Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neti Pots for Sinus Problems - Week 1 of Winter Illness Carnival

Since we're in the winter season with some people getting sick, I thought I'd do several posts focusing on certain illnesses  (Winter Illness Carnival- Week 1) and what we can do to treat them naturally and without antibiotics.  Antibiotics wipe out the good bacteria in our guts and weakens our immune system so I'd rather try treating my illnesses naturally and have the antibiotics be an absolute last resort.  It's frustrating that doctors don't seem to know about these, so they can recommend using this before writing out a prescription.

One thing that I've discovered in my research is the Neti Pot which I absolutely love!  I used to get a sinus infection every year and after suffering for a couple weeks would go to the doctor to get an antibiotic.  Not anymore!  Whenever I feel anything coming on in my sinuses, I use the Neti Pot and it clears it out.  If I do it right away it only takes one treatment or a few, it goes away and I'm able to go through my days just fine.  If I wait longer then it may take a couple days to treat it completely better.  But it always clears the pressure for at least a few hours and I feel ready to tackle the things I need to do or take care of my kids.

Recently my mom was ill and she tried the Neti Pot.  I've asked her to share her experience so you know it's not just me.

I have suffered with sinus problems quite a bit the last few years.

When I get sick with it I seem to be sick for 3 - 4 weeks with sinus pressure, headaches, sinus drainage which causes sore throat & a raspy voice. I find myself clenching my teeth from the pain - which only
makes it worse. I usually try to treat it with over the counter medications first & then end up going to the doctors for prescription meds. Sometimes it takes a couple different times of going back in for another script.

This last time, I had gone for about a week on over the counter meds & asked my daughter if she would mind picking me up a neti pot - She had mentioned it to me that it helped her. So she got me one & I tried it & have used it for 4 days, immediately I felt a clearness in my sinus, the pressure that I had before is not as bad & I feel like each day of using it I feel better & clearer. I've had problems with sleeping with a stuffy nose & my nose has been clear & sleeping better since I started using the neti pot.  I now plan on using it on a daily basis as part of my daily cleansing process.  I would encourage anyone with sinus problems to use this before trying prescription drugs.

I got our Neti Pots at Good Earth, a health food store.  I've seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I would recommend using RealSalt but if you can't find it (they're usually available at regular grocery stores) then you could pick up some salt specifically made for use with Neti Pots.  I've read that regular iodized salt won't help. I'm guessing because it's been stripped of it's minerals in the bleaching process.

Here's how you use it:  Put some WARM (not cold or hot) water in the pot along with about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of Real Salt (it might be different with the other salts).  Try to dissolve some of the salts but not all will.  Have a few tissues ready nearby.  Tilt your head over the sink, being ready to breathe through your mount, insert the nozzle into one nostril and pour about half of the salt water.  It should run out the other nostril.  Gently blow your nose then do it again through the other nostril. Blow your nose again and within 5-15 minutes you'll feel a clearing in your sinuses and be ready to tackle the day!

Neti pots can be used to:
Clear the nostrils to free the breathing
Remove excess mucus
Reduce pollen or allergens in the nasal passages
Relieve nasal dryness

What do you do to naturally treat your sinuses?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Carnival, go here  to read other blogs.


  1. That's interesting that you read regular salt won't help. I read/heard that I couldn't use Real Salt because it is too "rough" and would be painful. I went out and bought commercial salt just to use in our Neti pots. It works fine. Since you obviously had no problem with the Real Salt, we'll use that after we use up the other. It will take a long time though since we don't use it for anything else.

  2. I think the reason for not using regular salt is the anti-caking and iodine. I like to add 1-2 teaspoons of Alkalol and 1/2t of salt.