Sinucleanse Neti Pot

Becca ReddyHealth48 Comments

Do you struggle with:

  • Breathing?
  • Pollen and other allergens?
  • Dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants?
  • Nasal dryness, especially with air travel or climate change?
  • Nose bleeds from dryness?
  • Sinus congestion and excess mucus?
  • Mental sluggishness and lazy body?

Then I have two words for you: Neti Pot.

Neti Pot is used to practice a yogic technique of body cleansing called of Jala Neti, which means “nasal irrigation with warm salt water.”

Natural and gentle, Jala Neti (Neti for short) aids your nasal passageways in conducting your first line of defense against the outside world. Regular practice of nasal irrigation not only provides you an inexpensive and effective health remedy for sinus issues, it also supports your entire mind-body healing!

My experience with Jala Neti

When I was young, I got frequent colds that routinely turned into ear and sinus infections. Only two years ago I finished up my last regimen of amoxicillin, thanks to another episode of of head-cold-turned-into-sinus-infection.

Many times it looked as if I was over my head cold. And then wham! I’d wake up with excruciating sinus pain. I’d end up seeing my doctor and sure enough, he’d diagnose me with a sinus or ear infection and write me yet another prescription.

Once I was over the prescription, I found myself on a new regimen to rebuild the beneficial bacteria in my body. The antibiotics had, once again, destroyed the good bacteria in my body along with the bad.

That was my reality until I met my husband, Sage and discovered the ancient healing technique called Jala Neti nasal irrigation. Sage first made me aware of my Ayurvedic mind-body type as being Pitta-Kapha and that, thanks to the Kapha portion of my body type, I am very prone to sinus issues (excess mucus & phlegm production).

Then he introduced me to the practice of Jala Neti.

For the past one year, my Neti habit has protected me from my usual sinus issues.

Presently, I am visiting India (my first time ever!) and my husband and I are staying with his folks. Very exciting! But only two weeks into the trip, I started losing my voice. Then came the fever, the mucus and the body aches.

The fever broke and the body aches waned, but the mucus kept coming. Sure, my Neti habit has kept my sinuses clear for this past year, but I’ve not had a head cold either. And now I did. So I was afraid that my silly Neti habit would not protect me from what seemed to be an imminent sinus infection.

On the verge of panic and in tears, I told my husband that perhaps we should go see the doctor because I saw the writing on the wall. Sage, much to my disbelief, saw it differently. He stroked my arm and urged me to give it another day. He urged me to continue with my Neti regimen and increase my intake of warm fluids.

“If you’re still in pain tomorrow morning we’ll go to the doctor,” he promised.

I woke up the next morning and the pain was gone!

My Neti sinus irrigation habit had indeed protected me from what would’ve been a nasty sinus infection. The mucus was still flowing, but it was less profuse and clear. It was too good to be true, but I took it gratefully. I shared this news with Sage and we rejoiced.

This was the first time in my life that I had a head cold and it did NOT turn into a sinus infection!

So I am super excited about having discovered Neti. While antibiotics are very effective in ridding your body of harmful bacteria, they also destroy the beneficial bacteria that your body so desperately needs. Neti rids your body of only of the unwanted bacteria leaving the beneficial ones well alone.

Which makes Jala Neti a gentle, safe, simple, natural and inexpensive method for keeping you free of sinus issues and promote bodily healing.

Getting started with Jala Neti

Your investment is minimal. For your supplies all you need is a neti pot  (any pot with material that does not react to salt will do), some salt (impurities in the salt can be irritating, but any non-iodized salt will do). If want to be extra careful, go with neti salt, a salt designed specifically for this purpose), warm water free of impurities, and about 3 minutes of your time.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of sterile water.
  2. Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink, keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher.
  3. Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
  4. Raise the neti pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth.
  5. When the neti pot is empty, face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils. Refill the neti pot and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear and dry the nasal passages.

At first your Jala Neti practice could be a bit uncomfortable, but you’ll soon get over it.  If you experience any burning sensation in your nostrils, it could be because (1) your water is too hot or (2) you used too much salt. Correct these user errors and you should be fine.

Jala Neti is especially helpful during a sinus cold or an allergy flare-up, but as a daily ritual it also helps keep your Kapha in balance.

Here’s to your clean nose and healthy sinuses.

Want tips on other simple daily routines that promote healing and maintain health? Read my posts on Abhyanga.

To your health!


