I “heart” my Neti pot!

by Lillian Lovich*

Recently, I started feeling some cold/flu symptoms. But, as always, I was kind of hesitant to taking over-the-counter cold medicine because, for me, the side effects of cold medicine usually make me feel worse than does the cold. So, instead of running to the conventional medicine cabinet, I thought I’d follow some advice I heard from Dr Henri Roca during his monthly appearance on a local radio show.**

He suggested taking Airborne, Ester-C, and Zicam/Zinc at the onset of a cold as they help shorten its duration. I followed his advice and did start to feel better. Plus, my cold only lasted a couple of days. But, I found the best treatment during my cold was using a Neti pot. (Dr Roca mentioned Neti pots, too.)

Neti_pot
One of the more Aladdin lamp-like Neti pots.

A Neti pot looks like a cross between a teapot and Aladdin’s lamp. It’s used in an ancient Ayurvedic technique known as Jala neti, which literally means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit, where the practitioner uses the Neti pot to perform nasal irrigation.wikipedia

I was a bit apprehensive to use the Neti pot the first time. The instructions said to fill the pot with warm water and about 1/4 of iodized salt. (The amount of salt varies by size of pot.) Once the salt was dissolved, I tilted my head and put the spout of the pot in one nostril and started to pour the water. While I waited for the water to come out the other nostril, I felt like the paper cup a magician uses when he does the “pour water into a paper cup and watch it disappear” trick as I didn’t think the water would ever come out the other side of my nose. But it did. During the whole process, I also made sure to breath through my mouth. I repeated the process on the other nostril.

After all the water had ran through it, the mucus in my nose was loose and ready to leave. This kind of grossed me out. I gently blew my nose and realized that my momentary disgust was outweighed by the benefit of being able to breath clearly. I used the Neti pot at least twice a day for the [short!] duration of my cold. It really made a positive difference. So much so that I’ve decided to give Neti pots as birthday presents to all my friends and relatives this year.

Neti posts are also good to use when you are suffering from allergies. They help clear the pollen and other allergens in the nasal cavity, thereby reducing congestion and the need to sneeze. I can now look forward to the Spring blossoms as I have my Neti pot at the ready to help me through the pollen they produce.

Neti pots are available at most local drug stores and/or health food stores. I suggest getting one with a handle as it helps with the pouring!

More Info:

*Lillian Lovich is NOT a health professional.
** Dr Roca appears on the Canon Hospice Health Hour.