Sinus Congestion? Try a Neti pot!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on May 21, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Do you suffer from chronic sinus congestion or seasonal stuffiness (allergic rhinitis)? Or, have a lingering cold with post-nasal drip? Rinsing your sinuses regularly can really help, and, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy!
Neti pots are simple devices that look a little like a miniature teapot. They’ve been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine in India for thousands of years. Neti pots allow you to gently flush out and cleanse the sinuses more effectively than blowing your nose can do. Also, blowing the nose too hard can rupture fragile blood vessels and even hurt your eardrums.
Many varieties of neti pots are available. Some come with premeasured, single-use packets of buffered saline (salt) that ensure the rinse water doesn’t sting when it’s flushed through. Simply empty the packet into your neti pot and a cup of boiled (cooled) water.
To use your neti pot, tip your head to one side over the sink, and place the end of the ‘teapot’ spout snugly up against your upper nostril. Let the solution flow in that side and stream out through the other nostril. (A little solution may trickle down the back of your throat ‘till you get the hang of it – you can just spit this out, rather than swallowing it.) Once one side has had a good rinse with half your neti pot, remove the spout and gently blow any liquid out of your sinuses/nose. Switch sides and repeat until your neti pot is empty. That’s it!
If you have a sinus infection, try adding a teaspoon of Colloidal Silver to your rinse solution for antimicrobial and immune support. This will help clear up any lingering infections. Repeat daily, or even twice a day, during acute infections.
For regular sinus cleaning, you can use your neti pot daily (especially during high pollen/mold counts) or a few times a week.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan