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I first came across a Neti pot while working at a health food store. I didn’t think much of it, until Dr. Oz mentioned it on Oprah and it suddenly became a big seller at our store. So I decided to look into it, and sure enough, I realized it can be a very valuable home remedy to relieve conditions such as allergies, colds and mild sinus infections.

The Neti pot is one of the tools used in Ayurveda as part of basic daily hygiene. Simply put, it cleans out the nose and sinuses with salt water and ensures they stay clean. Historically, Neti pots were used in yoga to assist in clearing the nasal passages, since controlled breathing plays a central role in yoga.

What’s the importance of nasal cleansing?

The lining of the nostrils secretes mucus, which effectively traps dust, dirt, and other particles when it is moist. All day the moist, sticky mucus collects dirty particles from the air you breathe and keeps it from entering the lungs. If you don’t clean this matter out of the nostrils, it will end up in your stomach, because the mucus lining of the nostrils slowly moves everything backwards until it is swallowed. What’s more, when the mucus becomes dry or laden with dust, it loses its protective function. The nasal wash dissolves and clears away dried mucus and stimulates the nasal linings to secrete fresh, moist mucus, which will help keep your nose—and the rest of your system—healthy.

You can use the Neti pot to rinse away pollen, dust, germs, and other airborne contaminants; to remove excess mucus when you’re congested; to moisturize the nasal membrane after spending time in planes or in heated or air-conditioned rooms; and to open the nostrils as you prepare for meditation.

Neti pots come in many designs made from a variety of materials. It is best to choose an unbreakable one that won’t react with the saline solution it will be mixed with.

To prepare the saline solution:

place one half of a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt, and one half of a teaspoon of baking soda into the Neti pot. Fill the Neti pot with warm, purified water. It is important to only use purified water, such as distilled, and for the water to be warm – not cold, and not hot!

To use the Neti Pot:

Once the Neti pot is filled, hold it in the left hand. Bring the spout into the left nostril, lean over a sink, and as the head is tilted to the right side, tip the pot up to get the water to flow. Breathe through the mouth.
The aim is to get water to flow into the left nostril, around the area inside the nose and sinuses, and out the right nostril. Do this for about 15 seconds, then change sides. It might take a couple of tries to get the right alignment. It certainly does feel weird, but eventually you get used to it. According to ancient wisdom and Dr. Oz, it should be done as routinely as brushing one’s teeth!

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