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Salt and Wonders of Using a Neti Pot

Updated on January 28, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Neti pot

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Prescription pills

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Old Fashioned but Effective Remedy

I used to suffer with frequent sinus infections and my doctor used to give me Penicillin prescriptions. [The use of the prescription pills eventually combated the infection and got me back to normal.

The sad thing is that with frequently using that type of therapy, I became allergic to all of the Penicillin drugs. This is not good because it wiped out an entire arsenal of antibiotics that might serve to combat vicious infections in the future.

I should have listened to my mother! She had told me for years that sniffing up some saltwater would be useful instead of relying upon antibiotics. She was a great one in trusting tried and true holistic methods passed down through her family. My mother undoubtedly learned that from her mother.

Mothers often know best.

Sea Salt

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Salt...an Essential Element


One of many essential elements to human life as well as many other life forms is salt. While our bodies are made up of an average 70% of water, only a fraction of that is salt. Yet we cannot live without it. Our bodies do not produce sodium so we need to get outside sources of it.

Sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, magnesium and a number of other elements are just as important as oxygen in being able to live and function in a healthy manner.

The makeup of the salt we consume is primarily made up of a mixture of sodium and chloride. There may be a few other trace elements and some that might be purposely added such as iodine or flouride for health considerations.

Salt has been used for numerous purposes other than that which we consume. It has a long history going back to the earliest times of human habitation on earth. Preservation of foods prior to refrigeration was an early use of salt. It has religious significance. Salt has been used as an article of trade and has many industrial purposes. Because of this wars have even been fought over who could control this all important substance.

Piles of Salt

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Great Salt Lake Map

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The Great Salt Lake

When my mother, niece and I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah many years ago we viewed salt that was being harvested from evaporation from the Great Salt Lake.

It is 8th largest land locked salt water lake in the entire world. We chose not to swim or rather float in the Great Salt Lake. It in truth was rather smelly!

The water level changes through the years depending upon wet seasons or those of drought. I have to think that when my grandmother enjoyed floating in that same water decades earlier, perhaps the water level was higher and not quite so odoriferous.

Our seas are obviously a major source of salt. Since most of our planet consists of salt water, we have just about an inexhaustible source of it.

How salt is harvested from sea water

Salt Shaker

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Salt and Cell Function


Sodium is an electrolyte and is responsible for the nerve impulses being transmitted throughout our bodies.

Our blood (the majority of which is made up of water) carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the cells within our bodies. Our individual cells function well when all of our electrolytes are in balance. Our muscles as well as our brains would not function as they should if we are lacking in the correct balance of sodium and the other electrolytes.

Our fluid balance would also be out of whack if these necessary electrolytes are not correctly balanced.

Most of us who eat western diets need not worry about taking in enough sodium. As a matter of fact we often eat more than what is recommended for optimal health...a whopping 3,400 milligrams on average. Fortunately for those of us with healthy kidneys, any excesses are normally excreted in our urine. Through our tears and perspiration we also eliminate sodium. That is why our tears can taste salty.

So how much should we be consuming on a daily basis? That depends upon which source is consulted and if there are other health considerations. If a person has high blood pressure which might lead to strokes or heart attacks the recommendation is to cut way back. The AMA generally recommends trying to hit a target range of no more than 1500 to 2300 milligrams of salt consumption daily. 2300 milligrams is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt.

Please consult your own physician when it comes to making a decision about salt consumption and your own health considerations.

Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

Neti Pot to the Rescue!


Now that we know that salt is a regular and integral part of the fluids in our bodies, it made good sense to use it to holistically treat my sinus infections.

There are many bottled saline solutions that can be sprayed into nostrils to alleviate stuffiness and bathe the mucous membranes with natural moisture. I had tried some of them and had limited success with regard to a raging sinus infection.

I had heard of the Neti Pot. Practically every drug store in America has them and they are inexpensive. The one I have came from either Walgreens or CVS and mine is a plastic one that also came with little packets of a dry salt mixture that you just mix with body temperature warm water.

The directions are to insert the small opening of the Neti pot into one nostril while tilting your head and hanging over a sink. Breathe through your mouth and let the salt solution bathe your sinuses. Do the same for each nostril. The water will exit through your other nostril into the sink.

Below is a video showing just how easy it is to use a Neti pot.

Using a Neti Pot is Easy!

Have you used a Neti pot?

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Using a Neti Pot

Supposedly it also helps with allergies if used on a daily basis.

Just thought that I would share what has truly helped me with regard to sinus infections. In fact, using the salt solution with the use of a Neti pot helped clear up bacterial infections even faster than the use of antibiotics that I used to take.

