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Does Neti Pot Work? Get the Truth + How to Use the Neti Pot to Improve Your Health

does neti pot work
Written by Jackie Parker
Let's start by answering your question, does neti pot work straight away. As someone who has used a neti pot for over 15 years to enhance breathing, I'm here to tell you…. Neti pots open up your sinuses and allow you to breathe much better! Because as you know, when you can't breathe, nothing else matters.
 
This report is going to give you an inside look into neti pots, what they are, how they help, and exactly how they work.

What is a Neti Pot?

Before looking at the benefits of using a neti pot let’s first go over exactly what it is. Neti pot actually comes from the practice of rinsing your sinuses, which called Jala Neti. The practice of neti pot started centuries ago, specifically back to Ayurvedic practices.
 
Nasal irrigation is a method of flushing mucus and bacteria from the nose and sinuses with a saline solution. This practice has always been an important health routine of Indian Yogi's. Whenever you use a neti pot, you purge irritants, microorganisms and other allergens from your nasal passages. Yogi's believe the use of neti pot specifically helps to balance prana, our vital life force. 

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Today there is a lot of science to back up the health benefits of clearing your sinuses. In fact, most medical professionals consider nasal irrigation as the first line of defense for sinus issues.
 
If you're still wondering, does neti pot work… Consider that major hospitals encourage allergy patients to use nasal irrigation regularly. In fact, recent research showed that people who irrigate their noses frequently experienced fewer sinus symptoms.

Health Benefits of Using a Neti Pot

As you may have guessed by now, there are many advantages to using a neti pot. You can use it year-round, but it is particularly useful during cold and allergy season. As you know, this is the time of year you breathe in a lot of allergens like pollen and pollution, which can irritate your sinuses

Nasal irrigation gets rid of toxic air-born substances that put stress on your ability to breathe. The neti pot is a wonderful way to clear your sinuses relieve and help you breathe MUCH better.

 

Here are some reasons why using a neti pot to rinse your sinuses can be useful for you:

  •  You can relieve stuffiness and congestion from a cold
  • It reduces pressure when you have sinus or allergy problems
  • You will breathe better when your nasal passages are clear
  • It reduces nasal dryness
  • Neti pots help to reduce sinus infection and headaches
  • You have improved sense of smell
  • It helps with snoring
  • You will be able to breathe deeper
  • Using it helps prevent the common cold
  • It can lessen the seriousness of asthma attacks
  • Nasal irrigation is effective in treating bad breath
  • Increase sense of taste
  • Cuts down on coughing

Who Benefits From Nasal Irrigation?

Everybody benefits from nasal irrigation, but most especially:
 
  • Those suffering from the flu
  • Allergy and sinus patients
  • Asthma patients
  • Anyone subjected to environmental pollution and toxins (firefighters, farmers, etc.,)
  • Frequent travelers
  • Athletes
  • Musicians
  • Senior citizens
  • People who underwent surgery
  • Pregnant women

How Does Neti Pot Work?

The concept behind nasal irrigation is that it clears your sinuses of irritants that make their way into your nose. Your nose has tiny hairs called cilia, to trap dirt, microorganisms, viruses and other unwanted substances. Nasal irrigation flushes them out and also thins the mucus in your nasal passageway.
 
It can be intimidating to use a neti pot at first, but once you use the technique right, you will discover how easy it is. The trick here is to get the right position and always do it under a sink or in the shower to avoid unnecessary messes.
 
Here are some guidelines and tips to follow when you are using your neti pot:
 

Find a Good Location

 
Before you do anything else, make sure you have chosen a good place in your home to use the neti pot. I use the bathroom or kitchen sink, but others prefer the shower. Try to pick a time when you won’t have any distractions from kids or pets.
 

Use a Saline Solution

 
The solution used with a neti pot is typically a saltwater solution. You can either buy the solution pre-made or make your own at home. For the first few times, I recommend using a pre-made solution, so you're not stressing about making it.
 
When you decide to make your saline solution, use either distilled or bottled water, not regular tap water. Make sure the salt is as pure as you possibly can. Find one that is non-iodized, and contains no chemicals or anti-caking ingredients. There are many nasal salts created specifically for nasal irrigation. Some even come pre-measured
 
The inside of your nose and sinuses are very sensitive. The cells in the wall of the nose have a particular degree of salt quality, pH level, and temperature. When you make a saline solution to use in your neti pot, you'll need to experiment until you get the same pH level and temperature as your body. (Approximately 98-100 degrees)
 
The amount of salt you use will vary with the size of the pot but start with one teaspoon of salt per 16 ounces of distilled water. You don't want to use too much or too little salt because it will burn.

