Neti Pot Cleansing is best described as â€œnasal washingâ€ or â€œsinus cleansingâ€. It involves the use of a ceramic â€œNeti Potâ€ (which looks rather like a mini watering can!), filled with a salt-water solution. In some therapeutic settings, herbal extract solutions may be used. In some parts of the world, neti cleansing is as common, or as â€œnormalâ€ as brushing or flossing your teeth. Health practitionersÂ throughout the world either perform or recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing. It is used as a general body cleansing and detoxingâ€ method in Ayurveda (the ancient Indian medical system), and it was during my studies of Ayurveda, that I learned Neti cleansing or â€œNasyaâ€. Itâ€™s definitely a relatively new concept in modern-day life, although my father’s doctor in Cape Town recommended it to him! I thought it was almost â€œunknownâ€ in mainstream medicine.
ThisÂ simple, yet powerful technique is,Â in my opinionÂ one the best, most effective, easy and natural methods to clear excess mucus from the nose, and has a postive effect too, on upper respiratory tract infections â€“ from the simple cold or runny nose, to hayfever and rhinitis. IfÂ you’reÂ someone who gets very â€œmucusyâ€,Â or you have an annoying dairy allergy or intolerance that leaves you “bunged up”, or if you suffer with hayfever, rhinitis, or post-nasal dripâ€¦ then this may just be the perfect solution for you! Itâ€™s also great to do when you come down with a nasty cold, and it’s especially effective during the wintertime, when we naturally produce more phlegm or mucus.
Main Benefits of Neti Pot Cleansingâ€¦
* Neti cleansing is a quick cleansing technique and takes only 2-3 minutes a day * Neti cleansing is easily integrated into a morning or evening daily routine of general body cleansing such as showering, brushing your hair or teeth.
* Neti cleansing soothes and cleanses the nasal passages
* Neti cleansing clears excess mucus, keeping mucus from accumulating in the head and sinus passages
* Neti cleansing reduces pollen, pollution and other allergens from the nasal passages (useful in our ever-increasing toxic world) * Neti cleansing works wonders for chronic sinusitis, rhinitis, hayfever and allergies
* Neti cleansing helps you to breathe freer and easier
* Neti cleansing helps to reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold, and general respiratory illnesses.
* Neti cleansing helps to relieve nasal dryness
Other benefits some people noticeâ€¦
* Clearer vision – Neti cleansing will clean the tear ducts, enabling better cleaning and moistening of the eyes.
* Improved sense of smell
* Improved sense of taste
* Though no research has been done, jala neti may help some people with sleep apnea.
How to perform Neti Pot Cleansingâ€¦
Regular practice of nasal cleansing is an excellent addition to your regular regimen of self-care, and basic health maintenance. The procedure is very simple, but takes a few practice goâ€™s to â€œget it rightâ€! The best thing to do is to watch someone first (see the video link below), and then have a go yourself! It is not uncomfortable, or as difficult as you might first think. In fact, Neti cleansing is so beneficial that responses usually change from â€œYuk, thereâ€™s no way Iâ€™m ever going to try thatâ€, to â€œWow, it is fantastic. Why havenâ€™t I done this before?â€
1. Prepare the saline solution (1/4 tsp of sea salt to 8oz water) with lukewarm water and fill the neti pot. Hot water is irritating and dangerous. Cool water is not soothing. It needs to be warm.
2. Tilt your head to the side, and insert the spout of the neti pot gently into the raised nostril creating a seal between the neti pot and the nostril. If it drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin. Relax! If you are calm, the water flows right through. If you aren’t, it just won’t flow. If you keep breathing through your mouth, staying relaxed, the water should gently flow through the nose on its own, coming out through the other nostril. You do not need to force it; gravity will allow it to flow out.
3. Raise the neti pot slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril.
4. During the process breathe through your mouth.
5. When you’re done, exhale firmly several times to clear the nasal passages.
6. Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.
7. Finally blow your nose, gently and normally! Watch this helpful YouTube video below for clear instructionsâ€¦
Some important things to be aware ofâ€¦
If you experience a â€œburningâ€ of the nasal lining (this can feel similar to the irritation you might experience from â€œwater up the noseâ€ when jumping into a swimming pool!), more often than not, it is due to the water being at the wrong temperature. It needs to be lukewarm to â€œwarmâ€, but not hot. It can also be caused when the salinity is incorrect. The correct salinity is approximately 1/4 tsp non-iodised salt/sea salt to 8oz water. If the salinity is correct and the water is at body temperature, try using a different type of salt. DO NOT USE TABLE SALT.
If you feel a sharp pain, this may be to pressure on the sinuses. Stop immediately, if need be, and if necessary, consult your GP. If you experience any ear discomfort when performing Neti cleansing, be sure to blow your nose more gently after the wash. If the problem persists, the openings of their Eustachian tubes may be particularly wide and you may need to discontinue neti pot use.
How safe is it?
The practice has been subjected to clinical testing and has been found to be safe and beneficial, with no apparent side effects (see references below).
Papsin, B; McTavish A (2003 Jul). “Efficacy of daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation among patients with sinusitis: a randomized controlled trial”. Can Fam Physician 49: 168-73. Retrieved on 2007-06-17.
Rabago, D; Zgierska A, Mundt M, Barrett B, Bobula J, Maberry R (2002 Dec). “Efficacy of daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation among patients with sinusitis: a randomized controlled trial”. J Fam Pract 51 (12): 1049-55. Dowden Publishing Co., Inc… PMID 12540331. Retrieved on 2006-11-22.