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How Do You Use a Neti Pot?

If you suffer from chronic sinus problems, nasal congestion or postnasal drip, you may want to consider using a Neti pot. Originally from the Ayurvedic tradition, a Neti pot resembles a genie’s lamp and uses a saltwater solution to irrigate nasal passages and sinuses, making nasal mucus thinner and flushing out irritants. It’s fairly easy to use, but may take practice before it feels comfortable and is done correctly:

  1. Dissolve one-quarter teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, and pour the solution into the pot.
  2. Over a sink, tilt your head about 45 degrees to the side, and place the spout into your higher nostril.
  3. Gently pour the saltwater solution into that nostril, letting the solution flow through to the lower nasal cavity. (If the solution runs into your throat, just spit it out.)
  4. Once the solution is gone, blow your nose to get rid of any remaining solution, and then repeat the process with the other nostril.

Be sure to clean and dry the Neti pot between uses. If you don’t want to buy a Neti pot, you can try a similar technique by pouring the solution into a cupped hand, pressing a finger from the opposite hand over one nostril, closing it and inhaling the liquid through the open nostril. You can inhale directly from a small cup or glass in the same way, or you can use a clean rubber bulb to gently squirt the solution into your nostrils.

More remedies for sinus problems.

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Reader Comments (5)

I use one and it has helped me with my allergies and sinus problems. They have inexpensive Neti pots at your local drugstore. I bought mine from CVS.

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraj

I have small nostrils and using a neti pot never seemed comfortable. I discovered a nasal attachment for my Water-Pik. I dissolve a little sea salt in some water, pour it into the Water-Pik and us it on a low setting to irrigate my sinuses. Works wonderfully!

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalar

I'm using a pipette ... the easiest and cleanest method for me. I let the salt water run down my throat though. My doctor advised me to do that when I had throat angina.

This method helps me get rid of a cold in 2-3 days as opposed to 1+ week it usually took.Often times I start with it when I sense a cold coming up and it prevents it altogether.

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbaahar

What if I suffer from allergic rhinitis and get upper allergic symptoms with changes in temperature?

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

I try to use my neti pot regularly for general sinus health, but I find myself especially motivated when I have a sinus headache or congestion. It's like a little reminder, "Hey, you haven't nettied lately!"

The funny thing is that I'll use it differently depending on the season. In the wintertime, I'll use a neti pot to clear congestion caused by those pesky winter colds. In the summer, I'll use it after mowing the lawn to keep dust and other airborne thingies from invading my nasal passages and taking up residence there.

Sometimes, I buy the little premixed neti "salt" packets, but usually I mix my own solution. So easy and thrifty.

Funny, it does look like a genie's lamp. Great article!

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherrie
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