Nasal irrigation by using a neti pot is actually an old Hindu procedure from Yoga often called Jala Neti which, in Sanskrit, translates as “water cleansing”. A neti pot is a device used for nasal irrigation. The practice is traditionally called “jala neti,” and its name comes from two Sanskrit words: Jala = water and Neti = nasal cleansing.

Neti pot

What is a Neti Pot?

The pot itself is about the size of a large teacup that has a spout on one side. The pot is filled with a saline solution, and the spout is inserted into one nostril and tipped up so that water flows out of the spout, up the nostril, and out the other nostril. Jala neti comes from yogic practices where it has been used for generations to help keep the nasal passages clean and healthy. It’s actually a well-known method to purge dirt and built up mucus out of nasal passageways to keep them healthy from infections and to assist with breathing for all around good health. Today, it is a popular health tool for a number of households throughout the world to minimize allergy symptoms and/or irritation from sinus problems.

How is it helpful?

The practice of nasal irrigation helps to clear the nasal and sinus passages. As the solution flows up one nostril and out the other, it helps flush out debris, bacteria, and allergens, and can help draw mucus out. A properly made neti pot solution with the correct proportions of salt and water will not burn, sting, or cause irritation. Nasal irrigation or nose rinsing is not as extreme as it sounds because the water flows quickly through the nasal cavity and you can even breathe through the mouth during the process.

How to Properly Use a Neti Pot

Prior to using a neti pot, it is very important to select an excellent nasal irrigation solution that’s going to work best for properly flushing out the nasal airways. The most prevalent kind is a simple saline solution using nothing but all natural sea salt, although there are plenty of individuals that use iodine-free table salt. In spite of the kind of salt used, one must always buy clean and pure salt which is free from artificial additives and synthetic chemicals, although you will find products where a small quantity of sodium bicarbonate is included in the saline solution so it will be milder on the nasal tissues.

It’s good to have no more than one percent salt concentration in the irrigation solution, which would end up being close to 1 teaspoon per 500ml of water. The preferred temperature of the saline solution will differ from one person to another. Lots of people prefer a somewhat warmer solution while some like a cooler solution, but it might be a wise decision to use a basic temperature that is close to one’s own body’s temperature to make sure that one is more comfortable without potentially irritating the inner nasal tissue. Using a neti pot simply involves pouring a stream of water into one nostril and letting it flow out of the other nostril.

Step by Step Instructions on Using a Neti Pot

Just before use, always ensure the neti pot is clean inside from any foreign particles and debris. This is important to make sure the saline solution stays pure and to keep hazardous content from entering into the nasal passageways, as opposed to cleaning them out.

Neti pot


  • Initially, blend the saline solution by mixing the salt with the water until eventually it’s completely dissolved, afterward pouring it inside the pot by filling neti pot with 8 oz of lukewarm water and add either a saline solution packet made for nose rinsing or ¼ tsp of non-iodized salt. (Sea salt is not recommended.) Make sure the salt is well dissolved.
  • While standing over the sink, open mouth, tilt the head to the left, grab the neti pot spout and slowly put it into the first nostril (into the right nostril). Within a few seconds, the water is flowing out of the lower nostril. Make certain to not push the opening of the spout entirely against the nasal wall because this may block the water flow.
  • Ensure the mouth is open for air and to allow for the water to redirect through the nasal passages, rather than down the throat. Although some people can experience runoff into the back of the throat, usually it’s due to the procedure being done incorrectly or some physiological feature and that is easily resolved by simply spitting it out followed by gargling clean water.
  • Next, tilt the pot to enable the water to flow from one nasal passage and exit through the other. Be very gentle when blowing nose during and immediately after using the neti pot! If one blows the nose too vigorously, one might feel a painful popping of the eardrums.
  • Make sure to apply the proper procedure to help one clean the nasal pathways thoroughly, free from any discomfort. A majority of yoga practitioners use neti pots before every session. It is suggested to use it every now and again, such as during high allergy times or sinus flare-ups.

Neti pots can be used daily as part of cleansing ritual. If one chooses not to use the neti pot daily, one can make it a part of a less frequent cleansing routine, like once a week. Along with regular use, it’s a good idea to use the neti pot when one thinks one may have been exposed to cold or flu viruses. Nose rinsing helps wash away these bacteria and viruses before they infect body.