How to Use a Neti Pot

does neti pot work

When you have made your warm saltwater solution, it is time to get into position and start using the neti pot.
 
1. Before you begin, open and breathe through your mouth to equalize pressure. This is important.
 
2. Next lean over and tilt your head to one side. Now place the spout inside the nostril and begin to pour the solution in. If you insert it enough, it won’t leak out of the nostril. If you do this right, it will flush the nasal passage and come out of the lower nostril.
 
3. Lean forward and gently blow your nose.
 
4. Use one full pot per side.
 
5. Repeat on the other side.
 
6. Place one drop of sesame or coconut oil on a finger and apply to the insides of your nostrils.
 

Try to Relax

 
It is important that you try your best to relax while using the neti pot. It might feel a little funny, but it will not harm you if you follow these instructions. If any solution goes into your throat, just spit it out. 
 
If you feel a burning or stinging sensation, it's either the water temperature or salt concentration. Too much or too little of either will be uncomfortable. Keep adjusting till you get it right.

More Tips to Follow

Here are some more tips to follow for using the neti pot successfully:
 

Don’t use the neti pot right before bed

You might still have a little drainage after you're done using the neti pot, so it is best that you not lay down right after. You don’t want a pillow that is wet when you are trying to sleep. Wait at least an hour before lying down after using it.
 

Try using the shower

Experiment to see if this is the best way for you to use the neti-pot. Some people report it works best for them because there is less clean-up and it is easier for them to manage.
 

Don’t change sides too quickly

While you will be tempted to change nostrils immediately after pouring the solution into the first nostril, give it a few seconds. This allows the solution to work its magic before draining out.
 

Wash your hands thoroughly before using the neti pot

This is a good rule of thumb to ensure only clean, filtered saltwater enters your nostril. Wash your hands before touching and using your neti pot.
 

Use the pot regularly during cold and allergy season

While you can use the neti pot when you already have symptoms, you can also try using it routinely. When you enter allergy season, it is a good time to start using the neti pot more often.
 

Use distilled water whenever possible

The water you use for the saltwater solution should always be as clean as possible. This means using distilled or filtered water.
 

Rinse your neti pot after using it

You don’t want that saltwater solution to sit in the neti pot. When you're finished using it, dump it out, then rinse it well on the inside and outside.

Where to Buy a Neti Pot

When you begin shopping for a neti pot, you'll discover that there are different varieties. This is not a brand of device, but rather a type of device.
 
There is a wide range of styles, sizes, and colors of neti pots. Some are ceramic and look like a small teapot, while others are stainless steel or plastic.
 
It is important that you choose a neti pot that is the right size for you. I personally like a smaller size because it's easy for me to hold and maneuver. You will be placing the spout of the pot at the end of your nostril, so if it's too large for you, it can be difficult to manage
 
Here are a variety of shapes and sizes to look at:

Does Neti Pot Work – Conclusion

Using a neti pot is safe, and even doctor-prescribed method of keeping your sinus cavity clear and healthy. Nasal detoxification started as an Ayurvedic practice in ancient India. Although more studies are still being conducted to prove the effectiveness of nasal irrigation, it's still considered as one of the simplest yet most effective alternative treatment in dealing with nasal problems.


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4 Comments

  • Hi Jackie,

    Clear explanation of the Neti pot. I am from South India and its heartening to see the practices of this land followed in the Western Hemisphere.

    Have practiced yoga and meditation for sometime now and I cant stress enough on the importance of having the sinuses and air passages clean to deepen the benefits.

    Good lifestyle habits should complement the yogic and ayurvedic lifestyle.

    • Namaste and so please to meet you Jai Praveen! Yes! I feel like good lifestyle is the bedrock of Ayurveda! Thank you for commenting and connecting. :

  • I have not heard of neti pots but when I saw the word “sinuses” in the first paragraph, decided to read on. My husband has been having this sinus problem lately after suffering from the flu months ago. He is on garlic and horseradish pills to alleviate it. Much better now but not completely gone. Perhaps the use of neti pot can help. Caught your article at the right time. Thanks for sharing!

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