How to Use a Neti Pot to Relieve Sinus Problems

17th May 2012

By  Jordan & Kyla Miller

Contributing Writers for  Wake Up World

If you’re one of the millions of people who are suffering from sinus problems, you know all too well how dreadful headaches and nasal pressure can be. In our search for relief, many of us may turn to over the counter sinus medication, which only mask the symptoms.

Fortunately, there is a non-invasive, natural method that can be used instead. In the last five to ten years, many sinus sufferers have turned to an age old tradition to help relieve some of the discomfort. The Neti Pot has been reintroduced into our culture as a means to keep our nasal cavities clear through saline irrigation – a therapy that specifically uses  salt  and  water  to flush out nasal passages. Today, there are several ways in which one can irrigate their nasal cavities; however, using the Neti Pot seems to be the most practical method.

What is a Neti Pot?

A Neti Pot is a ceramic pot (sometimes made from glass, plastic, or various metals) that resembles a mix between a tea pot and a magic lamp. This tool, has its roots in Ayurveda and has been used by its practitioners for many thousands of years; many people in these traditions have been using the Neti Pot to help keep bacteria and other microorganisms form sequestering in the nasal cavities, and using it as a purification technique before practicing yoga. They are largely used for infection and blockage in the nasal cavities due to mucus that manifests itself as allergies, head colds, and sinus infections. The Neti Pot is used as a vessel to direct a warm (non-iodized) saline solution into our nasal passages in a gentle, non-invasive way so that it can easily flush out particles and debris from the mucosal lining of our 4 nasal passages. In effect, the salt acts as an astringent, and helps dry up excess mucus production.

Although Nasal irrigation has been around for centuries, the sudden increases in its use in North America, can be attributed to an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and a lot of subsequent news coverage. It’s popularity continues to grow as people begin to learn that this method is much cheaper and more effective than continuously buying and taking medication.

The cost of these pots can range anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00. The picture of the Neti Pot above is a ceramic pot which can be found at many natural food / whole food stores, or can be purchased easily through many internet sites for under $20.00. Ceramic, metal or glass are by far the best materials, as plastics can often leach various harmful chemicals or inorganic substances.

The nasal passage is considered the doorway to diseases. The passages contain many fine hairs and mucus membranes that are intended to catch and restrain many of the foreign substances that enter our bodies. Unfortunately, in this day in age, this filtration system becomes overwhelmed with foreign substances, like pollution, chemicals. fragrances, pollen, and dust. By cleaning these passages with the use of Neti Pot, it helps the system work much more effective.

Recent Controversy

Late last year (2011), the mainstream media attempted to shed some darkness on the Neti Pot. It was reported that  2 Louisiana residents died after using the Neti Pot. Essentially, the couple were using water from the tap which delivered the so-called brain eating  amoeba (Naegleria fowleri)  into their system. In order to avoid this from happening, we suggest that you use distilled water and ensure the instrument is properly cleaned and dried after each use. Also ensure that your using a high quality full spectrum salt (Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt) in your mix.

How to Use a Neti Pot

  • Fill the Neti Pot with warm distilled water.
  • Mix in a 1/4 tsp of finely ground non-iodized salt (Himalaya or Celtic Sea Salt) or salt solution in roughly 8oz of your warm water.
  • Turn your head to the side, and insert the spout into the upper nostril.
  • Raise the Neti Pot so the saline solution flows into the nose and out of the lower nostril. During the process you can breathe through your mouth.
  • Open your mouth and breathe gently through your mouth. Try not to sniff, swallow, laugh, talk or have any movement of air through the nose while the water is flowing through.
  • When you’re done, gently blow out through both nostrils to clear any water or mucus from the nasal passages.
  • Change sides, reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.

After the Nasal Rinse

To ensure that the saline solution is properly discarded from the nasal cavities, we suggest that you perform a few basic exercises:

  1. Exhalations: Exhale vigorously through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink.   If you exhale into a tissue, be careful not to pinch the nostrils closed while exhaling
  2. Forward Bending: Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few vigorous exhalations.

In order to reap the accumulative benefits from the Neti Pot, we suggest that you use the instrument daily in order to help keep sinuses clean and to make breathing easier and more free. Go ahead, try it! Let us know what you think.

Your question(s): Do you use a Neti Pot? Have you had success with it? (post your comments below)


About the Authors

Jordan & Kyla  are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist.  For more information, please visit the following sites;,  Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+, or  Pinterest


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