Some of my friends have spent the last few years teasing me because I use a neti pot and they think it's "weird" and "gross." But I don't care. I tell them neti pots rock. In fact I put together this little neti pot emoticon just to tease them. I found the smilie face online but then added the tiny plastic pot and water coming out of where the smilie's other nostril would be if it had nostrils. LOL
In 2007 I caught an episode of Oprah where Doctor Mehmet Oz was teaching an audience member how to use a neti pot. He explained the history and function of nasal saline irrigation. They were first used in India centuries ago in Ayurvedic yoga medical treatment and the purpose is to flush your sinuses removing excess mucus, debris and irritants (like pollen and dust). This is especially helpful if you suffer from sinus problems like allergies. I know, ewww right? But I was intrigued as I always prefer alternative remedies over chemical and dye filled products whenever possible.
This image is from the Oprah website.
I try to use mine daily each morning. Sometimes when my sinuses are bothering me from a cold, like lately, I may use my pot up to 3-4 times per day. Here is how it works:
- I mix 1/4 tsp of sea salt with warm water. There is a minuscule possibility of contracting a Naegleria infection when using a neti pot with tap water. To avoid this rare condition only use sterile, distilled or boiled water in your neti pot.
- Lean over the sink, bending at the waist
- As I face the sink I turn my head 45º to one side
- Whichever nostril is higher, I take the tip of the neti pot and place it against that nostril tight enough to seal it
- I breathe out and begin pouring the water into the top nostril
- There is a momentary sensation that there is water in my nose but it doesn't hurt or feel uncomfortable at all
- The water flows into your sinus cavities and within moments it begins pouring out the other nostril into the sink
- After pouring the pot of water through one nostril I DO NOT INHALE until I blow the remaining water out of my nostrils into a tissue.
This is the one I purchased at Walgreens, a SinuCleanse Neti Pot. If you click on their name and go to their website you can watch videos that show how the neti pot works, read their FAQ page and learn more about the pots from an official source. In the box was a small plastic pot and spoon and little packets of saline powder that you mix with warm water. When I ran out of the packets I switched to plain sea salt.
There are tons of videos on Youtube about how to use a neti pot. I don't really suffer from allergies but I find using one keeps my nostrils from drying out and feeling uncomfortable.