clear the nasal passages of mucus and anything else that's hanging around up there (think dust, pollen, etc.). This prevents the mucus from pooling in the sinuses, where it would provide the consummate breeding grounds for bacteria. Some people use a neti pot only when they feel a cold coming on while others use it daily as a preventative. In any case neti pots are fairly cheap and not so difficult to find.
What Exactly Is a Neti Pot?
A neti pot is a small ceramic or plastic pitcher. It has two openings, one at the top and another in the spout. It is filled with salt water to cleanse your nasal passages. Cleansing your sinuses in this manner relieves symptoms associated with colds, flu, sinus infections, nasal dryness, allergies, and other sinus irritations. It also helps reduce swelling of the nasal membranes. A sinus wash is recommended as part of your daily personal hygiene regimen, especially for those who suffer from sinus issues regularly or seasonally.
Time Required: 3 to 5 minutes
What You Need:
- Fill the neti pot with water. The water should be lukewarm (not too hot, not too cold) and can be poured into the pot directly from the tap (approximately 1/2 cup of water). Distilled water is recommended if the purity/safety of the tap water in your region is questionable.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or table salt (must be non-iodized) to the water. Stir with spoon to dissolve thoroughly.
- Lean your head forward over the basin, bending your neck down slightly with your eyes looking downwards.
- Gently place the spout of the neti pot inside your right nostril, forming a seal to avoid any outer leakage.
- Open your mouth slightly. Breathe continuously through your open mouth during this sinus cleansing procedure. This allows a necessary air passageway so that the water will not drain from behind your nose into your mouth.
- Tilt your head sideways, so that your right nostril is directly above your left nostril. Tip the neti pot, allowing the water solution to pour into your right nostril. Within a few seconds the water will naturally drain from your left nostril into the sink.
- After the net pot is empty, remove the spout from your right nostril, and exhale gently through both nostrils. Gently blow your nose into a tissue.
- Repeat steps 1 through 7 for your left nostril.
- Thoroughly clean your Neti Pot after each use. Periodically place it in your dishwasher for a thorough sanitizing. Same as a toothbrush do not share your neti pot with anyone else. Everyone in the household should have their own neti pot.
- Try using only half the amount of recommended salt the first few times you use your neti pot until you become more accustomed to the process.
- Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the inside of both nostrils before the treatment helps sooth sensitive skin.
- You may notice improved breathing, smell and taste.
- If you experience any discomfort please discontinue using your neti pot and consult your doctor or other health care provider.