Is a neti pot right for you?

Client handout courtesy of Certified Professional Trainers Network, CPTN e-News

What is a neti pot and why would I use it?

A neti pot looks like a genie’s lamp and is used with a saline (salt) solution that you pour into one nostril, flushing unwanted debris out of the other nostril. It has been claimed that this is “good housekeeping” for the sinuses and brings quick relief to sinus sufferers and to those who feel stuffy after sleeping.

Dr. Oz discussed this device on the Oprah show. The positive response to this therapy was quite impressive.

You may have heard of two recent deaths that were linked to neti pot usage using tap water. The victims were infected by an organism called Naegleria fowleri, which enters the body through the nose, causing a brain infection that destroys brain tissue. Infection by this organism, however, is extremely rare. It was not known whether the victims using the neti pots had recently gone swimming. You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking water.

If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (such as with a neti pot), the clear message is that you should always use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose.

Details for use
• Lean over a sink
• Tilt your head to one side so that your forehead and chin are at approximately the same level, this prevents water getting into your mouth
• Your breathing from now on is done through your mouth
• Place the spout into your upper nostril and pour the solution so that it drains through the lower nostril
• Blow your nose (clear your nostrils) and do it again on the other side
• Rinsing the nasal passage helps clear out pollen, dirt, and other trapped debris. The saline solution does not irritate or burn the nasal membranes, which are extremely sensitive and delicate.

If the instructions on your neti pot are not clear, check with a pharmacist or health care professional.

Recommendations for your neti pot
1. To make up the solution, add the “official” salt pack (the manufacturer refills cost less than 5 dollars for a 3-5 month supply) to sterile or distilled water. Check the label on the water to ensure it says “sterile” or “distilled.”
2. Boiled tap water is an option. It must be boiled for 3-5 minutes, then allowed to cool down. If it is stored in a clean, sealed container, it will be good for use within the next 24 hours (no longer).
3. Filtered water that has been processed by a filter with an maximum pore size of 1 micron
4. Although experts say that chlorinated tap water that is fresh (meaning the water has run for 20 or 30 seconds) should be fine to use, use with caution. Choose options 1-3, instead, to be safe.
5. Do not share your neti pot with anyone, even your spouse/partner.
6. Do not use yesterday’s saline. Mmix fresh each day as yesterday’s saline is a great place for growth of bacteria and viruses as well as amoebas.
7. Rinse your neti pot after each use and leave open to air dry.
8. You could “sterilize” it with a diluted bleach solution.
9. When on vacation, simply wash the neti pot out carefully and repeatedly with tap water and dry before using again. Do not use pond water, spring water or swimming pool water to clean.
10. If your neti pot develops a crack, throw it out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s