Okay, I won’t lie. The first time I heard about a neti pot – let alone watched a video of one being used – I had to take a moment to reflect on the hilarity of it all (and maybe the “ick” factor too).
The nasal irrigation pot – note other funny monikers such as “nose bidet” and “nose toilet” – has been used for centuries as a natural way to clear the sinuses and help prevent congestion. When used with a saline rinse, the pot washes away dirt, dust, and pollen particles, which can adhere to the thin layer of protective mucus covering your nasal passages. This debris-trapping mucus actually serves as a first line of defense against disease. Therefore, it’s very important to keep it healthy, clean, and moist. Regular use of a neti pot will promote better breathing, reduce congestion, and stop impurities from entering your body.
Now, I don’t normally experience a lot of nasal allergies, just some occasional aggravation from pet dander courtesy of my two feline children. Because of this, I wasn’t sure just how much of an improvement I would feel by using the pot. I also wasn’t sure about the slight embarrassment and strange feeling involved with flushing out the inner confines of my nasal cavity.
However, last week I buried all feelings of silliness and, blushingly, gave it a try. Standing over my kitchen sink (a lone audience member – my chuckling husband – behind me), I mixed the recommended one cup of warm water with one-quarter teaspoon of non-iodized nasal cleansing salt. Deep breath. I pulled the trigger. Step 1: Tip your head. Step 2: Put spout in nostril. Step 3: Pour solution and feel liquid shoot out through the other nostril. Step 4: Repeat sides. Step 5: Generously blow your nose.
I’ll compare the sensation I felt to a faint tickle you have in your nose that you can’t scratch. It’s very brief, very bearable, and over in a matter of seconds. Immediately afterward, my nasal passages were totally clear. I was breathing in what seemed like new air, but what was really just more air, not filtered out by the impurities and debris that had traveled up my nose. This breathing clarity continued for the rest of the day and into the next morning when I needed a refresher.
Based upon the results that I – a non-allergy-sufferer – logged, I can only imagine the benefits that someone with nasal allergies or a sinusitis condition would get from using a nasal cleansing pot daily. Nowadays, doctors are recommending a neti pot, such as the Himalayan Institute Neti Pot, to treat more than just allergies. For example, it’s being tapped as an appropriate treatment for common cold congestion and as way to recover from the drying effects of air travel.
So if you’re looking for alternative and natural relief for nasal congestion or if you simply want to breathe better, try out a neti pot. Your nose will thank you.