A Neti Pot is used for Jala Neti, a very old cleansing technique of the Hatha Yoga tradition of India. The literal translation of the Sanskrit term means “water cleansing“. The new modern word for Jala Neti is nasal irrigation.
The Neti pot is filled with warm (make sure it’s comfortable, this is going in your nose) saline solution or salty water. This solution rinses the nasal cavities so that the salty water goes in through one nostril and comes out through the other. A more advanced technique is letting the water in through one nostril and out through the mouth. This is hardly felt if the salt concentration, water temperature and technique are good, there is definitely no pain or discomfort.
In the yogic tradition, Jala Neti is performed every morning as a routine like tooth brushing. It can be done more often if you work or live in a polluted area or have health problems such as hay fever, allergies and sinus related issues.
Use a salt with no additives. Industrial salt has added chemical anti-caking agents. You can use normal sea salt, without added iodine, or pharmaceutical salt, which you can buy in health stores or pharmacies. Some Neti Pots have a spoon to measure this exactly. If yours does not have such a spoon, you can start by taking 500 ml of water and add one teaspoon of salt, this is about 0.9%. Once you know how it should feel, you will find out how much you need for your own Neti pot. If it is easier for you, you can use the taste of the water to find the same concentration every time.
Take body-warm water for Jala Neti. Pour some drops on the inside of your wrist to see if the water has the right temperature, the hands are not sensitive enough. It is better to have the water a little bit too warm than too cold. Mix well so that the salt is dissolved and diluted completely.
You will find all this out with growing experience, it differs from person to person. Some like a higher saline solution, some even do it without salt. The tissue of the nose is very sensitive and reacts immediately if something is not right. This shows you if everything is fine. If you take the described solution and temperature, there should be no uncomfortable feelings at all.
- removes dirt and infectious microorganisms from the nasal cavities and passageways
- reduces the frequency and duration of colds
- reduces allergic problems such as hay fever
- improves your nose breathing generally and therefore reduces diseases such as asthma and bronchitis
- moistens dry nasal cavities and passageways
- reduces the symptoms of chronic sinusitis
- flushes the tear ducts and increases eye sight
- improves your sense of smell and taste, is therefore very good if you want to stop smoking
- can be beneficial for some types of ear disorders
- has a harmonizing and calming effect on the mind