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48 Comments on “Sinucleanse Neti Pot”

  1. Yeah, that’s about right. A sledgehammer to my sinuses, a vice around my ear drums, an elephant sitting on my head…yeah, that pretty much captures the essence of how my sinus pain and pressure feels. Oh, and the leaky faucet instead of a nose. Yep. That’s me. Yay me! But when I open up (literally…as in sinuses), it truly is a whole new world. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my head and my eyes and my ears and my nose…and breathing, thinking, and functioning in general is simply easier and more enjoyable.

    1. Jessica,
      I am glad to hear you have discovered Neti! I am also thrilled you are having a positive experience. Like you said adding the essential oils can easily and economically be done. I just want to add a word of caution and care concerning their use. Essential oils are economical, but they are potent and each person reacts differently to them.
      The best way I’ve found is a series of “tests” that go slow and really listen to your body. The first I call a smell test. First gently breath in the essence and if that is pleasurable(no running nose, sneezing or coughing) then go to the skin test. Dilute 2 drops of your essential oil into 10-20 drops of carrier oil and massage it on your inner arm. If you don’t get any burning or itching sensations you can take it to the next level the breath test. Fill a pot of boiling water and drop in 1-2 drops of your essential oil. Place a towel over your head and inhale through your nose. If no adverse reaction occurs, I would feel safe adding it to my Neti. try 1 drop in your salt water solution.
      I would like to reiterate, if at any point of this testing you get itching, burning, coughing, sneezing, anything uncomfortable STOP-do not use that essential oil. Your body knows what it wants. You just need to listen.
      Good luck!
      ~ Becca
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  2. Hi Becca,

    So nice to share neti pot with us. Neti pot is a container designed to rinse debris or mucus from your nasal cavity. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose.

    People practice neti pot on a daily basis to help keep their sinuses clean and to make their breathing easier and more free.

    Kind Regards
    Yasin Rishad
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  3. A neti pot is a small ceramic or plastic pitcher. It has two openings, one at the top and another in the spout. It is filled with salt water to cleanse your nasal passages. A sinus wash is recommended as part of your daily personal hygiene regimen. Cleansing your sinuses in this manner relieves symptoms associated with colds, flu, sinus infections, nasal dryness, allergies, and other sinus irritations. It also helps reduce swelling of the nasal membranes.
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  4. I suffered from chronic yearly sinus infections for years until I started using something called a Neti Pot . The pot itself isn’t what makes those agitating symptoms miraculously go away. It’s the act of flushing your sinuses with the warm salty water which the Neti Pot contains that performs the trick. Just imagine, years and years of dirt and bacteria that has built up inside of your sinus cavity finally being forced out and released just like a clogged sewage pipe that needs to be irrigated. No wonder you’re suffering from severe chronic headaches, congestion and poor health for years. Your sinus cavity is a filtering system and it’s the one important area of your body that never gets a full thorough cleansing. It would be like leaving the gutter system in your house clogged with leaves and soot every year from fall and winter. Even this needs yearly cleaning in the spring due to the snow, soot and fallen leaves from the past two seasons. Just like your sinuses are attacked with pollen every spring. And just like your sinuses, if you leave your gutter clogged, it could cause a lot of problems for you later.
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    1. Esther,
      Thank you for reading and your great metaphors. I like how you explained that it isn’t the solution that is magical, but the fact of removing the impurities from the system so the body can do its job. Our body systems are beautifully and delicately designed, and they can use our help to clean them out then get out of the way again. I celebrate with you being sinus infection free!
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  5. Hello Rebecca,
    I first saw this method on tv some time ago. I thought that it would hurt like the time in the shower or at the swimming pool when water gets into your nose by mistake, but I was wrong. The person who practiced this method on the show turned out fine. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Swan. I use Neti every morning and the only time I have gotten that swimming pool experience is when my salt to water ratio is off. Too much salt will burn. Watch your water temperature as well.

    1. Nicholle,
      I hope you do get to experience all that Neti has to offer. It can be uncomfortable, but you will never be able to know for sure unless you give it a fair try. Right?
      Good luck to you.

