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The Best Home Remedy for Sinusitis, Colds and Allergies

Updated on March 3, 2010

The Neti Pot

It's a Jala Neti
It's a Jala Neti

The Nose Knows

Allergies and sinus problems can lead to miserable headaches, constant sneezing, swollen eyes, bad breath, sleepless nights and all around ill health. It is a common problem due to so many allergens (pollen, dust, smog, pollutants) and air-conditioned buildings that circulate the same air picking up every particle breathed by the office workers or home dwellers within. There are dozens of prescription drugs that claim to alleviate these symptoms, often with side effects that can complicate the situation. One of the best natural remedies for keeping nasal passages clean and free from mucous buildup is the use of the neti pot that enables one to pour a saline solution through the nostrils.


This technique was developed in India centuries ago in yoga to assist the practitioner in their breathing and became popular in the west some 30 years ago. It involves using a small pot with a narrow spout that fits into the nostrils, then tilting the head and allowing the saline solution to cleanse the nasal passages. The pots themselves can be made out of ceramic, plastic, metal, or clay. The flexible plastic pots seem to be most popular here. There are variations including bulb syringes in which the flow is created by squeezing a bulb and more advanced 'pulsatile devices' which mechanically pump the saline. All the devices work well to keep the “cilia,” or microscopic cellular strands, free from mucous buildup.

How to use the Neti Pot

How often?

As with all remedies, moderation is always the best policy. Too frequent use of the nasal saline solution could lead to irritation of the membranes.  Three times a week should maintain a healthy nasal environment. The neti pot should be kept clean to avoid bacterial infections. It’s important to use the proper ratio of salt to water using non-iodized salt and perhaps a dash of baking soda to ease the process. Generally the ratio is one pint of lukewarm water to one teaspoon of salt with one-half teaspoon of baking soda if desired. When used properly, the neti pot saline nasal cleanse is a very effective way to prevent colds, allergies and sinus infections from occurring.


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