SFH #88: The Neti Pot

My go-to for nasal congestion 🤧

Neti pot, known as jala-neti in ancient ayurvedic practice, cleans the nose with water. The method has been used in the East for centuries and only gained popularity here recently, mostly from alternative practitioners. The modern practice involves nasal irrigation with saline to help with various symptoms with our nasal passages and sinuses. I was using a neti pot sparingly over the last couple of decades. However, it's become a more regular practice as I moved away from over-the-counter medications to deal with allergies, sinus issues, and general nasal congestion.

Research has shown significant symptom reduction as well as limiting the need to rely on medications.1 The effectiveness lies in the nasal saline irrigation flushing out mucus and environmental allergens in the nose. Additionally, it helps improve the function of our cilia, the tiny hairs inside our nose that work to help clear the nasal passage of mucus and irritants. The saline solution helps increase the speed and improve coordination of the cilia. 

Here are some tips on neti pot use and a video below for step-by-step instructions. 📺

  1. First, always follow the instructions that come with the neti pot. Mainly, we want to follow the advised amount of salt and keep the pot clean after use.

  2. You always want to use distilled or boiled water; if using boiled, make sure it cools down to a usable warm temperature.

  3. I like to do it in the shower. Over the sink works too.

  4. Keep your mouth open to aid in breathing.

  5. Be patient and use gravity. It takes some practice to get the hang of it.

Happy Flushing!