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If you’ve tried all types of remedies for congestion, it’s time to learn how to use a neti pot for sinus infections and allergies.
A neti pot is essentially a nasal irrigation system. It introduces a warm saline solution into the nasal passage, which flushes out allergens and loosens the mucus as it flows through. This helps to clear the nasal passages and reduce congestion so you can breathe freely.
As you will see below, it’s very easy to learn how to use a neti pot to ease congestion. You’ll also find lots of tips and useful information on how to maximize the benefits of a neti pot and what precautions you should take when using one.
What is a Neti Pot?
The term neti pot comes from the ancient yogic practice of ‘Jal Neti’, which focused on cleaning the nasal path starting from the nostrils right down to the throat.
Ancient yogis strongly believed that proper breathing was the key to staying healthy and disease-free. These yogis used the Jal Neti technique regularly to clear their sinuses so they could breathe properly without any blockages.
What exactly is a neti pot? It is a small device that looks like a teapot. It is made up of a container with a handle at one end and a long, narrow spout on the other end. The spout is narrow enough to be inserted gently into one of the nostrils to perform Jal Neti.
If you suffer from frequent sinus infections or allergies, learning how to use a neti pot helps clear your nasal passages so you can breathe more freely.
How To Use a Neti Pot the Right Way
I’ll admit it seems a bit intimidating at first, but once you learn how to use a neti pot correctly, it’s pretty simple.
There are several little things you need to keep in mind when using a neti pot so you can get the benefits without any adverse effects.
You do need to focus on the technique so try to pick a time when you’re not likely to be distracted.
Here’s a step-by-step on how to use a neti pot the right way.
Step 1. Prepare The Saline Solution
The solution used with a neti pot is a simple saline solution made with salt and water. However, you cannot use just any salt or water. Using the right type of water and salt and in the right dilution is key to using a neti pot correctly.
When you’re starting out, I highly recommend using a starter neti pot kit. Starter kits come with a neti pot and the solution, which is everything you need to use a neti pot.
I started out with this Himalayan Chandra Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit. It is one of the best starter neti pot kits you can buy and has received rave reviews from users. The container is made of porcelain and nicely designed for ease of use. When the salt is over, you can buy refill packets separately so you don’t need to buy the whole kit again.
Premade solutions are also easily available in any drug store for when you run out or if you buy just the neti pot separately.
If you decide to make your own neti pot saline solution, you’ll find detailed instructions here on choosing the right water and the right salt as well as the correct dilution ratio – What Is A Neti Pot + How To Use It Correctly.
Step 2. Find a Good Location
Choosing the right location to use your neti pot is important.
The water that you pour into one nostril is going to exit from the other nostril. With that in mind, you’ll want to use your neti pot in a place where you don’t have to worry about the water spilling all over.
You can either use your neti pot over the sink or stand in your shower or bathtub. The shower really is the best place. You won’t have to mop up the floor and you can remove your clothes before you start so there’s even less to worry about.
If you do use the neti pot over the sink, make sure to lean your head over the sink enough so that the solution drips directly into the sink without spilling on the floor.
Once you get used to using the neti pot and develop the right technique, you’ll reach a point where the water will drip out cleanly without any mess.
Step 3. Insert the Spout Into Your Nostril
Stand in the shower or over the sink, and tilt your head to one side.
Place the tip of the spout gently into your upper nostril and start pouring the solution slowly into your nasal passage.
Insert the spout just far enough so it forms a seal against the nostril. This way, the water will flow into the nostril without spilling out at the sides. Do this slowly and gently so you don’t accidentally insert it too far into the nostril as this can be painful.
If you do this right, the solution will pass through the nasal passage and exit through the lower nostril.
Step 4. Stay Relaxed When Using the Neti Pot
It’s important that you stay relaxed while using the neti pot.
The saline solution flowing through your nasal passages might feel a little weird at first, but you’ll get used to it.
Breathe through your mouth during this time and try to relax while you insert the solution.
If any solution gets into your throat, don’t panic. This is normal. You just have to spit it out.
After doing this with one nostril, tilt your head to the other side and repeat the process with your other nostril.
That’s it! That’s how you use a neti pot to ease sinus congestion.
