Neti pots. Anybody else on this train?

If someone had told me a year ago, that I would be shoving a ceramic spout into my nose and pouring salt water through my nasal passages, I would have died laughing.  (The only thing funnier would have been someone projecting that I would be featured on the runway at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.)

Does this thing come with Aladdin?

Typically, what happens behind the “doorway” of a human orifices is not something our society tends to discuss in publicly.   (Notable exceptions include televised colonoscopies and commercials on teeth bleaching.)

But back to the neti pot. Apparently, nasal irrigation has been used in many eastern cultures for centuries.   Who knew?!  (Here in the U.S. we prefer killing trees and turning them into tissues that can be blown into.)

Anyway, since Dr. Oz brought the technique to the attention of the viewing public on an appearance of The Oprah Winfrey show, the neti pot has gotten  a big awareness bump.

As one who tends to suffer from dry nasal passages in the winter (I know….TMI), I thought I should give it a try.  (Also, my ears were feeling a little stopped up.)

Living in a high rise, I considered—but then quickly rejected—riding up and down the elevator to see if that would do the trick.  (No, we don’t have nasal hoses in our elevators, I was referring to relieving the stuffy ears.)

So, I turned to the neti pot.  Basically, you fill the little pot full of lukewarm water and then put in a 1/4 teaspoon full of pharmaceutical-grade salt.

Now for the tricky part.

You lean over the sink and open your mouth.  You put the spout up against a nostril and start pouring.

If you like the sensation of drowning you are going to love this! (Sarcasm is my friend.)  You will immediately flashback to how you felt when you were first learning how to swim.

The key to all of this is to stay bent over and breathing through your mouth.  Otherwise, you will be very unhappy from the resulting choking and gagging that is about to follow.

But here’s the thing.  If you do it right, you will feel awesome immediately afterward.  Within seconds, “everything” had opened up.  It was as if a plumber had roto-rootered my head.  There was a lot of draining, but without a huge bill and a butt crack.

Apparently eastern pros at this technique graduate to oils and other products as irrigants.  Somehow I can’t picture myself shoving pomegranate-infused extra virgin olive oil into my sinuses, but then again, I’ve never been known as being super adventuresome.

So, there you have it people.  I am now a deep breathing maniac who is consuming more than my fair share of oxygen.  But I’m not going to get worried until I accidentally start inhaling small things like paperclips and grapes.

Categories: Disgusting things , Random thoughts


1 Suzanne { 12.08.11 at 9:13 pm }

Larry has been doing this weekly since I bought him one of these puppies a few years ago. But…I was at my brothers yesterday and mentioned it and he told me that he has heard someone died of a major infection using a neti pot. Urban legend? Another quack reporter on the other side? I don’t know but Larry loves it. Just a notice from another opinion. I am still hacking away with kleenex…

2 Sophia { 12.08.11 at 9:15 pm }

Yeah, I think it’s urban legend. Dr. Oz and a ton of other physicians are pro neti pot. I can’t believe how helpful it’s been. You should give it a try!

3 Cynthia { 12.11.11 at 10:37 pm }

I’ve been doing this for a while. I use a plastic squeeze bottle instead of the neti pot (got it from the drug store). I don’t know about “pharmaceutical grade” salt. From what I’ve read, any uniodized salt will do. It’s definitely great for relieving swollen sinus tissues.