What is a Neti Pot: Do they work and how do you use one

Neilmed neti potA neti pot comes in various shapes and can look like a cross between a teapot and watering can or even something that Aladdin would have rubbed to summon his genie.

It is used to perform a sinus rinse which rinses debris or mucus from your nasal cavity. You can use a neti pot for treating nasal allergies, sinus problems and colds.

You can make your own solution to use in the Neti Pot using 1 teaspoon of salt to a pint (440ml) of lukewarm water or you can use the ready made saline solution available from NeilMed.

Which ever solution you decide to go with it’s important that you use lukewarm bottled water, distilled water, filtered water or tap water that has been previously boiled for several minutes and left to cool, never use water straight from the tap.

You can use a microwave oven to warm the solution but test how warm it is before you use it or you could scald your nostril.

How do you use a Neti pot?

Always read the instructions that come with the neti pot, below is the standard procedure for most pots.

Fill the neti pot with the lukewarm solution of your choice and tilt your head sideways at about 45 degrees over a sink.

Only breath through your open mouth while doing the sinus rinse.

Place the spout of the pot into the upper nostril and gently begin to pour the solution into your nostril.

The solution will flow through the nasal cavity and out of the opposite nostril, if it runs into your throat you can spit it out.

Gently blow your nose to remove any of the remaining solution.

Repeat the process on the other nostril.

If the solution flows freely through the nasal passage you can do it in two passes, one for each nostril. If the solution seems to be blocked, switching back and forth between nostrils several times may be needed.

With practice it should only take approximately 5 minutes to do both nostrils.

After use always wash the neti pot preferably with the water that you use for sinus rinsing and always leave it out to air dry naturally.

Does a Neti pot really work?

Research shows that sinus rinsing/nasal irrigation can be a very effective way of relieving sinus symptoms when used along side other sinus treatments.

For many people, nasal irrigation alone may bring relief of sinus symptoms without using traditional medication.

 How Often Do You Need to Use the Neti Pot?

Studies have show people suffering from sinus symptoms found relief from using the Neti pot system daily. Once symptoms subsided three times a week was often enough to keep symptoms at bay.

Is using a Neti Pot Safe?

Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose so always use bottled, distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the sinus rinse solution.

Research has shown that using a Neti pot is generally safe, although maybe 10% of regular users might have mild side effects, such as stinging and nasal irritation. Nosebleeds have been known to occur, but they are rare.

Changing the frequency of Neti pot use, reducing the amount of salt in the solution, and slightly changing the temperature of the water can help to reduce side effects.

You should always follow the instructions provided with your neti pot. If you are not sure if a Neti Pot is suitable for you, you should consult your Doctor.

If you do experience any discomfort or pain whilst using a Neti Pot you should stop using it immediately and consult your Doctor.