My mom introduced me to the neti pot when I was a young, chronically congested girl. To convince me to use the funny-looking device, she cleverly presented it to me as Aladdin’s genie lamp. Growing up, I never doubted the neti pot’s magic powers because it always worked wonders to clear out my sinuses.
While I’m no longer quite so gullible (sorry, Mom), my sinuses and I continue to be big fans of neti pots to this day. And trust me, I’m not the only one.
Nasal cleansing, traditionally known as jala neti in Sanskrit, has been an integral part of Indian Ayurvedic tradition for more than 5,000 years. In many parts of the world, this respiratory remedy is trusted to do more than just promote sinus health. It’s believed to help clear your mind and cleanse your senses so that you can better absorb vital life energy, or prana, and feel better overall.
Thanks to modern-day proponents including Dr. Oz, more and more people are embracing this Ayurvedic practice—particularly during cold, flu, and allergy season. Even though you may look and feel a little silly doing it, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Using a Neti Pot, Step by Step
- Mix one teaspoon of sea salt in a pint of warm, purified water.
- Pour prepared saline solution into the neti pot.
- Leaning over a sink, place the spout in one nostril and tilt your head at a 45-degree angle. With the pot held high and your head tilted, let the water flow in one nostril and out the other, flushing mucus, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other gross stuff out of your nasal cavity.
- Breathe. It should be much easier now.
- After every use, thoroughly wash the pot. That way, you avoid reintroducing bad bacteria into your body.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho