Congested much_ A neti pot could be the therapy for you.

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Shopper Experiences has no monetary relationship with any advertisers on this website. Yearly for the previous seven years, I’ve spent my Northeast winters in a ceaselessly battle with my nasal passages. Colds are as dependable and unsightly as tax season, and tissues, sizzling tea and hen soup are my refuge. However I could have been forgoing among the best remedies for my congestion: a neti pot.

I’ve typically thought there was no means a water fountain for my nostrils may presumably work at assuaging my distress. However it seems my suspicions in regards to the effectiveness of an over-the-counter nostril bidet have been unfounded as a result of the neti pot is a fairly good therapy in case you’re stuffed up.

What’s a neti pot?

A neti pot is usually a plastic, ceramic or porcelain container that flows a saline or saltwater answer by means of the nostrils and helps filter out allergens and mucus taking residence within the nostril. Normally, it’s used to alleviate nasal congestion and signs of sinus infections, colds, the flu, and seasonal or mud allergy symptoms. The water is funneled into one nostril and flows out of the opposite.


Neti pots have been used for hundreds of years as a part of Ayurveda, a conventional well being system with historic roots in India. Nasal rinsing turned considerably extra widespread within the West within the nineteenth century, but it surely turned a way more frequent matter of dialog after tv physician (and future Senate candidate) Mehmet Oz extolled the advantages of the neti pot on a 2007 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Present.” There was a 12,325 p.c surge in Yahoo searches for “neti pot” the day of the “Oprah” present, and gross sales of neti pots soared, in response to Yahoo.

How can it assist ease nasal congestion?

“I beneficial it in lots of my sufferers that I deal with for sure nasal circumstances, corresponding to continual sinusitis,” says Samuel Helman, an otolaryngologist at Weill Cornell Medication in New York. “Nasal rinses have really been demonstrated — when utilized in excessive volumes — to be very useful in enhancing signs in sufferers” with higher respiratory infections and continual sinusitis.


Analysis reveals that smaller gadgets — corresponding to nasal syringes that maintain about 10 milliliter of saline — don’t work very properly, however bigger pots that maintain 250 ml of saline (about as a lot as a glass of water) can enhance signs corresponding to a runny nostril and postnasal drip.

The common-or-garden little pot that pours water by means of your nasal passages can apply to all kinds of nasal issues. “Nearly any situation that causes irritants and mucus to construct up contained in the nostril will profit from saltwater rinsing with a neti pot or comparable system,” says Richard Orlandi, a nasal and sinus specialist and professor of surgical procedure on the College of Utah Well being in Salt Lake Metropolis. “These embrace allergy symptoms, nonallergic irritation of the nostril, colds, and sinus irritation and infections.”

And it doesn’t matter an excessive amount of which model of neti pot you purchase, says Anthony Del Signore, the director of rhinology and endoscopic cranium base surgical procedure at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York. Some super-basic fashions price as little as $10, whereas others, such because the motorized Naväge, can price upward of $100.


For those who’re like me and coping with a stuffy nostril for months on finish, you possibly can really feel protected utilizing the neti pot fairly ceaselessly. Uncomfortable side effects are sometimes minor and momentary (and might embrace a burning or stinging sensation). Remember to learn producer directions fastidiously, and see the part under labeled “Is it okay to fill it with faucet water?” to keep away from extra severe issues.

“I’ve some sufferers utilizing it twice a day virtually on daily basis,” Helman says. Take into account, nevertheless, that it’s a therapy, not a remedy. And whereas it’d assist clear the mucus and allergens in your nasal passages, it isn’t going to zap no matter allergy or an infection precipitated the issue within the first place. (And if it did, that might be front-page information, as a result of there’s no remedy for the widespread chilly.) For those who suspect your situation is untreated allergy symptoms, go to your main care physician; an ear, nostril and throat specialist; or an allergist to see if there’s a extra focused therapy in your state of affairs, Helman says.

When must you not use a neti pot?

Many individuals can use a neti pot safely, though there are just a few conditions through which of us ought to chorus. In case your nostril is totally clogged on one or either side, Orlandi says a neti pot won’t assist and you must speak to a health care provider to search out out the explanation and an acceptable answer for the issue. And individuals who have weakened immune techniques ought to speak with their physician in regards to the relative dangers and advantages of neti pots, Orlandi says. That features very younger kids. Helman, who treats pediatric sufferers, says he typically discusses utilizing neti pots for teenagers, however “convincing them to make use of a neti pot may be very difficult, actually.”

Is it okay to fill it with faucet water?

It’s best to by no means use water straight from the faucet in your neti pot. “It’s vital to make use of both distilled water or faucet water that has been beforehand boiled,” Orlandi says. You should buy distilled water at a pharmacy, however remember the fact that it’s not the identical as common bottled water. And in case you’re utilizing boiled water, you should definitely cool it till it’s lukewarm or room temperature earlier than funneling it into your nostril.


“Faucet water, and particularly properly water, has been implicated in very uncommon instances of aggressive — and even deadly — infections within the nostril and sinuses,” Orlandi says. In 2011, two individuals in Louisiana reportedly died after utilizing neti pots that had been crammed with faucet water containing a brain-eating amoeba.

Remember to observe the directions included along with your neti pot to be sure you’re utilizing and caring for it safely. You may also learn what the Meals and Drug Administration says about neti pot security.

How shortly can it relieve congestion?

Whereas some individuals really feel rapid aid, for others it could actually take a few days of utilizing the neti pot twice a day for signs to enhance, Del Signore says. “After we’re treating allergic rhinitis or allergy symptoms, the aid is admittedly seen after the constant use of nasal rinses and sprays for a number of days to per week or so,” he says. And in contrast to nasal decongestants, which shouldn’t be used for longer than three days at a time, “sufferers can use the neti pot mainly on daily basis.” Assuming you’re not experiencing any nasal irritation, “you possibly can’t overdo it,” he says.


Helman says some of us discover that utilizing a neti pot could cause ear discomfort, particularly when utilizing “hypertonic” saline, or saline with a excessive focus of salt. It will probably additionally typically irritate an individual’s eustachian tubes, which join the ears to the again of the nostril and throat.

However usually, “sufferers do fairly properly on the neti pot and tolerate it simply superb,” Helman says.

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