May 4, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
Now that Spring is in full bloom (or getting close for some of us in states where we have seen snow in May!), seasonal allergies or Spring-time ‘colds’ can put a damper on our ability to enjoy this beautiful season. There is a safe, simple and effective way to minimize sinus congestion and allergy challenges—called a ‘Neti Pot.’ Other parts of the world have been using it for years, and it’s catching on in the US as well.
I’ve shared the benefits of the Neti Pot with so many clients, friends & family members I realized it was time to share in a bigger way (although I’m sure many of you readers are ‘Neti’ users already). The Neti Pot is a small ‘teapot’ (think of a genie bottle), usually plastic, available at most drugstores. A saline (salt) solution is used to fill the Neti Pot, after which it is used to irrigate the nasal (nose) passages, also called nasal irrigation. This is accomplished by placing the Neti Pot spout at one nostril, leaning over a sink and letting the solution drain out your other nostril. No, you will not drown—Yes, keep your mouth open to breathe—No, it’s not hard to ‘get the hang of it—and Yes, it feels wonderful when you’re done! (All questions I’ve been asked).
This quick process has been found to be beneficial for those with seasonal allergies, sinus infections, or a frequent stuffy nose. It flushes the saline solution through your sinuses, thus flushing out bacteria, allergens & infection-causing mucus. It can be done 2 to 4 times a day if needed, with daily use for maintenance.
Most Neti Pots come with a few packets of the salt to make the saline solution. When you run out of the packets, just make your own by dissolving ½ tsp salt (uniodized or sea salt) and ½ tsp baking soda in 8 oz water (NOT tap water—use bottled/filtered/distilled).
Two Pointers to Remember: Washing the Neti Pot out with boiling water after each use is critical to avoid re-infection! Avoiding using tap water for the solution is also critical since microbes may be present.