The Neti Pot How-To

If you get sinus headaches, pressure or pain, or have allergies, you know just how agonizing it can be. Here’s something that might help.

Using a Neti Pot is a very old cleansing technique and tradition of India. There it is referred to as Jala Neti. The literal translation means ‘water cleansing’ or ‘water irrigation’. It is a flushing out of the nasal cavity. Our nasal cavity is full of fine hairs called cilia. This flushing helps them to move faster and thus push irritants, bacteria etc, to back of the throat where it can be spit out or to the nose where it can be blown out.

Some people use a Neti Pot to help with sinus congestion, sinusitis, allergies, and sinus infections or as a preventative measure. It’s also a more cost-effective form of treatment and, in addition, doesn’t have all the side effects of prescription medication.

The way it works is that the Neti Pot is filled with a body-warm solution of water and salt (it is recommended to use Iodine-free salt or natural sea salt. Also, remember to use a fresh solution every time). The solution is then poured into the nostrils one at a time while breathing through the mouth. You then switch sides. Remember to learn forward and tilt your head to the opposite side of the Neti Pot. Also, when finished, it’s good to first sniff in gently a couple of times to help return the nasal passages back to normal (sometimes referred to as ‘helping them dry’) and then gently blow your nose – do this oh so gently. If any gets into your mouth, don’t worry, just spit it out. If you accidentally swallow it, it’s OK too. It is also important to note that there should be no pain or uncomfortable feeling involved. If there is, stop immediately and reassess.

The solution helps to remove anything that may be ‘stuck’ up there – dust, pollen, bacteria, excess mucus, pollutants, etc. It is typically eight ounces of water and a fourth teaspoon of salt. The salt should be dissolved completely. If you use too much salt, your nasal cavities will be sure to inform you with a nice burning sensation. Also, the water must not be too hot. Test the water both for temperature and salt before using. Also, it is very important to take the time to ensure all of the water has drained from your nasal cavities. Take your time and it will be a worthwhile, healthy experience.

Click here for a  short how-to video that could be helpful. I have not purchased my Neti Pot from this company, but I feel the video is helpful and has some really good tips.

And, as you may already know, yogis, as cool as they are, do some pretty weird things, but these weird things usually pay off in the end. Enjoy and try something new!

About the Author: Tanya Lee Markul

Tanya Markul has written 22 posts on this site.

Self-proclaimed existential detective, writer and yogini. B.S. in Journalism. Has lived in the U.S., England, Norway, and Denmark. Co-founder of, a website for offering free services and used items. Visit me at or on Elephant Journal.

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