Neti Pot


Nasal irrigator

My brother-in-law introduced me to the neti pot, for nasal irrigation, about three years ago. He had had chronic sinus infections that have largely stopped since he started using it. Since I began using it, I’ve had fewer illnesses and just breathe easier. I used to take decongestants regularly in order to sleep soundly (due to mild allergies), but haven’t in the past three years, since the neti pot became part of my daily routine. My sinuses don’t dry out as much during winter anymore, and my wife says my snoring has decreased.

The neti pot flushes your sinuses of pollutants, allergens, pollen and dust that build up during the day. By flushing your sinuses you allow your nose to do its secondary job more effectively — keep the bad stuff out. It also has the added benefit of relieving sinus headaches and congestion. The interesting thing is, it’s been around for a long time (several thousand years) and is used by many yoga practitioners to ease breathing during meditation. Eight ounces of warm tap water and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (with no iodine) is all it takes to wash the grime away, and that’s a lot cheaper than over-the-counter decongestants.

I recommend getting a neti pot with a pot belly look, like the Himalayan Institute one available from Amazon. I’ve tried two other brands/styles and they don’t provide as consistent water pressure through the nose. Currently I use my neti pot once a day, in the evenings, to wash the day’s grime away and help with sleeping.

Try it once or twice and you’ll agree your sinuses have rarely felt better or clearer. As a side note, if it burns a little, stop and add a tad more salt. Too little salt and the water won’t flow well through the nasal cavity. If you’ve had a broken nose, please check with your doctor to make sure your nasal cavity is still properly aligned for nasal irrigation.

-- Jeff Young 11/19/09