Why Use a Neti Pot?
You've got a terrible cold. Your sinuses are throbbing, you’re coughing, and there’s that “heavy” feeling in your chest. You fear that even your bronchial passages are inflamed and that they’re filled with the same awful mucus that’s dripping down the back of your throat.
It’s that season again. This year, besides Flu, many people are coming down with bronchial ailments – and they can last for weeks on end. Many of these illnesses are caused by viruses, so even if your doctor prescribes antibiotics, (and many do), they only kill the bacteria, not the viruses.
You could take an antihistamine, but that will dry you out with chemicals and make you jittery (or sleepy). You could take an over-the-counter cough syrup, but that also robs your body of fluids. All traditional medications are designed to treat the symptoms of your infection, not the underlying cause, but there is something you can do to jump-start self-healing. It begins with a Neti Pot.
What is a Neti Pot?
The Neti Pot looks like a cross between Aladdin’s lamp and a teapot. You use a Neti Pot to perform a healing sinus wash called nasal irrigation or “douching”.
Cleaning out your sinuses with liquid is really nothing new; in fact, nasal irrigation goes back thousands of years beginning with the ancient Yogis.
When I first learned about the Neti Pot technique, where warm salty water flows in one nostril and out the other, I was reminded of that silly cartoon of a Yogi cleaning his ear canals with a piece of floss that goes right through his head.
I must say, the Neti Pot technique is not so far removed from that absurd visual, except for the fact that your nasal canals are truly connected and that nasal irrigation is really very effective.
Preparation and Use
Fill the Neti Pot with lukewarm water. It’s always best to use distilled, filtered or pre-boiled water to avoid any harmful organisms that may be present in your tap water.
Add ½ tsp of the ground and filtered salt preparation specifically designed for nasal irrigation.
Next, stir the solution with a clean utensil.
Lean over the sink and insert the end of the Neti Pot spout against one of your nostrils. You don’t shove it in, just insert it every so slightly so you are making a “sealed” connection.
The water will begin to flow into your nostril and up into your sinuses.
Don’t panic if you suddenly feel like you are drowning! You are not! The sensation is a bit like the first time you jumped into a swimming pool and forgot to hold your nose. This will pass in just a few seconds.
Keep breathing through your mouth and think happy thoughts. Your sinuses are being flushed and the water is simply traveling along a natural path.
Some people say it’s important to pour the entire contents of the Neti Pot into each nostril, but half a pot is usually quite effective.
When you are finished. Gently blow your nose with a tissue.
Make sure you repeat the procedure on the other nostril.
Keep a few more tissues handy, as the water will continue to drain from your nostrils for several more minutes.
If you also have a sore throat, mix up another batch of warm salt water and gargle for several minutes.
Clean the Neti Pot with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Do not save any left over saline solution. Always make a fresh pot.
In just a day or two you should notice an improvement in your health. Keep up the procedure, as you will continue to feel better each day. If you are a smoker, now is probably one of the easiest times to quit or at least try a safer e-cigarette.
Nasal irrigation is gaining in popularity in some of the most unlikely places; namely the U.S. It’s one of the few “natural” remedies agreed upon by both western and eastern practitioners.