Neti Pot Resolutions for the New Year

With all the benefits that come from the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a neti pot, it is a wonder that many people fail to take advantage of this simple technique on a consistent basis.

Some wait until they are all congested and then go running for the neti pot, but the real benefit and best use of the neti pot is actually the consistent regular benefit of clean, healthy and effective nasal passages that are not overwhelmed with dust, pollen, dander and dust mites, or other foreign particles that enter the nose and try to gain access to the body through that mechanism.

If there is one thing that can provide tremendous energy it is being able to breathe deep and capture that force through a clear nasal and sinus system. 

It would possibly be different if it were difficult or time consuming, but using a nasal cleansing pot is fast, easy and energizing. 

So the new year's resolution for the best practice to adopt on a regular basis is the use of the Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot as part of the normal routine of daily hygiene.  Just one to two minutes a day has a tremendous benefit that millions of people around the world have recognized and adopted.

It should be noted that Dr. Oz of Oprah Winfrey Show fame has consistently recommended this practice a number of times on the show over the years, showing how much importance he places in the practice of neti.


Saline Solution for Your Neti Pot

The most frequently asked questions are about the salt or saline solution to be used in the neti pot. We have covered this question before, but let’s try it one more time!

The reason one needs a saline solution is to make the warm (not hot, not cold) water acceptable to the nasal passages without stinging. Plain water will sting! You should therefore use a suitable saline solution.

It is EASY to do. You basically start with 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and mix it into the warm water in your neti pot. That’s it. If you notice any stinging, generally the question is too LITTLE salt, so try adding a little bit more. Many people mistakenly believe it is the salt that stings, but that is simply not the fact, and it is usually the lack of salt that will cause any reaction at all.

Let’s talk about the salt you should use. We recommend using non-iodized salt. You can get non-iodized table salt at most grocery stores and it should be very inexpensive. We do not recommend using iodized salt because you simply don’t want to add more iodine to your body than you are already getting. Some people recommend sea salt, but we have some concerns about the complex makeup of sea salt of multiple different salts, and point out this has not been investigated, so we avoid it.

You can also use salt that is labeled as neti pot or nasal cleansing salt. This is generally USP grade pure non-iodized salt. USP grade simply means that it has been cleaned and purified to a level beyond what is normally found in table salt, as it is suitable for use in the medical industry if necessary. While it is not necessary to go to this extreme, in our opinion, many people feel more comfortable having the right salt available in a special jar or even in a pre-measured packet.

Some companies mix sodium bicarbonate into the salt to make a “mix” but we do not recommend this, on the basis, once again, that this has not been investigated. Plain non-iodized salt has a history going back thousands of years for use in neti pots, so this is really the simplest and least expensive way to do it.


Nasal Cleansing for Children

children can successfully use a neti pot for nasal cleansing under basically the same conditions as adults. if they are totally congested, it is not recommended. similarly if they have a serious sinus infection, or infection in the ear canal, or have had recent ear, nose or sinus surgery, they would not be candidates for nasal cleansing, unless specifically advised by a qualified health care practitioner in charge of the case.

nasal cleansing is intended to be a hygiene procedure. regular practice of this procedure can dramatically reduce the buildup of excess mucus, as well as provide beneficial moisturizing for dry nasal passages and remove foreign irritants such as particles of dust, pollen or other particulates.

we normally recommend using the Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot, Plastic Travel Model when working with children, rather than the original ceramic version. This is primarily because the plastic model is virtually unbreakable even if dropped, and is much lighter allowing children to handle it more easily.

The same conditions apply as for adults with the 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized table salt (or USP grade salt sold specifically for nasal cleansing) in warm (but not “hot” or “cold” water) mixed into the neti pot.

The first thing necessary is to describe to the child the process so that they know what to do and what to expect. The fact that when the head is properly tilted the water simply flows in one nostril and out the other without it affecting the breathing is an important piece of information. Ensuring the head is not tilted too far back is another consideration. Advising the child to breathe in a normal way, but through the mouth, during the process is a third consideration.

Guide the child to slowly raise the nasal pot and allow the water to begin flowing. Once the child gets the hang of it, they can basically do it on their own. It is just the first time working through the concept and the specifics of the practice that they really need handholding and guidance.


Neti Pot During Pregnancy

Pregnancy involves a special responsibility as the expectant mother has to nourish the child in her womb, knowing that everything she ingests has an impact on the baby being formed. This involves not only diet, but also any kind of pharmaceutical drugs. Many expectant mothers worry about how to address various conditions without impacting the fetus negatively, and we find many who have to choose between suffering from congestion due to the formation of excess mucus, or taking an OTC remedy. No matter how benign the drug is, it still gets to the fetus through the umbilical cord. Thus, one of the issues involved is whether there are ways to restrict the use of the pharmaceutical drugs to those instances where it is really absolutely necessary to treat a disease condition, rather than simply being used as a convenience for things, such as some excess mucus buildup, that could be dealt with in alternative ways.

A nasal cleansing pot can be of tremendous assistance by mechanically removing, through the simple action of a saline solution in warm water flowing through the nostrils, excess mucus buildup, thereby helping the mom-to-be maintain a clear breathing passage without necessarily having to resort to measures that could impact the baby. Whether that mucus arises from the diet, from environmental irritants and particulates such as dust or pollen in the air, or some other mechanism, the act of nasal cleansing with a neti pot can flush much of this excess mucus out and tone and moisturize the nasal passages.

We frequently see, therefore, the use of a nasal cleansing pot recommended for pregnant women during the course of pregnancy and later, during the period of breastfeeding, so as to minimize the ingestion of pharmaceuticals that find their way into the infant’s system through connection to the mother.