    1. Nile,
      I am glad to hear your experience with the Neti Pot is a positive one! Don”t you wish it for everyone?!

  6. Thank you Becca. I had never heard anyone describe how to use a neti pot or what it was good for. I had heard of them before but had not known anyone who actually used one. I used to get sinus infections often as a child and I can relate for sure with a head cold always turning into a sinus infection. Spent part of every summer with sinus infections. No fun. 🙁

    I don’t have so many sinus problems anymore, because I live in the desert where its so dry, but maybe a neti pit practice can help with the uncomfortable super dry feeling I get in the summer.
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    1. Michael,
      Too bad we didn’t discover this sooner! You and I could have been infection free kids! Oh well I guess. As for your comment on the nasal dryness, I know neti will help. I’ve experienced nose bleeds when there was not enough humidity and neti has helped keep those from happening.

    1. Joe,
      Thanks for visiting! Neti has been my life saver and I wanted others to know about this amazing, inexpensive, health promoting practice! Happy Spring to you!

  7. Rebecca,

    Tried this many moons ago. I started because I had terrible headaches, which I thought were the result Carolina allergies. Flushing my sinuses became a regular thing. Unfortunately, the Neti Pot didn’t solve MY issues. Why? Because it wasn’t sinuses. Instead, I found that I had elevated blood pressure.

    In any case, I came to enjoy the process and wouldn’t mind doing it again soon. Funny thing, instead of a Neti Pot (I’m thrifty), I ended up using a turkey baster to flush my sinuses.

    Well, that’s it. Thank you!

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    1. Diamond,
      Your method is very thrifty and multi-functional. I would just be very aware that you are not forcing the water through your sinuses. The gravity flow is really the best pressure, because it won’t do any damage. I hope you’ve found relief for your blood pressure and continue your Neti practice.
      Here’s to your health!

  8. Rebecca,
    That is amazing and refreshing news. Now, if you can help me with sinus nasal drip issue I have all year around. This will be the blessing if it is done without the daily pill I must take.

    Hey, I can’t go through the day without drip and cough then pain. This is all my life which nothing else helped except the medicine I have now. If there is anything that can stop it naturally then I am up for it.

    By the way, I am experiencing two messages a week with Aqua therapy. This is helping my spinal issues and pain.

    Rebecca, thanks for caring and supplying us with usable information.
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    1. William,
       Thank you for the update about your successes with massage and therapy. 
      I am glad to hear you are not experiencing such pain. Keep me updated about your experience with Neti and any questions you have!
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  9. I suffer from allergies and do not tolerate most of the medications used to treat them (especially antihistamines). As a result, I’ve been miserable for much of my adult life. That is, until I discovered this concept of rinsing the sinuses. A co-worker first suggested it 15 years ago, but it took me 9 years to try it myself. What convinced me to try it was discovering the NeilMed Sinus Rinse squeeze bottle system, which seemed easier to me than holding a Neti pot to my nose. I use the ph-balanced premixed packets too, rather than just adding salt to the water.

    One very important thing to remember, whatever system you use, is to ALWAYS use sterile water. Sterile water ensures you are not introducing something unwanted — like bacteria — into your system through the mucus membranes of your sinuses.
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    1. Lesa,
      Thank you for visiting again. Great to see you! I am glad you have experienced the gold in sinus cleansing! The bottle and pre mixed packets are very convenient and just as effective. Thank you for highlighting the importance of sterile water. You are trying to rid your body of unwanted bacteria not introduce more:)
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  10. Hi Rebecca,

    I’ve heard of gargling with salt water, but never this technique. I have a friend with constant sinus headache pain. She, like you, has resorted to the usual medical treatments, with no lasting effect. I will share this information with her. Hopefully, she can be helped.

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    1. Stacy, 
      I have been aware of Neti for quite some time now.  I guess I wasn’t fed up enough with the antibiotics and other methods until now. I am so thankful for my experience and wish the same for you!
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  11. Hi Rebecca,

    I was a big Oprah fan and I loved watching Dr. Oz when he was on. He’s the one that introduced us to the Neti pot. Before that I had never heard of this.

    I’m lucky to not be one of those people who have horrible sinus problems so I’ve never had to purchase a Neti pot to help me with that. But I sure do know a lot of people who do.

    Thanks for this introduction to this wonderful little miracle worker and so glad you’ve found it to be extremely helpful as well. These are the best testimonies I believe.

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    1. Adrienne,
      Even though you haven’t been inflicted with sinus problems Neti has something to offer you! At a deeper level it will help balance your body!  A regular practice each morning can give many benefits such as unblocking sinuses, ease in meditation, and overall alertness and balance.

    1. Anthony,
      It is great to be in cahoots with Sage:) I have known about Neti for quite some time and  now am realizing what a gold mine I’ve been missing out on.

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