neti pot 101

In one of my “What I Learned This Week” post, I mentioned that I learned to use a neti pot. It was weird, but very effective. I love that it is all natural. And it’s so FAST – less than 5 minutes! It just doesn’t seem like you should be able to breathe through your mouth while you’re using it, but the fact that you can just proves that the saline doesn’t go down your throat – or you would be choking instead of breathing.

If you’re nervous or skeptical, check out these two short clips. The first shows the exact neti pot we own. The second clip is a homemade variation. A kid demonstrates using a funnel. He makes it look so easy!

eHow also has a great article explaining how it works.

If you struggle with sinus problems, give this a shot. This could be a perfect solution for those who shouldn’t take cold medication due to high blood pressure, pregnancy or some other medical condition. Don’t be chicken.

But you may not want to make it a spectator sport, because sometimes the results aren’t pretty. But then again, neither is that disgusting, wet, snorting sound frequently made by people trying to delay blowing their nose. ewww.

(UPDATE: December 2011PLEASE follow manufacturer’s directions for neti pots and USE ONLY FILTERED, DISTILLED or BOILED WATER.
Deaths have been linked to bacteria in tap water.
CLICK HERE to read more.)

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

9 thoughts on “neti pot 101

  1. Those two boys were funny (well I’m assuming the videographer was a boy) – I use a netti pot quite a bit, it isn’t a habit yet – but if my nose is totally stuffed up, it is useless. Pretty much you need to have a little bit of air able to pass through your nose for the netti pot to work.

    When it comes to stuffed up noses, I’m the queen. I think the netti pot has helped keep my allergies from completely taking over my life, though.

    Kristin – ahhh. THAT’s why it backed up on FavoriteSon last night. I wonder if saline nasal spray would clear things out enough for the neti pot to go the rest of the way. (by JSM)

  2. All right, all ready. This cold has me begging for a solution. I’m off to to see if they have one in stock. A-choo.

  3. If the neti pot does get “backed up”, just blow the water out through the side of your nose that you were pouring it into and then try again. I had to do this several times when I was completely blocked.But it did work the right way. It is gross but I was able to sleep! =)

  4. Issues for neti users to consider in selecting the best one are :
    1) Where the neti pot will be used?
    A bathroom, shower or kitchen area with hard surfaces could result in a ceramic neti pot shattering when dropped.
    Does the neti pot fit comfortably against the nose and provide a good seal so that water does not drip out where it should not? Are there extra parts that can be misplaced?
    2) Consider the design of the tip of the neti pot, a nipple shape tip accommodates a wide variety of nostril shapes and sizes compared to a straight tip with a hole at the end. Does the neti pot fit comfortably in hand and is designed so that when in use water does not inadvertently spill where it should not?
    A large metal neti pot may be difficult to hold when full of water.
    3) How much liquid does the neti pot hold?
    Some only hold 6 oz of liquid while others hold 8 oz (one cup).
    We are the USA distributors of the Rhino Horn neti pot made in Norway from recyclable BPA free plastic. For instructions and a video on how to use a neti pot, as well as medical studies on the benefits of the use of a neti pot see our website

  5. I thought when my nose was so stuffed up I assumed that I had swollen sinuses and therefore nothing was going to go through until the swelling went down. I did everything Natalie said and I never got any relief. Not even a little – this is why I think it was an issue of swollen nasal tissues.

    usually if my sinuses are full I get a sinus headache – but I can usually breathe a little and can use the netti pot for relief.

    It is so strange trying to describe all of this LOL But it’s a real good discussion. Thanks!

  6. I am currently experiencing my semi-annual sinus infection. I do love my Afrin when things get backed up, but hesitate to use more than 3 days in a row. Tomorrow night is day 3.

    Whilst at WalMart today picking up more Musinex DM, I actually picked UP the Neti-Pot box and looked at it – all because of YOU, Julile! But I chickened out.

    But now someone on plurk recommended it, too. And I watched the Neil Pharm video ( and your videos (was too chicken to watch before). So maybe – MAYBE – when I am out and about tomorrow, I will grab one and try it.

    If I don’t chicken out again, I’ll let you know how it goes!

  7. Ok…I did it! It **WAS** surprisingly easy. Weird, at first, but not painful – just…weird! It felt like it took FOREVER to start coming out of the other nostril. I was standing there feeling stupid wondering where the heck all this liquid was going!!

    When I flushed the second nostril, I had a bit of back-flow down my throat – probably because that was the stuffier side. I was panicky for a few seconds, but I immediately leaned MORE forward and once I figured out I could still breathe through my mouth, all was well.

    Results-wise: it did seem to loosen things up a bit, but I’m still pretty stuffy and will probably resort to my Afrin for one last night (went without it all day).

    I’m mostly hoping the neti-pot will help keep this from happening twice a year, if I use it periodically, especially when those rare other bugs hit or RIGHT when I start feeling lousy.

    Thanks, Julie, for the inspiration and the kick in the pants email!

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