How Often Can You Use a Neti Pot?
‘How often can I use a neti pot?’ is one of the most common questions I get asked.
You only need to use it as needed. This might be when your nose is so stuffed, you can’t breathe freely.
Sinus infections and allergies are two of the most common reasons for congestion. Peak time for sinusitis is during winter and for allergies, it’s spring. If you’re prone to nasal congestion during these seasons, using the neti pot regularly can help to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
As spring approaches and the high pollen count causes you to start feeling stuffy, start using your neti pot before it gets worse. Regular nasal irrigation during allergy season will help keep your nasal passages free from pollen and other allergens so you can breathe more freely.
Do the same in winter if you’re susceptible to nasal congestion due to recurrent sinus infections.
As always, discuss the use and frequency with your healthcare provider.
For faster relief, in addition to using a neti pot, you can also try any of these home remedies for congestion.
Benefits of Using a Neti Pot
One of the most notable benefits of using a neti pot is that it relieves nasal congestion and pressure from sinus infections and allergies.
Using a neti pot is particularly useful during allergy season. During allergy season, you tend to breathe in a lot of allergens such as pollen, which inflame and irritate your sinuses, causing mucus buildup and nasal congestion.
The neti pot is a safe, simple, and effective way to relieve your nasal congestion and help you breathe more freely.
This has several other associated benefits. It alleviates the pressure and discomfort that accompanies mucus buildup and eases sinus headaches.
The saline solution also keeps the mucus membrane in the nasal passages hydrated as it flows through.
And finally, the clear nasal passages improve your sense of smell,
Which is the Best Neti Pot to Buy?
Neti pots come in a wide range of materials, styles, sizes, and colors.
Some are ceramic and look similar to a small teapot, while others are made of plastic and may be shaped slightly differently.
Some are available as standalone pieces, while others are available in kits complete with everything you need to get started.
When starting out, I would highly recommend a set that comes complete with a neti pot and pure salt for making the saline solution. When the salt runs out, you can either buy a neti pot salt refill pack or make your own at home.
These are my top 3 picks for best neti pot starter kits:
The Himalayan Chandra Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit is a best seller on Amazon for good reason. The Himalayan Chandra brand has earned a reputation for its high-quality neti pots. And with this kit, you get everything that you need to get started at one low price. You do not have to buy anything else to start your nasal wash routine.
The NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot is another great option as a starter kit. It comes with 50 Premixed Packets and detailed instructions for use. The container is unbreakable and the 50 premixed packets will last you a long time, making this kit great value for money.
This Ceramic Neti Pot from HealthGoodsIn is a stand-alone device but it still comes with 5 neti salt sachets to get started. The sleek-looking pot is made from premium handcrafted durable material and has an interesting blue-gradient color.
Neti Pot Alternatives
There is one neti pot alternative that deserves mention – the Navage Nasal Care Starter Kit. It does the same thing as a neti pot but with one major difference.
When using a neti pot, nasal irrigation is passive – water flows through the nasal passages and flushes out mucus and allergens along the way.
The Navage Nasal Care device has a powered suction mechanism that works in a more active manner to loosen and dislodge irritants and mucus from the nasal passages. With 25, 980 reviews by satisfied customers, you know this nasal irrigation device works!
This starter bundle comes with a Navage Nose Cleaner, 20 SaltPods, and 10 Bonus SaltPods. That’s everything you need to get relief from nasal congestion due to allergies or a sinus infection. You’ll also get detailed instructions on how to use the kit along with tips to maximize relief.
The Naväge Custom Cleaning Kit makes it easy to clean and maintain the device between uses.
Quick Note About Using Essential Oils In A Neti Pot
You should not use essential oils in a neti pot. These extracts are highly concentrated and can damage the delicate mucous membrane in the nose.
There is an ongoing debate about using essential oils in a neti pot with some people recommending this practice.
My advice is don’t do this. It’s not worth the risk and it won’t add any benefits to nasal irrigation either.
If you’re looking for more natural remedies for nasal congestion, thees articles may help:
12 Home Remedies For Sinus Infection
12 Ways To Reduce Pollen Allergy Symptoms Naturally
Best Essential Oils for Allergies & How to Use Them
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.