If you have used a Neti pot please let me know if it helps you as much as it seems to help me by leaving your comment in the comment section below. Thanks!

Disclaimer: In no way is this information intended to take the place of your doctors advice. This health information offered above is simply a starting point for consideration and discussion with your medical professional.

Neti pot

Neti pot
Neti pot | Source

© 2017 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kari,

      Hope it helps your sinuses. It really does help mine when I use the neti pot.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 2 weeks ago from Ohio

      That makes sense to me! I'm going to dig out that neti pot and start using it. Since I've moved to Ohio, my sinuses are giving me fits. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kari,

      What I like about using the tap water is that it can be easily warmed to approximate body temperature so it is easier to gauge rather than using cold water or trying to heat it to the right temperature.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 2 weeks ago from Ohio

      That makes it much easier for me. I currently do not have income, but if I can use tap water, I could do this. I think I still have a neti pot from a while ago. Thank You!!! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kari,

      I must admit that I use it with tap water but distilled is probably safer.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      I need to get myself a neti pot! Do you use it with tap water or distilled?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dale,

      Am sure that your sinuses are benefiting from the sea air. Many old time remedies have value and some that your grandmother used were probably some of them. (Smile)

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 3 weeks ago from The High Seas

      This was a clever article. I grew up on a farm in rural Australia and was at the tender mercy of my grandmother who fancied herself as a bit of an olde timey traditional healer. She would have loved reading this and then spent the next week referring back to it. Myself, I'll refer my wife to this article to prove that me spending time on my boat is vital to my health. With all that exposure to sea salt that I'm getting from it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jackie,

      Like you I often choose a natural approach when at all possible with things like this. Trust me you will not strangle when doing this. Just follow directions. It is easy to do.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 6 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      I have one of these pots and had no idea what it was!

      My mom use to do this, I don't recall how but it always scared me thinking it could strangle you. It doesn't? I will watch some videos to perhaps make me brave.

      Thanks for such an unusual information piece. I always go for natural anything when I can.

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Glenis Rix,

      It certainly couldn't hurt to give it a try! Hope you find something that helps with that situation so that you get a good nights sleep.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 2 months ago from UK

      I'm plagued by a post-nasal drip that wakes me several times during the night. Have a prescription spray that doesn't seem to have any effect, so I wonder if a neti pot might help?

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Shyron,

      The comment section must not have been working for some reason if this is your 3rd try. Nice to know that you liked this information. The Neti Pots are very reasonably priced. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago from Texas

      Peggy, this is very interesting. This will be my third attempt to leave a comment. I have never heard of a Neti pot, I will look for one next time I go to Walgreens or CVS. It is good to know that sea salt does not have MSG which is a migraine trigger the way regular iodized table salt does.

      Thank you for this valuable information

      Blessings my beautiful friend

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      I always use a tissue when blowing my nose after a Neti Pot treatment. From your comment it seems you truly know the value of using Neti Pots. Thanks!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This reminds me of the time I used a neti pot while attending a nature cure camp.

      It is, however, very essential to blow out air through the nostrils forcefully when you're done to flush out any remaining water drops.

      Neti does help with curing problems like asthma, sinus, headaches, allergies, colds etc.

      The neti done with water is called Jal Neti.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jill,

      Happy to know that this was educational for you. Neti pots and the use of salt water really can help to clear up sinus infections. Thanks for your comment.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 3 months ago from United States

      This article was very educational for me. I'd never heard of a neti pot! Thanks for the good information and I'm glad it helped you with your sinus infections.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello The Writer from Earth,

      It is truly not that difficult to use a Neti Pot. I'll admit that it looks a bit funny but it is worth the effort.

    • writerfromearth profile image

      The Writer from Earth 4 months ago

      This is a very informative post. I am not sure if I have the courage to use Neti Pot though. :-) Now that I know about it, I have the option to try it. Thanks a ton for sharing the information.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Tom,

      I am glad you found this article useful. Hope you enjoy the results of using a Neti Pot.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Peggy thanks for this great information on the Neti pot , I was just looking at one today but was not sure it I should try it .

      But now I will go back to the store and buy it .

