Ayurveda, Ayurveda routines

What is a Neti Pot and how do you use it?

May 1, 2020
how to use a neti pot in ayurveda

If you’ve recently starting looking into Ayurveda, or doing more research into Ayurveda – you might be wondering “What is a neti pot and how do you use it?

Well, hopefully we can answer that! A neti pot is a nifty little container that’s designed to rinse debris or mucus from your nasal cavity. Neti pots have long been used to treat nasal allergies, sinus problems and the unpleasant congestion that comes from colds. If you happen to be experiencing upper respiratory congestion or happen to be recovering from surgery, you may want to give this contraption a try for relieving that blocked up feeling. 

what is a neti pot

How does a neti pot work?

A neti pot looks a little bit like a teapot, and when you put it into one nostril, it essentially serves to irrigate your nasal passages. Neti Pots have been used for hundreds of years and originated during the height of Ayurvedic medicine. With a saline solution passing through the nasal cavity, it can reduce inflammation and restore proper breathing function. Whilst they may not work for everyone, many people claim that it’s been a lifesaver, allowing the relief of sinus symptoms without medications. 

Biologically, the cilia inside the nasal and sinus cavities wave back and forth to push mucus to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed, or to the nose to be blown out. As saline solution helps to increase the speed and coordination of this cilia, the use of neti pots has existed for hundreds of years!

For some people, they use a neti pot every day, or every couple of days. It is a regular part of their lifestyle. For others, they may only use a neti pot when they feel the need to cleanse and unblock the sinuses.

what is a neti pot and how do you use it

How do you use a neti pot?

Once you’ve filled your neti pot, tip your head to about 45 degrees, place the spot into your top nostril and gently pour the saline solution into that nostril. 

You’ll find that the solution flows through your nasal cavity and out the other nostril. Should you have a mishap and find the solution flowing into your throat, simply spit it out. Your nose should feel immediately less stuffy after this process, and if you’re still bunged up, you can repeat the process – just don’t go overboard!

how do you use a neti pot

Where can you buy neti pots?

You can actually buy neti pots easily from Amazon. They’re really affordable too – so if you want to give it a go, you should. All the neti pots below are under $20.

I’ve linked some good quality neti pots below:

If you want a more ‘cute’ neti pot (and don’t mind spending a bit more money) then Etsy have some lovely designed neti pots too.

Tips for staying safe whilst using a neti pot

Though neti pots can be great solutions for congestion, you’ll need to exercise caution when trying nasal irrigation. Below are some useful tips that will keep you safe and sound whilst using your neti pot!

  • In your neti pot, use saline solution, distilled water, or tap water boiled for several minutes and left to cool.
  • Ensure that the water’s temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. Lukewarm or room temperature water is the ideal temperature for your neti pot. 
  • Should you wish to create a saline solution yourself, mix 3 teaspoons of iodide-free, preservative free salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add this to the pre-approved water options for an effective irrigation solution. You can also purchase a pre-mixed solution from your local drug store or chemist should you be averse to creating your own mixture. 
  • Make sure that you clean your neti pot with antibacterial soap and dry it thoroughly after use. 
  • Take it slowly, and be gentle. Don’t pour the water in too quickly or suddenly.
  • If you find that your symptoms don’t ease or find them getting worse, stop using your neti pot.
  • Read here for more safety tips for using your neti pot.

Realistically, using a neti pot is a safe and effective way to improve upper respiratory congestion at home.

Just ensure that you prepare your solution safely and clean your pot after each use. Hopefully, following these tips will make you feel less clogged up, and bring you back to an easy, breezy and pleasant breathing experience!

I also found looking at instructional videos helpful – so take a look here – and see if it helps to visually watch someone use a neti pot.

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