Spring has sprung as has many of the illnesses relating to the change in season. The cold and flu virus &/or respiratory issues are bombarding many of us including our children. In addition airborne allergies and hay fever is starting to rear it’s head.
The ancient cleansing practice of nasal irrigation flushes these airborne allergies, germs and viruses out of the body.
A neti pot is a specialized teapot (an Aladdin’s magic lamp looking pot), filled with warm distilled salted water. The salty water is poured through one nasal passage and out the other, allowing mucus to drain out of the body, along the way removing unwanted bacteria, viruses, dust and pollen. The salt has the additional benefit of reducing swelling of the lining of the sinuses, preventing further mucus production, killing some bacteria and preventing sinus pain.
How to use a Neti Pot
To use a neti pot, mix 500ml of warm water with one teaspoon of non-iodised sea salt in the pot. Tradition says the mixture should be as warm as your blood and as salty as your tears.
Stand over the sink or in the shower, holding your head to the left side, tilted slightly down. Slowly pour half the water up your right nostril. Within a couple of minutes your left nostril should drip, then flow. Give a gentle snort to clear out remaining water and repeat on the other side. With practise, the process will actually feel pleasant and, counter intuitively, if the water stings the reason may be insufficient salt.
It’s not a graceful activity – but nothing with the nose is going to be very elegant.
Using a neti pot has scientific credibility. Several studies have suggested they are as effective for sinusitus as corticosteroids, a commonly used medication. Using a neti pot regularly may be effective for long-term sinusitis, hay fever and for those exposed to nasal irritants at work.
However, avoid using a neti pot if there is serious congestion and infection. Allow the condition to ease before recommencing.
Alternatively, you can buy a ready made sinus rinse from the chemist. Not as much fun, but effective.