Keeping Your Neti Pot Clean

After using your neti pot, be sure to rinse it out well inside and out with warm water and let the water flow through the pot into the sink. This type of simple daily rinsing will be sufficient most of the time. However, if you are dealing with an acute situation with lots of mucus, it is best to hygienically cleanse the neti pot with hot water and dishwashing soap, and this is best accomplished in the dishwasher.

It is also a good habit to put the neti pot into the dishwasher on some kind of regular basis, such as once a week, for general hygiene.

Be sure the neti pot you buy is dishwasher safe so that it can withstand the heat and spray generated by the dishwasher! The Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot has been made from sturdy ceramic so that it is dishwasher safe, of course. Some other models are much thinner ceramic and have a higher breakage rate, so be careful about putting them into the dishwasher. If you own one of those other brands you will have to clean it carefully by hand. The Ancient Secrets Plastic Travel Model uses a high grade plastic found in food containers and medical devices that is dishwasher safe as well.

Another hygiene tip is probably just common sense, but we do not recommend people sharing neti pots. It is best to treat it, as you would a toothbrush or other personal hygiene tool, and make sure everyone has their own neti pot.

Where to Find a Neti Pot Today

Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pots have been spotted sprouting up all over the country. Most major health food stores carry the brand, including the entire chain of Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts Markets, and others. Bed, Bath & Beyond carries them in all their stores, and on their website. The Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot is actually featured in the Bed, Bath & Beyond Flyer for November 2009. Online retailers such as Amazon.com and InterNatural.com carry it, as well as specialty sites such as Neti-Pot.com .

Dr. Oz Recommends Nasal Cleansing Using a Neti Pot

Dr. Oz from the Oprah Winfrey show has recommended using a neti pot several times over the last few years on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has also written articles and posted to his website about the use of a neti pot on a regular basis and the real benefits he finds in its use.

As he has pointed out in one of his articles, which appeared in the Doctors Prescription for Healthy Living Newsletter published by the Freedom Press of Topanga Ca, Dr. Oz indicates that the practice of nasal cleansing has been used by diverse cultures around the world for thousands of years and is an effective way to cleanse the nasal passages.

How Frequently Can I Use A Neti Pot?

we get this question a lot. Most people like to use the neti pot (nasal cleansing pot) one or two times per day. The easiest time to do it is during normal oral hygiene routines of brushing of teeth. Another minute and you gain the enormous benefit of the nasal cleansing! It does not really matter if you do it in the morning or the evening. There is no better time of day.

During periods of extreme stress on the nasal passages such as during extremely dusty or pollen-laden times, some people actually do it as much as 3-4 times in a day.

If the nasal passages are totally clogged and impassable, it is not really feasible to do nasal cleansing. So it is best to do it regularly to avoid getting to the point where the entire passage is blocked.

It is not recommended to do nasal cleansing if you have had recent nasal or ear canal surgery or have any kind of disease condition affecting the sinuses or nasal or ear passages. In such cases, be sure to consult your health care practitioner about the process before attempting it.

Salt in Your Neti Pot

we’ve written about this before, but it seems this is the most common question, so it bears writing about again. Let’s clear up some misconceptions.

First, people ask if they need to use a ’special” nasal cleansing salt. The ANSWER IS NO! While these salts packaged specifically for Nasal Cleansing are generally USP grade (extremely pure) and in some cases convenient (such as the premeasured packets), they are also more expensive than ordinary non-iodized table salt. Ancient Secrets only brought out these “special” salts due to overwhelming DEMAND from customers and stores, but we have for years advised people to save their money and buy simple NON IODIZED table salt available in most supermarkets at very low cost. Those who are travelling may still want to look at the 40 ct box of premeasured salt which adds ease and convenience to accomodate a mobile lifestyle.

Second, people ask why they need salt. The salt creates a saline (salty) solution that helps your nasal passages adapt to the passage of the water without any stinging or burning. If you do not use a saline solution, it can sting! Apparently the saline solution approximates to the mucous membranes in the nasal passages the consistency of the blood, to which a saline solution is very similar. If someone is doing nasal cleansing and they report any stinging, we generally recommend increasing the salt content somewhat.

Third, people ask about sea salt. Many people use and recommend sea salt. We do not solely on the basis that sea salt is a very complex mix of different component “salts” and other admixtures found in sea water, and we find that “simpler is better”. If it works for you, that of course is fine.

Fourth, people ask about “iodized” salt, namely salt to which iodine has been added. Iodized salt was developed originally to help people supplement iodine, needed by the thyroid gland, into their diet. Most people get plenty, if not too much, of this iodized salt as it is the most commonly used form of salt. We do NOT recommend using it in your daily neti routine as there is no need for more iodine in most people and once again “simpler is better” if there is no over-riding reason.

Fifth, people ask “how much” salt. Most people find that 1/4 teaspoon in relation to about 8 oz of warm (not hot, not cold) water is about right. This is a subjective thing. If you get any stinging, use a little more! The premeasured packets that Ancient Secrets makes available contain 1/4 teaspoon amount. The 10 oz. jar we provide has a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon inside the jar. We try to make it simple.

Sixth, people ask about “other things” other than pure salt. There are many people who recommend all kinds of things, but these are not part of the historical simple process of nasal cleansing, but have other reasons for their existence. We generally recommend that people keep it simple. IF you are under the care of a health care practitioner who recommends a different additive to your neti routine, obviously they are specifically addressing a situation that goes beyond the simple nasal cleansing we are talking about here, and that would be up to them. You should achieve fine results using simple non-iodized salt, whether in the form of table salt or as a “USP-grade” nasal cleansing salt.