Neti pots are small pot-like containers used to rinse the naval cavity to treat colds, sinus problems and irritations from nasal allergies, according to James T. Li, M.D. at MayoClinic.com. The spout of the neti pot is placed gently into one nostril, allowing you to pour a warm saline solution through the nasal cavity and out the other nostril, removing irritants and debris.
If you experience frequent sneezing after using a neti pot, you may need to adjust the salt level in the water. High levels of salt can aggravate the sinus cavity, causing excessive sneezing.
Pushing the neti pot nozzle far into the nose or not adding enough saline solution to the neti pot can cause a small amount of bleeding to occur. The neti pot nozzle should be gently placed just inside the nostril to prevent injury to the nose. If you experience heavy nose bleeds after using the neti pot, consult a physician right away.
Improper Use of Additives
In Ayurvedic medicine, herbs and essential oils are commonly added to the neti pot solution to treat various health conditions. Improper usage of these additives can cause irritation to the nostrils and nasal cavity. Ginger for instance, a herbal additive used to open the sinuses, is a warming herb that can cause an intensely hot sensation in nasal cavity if the wrong dosage is used.
Use During Pregnancy
According to David Frawley, author of “Neti: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda,” neti pots can be safely used by pregnant women. It is worth noting though, that some pregnant women have reported that using a neti pot during pregnancy increases the risk of nausea during the morning sickness state of pregnancy.
Natural sea salt or saline solutions designed for use in a neti pot are the only sources of saline that should be used for nasal irrigation. Table salts or other industrial salts often contain chemicals such as iodine or anticaking agents that can irritate nasal passages.
Swallowing Saline Solution
During nasal irrigation, some saline solution may find its way into your throat or mouth. Swallowing this solution can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea. If the saline solution enters your throat or mouth, you should immediately stop irrigation and spit out the solution.
Daily use of the neti pot may change the biochemistry of the nose, possibly causing a decrease in certain immune elements that may contribute to more frequent sinus infections, according to an ABC News article published on Nov. 11, 2009.
References and ResourcesMayoClinic.com: Neti Pot: Can it Clear Your Nose?
"Neti: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda"; David Frawley; 2006
Advaita Yoga Ashrama: How to Use a Neti Pot with No Danger
ABC News: Neti Pot Once a Day Can Cause Infections
WebMD: Nasal Saline Irrigation and Neti Pots
"Ayurveda Secrets of Healing"; Element Books Ltd.; 1995