Have you seen pictures or videos of people holding up what looks like a teapot to their nose, and wondered what it was? That’s a neti pot.
A neti pot is essentially a nasal irrigation system. It flushes out allergens and alleviates sinus infections by introducing a warm saline solution into the nasal passage.
It is surprisingly easy to learn how to use a neti pot for allergies and sinus relief. The key is to develop the right position.
Interested in using a neti pot, but aren’t quite sure where to start? You’ll find everything you need to know about neti pots below.
What is a Neti Pot?
The term neti pot comes from the ancient yogic practice of rinsing your sinuses, which called Jal Neti.
Ancient yogis believed strongly in the importance of proper breathing. They used this technique regularly to clear their sinuses so they could breathe properly without any blockages.
Today science has proven the importance of clearing your sinuses, and one of the most effective ways of doing this is through the practice of Jal Neti. To do Jal Neti you need to use a neti pot.
What exactly is a neti pot? It is a small container with a long, narrow spout on one site. The container holds the saline solution and the spout is narrow enough to be inserted gently into one of the nostrils.
If you suffer from frequent sinus infections, allergies, or colds and flus, you can probably benefit from using a neti pot.
How do you Use a Neti Pot?
I will admit it can be intimidating to use at first, but once you learn how to use the right technique, you will discover how easy it is.
The trick to using a neti pot is to get the right position.
You do need to focus so you do not hurt yourself so try to pick a time when you are not likely to be distracted.
Here are some guidelines and tips to follow when you are using your neti pot:
Find a Good Location
The first thing you need to do is make sure you choose a good location in your home to use the neti pot. I prefer to use my neti pot in the bathroom so I don’t have to worry about the water splashing everywhere.
You can either do this 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 so there’s even less to worry about.
If you do use the neti pot over the sink, you need to lean your head over the sink enough to where the solution that drips out goes into the sink and not on your floor.
Once you get used to using the neti pot and develop the right technique, you will reach a point where there is no water dripping on the floor or on your clothes.
Use Premade Solution When Starting Out
The solution used with a neti pot is a simple saltwater solution. Starter kits come with a neti pot and the solution. Premade solutions are also easily available in any drug store for when you run out or if you buy just the neti pot separately.
For the first few times, it is advisable to use the readymade solution so you are not worrying about the exact ratios of salt and water.
If you decide to make your own, use either distilled or bottled water, not regular tap water. You must be very careful when adding the salt. Too much can be harmful and too little may not have the desired effect. Ideally, you should add 1 teaspoon of salt per 16 ounces of distilled water.
Whether you make it yourself or use a premade solution, it will be mixed with lukewarm water before using it with the neti pot.
Insert the Spout Into Your Nostril
When you have made your warm saltwater solution, it is time to get into position and start using the neti pot.
Stand in the shower or over the sink, and tilt your head to one side.
Now put the spout near your upper nostril and start pouring the solution slowly. The spout must be inserted far enough so it does not leak out of the nostril. Do this slowly and gently so you do not hurt yourself.
If you do this right, the solution will pass through the nasal passage and come out through the lower nostril.
Try to Relax
It is important that you try your best to relax while using the neti pot.
It might feel a little weird at first, but it will not hurt you if you follow these instructions.
Open your mouth to breathe through your mouth and just try to relax while you insert the solution.
If any solution goes into your throat, don’t panic. This is also normal. You just have to spit it out.
Repeat the process with your other nostril and you’re done!
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.
Typically, you only need to use it as needed. This might be when your nose is stuffed up or when you have symptoms of sinus problems or allergies.
It is always advisable to discuss the use and frequency with your doctor.
Additional Tips When Using a Neti Pot
Here are some more tips to follow to use neti pot successfully:
Don’t use the neti pot right before bed – You might still have a little drainage after you are done using the neti pot, so it is best not to lie down immediately after or the water will drip onto your pillow. Wait at least an hour before lying down after using a neti pot.
Try using the shower – This truly is one of the best ways to use a neti pot. There is less clean-up and it is easier to manage overall.