History of the Neti Pot

The neti pot has been becoming more in vogue lately. The neti pot has been used in the Indian yogic tradition for no less than millennia. lt is extremely old, which speaks well for its ability and effectiveness. It is also known as jala neti. It was not introduced into the United States until the 1970s. It emerged through the widely popular yoga culture. It was actually used as a device during meditation. Even after yoga turned into a rather mainstream practice, alternative cultures continued to use the neti pot. For example, it is now a part of Ayurvedic medicine.

The neti pot is used in nasal irrigation, also known as nasal lavage. It is something used in personal hygiene, but it can also improve certain aspects of health. Basically, the nasal cavity is essentially cleaned out. This will flush out any excess debris and mucus from the nose as well as sinuses. Almost anyone could benefit from a nasal irrigation system, they are powerful.

The pot itself has been described as looking like a hybrid of a gravy boat and a magic lamp from Arabian nights. Its design makes this flushing process easier. The pot is most often filled with warm saline or salt water. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added.

The spout of the pot goes into one nostril. The liquid goes into it. Ideally, one would want the solution to either go through the nasal cavity and into the back of the throat. That allows one to spit it out. The other method is having it go into the other nostril and then stream out of it.

Benefits of using a Neti Pot

Employing a neti pot is a rather exceptional and ancient Hindu practice that purifies the sinus regions and boosts overall health and wellness in several ways. Growing in attractiveness all around the Western world for the past few decades, neti pots don’t just have a big list of numerous perks from continual use but, in addition, have turned into a fantastic way to lower expenses by cutting out many medications and remedies. Use of a neti pot provides a number of health benefits:

Neti pot

  • They can help with allergies, especially in the summer when pollen levels are high. As the saline solution passes through the nostrils and sinuses and can help remove whatever allergens are causing the reaction.
  • Some people who have colds report that performing nasal irrigation helps them breathe easier and helps break up and remove nasal mucus. It is not recommended to use a neti pot if one of the nostrils is completely blocked. But if it is just partially blocked then it is safe to use. Begin with the spout in the nostril that is not blocked (so the water can help get the blocking mucus out, rather than pushing it further up into the nose).
  • People who suffer from sinusitis have also reported that nasal irrigation can help relieve their symptoms. Some research suggests that nasal irrigation is best done on a short-term basis, such as during a time of bad allergies, or a cold, rather than on a regular basis.
  • The practice of employing a neti pot to completely clean the nasal passages and sinus area is known as Jala Neti, which in Sanskrit translates as “cleansing the nasal passages”. This is a very age-old practice that has been handed down by a lot of professional Yogis, or experienced Yoga practitioners, as a means of cleansing the body and developing a clean and unobstructed path to maximize the diverse breathing techniques they use.
  • The way in which a neti pot functions is simple and reliable for fast and long-term alleviation from allergies, asthma, headaches, sinus problems and much more. The pot is extremely uncomplicated such as a typical teapot, which can be subsequently filled up with an all-natural, chemical-free and warmed up saline solution. This unique solution is later drained inside of one nostril and consequently redirected through to the other, bringing together with it the many built up mucus, foreign allergens and microorganisms found within it. This method results in a healthy breathing passage and it also helps in clearing the sinuses from potential disease or allergen irritation. Just by somewhat cooling and cleaning the sinus region, this too will help minimize headaches and migraine conditions that disturb lots of people on a regular basis.
  • Concerning a price benefit, it might not sound clear from the start, yet purchasing a neti pot can certainly save lots of money in the long-term. With sufficient consistent use, one will be able to not only reduce numerous medical signs and symptoms and conditions but also help limit wholly different afflictions which affect day to day well-being.
  • Through lessening allergies and sinus-related complications, it lowers the price of medical treatments and drugs that may normally have already been spent for more severe reactions. This can be exactly the same situation for those that consistently make use of nasal sprays or some other medications to aid in normal breathing. Through the use of one rather simple device with the least expensive components of water and salt, it could likely help you save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year for a healthy body and higher quality of life.

Is a Neti Pot Safe to Use?

Neti pot is safe to use. However, just like other nasal irrigation methods, it comes with some danger such as the use of a wrong water or overusing the neti pot. Studies show that excessive use of a neti pot can increase recurrence of rhinosinusitis. To reduce the risk of getting an infection be sure to use sterile water and wash your Neti Pot regularly. 

Is a Neti Pot Painful?

Using a neti pot should not be painful. You may experience an usual and cool feeling as you flush out your nasal cavity. You will be thankful afterward when you can breathe with ease.