A neti pot is a ceramic, metal or plastic container that looks like Aladdin's lamp. You fill the pot with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon sea salt to 8 ounces warm water), insert the spout in one nostril, lean to one side over a sink and pour in the solution, which will flow out through the opposite nostril. A regular practice of this process, called jala neti, promotes good health.
Jala neti helps clear congestion due to colds, sinus problems and allergies. Because salt is an antiseptic, it helps fight infections in the nasal passages. Jala neti also reduces swelling in the mucous membranes, flushes out the sinuses, unclogs breathing, alleviates headaches, and enhances the senses of hearing, smell, sight and taste.
After you cleanse your nasal passages, the next step is to dry your nose. This step is important, as it clears out the residue and helps prevent infection.
How to Dry
Bend forward so your head faces the floor, and place a paper towel or tissues over your nose to catch any extra solution. Stay in this position for 10 seconds, then stand up and breathe rapidly through your nostrils a few times. Leaning slightly over the sink, close one nostril with one or two fingers and gently blow out the other nostril about 10 times. Repeat on the other nostril. Be careful not to use too much force. Repeat the entire process if you still feel as though there is still water in your nasal passages.
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Normally, you only need to use your neti pot once or twice a day, generally, before meals. The best time to do jala neti is when you wake up in the morning, so your breathing is clear for the day. Also do jala neti before lunch, dinner or bedtime.
If you have a cold, sinus problems or allergies, use the neti pot as much as three or four times a day, but always make sure to dry your nose. When your congestion clears, go back to using the neti pot once or twice daily.
When to Stop
If you get a nosebleed, stop using the neti pot and check with your physician about whether or not to continue this process. A nosebleed may occur if you have high blood pressure or have irritation in the nasal passages