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Neti Pots: How To Use A Neti Pot For Nasal Irrigation

Updated on September 12, 2013

What is a Neti Pot?

Neti Pots are small jug like implements that are used to carry out nasal irrigation (cleaning of the nasal passages). The Neti Pot is filled with saline fluid and inserted into each nostril, one after the other, in order to irrigate the nasal passages.

Neti Pots can be used to reduce allergies and associated symptoms, minimise sinusitis and other sinus problems and also help to decrease breathing problems and asthmatic symptoms. Some people have reported a better sense of taste and smell from regularly using a Neti Pot. Using a Neti Pot can help to feel better generally.

Neti pots can be used daily to maintain good health (many people use a Neti Pot as part of their daily routine). When you have a cold or congestion it can be used more often to speed up the process of congestion leaving the body.

Neti Pots

Neti Pots
Neti Pots | Source

The Benefits of Using a Neti Pot

Neti Pot Health Benefits

Neti pots can help to:

  • Reduce or eliminate sinusitis and sinus problems
  • Reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms
  • Reduce breathing problems
  • Reduce or eliminate colds and congestion
  • Improve overall sinus health
  • Improve the senses of taste and smell

Using a neti pot
Using a neti pot | Source
Ceramic Neti Pot
Ceramic Neti Pot | Source
Plastic Neti Pot
Plastic Neti Pot | Source

How to Use a Neti Pot

1. Mix together about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt with approx 8 oz of warm water (body temperature or the temperature of your tears is a good guideline) until the salt dissolves. Do not have the water too hold or cold and with a good balance of salt, otherwise it will cause irritation. Use distilled, filtered or pre-boiled water to make the solution (not tap water).

2. Pour the saline liquid into the Neti Pot.

3. Standing over a sink, tilt your head to one side and insert the Neti Pot spout in the nostril that is raised.

4. Keeping your mouth open (to stop water flowing down your throat) the water should flow through your nose, from the raised nostril to the lower one and out.

5. You will need to keep raising the Neti Pot gently to drain all of the solution and maintain a steady flow through your nasal passages.

6. Once you have completed for one nostril, exhale and blow your nose gently as needed.

7. Move your head to the other side to repeat the process for the opposite nostril.

8. The process of irrigating both nostrils should take about five minutes.

9. If you have any difficulties using it, try to experiment with how you tilt your head (forward and to the side). There are videos on YouTube which demonstrate this.

10.Though using a Neti Pot can feel a bit unusual to start with, many people (myself included) grow to enjoy the soothing effect it provides.

11. In some cases, people experience discomfort or pain. If you experience any pain or ongoing sinus issues, you should contact a medical professional.

Should I Use a Stainless Steel, Ceramic or Plastic Neti Pot?

Neti Pots can be plastic, ceramic or stainless steel.

Neti pots are easy to use whichever type you decide on. There are pros and cons to using each of the types of neti pots; some people prefer ceramic or stainless steel. They vary in price accordingly so it is worth doing some research about the different types of Neti Pot before you buy one. Here are a list of the pros and cons of each:

Plastic Neti Pot

Pros:

  • Cheaper
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to transport
  • Not easily broken

Cons:

  • Harder to assess the temperature of the fluid though the plastic
  • Salt may cause deterioration of plastic over time
  • Can often be smaller and have a limit to how much fluid they hold

Ceramic Neti Pot

Pros:

  • More decorative appearance
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Fragile and easy to break
  • Heavier to use
  • Possibly less hygienic (if cracked or knocked)
  • Can often be smaller and have a limit to how much fluid they hold

Stainless Steel Neti Pot

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Hygienic
  • Professional appearance

Cons:

  • Possibility of rusting but this is minimized by cleaning and drying after use

Further Advice

  • Always use distilled, filtered or pre-boiled water to make the solution (not tap water)
  • Get the right quantities of water to salt – too much or little salt will cause nasal irritation
  • Make sure your solution isn’t too hot or cold as again this will cause nasal irritation
  • Stay relaxed, keep your mouth open and breathe normally whilst using a neti pot
  • Using a neti pot may take a little practice, but it should be easy to use your neti pot to do after a couple of tries
  • If you experience nasal pain or other issues, stop using your neti pot see a Doctor
  • Neti pots are not expensive (they should cost between $4 - $20 depending on which type of neti pot you buy)

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    • jasmith1 profile image
      Author

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you! :)

      I heard about that too! So important to use filtered water and be safe.

    • mpoche4 profile image

      Michal 5 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

      Great hub- there was a man whom recently died because he did not use filtered water! The bacteria from whatever he was using infected him.

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