Don’t lean over too quickly – While you will be tempted to lean over immediately after pouring the solution into your nostril, give it a few seconds and only lean over as much as you need to. This allows the solution to work its magic before draining out.
Wash your hands thoroughly before using the neti pot – This is a good rule of thumb to ensure only clean, filtered saltwater enters your nostril. Wash your hands before touching and using your neti pot.
Use the pot regularly during cold and allergy season – While you can just use the neti pot when you already have symptoms, you can also try using it routinely. When you enter allergy season, it is a good time to start using the neti pot more often so your nasal passage remains allergen-free.
Always use distilled water – The water you use for the saltwater solution should always be as clean as possible. This means using distilled or filtered water.
Rinse your neti pot after using it – You don’t want that saltwater solution to sit in the neti pot. When you are done using it, throw the remaining water out and rinse it well.
Benefits of Using a Neti Pot
There are several benefits to using a neti pot. One of the biggest benefits is that it helps relief the pressure from sinuses and allergies.
You can use your neti pot all year round, but it is particularly useful during cold and allergy season. This is because when it is allergy season, you tend to breathe in a lot of allergens such as pollen and pollution, which inflame and irritate your sinuses. The neti pot is a wonderful way to relieve your symptoms and help you find relief.
Other Benefits of a Neti Pot
- Check out the many ways that a neti pot can help you:
- Helps relieve stuffiness and congestion from a cold
- Alleviates pressure when you have sinus or allergy problems
- Clears your nasal passes so you can breathe better
- Reduces nasal dryness and cracking of the skin
- Eases sinus headaches
- Improves sense of smell
- Reduces snoring
- Helps you breathe deeper
You will find great relief with a neti pot if you have allergies, are a frequent sufferer of the common cold, or if you suffer from regular sinus infections.
Using Essential Oils with the Neti Pot
Using essential oils with a neti pot is optional, but if you like using pure essential oils, you will find that they will help clear your sinuses faster.
Essential oils are extracted from plants, leaves, stems, and flower petals of various plants. Not only do they smell amazing, but they also have powerful healing powers that help boost your physical and mental health.
Using essential oils that work well to alleviate allergies and sinus problems, and definitely helps help boost the effectiveness of using a neti pot.
How Essential Oils Help
One way that essential oils can help when you are using a neti pot is by killing microbes. Allergens indoors and outdoors often contain microbes or microorganisms that can lead to sinus and allergy problems.
Tea tree oil, rosemary, and clove essential oils are particularly effective for killing microbes, and reducing allergy symptoms.
Essential oils are also great for aromatherapy, where you can relax your mind and help to heal your body. There are many oils that provide natural healing remedies for your allergy symptoms, reducing headaches, and helping you to find relief.
These are some of the essential oils you can add to your solution when rinsing out your nasal passages.
- Tea tree
- Sweet basil
Caution: Use only 1 -2 drops of essential oil with the solution, especially when you are just starting out, so you know how your body will react to them.
Even at the later stages, it is best not to exceed 1-2 drops of the essential oil.
While neti pots with just a saline solution are a great way to treat your allergy symptoms and sinus infections in a natural way, using essential oils in your neti pot can provide faster relief.
Which is the Best Neti Pot to Buy?
When you begin shopping around for a neti pot, you will discover that there is a wide range of styles, sizes, and colors of neti pots.
Some are ceramic and look similar to a small teapot, while others are made of plastic and may be shaped slightly differently. Some come with a number of accessories to make the process easier.
While the shape of the neti pot or the material it is made of does not really impact its effectiveness, it is important to choose the right size.
A smaller neti pot is easier to handle, especially when you are starting out. You have to tilt your head and direct the spout into your nostril. This can be difficult if the device is large and bulky.
Having a small spout is also important as this will make it easier to insert it into the nostril.
When starting out, I would highly recommend a set that comes complete with a neti pot and saltwater solution. When the solution runs out, you can then either buy the solution separately or make your own at home.
The Himalayan Chandra Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit is a best seller on Amazon for good reason. For one low price, you get everything that you need to get started. You do not have to buy anything else to start your nasal wash routine.
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.