Prevent and Cure Cold and Sinus Issues–With a Neti Pot

I hope this post finds you well, because there have been some serious colds going around lately! Whether you’re feeling well or not, today’s post should help. That’s because I’m going to talk about an inexpensive, easy, and cheap way—and you usually only get to pick two of those three—to cure cold and sinus issues.

It’s the love-it or hate-it neti pot. But wait, if you hate it, we’ve got some tricks for you!

And if you’re in the love-it camp, stay tuned, because I also have a super-secret product that you’ve never used before!

Baraka neti pot

Neti pots come from Indian medicine—they’ve been used for hundreds of years. The primary use of a neti pot is to clear the sinuses and balance your mucus membranes. That is, if you nose is dry, you can add moisture to it. If it’s mucusy, you can break up the congestion with it. You can also use a neti pot on a daily basis as a gentle cleansing technique, and it works wonders to prevent colds. Brilliant!

So how does it work? Fill your neti pot—we carry gorgeous handblown and hand-glazed neti pots at the clinic, or stop in just about any co-op or drug store—with body-temperature water (it shouldn’t feel hot or cold when you test it with a finger.) Dissolve ½ teaspoon of sea salt into the water.

Now here comes the part that causes a little trepidation for some: Put the neti pot up to your nostril. Tip your head sideways, and tip the pot with it. Water should go up one nostril and drain out the other one. It might take a try or two to get this right, but you can do it!

Here’s my super-secret trick to getting the tilt just right. Seriously, it’s worked on 100 percent of the cases I’ve had come to me who complain about choking on salt water. I’m assuming that you are doing this over the bathroom sink. Which means you’ve got a mirror handy on the wall, right? To get the angle just right, tip the spout of the pot to your nose. Look in the mirror. Maintain eye contact with yourself. Tilt your head to the side and let the water flow. If you maintain eye contact, it will work! (Unless you are super congested, or have an anatomical issue, that is.)

If you don’t like neti pots, you can also use a sinus spray, where you spritz salt water up your nostril instead and the liquid drains out the same nostril. We have samples at the clinic!

Now for one of my new favorite things, for both seasoned neti pot users and newbies. There exists in this world infused sea salt. A sea salt that has essential oils mixed in! Normally, you don’t add essential oils to the neti pot because it could burn your nostrils. But infused sea salt is different—the oils are gently blended into the salt to provide just the right balance without irritating sensitive membranes. The infused sea salt we carry has five herbs to amp up the effect of your neti pot. Green myrtle and rosemary break up phlegm; balsam fir tackles respiratory ailments; palmarosa and cedarwood are antivirals. It’s super great for sinus infections or colds—it’ll help clear out that bacteria or virus stat! You can also use it on a daily basis for prevention. It takes your neti pot to a whole new level. Once you try it you’ll never go back!

Here’s one final note, because somebody’s going to ask me about it: In the past few years, there’s been a lot of chatter that if you use tap water in your neti pot you can get a brain amoeba that will cause death. Yikes! But don’t freak out people! What the media has failed to emphasize is that this is an extremely rare occurrence: only 123 people since 1963 have ever contracted this, and only two people were confirmed to have gotten it from using a neti pot. Let me repeat: This is super, super rare. You’re more likely to win the lottery and then die from the flu. Which is why I still use tap water, because the neti pot can prevent the flu in the first place and I’m far more likely to use it if I can run water from my bathroom. But, if it freaks you out, there’s a simple way to prevent even the minuscule risk of contamination: Use distilled water (which you can buy at any grocery store). You can also boil your tap water first and allow it to cool to body temp before using it. But like I said, I personally still use tap water. Use your judgment. But also use your neti pot. Because it’s one of the best preventative home remedies you’ll ever find!