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A neti pot is a natural, ayurvedic congestion remedy. Water or saline flows from a teapot-shaped vessel into your nasal passages and flushes out allergens, mucus and toxins, providing temporary relief. Occasionally, factors such as inflammation, misuse or severe congestion make it more difficult to flush out your nasal passages.


Neti pot flow problems often occur when water enters the first nostril and spills down the throat instead of out of the other nostril. Inflammation of the nasal passages may also block neti fluid. For some, thick, impacted mucus creates a wall that the fluid can't readily penetrate. The angle at which you hold your head, or an inadequate seal in the nostril containing the neti pot, may also impede flow.


Make sure you tilt your head forward and to the side; sometimes adjusting your position is enough to solve flow problems. The nostril you insert the neti pot into should be on top, and the pot stem should create a complete seal. To prevent throat flow, close your throat by starting to make a "K" sound and holding it. If your nasal passages contain too much thick mucus, it may take several attempts for the water to soften and flush it away. Keep trying, taking breaks to blow your nose. If repeated attempts don't restore flow, try an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to minimize swelling. Try again in 30 to 60 minutes.

Safety Issues

If you forcefully blow air through your nose to break up mucus, or force water through your nasal passages, you could force water into the ear canal and cause an ear infection. Only breathe through your mouth. Use lukewarm water, since hot or cold water may feel uncomfortable and cause you to cough or choke back water. Follow the manufacturer's directions if you use a salt solution instead of plain water, because too much salt can irritate your nasal passages and worsen inflammation.