The neti pot is a small pot used for irrigating the nasal passages with saline solution. It looks like a small teapot with an extra-long spout. They can be made from many materials: ceramic, glass, stainless steel, copper, or plastic. The process has been used for hundreds of years; historically neti pots were used in yoga to assist in clearing the nasal passages, since controlled breathing plays a central role in the discipline. You can't breathe well if your nose is stuffed up!
The use of a neti pot requires mixing up a saline solution (salt and water) that gets poured through the nasal passages. I purchased a "system" that consisted of a plastic pot, packets of powdered saline solution, and a small plastic spoon to mix the solution. According to the packaging, using the system would provide relief for "...nasal congestion, sinus infections, allergies, dry air, post-nasal drip, and rhinitis". Sounded encouraging.
- Prepare the saline solution--a packet of powdered saline in warm water.
- Stand in front of the sink, bend over, and breathe through your mouth. This closes the passage from the nose to the mouth so water can't get into your mouth or throat.
- Put the tip of the pot into one of your nostrils so that there's a comfortable seal. The directions recommended starting with the right nostril; however, since I'm left handed I figured it would be better to start with that side.
- Gently bend your head forward and roll it to the left (right for me) side. The left (right) nostril should be the lowest point. Your forehead should be higher than your chin .
- The water will enter the upper nostril, and after a few seconds pour out of the lower one.
- Repeat the process on the other side.
- After all the water is used, exhale through both nostrils to remove the extra water, then blow your nose to remove the last of the excess mucus and solution.