As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See Full Disclosure Here
A neti pot is a small teapot-like device used for nasal irrigation, a process that involves flushing out the nasal passages with a saline solution. The container is typically made of ceramic or plastic and has a spout at one end for pouring the saline solution into the nostrils.
The practice of using a neti pot originated in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for allergies, sinusitis, and other respiratory issues.
This practice has gained popularity in recent years as a natural way to reduce nasal congestion and other respiratory symptoms.
How Does A Neti Pot Work?
When you use a neti pot, you’re essentially flushing out your nasal passages with a saline solution.
The device is designed to create gentle pressure that forces the saline solution from the container into the nostrils.
When you tilt your head to the side and insert the spout into your nostril, the saline solution flows in through one nostril and exits through the other. As it flows through the nostrils, it does several things.
The warm flowing solution clears the nasal passages by loosening and dislodging mucus, allergens, and other irritants that may be present inside.
It also hydrates the nasal passages, soothing inflamed and irritated nasal tissues.
Getting rid of the mucus in the nasal passages helps relieve sinus pressure and congestion and reduce the symptoms of allergies and colds.
Nasal irrigation with saline solution can be especially helpful for people with allergies, sinusitis, or other respiratory conditions.
To get the benefits without any adverse effects, you must first learn how to use a neti pot safely.
How To Use A Neti Pot
It’s super simple – there are just a couple of easy steps involved. What’s important is to use the right technique.
This step-by-step will walk you through the process of using a neti pot with tips to keep in mind for each step.
– Make the saline solution (see the correct ratio below). The water should be lukewarm, not hot, to avoid burning your nasal passages. Test the water temperature before use.
– Fill the container with the saline solution.
– Lean over a sink and tilt your head to one side, so that your ear is facing the sink. Position yourself in such a way that the sink catches all the water that flows out and none spills on the flow and makes a mess.
– Insert the spout of the neti into the upper nostril, so that the tip fits snugly against the nostril. If it’s loose, some solution will leak out before entering the nostril.
– Slowly pour the saline solution into the nostril, allowing it to flow through your nasal passages and out of the lower nostril.
– Breathe through your mouth during this process. This will prevent the solution from entering the throat or lungs, which can lead to other problems.
– Repeat the process with the other nostril.
This article on ‘How To Use A Neti Pot For Allergies & Sinus Relief‘ includes details on various techniques you can try to make the process more effective and more convenient too.
Neti Pot Safety Tips
Following the proper guidelines is key to using a neti pot safely. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Water Quality: Use only distilled, filtered, or sterilized water that’s free of chemicals and contaminants. Do not use tap water for nasal irrigation. The chemicals and micro-contaminants in tap water can irritate the delicate mucus lining and cause an infection.
Type of Salt: Use pure, non-iodized salt that’s free from contaminants for the saline solution. Other minerals found in sea or table salt can be irritating to the nasal passages. I buy Neti Salt, which is pure sodium chloride.
Concentration of Saline Solution: The saline solution must be about the same concentration as that of tears or sweat. The correct ratio is ¼ teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt or up to ½ teaspoon coarsely ground non-iodized salt to 8 ounces of water. Stir the solution until the salt is completely dissolved.
Temperature of the Solution: The solution must be at lukewarm or body temperature. Very hot water will burn the delicate mucus lining in the nasal passages and cold water is not effective.
Head position: Your head must be tilted to one side when using a Neti Pot so that the water can actually flow through the nasal passages and clear them.
Cleanliness: Make sure to clean the inside thoroughly after each use to prevent the growth of bacteria or other infection-causing microbes.
One last but very important safety tip: Avoid introducing any fluid into your nostrils if you’ve just had any surgery to the face region, especially around the nose. Also, avoid use if you have nasal polyps, you’ve recently experienced any trauma to or around the nose or you have a nosebleed.
I recommend reading the guidelines for safe use at Himalayan Chandra, a leading neti pot brand.
How To Choose The Right Neti Pot
When choosing a Neti Pot, there are a couple of things to consider.
Look for a device that’s made of a durable, non-toxic material that’s easy to clean. All three factors are equally important.
Choose a device with a long spout and rounded tip that’s easy to insert into the nostrils without hurting them.
It’s also important to make sure that the pot is the correct size for your nose. If the pot is too small, it may not be able to properly irrigate the nasal passages. On the other hand, if the pot is too large, it may be uncomfortable to use.
I highly recommend buying a Neti Pot with a built-in filter, which can help to reduce the risk of infection from contaminated water. It’s worth the slightly higher price for this additional safeguard.
Which Is The Best Neti Pot? My Top 3 Picks
If you’ve never used one before, I highly recommend this Himalayan Chandra ECO Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit.
This is a starter kit and includes everything you need to get started – a porcelain neti pot, the highest purity neti salt, and an aromatic neti wash. You can buy each of the items separately too.
Another neti pot that’s highly ranked is NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot with 50 Premixed Packets.
