How to Use a Neti Pot To Combat Your Allergies
Allergies are frustrating because they are so long lasting. When you get a cold, at least you have the hope that you’ll be feeling better in a few days. When you get allergies, you know you could be facing symptoms for the rest of your life.
Of course, there are lots of good medical options available to help you deal with your symptoms – whether they are only seasonal or if they are chronic.
And the great thing is there are also so many natural, safe, alternative remedies that can help you cope with seasonal or chronic allergies.
For example, taking all-natural supplements like boswellia extract, quercetin, or coleus forskohlii extract can reduce allergy symptoms without prescription medications.
But there’s another trick that’s popular in the health and wellness community that I depend on for clear airways and fewer symptoms:
A neti pot. Yes, that little teapot-like device that pours water up your nose!
Nobody said that allergy treatments have to be cute, and this option is probably one of the ‘grossest’ on the list – but there’s no doubt about it: it works.
Let’s learn more about the neti pot and why it is so valuable for those who suffer from allergies.
What Is A Neti Pot?
Neti pots often look a lot like a teapot with an extra long and thin spout, but some other brands have created different shapes recently. Some look more like a water bottle. But the concept is the same: they’re shaped to help you get water up your nose – something we so often try to avoid!
Inside your neti pot will be a salt/saline water solution. All neti pot sizes are different, but you can normally expect somewhere around 16 ounces of liquid.
You will start using the neti pot by leaning over your sink and putting the “spout” in one nostril. You will tip your head so the water can flow up that nostril, through your sinuses, and then back out your other nostril.
Then you repeat on the other side.
When people use a neti pot for the first time, they are often concerned that they will feel like they are choking. Just keep your mouth open. It probably will feel a bit strange the first few times you do it. But eventually you will get the hang of it.
If you want to see exactly how this whole process works, you can check out this video from Ashley’s Green Life. Not only can you see it in action, but you can also learn about the steps she takes before she uses her neti pot:
The Benefits of Nasal Irrigation
Essentially, this contraption is offering your something called nasal irrigation, or washing/flushing of the mucus in your sinuses. It is a process that has its origins in ancient Hindu cultures, particular in Indian ayurvedic medicine.
Back then, it was actually just a part of daily hygiene, like the way we all brush our teeth daily. But they also recognized the medical value, which is something modern science and doctors see today.
In fact, unlike many natural or alternative methods to treat health problems, the neti pot does not really come with much controversy. It’s widely accepted by even ear, nose, and throat doctors as a great way to relieve sinus symptoms
And here’s why.
A neti pot works in the following ways:
- Thin your mucus
- Flush out mucus
- Improve your nose’s hair-like cilia, which has the job of moving mucus and allergens out of your nose
These benefits will end up improving symptoms of allergies like:
- Breaking up sinus congestion
- Reducing sinus pain and pressure
- Decreasing that constant post-nasal drip
- Improving sinus condition after sinus surgery
And don’t think this is just a quick momentary treatment that gives you relief for an hour or two.
Nasal irrigation with a neti pot can make an actual difference in your allergies. Studies have shown this nasal irrigation can actually reduce histamine and leukotrienes in the nasal passage. Both of which give you those uncomfortable allergy symptoms.
In fact, another study on nasal irrigation found that a neti pot could actually improve 23 of 30 different types of nasal symptoms. Plus, it actually increased the participant’s overall well-being.
As you can see, this is sometimes so effective that it allows people to get off their medications – or at least greatly reduce them.
By the way, all of these benefits are perfect for when your suffering from a cold or sinus infection too. It can really help make you feel better and speed along your recovery process.
Safety Tips For Using A Neti Pot
In order for a neti pot to be a positive, impactful part of your allergy treatment, you must follow these tips for safety:
- Follow the instructions on your neti pot closely
- Never use regular water – normally the instructions will call for distilled water or previously boiled water
- Never use water without the salt/saline solution – just putting water in your sinuses can make you feel worse
- Always clean your neti pot perfectly every single time – the last thing you want it to put dangerous bacteria up your nose the next time you use it
- Let it dry completely each time to prevent bacterial growth
- Never share a neti pot with family members – even if you clean it well, you should buy a neti pot for each person in your household
There are not many side effects related to neti pots. Irritation, stinging, or nosebleeds are all very rare, but can still happen. If they happen to you, experiment with using your neti pot less frequently or switching to a different salt/saline type.
How Often Should You Use Your Neti Pot?
Some people with more intense sinus problems will use their neti pot daily or even twice daily. Others with less symptoms find that a couple times a week is sufficient.
Experiment with your neti pot and see what works best for you.
Can Children Use Neti Pots?
Since allergies come to people of all ages, many parents want to know if they can use this helpful option on their children.
Most of the time, it is perfectly fine.
Just make sure to buy a neti pot or nasal rinse designed for children. You should probably also clean it for them to ensure it’s done perfectly each time (they may clean their rooms half-way, but they shouldn’t be left to clean a neti pot half-way).
Of course, talk to their pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions.
Adding A Neti Pot To Your Routine
There’s really nothing to lose when it comes to trying a neti pot. Sure, it may look a bit ridiculous, but there are virtually no side effects as long as you follow the instructions. All you have to lose are some frustrating allergy symptoms. That’s a win!
So partner a neti pot up with your other all-natural allergy solutions (like the allergy supplements I mentioned above), and get some relief.