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Audrey,

      Nice that you got to play in the Great Salt Lake when it was more like a lake. My grandparents enjoyed it many years ago. When I was there with my mother and niece we were not even tempted. The lake was diminished in size and was pretty smelly. Let me know what you think of the Neti Pot if you do give it a try. Thanks!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm up for trying the Netti Pot after reading this informative hub of yours. Been to The Great Salt Lake many times. As a kid my cousins and I played and floated in this lake. Of course we always complained of salt stinging our eyes. But the last time I visited the lake I barely recognized it. What a shame. I do hope it fills up again.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Martie,

      I hope it helps your daughter and family as much as it helps me. Thanks for the share on FB.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 months ago from South Africa

      I am so glad sinusitis is not one of my ailments. But my daughter and her husband AND children have endless sinus problems in our dry and dusty climate. I am sharing this on my FB-Page.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Audrey,

      Nice to know that using a Neti Pot helps you as a singer and for general health. It does really help! I agree.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 months ago from California

      Doing the Neti Pot dance! I have used one daily for years--as a singer, I have to stay as healthy as I can--and this really helps!! Everyone should do this!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Thelma,

      If your friends have sinus problems it is surely worth a try using this natural method. It helps my sinuses so I can personally attest to the efficacy of using a Neti Pot. Glad you found this to be of some use.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 months ago from Germany

      Great hub. This is the first time I have heard of a Neti Pot. Thanks for the information. Some of my friends have sinuses. This will be a good news to them.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Vellur,

      Glad that I could fill in a little information about how salt affects cell function plus information regarding how the Neti pot works. Thanks for your comment.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 7 months ago from Dubai

      Great hub, I have never used the Neti Pot but have heard of it. Interesting information about the salt and cell function, thank you for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      You are welcome Robert.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 8 months ago

      Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      I am glad to know that you are feeling much better. :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 8 months ago

      Yes, I feel much better. Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Hope you feel much better! There seems to be a lot of colds and flu going around this year.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 8 months ago

      Definitely. I was just getting over a bout when I read your article.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Hope it works for you as good as it does for me. Certainly worth a try! :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 8 months ago

      Thank you. I may give this a try.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Genna,

      That is certainly my experience with using the Neti Pot. It seems to help many people and is certainly easy enough to use. Glad you found this informative.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 8 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I've heard of Neti pots but I didn't know if they really worked. "...using the salt solution with the use of a Neti pot helped clear up bacterial infections even faster than the use of antibiotics that I used to take." Good to know! Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nell,

      Glad to hear that this was informative to you and filled in some blanks as to the value of using items like the Neti pot. I can vouch for its effectiveness!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 months ago from England

      I had heard of it before, but only from reading online the last few years. we don't use them over here, I don't think. But with your info it definitely looks like something we should look into, so thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi ChitrangadaSharan,

      Nice to know that you already know about the benefits of using a Neti pot. I did not realize that it was also related to Yoga. Thanks for that information.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      I agree that it does look strange for people who have never tried using a Neti pot. But as both of us know from experience...it is easy to use. Like you, I have also recommended it to others. I have even purchased some and given them as gifts. Appreciate your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jewels,

      Good to know that it can also be done via a mug and both nostrils at once. I wonder if the same amount of saline would actually make it through the nasal passages via using a Neti pot? Since I have a Neti pot I will continue using it. Your idea of using it after being exposed to dust, etc. makes good sense.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This is a very useful information you have shared with others!

      In fact this is a Yogic activity and is called 'Jal-Neti ' in Yoga. Jail means water and Neti is exactly what you have described above in your article.

      You are right about the wonderful benefits of doing Jal Neti. I do have a Neti pot at my home.

      Even if one does not have sinus issues, it is used to clear cough trapped in the tracks that is responsible for common cold and cough.

      Very useful, well written and informative hub! Thanks for sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

      The first time I saw a video of someone using a neti pot I cracked up. I thought it was awkward and the strangest thing I had ever seen. But then I learned a little more about it after a health practitioner mentioned it to me and I've been using it ever since to alleviate seasonal allergies. It's wonderful. When the flu or colds are going around I also use it as a preventative. It seems to truly help and I have recommended it to a number of people.

      The one thing I don't know is whether to use tap water or sterile water. A doctor told me that anything that close to your brain should be sterile given the very rare but lethal amoeba that has been found in some water sources (including the local river). Honestly though I skip that and just take my chances.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 8 months ago from Australia

      I did the Neti practice for 12 months but not using the pot. I found the pot blocked one side of the nasal passage while unblocking the other. Instead I use a non-lipped bowl and do both passages at once. Or you can also use a large mug as it will do the trick also. Saves money on an expensive pot. The balance is perfect and the technique is not hard to master. You may find this interesting: https://hubpages.com/health/Neti

      I now do the practice when needed, like after doing lots of housework or garden work or being in dusty or dirty places. It's a good maintenance tool for overall health. Interestingly though the practice is an energetic one more than a physical one. But of course it does wonders on the physical level.