With cold and flu season upon us, it’s important to pay attention to our health. Nothing can ruin winter fun quicker than congestion. I’m not sure what I dislike most, the stuffy nose or the headache that comes from it. Although I love diffusing a good respiratory blend (doTerra’s Breathe is wonderful!), sometimes I need a little extra something to dislodge some of my mucus before my essential oils can kick in.
In comes my neti pot.
A neti pot is a container typically made from ceramic, metal or plastic that aids in the process of a saline nose rinse. It was originally used in India to clear the nasal passages before Yoga, but is now used all over the world to help with sinuses, colds, allergies and much more. The spout goes in your nose and you tilt your head, allowing water to go in one nostril and out the other. Using a neti pot for sinuses is great since it can clear out mucus, hydrate dry nasal cavities, and wash away allergens. Use of the neti pot has actually been shown to increase sinus health, and shorten the duration of colds when done correctly.
Although there can be a bit of a learning curve (mainly due to fear of water in the nose rather than difficulty) once you get the hang of it it’s quite simple.
How to Use Your Neti Pot
- Add salt and warm water (previously boiled) to your neti pot. A good ratio is 1/4 tsp to 8 oz water which is what most neti pots hold.
- Insert spout as far as comfortable into nostril.
- Open your mouth and breathe out your nose as you tilt your head and the neti pot. This is best done over a sink.
- Relax and continue to breathe out your mouth as the water comes out of the other nostril.
- Blow your nose.
- Repeat on other side.
- Thoroughly clean your neti pot and allow to air dry.
AyurvedaSF has a great video tutorial on how to do it if you’re a visual person.
There are however some precautions with the preparation you will need to take.
The saline solution needs to be the right ratio of salt to water to match the bloodstream (which is .09%). You may have to add more or less depending on your body’s composition. If the solution burns while it is in your nose, it is not the correct ratio.
The type of salt matters. Table salt is full of additives and should be avoided if possible. Sea Salt and Himalayan salt are the ones that are used more often. The finer the salt the quicker it is to dissolve. There are many companies that make salt specifically for the neti pot which is what I use so I can be sure it is safe for my nose.
Water also matters. Tap water can contain harmful and deadly bacteria that are safe for drinking but not safe for the delicate tissue in the nose. Boil all water before using it and let it cool to a comfortable but still warm temperature before use.
Do not share your neti pot. One pot per person. You don’t want to spread the germs from person to person.
Overuse of a neti pot has been linked to poor sinus health. Try using your pot 1-2 times per day, and go from there. I use my neti pot when I am sick or suffering from allergies, but some people use theirs on a daily basis.
Do you use a neti pot? Have you found it beneficial?