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Every year in both the spring and the Fall, one thing that I begin seeing in those around me is an increase in sinus and allergy problems. There is a whole lot of sneezing, wheezing, coughs and draining going on out there. But instead of using medications, it’s nice to have natural sinus and allergy relief options.
The best tool for sinus and allergy issues
There is one thing that I’ve always recommended to people to help with allergy symptoms, as well as sinus pain and pressure. That is a neti pot.
So, what is a neti pot? The neti pot was actually developed in ancient India as part of the Ayurvedic medical practices of the time. The neti pot looks somewhat like a mystical genie’s lamp. But it is used to irrigate the nasal passages and sinus cavities. Here is a basic neti pot.
This works to flush away allergens that are in the nasal passages and sinuses. It also thins mucus and helps to get rid of it by flushing it away from the nasal passages.
Neti pots have been used as an important healing tool by ear, nose and throat surgeons, who have patients use them to clear away any crusting mucus in the nasal passages after surgery.
And more doctors are recommending them for patients who suffer with allergy symptoms.
I actually discovered the Neti pot about 8 years ago. At the time, I was struggling with extremely severe allergies and was taking a steroid based antihistamine every day. I hated the medication, because as a singer, it really affected my voice. I am very sensitive to some medications and the spray actually caused me to have more sinus pain and pressure. And regular antihistamines dried me out and made me so sleepy that it was hard for me to function. So I was thrilled to try the neti pot which is all natural.
How to use a neti pot
To use a neti pot, fill it with 8 ounces of warm (not hot) distilled or filtered water. Do not use tap water! Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of non-iodized salt (if you use the iodized salt, it will burn your nasal passages). Lean over the sink and tilt your head to the side at about a 45 degree angle. I encourage people to not use tap water because it can introduce parasites, bacteria and amoebas into your body that can cause illness and even death. So stay safe and use distilled or filtered water!
Place the spout of the neti pot into the upper nostril and gently allow the saline solution to flow into the nose. It will pour out of the lower nostril. If a little drips into the throat, that’s okay…just spit it out! After irrigating one side, gently blow your nose to get rid of any extra fluid. Make sure that you do both nostrils, so that you fully irrigate your nasal passages.
Here is a video that will show you what to do!
Does it hurt to use a neti pot?
I did have someone ask me if it hurt to use the neti pot. The answer is a resounding NO! When you clear your nasal passages this way, it feels strange at first. The only time I ever had any discomfort was when I tried to use iodized salt. It burned, but was just mildly uncomfortable. Do make sure that you don’t use water that is too hot or cold.
If you don’t like the idea of turning your head to the side to irrigate your nasal passages, you can also use a bottle such as the Neilmed systme which is a little different form of irrigation. It allows you to lean directly over the sink and squeeze the bottle up into the sinuses. This is actually the system that I have used the most and I really like it alot!
I use my neti pot regularly and since starting to use it, I am completely off of any medication. Now I only use the neti pot to deal with allergy symptoms. Typically, using it once a day is fine, but for those with serious allergy issues, you may need to use it twice a day for the best results.