A neti pot is a small ceramic or plastic pitcher. It has two openings, one at the top a second opening in the spout. It is filled with warmed salt water to cleanse your nasal passages. A sinus wash is recommended as part of your daily personal hygiene regimen. Cleansing your sinuses in this manner relieves symptoms associated with colds, flu, sinus infections, nasal dryness, allergies, and other sinus irritations. It also helps reduce swelling of the nasal membranes and eases breathing.
Time Required: 3 to 5 minutes
- Fill the neti pot with water. The water should be lukewarm (not too hot, not too cold) and can generally be poured into the pot directly from the tap (approximately 1/2 cup of water. (Note: Distilled water is recommended if the purity/safety of the tap water in your region is questionable.>
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or table salt (without added iodine) to the water. Stir with a spoon to dissolve thoroughly.
- Lean your head forward over the basin, bending your neck down slightly with your eyes looking downwards.
- Gently place the spout of the neti pot inside your right nostril, forming a seal to avoid any outer leakage.
- Open your mouth slightly. Breathe continuously through your open mouth during this sinus cleansing procedure. This allows a necessary air passageway so that the water will not drain from behind your nose into your mouth and create a gag-reflex.
- Tilt your head sideways, so that your right nostril is directly above your left nostril. Tip the neti pot, allowing the water solution to pour into your right nostril. Within a few seconds the water will naturally drain from your left nostril into the sink.
- After the net pot is empty, remove the spout from your right nostril, and exhale through both nostrils. Gently blow your nose into a tissue.
Note: Have the tissue within reach so you don't have to walk away from the sink and end up with dribbles from your nose falling to the floor. I KNOW this from firsthand experience!
- Repeat steps 1 through 7 for cleansing your left nostril.
- Photo: Neti Pot Demonstration. This is a photo of me and my husband neti-potting together in our bathroom. Yes, neti-potting can look funny. But it works!
- Thoroughly clean your Neti Pot after each use. Periodically place it in your dishwasher for a thorough sanitizing. Same as a toothbrush, do not share your neti pot with anyone else. Everyone in the household should have their own personal neti pot.
- Try using only half the amount of recommended salt the first few times you use your neti pot until you become more accustomed to the process.
- Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the inside of both nostrils before the treatment helps sooth sensitive skin.
Note: I have sensitive skin, and I've never had an issue with irritation. But your nasal passages feels a bit raw due to repeated nose-blowing from cold or allergies this tip is for you.
- Neti Pots make fun gifts. I gave my father one when he was diagnosed with a sinus infection. He promptly re-gifted in to my niece who loves it! Dad, well, he isn't so enthusiastic. He probably just doesn't want to look silly.
- You may notice improved breathing, smell and taste. If you experience any discomfort please discontinue using your neti pot and consult your doctor or other health care provider.
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