Nasal Congestion: Just ‘Neti’


January 28, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller

neti 3SAFE…simple…inexpensive…and effective relief from nasal congestion—Call it ‘Neti’ Relief. If this posting gives you a ‘deja vu‘ feeling, it’s because I posted this Spring on the benefits of using a Neti Pot for allergies. The use of Neti Pots (sometimes called nasal irrigation) is nothing new. Other parts of the world have been using them for years. I’ve shared the benefits of the Neti Pot with so many clients, friends & family members and continue to receive great feedback from its use.

neti 2The 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. 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—Yes, you can teach children how to ‘Neti’—and Yes, it feels wonderful when you’re done! (All questions I’ve been asked).

This quick ‘irrigation’ 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. neti 4

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 ONLY bottled/filtered/distilled).

Most research on nasal irrigation indicates there are no significant side effects from Neti Pots and shows that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. (Also very helpful for sinus headaches and chronic sinus issues!)

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.

Simple, safe, effective, inexpensive…it’s all good! And it’s so good to be able to breathe normally!!  neti 1

Sana Keller, MS, RN, CNC, MH, HHP

Photo credits:,,,

2 thoughts on “Nasal Congestion: Just ‘Neti’

  1. Andrew says:

    Many people say good things about Neti pots but I have never tried them myself. I usually irrigate my nose using a medicinal dropper. The experience is not very pleasing but it gives me instant relief.


    • Sana Keller says:

      I don’t find using the Neti pot unpleasant, rather it provides relief. I have found myself looking forward to using it when I had major congestion, knowing how much better I would soon feel.
      Thanks for your comment!


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