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Neti Pot - As Seen on Oprah!

Updated on March 25, 2011

I first heard about the neti pot on a Dr. Oz segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I have always been susceptible to sinus infections and nasal congestion and found that sinus medicines did not agree with me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I take pills for hypothyroidism. But sinus pills and decongestants make me very jittery and I feel worse after taking the pills.

What is a neti pot you ask? The quick description is that it is a small pot that looks like a teapot; you fill it with a saline solution mixed with lukewarm water and pour the liquid into one nostril and let it flow out of the other one. This helps to remove mucus and congestion from the nasal passages. Originally, people put water in their hands and snorted it. A neti pot makes the process much easier.

Warm Water Only

You start off with warm water either from the tap or from distilled water; it is generally believed that distilled water is the best choice. Although, boiling water and letting it cool is also recommended. You then add the saline solution; it is best to use a commercially prepared solution so that you don’t have too much of one ingredient. The saline solution contains salt and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Next, put the top back on the neti pot and shake it gently to dissolve the solution. Before you start using the neti pot blow your nose gently to loosen the mucus. Next bend your head slightly to create a stopper; otherwise the solution will go right down your throat. Then tilt your head slightly with your mouth open and pour the solution into one nostril. After a few seconds, depending on how congested your nasal passages are, the solution will pour out of your other nostril. Alternate between nostrils and blow your nose between turns. More advanced users snort the solution from the neti pot and spit it out. This is not recommended for beginners though.

A Neti Pot is Easy to Use

While it may sound complicated and scary, a neti pot really is easy to use. There is a chance some water may end up in your ears but it is a minimal amount if any.

If you use a neti pot regularly, you will see and decline in the number of sinus infections you get. You will also notice that the side effects of a head cold are lessened when you use a neti pot; while it won’t prevent you from getting a cold, your cold will not last as long if you regularly use a neti pot. The neti pot has a long history. It has been used in India for centuries by followers of yoga. An article on Wikipedia states that “Both the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and other sourcesusually attribute to Neti many beneficial effects that range from profound physiological ones on the body, mind and personality to even clairvoyance.” I am not sure about all that, I just know that it lessen my sinus congestion.

There are many kinds of materials used in the manufacture of the neti pot; clay, ceramics, plastic, and metal. You should choose the one that most suits the shape of your nostrils to get the full benefits of the neti pot.

Thank you Oprah

I really am glad I was watching Oprah the day that Dr. Oz demonstrated the neti pot. I didn’t get one right away but it intrigued me. Like many people when they first hear of the neti pot, I was sceptical and nervous about using one. I probably picked my neti pot up a couple of weeks later. I do admit I don’t use it as much as I should; otherwise I doubt I’d still be getting sinus infections. The neti pot is a great natural way to clear up sinus problems and cost you less money than it would if you went to the doctor and got a prescription for sinus drugs or anti-biotics. Of course, if you have a fever with that sinus problem I would suggest you visit a doctor just in case it has gone too far for strictly natural treatment.


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  • elisabethkcmo profile image

    elisabethkcmo 8 years ago from Just East of Oz

    Yes, I really like my Neti, use it all the time

    (I use it in the shower)

    great hub, very informative, hope even more people read this, especially with all the flu concerns right now

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Many years ago I read a book on Yogi practices and learned how to take a mouthful of warm salted water in my mouth, tip my head down over the sink and push the water back over that dangly thing in the top back of the mouth. The water would run out my nose and clear out any sinus congestion.-- it takes a little practice and relaxation to overcome the involuntary gag reflex-- but it works and leave a very 'clear' feeling..

    I grew up by the ocean and as children we would play in the surf and snort a bit of salt water when dumped by the waves.

    Any congestion or cold symptoms were cleared out and I remembered this feeling.

    The neti pot is a little easier-- my husband who has allergies has found it to be very helpful.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Glad to hear that Nelle, more motivation for me to use mine every day :) Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Nelle Hoxie 8 years ago

    I have been using a neti pot for about 5 years. It makes a huge difference. Most doctors won't give antibiotics for sinus or ear infections anymore, and my neti pot has really helped me minimize sinus problems. Before I was really have chronic problems.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks Triplet Mom, I always find I feel more energetic right after I use my neti pot. I don't know if that's just because I'm breathing better...

  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

    Very interesting. I have never heard of a Neti Pot before but as a sinus sufferer I might just have to check it out.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thank you Ladybird. I hope it solves your mother's problem. Keep me posted.

  • Ladybird33 profile image

    Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

    Unvited Writer, I told my mother to visit you on this site this morning. She has struggled with it all her life. She is going to try it. Thank you so much, she has suffered for many years and hopefully, this will work for her!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    They are all over the place now Barry :) Thanks for the comment.

  • barryrutherford profile image

    Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

    I was introduced to one of these in 1986 by a Yoga teacher. unfortunely i lost the thing whilst I was moving must get another one soon. Great cold & flu prevention strategy...

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Unlike many "old wives" tales, it actually works :) Thanks for dropping by.

  • jiberish profile image

    jiberish 8 years ago from florida

    Good info. It fits into the 'old wives' tale remedies.