How to Use a Neti Pot

Neti pots are widely used for nasal cleansing, which is said to be effective in relieving symptoms of sinus infection. Here are some tips to use a neti pot.
Nasal irrigation has always been touted as one of the effective remedies for frequents bouts of sinus infections and nasal congestion. It is also viewed as a part of personal hygiene, as it cleans the nasal cavity by flushing out the excess mucus and other particles from the nose and sinuses. Apart from promoting nasal health, a saline solution irrigation is claimed to be beneficial for relief from symptoms of sinusitis, bad breath, nasal congestion and headache. Nasal irrigation has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Jala neti is an age-old Ayurvedic technique that has been used for nasal cleansing with saline solution.

What is a Neti Pot?

It is a special purpose pot that is sued for administering saline solution for jala neti or nasal irrigation. Neti pots are somewhat similar to teapots in shape. They have two openings, one for filling saline solution and the other is at the end of the long spout, through which the saline solution is poured into the nasal passage. The end portion of the spout is designed so as to fit in the nostril, thereby preventing leakage of saline solution.

These pots are traditionally made of metal, glass, ceramic but, nowadays, even plastic ones are available. You can buy this device from health stores. Even though, the practice of using neti pots originated in India, now, it is widely used across the globe and is found to be beneficial for those with frequent bouts of sinusitis and nasal congestion. However, it must be used properly for best results.

Tips to Use a Neti Pot

The two important factors with regard to use of neti pot are the preparation of the saline solution and its correct administration. It is always advisable to learn the technique from an expert.
  • First of all, you have to prepare the saline solution. Dissolve one-fourth teaspoon non-iodized salt in eight ounces of warm water. Make sure to use the purest salt for this purpose, as impurities may cause irritation.
  • Once you prepare the solution, wash the device as well as your hands; and fill the solution in the pot. Make sure that the water is neither cold, nor too hot. It must be warm, while you pour it into the nostril.
  • Once you are ready to use the neti pot, lean over the sink and slightly bend it towards one side. The chin and the forehead must be almost at the same level.
  • Insert the spout of the device into the upper nostril, so as to seal the nostril and tilt the pot gently. The saline solution will flow through the nostril and sinus cavity and will come out through the lower nostril. Meanwhile, breathe through the mouth.
  • If water comes out of the mouth, spit it out and try again with your head tilted more to the side. You have to repeat the process on the other nostril, but, this time, you have to tilt your head to the opposite side.
  • Once you are done with both nostrils, gently lean forward and blow the nostrils. You have to thoroughly clean the neti pot after use and never share it with others.
  • Some people may face minor problems, like burning sensation or mild pain after using neti pot. You can make slight changes in the salinity of the solution and temperature and try again. If there is irritation, then, discontinue its use. In case of severe pain and ear discomfort, after using a neti pot, consult a doctor immediately.
As mentioned earlier, it will be always better to learn the procedure from an expert. Otherwise, regular practice will make it easier for you.
By Sonia Nair
Last Updated: 10/13/2011
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