I haven’t used this one but going by the reviews it appears to be good quality and very effective. You get 5o premixed packets for making the saline solution, so that’s something you don’t need to worry about. NeilMed also offers refill packs so you can buy the sachets when these are over.
If you want to buy only the neti pot without the saline sachets and other add-ons, you may like this sleek-looking, blue, handcrafted, Ceramic Neti Pot from HealthGoodsIn. It comes with 5 sachets of pure salt to get you started.
I did want to include this neti pot alternative that uses a powered suction to flush out irritants from the nasal passages. The world’s only nose cleaner with powered suction, Navage Nasal Care Starter Bundle is hugely popular with 25, 980 reviews by satisfied customers.
This starter bundle includes everything you need to get relief from nasal congestion due to allergies or a sinus infection. The package comes with a Navage Nose Cleaner, 20 SaltPods, and 10 Bonus SaltPods along with detailed instructions on how to use the kit.
Maintaining the Navage Nose Cleaner is easy with this Naväge Custom Cleaning Kit.
Neti Pot Benefits
The biggest benefit of using a neti pot is relief from nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and allergies.
Regular nasal irrigation with a saline solution can definitely help to improve the overall quality of life for anyone suffering from chronic sinus issues.
Neti pots are generally considered safe and effective when used properly. Most of the risks are associated with the wrong usage.
Some of the risks include infection from contaminated water or salt, irritation of the nasal passages from using a strong saline solution, and potential damage to the sinuses.
If you have any concerns about using this device or if you experience any discomfort or unusual symptoms, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional.
How To Clean & Store A Neti Pot
To reduce the risk of infection, it’s important to clean the device thoroughly after each use.
To clean the pot and spout, fill the container with warm water and mild soap. Swish the soapy water around and let it flow out through the spout.
Rinse with fresh clean water and let it air-dry before storing it away.
Do not dry the insides with a towel or tissue as some fibers may get left inside and may cause irritation when you use it next.
Store the device in a clean, dry place so it’s ready for use when you need it.
Other Home Remedies For Nasal Congestion
If you’re looking for an alternative to a Neti Pot, there are several options available. Nasal sprays, steam inhalation, and warm compresses can all help to alleviate nasal congestion.
You can find a few more solutions that work here – Home Remedies For Decongestion- 12 Decongestants That Work
You must speak to your doctor if the congestion persists. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications such as decongestants or antihistamines.
Neti Pot FAQs
How long does nasal irrigation take?
The whole process shouldn’t take you more than 5-10 minutes. This includes preparing the saline solution and cleaning the device afterward.
How often should I use a neti pot?
The frequency of use depends on individual needs. Some people may only need to use it once or twice a week, while others may need to use it daily. It’s best to consult with a physician to determine the best frequency of use for your individual needs.
Is using a neti pot safe?
This device is generally safe for most people provided that it is used correctly. Before use, take time to read the guidelines and tips above on how to use a net pot safely.
Can I use essential oils in a neti pot?
No, you should not use essential oils in a neti pot. While essential oils have many beneficial properties, they are highly concentrated extracts and may cause irritation or damage to the delicate tissues in the nasal passages. Besides, essential oils are not water-soluble, so they won’t get diluted even if you add them to the saline solution.
Can I use a neti pot if I have a cold or sinus infection?
Yes, nasal irrigation can help relieve congestion and promote healing. However, if you have a severe cold or sinus infection, it’s best to speak to a healthcare provider first.
Are there any conditions when nasal irrigation is not recommended?
If you have a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or chronic sinusitis, you must consult with a healthcare provider before using this technique.
Can I use a neti pot before bed?
Yes, using a neti pot before bed can help reduce nighttime congestion and promote better breathing. It is especially useful when you have sinusitis or nasal congestion from any allergies. However, you should try and use it at least 1/2 an hour before bedtime. If you use it just before getting into bed, any saline solution still in the nasal passages may leak out onto your pillow.
Can I reuse the saline solution?
No, you must prepare a fresh saline solution every time to avoid the risk of contamination. Throw away any leftover saline solution and it provides a thriving breeding ground for bacteria.
Is nasal irrigation safe t if I have a nosebleed?
No, if you are experiencing a nosebleed, you should avoid inserting any fluid into your nostrils.
What are some potential side effects of using a neti pot?
Some people may experience mild side effects, such as temporary stinging or discomfort in the nasal passages, or a feeling of fullness in the ears. If you experience any discomfort stop using the neti pot and consult with a healthcare provider.
Can I use a neti pot to treat snoring?
No. These devices are designed to reduce congestion and improve breathing, they are not specifically designed to treat snoring.
Using a neti pot is very effective for relieving nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and allergies. What’s important is to make sure that you are using the correct technique and the correct type of water and salt when using this device. Understanding what is a neti pot and how it works is key to learning how to use it correctly while avoiding potential risks.
If you’re looking for a natural, drug-free way to alleviate nasal congestion, then it’s definitely worth learning how to use a neti pot.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, it’s best to consult with your doctor. They can help you determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
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.