Why Use a Neti Pot for Allergies and Colds

Here in San Diego, California, I break out my Neti Pot during “Santa Ana” conditions, when hot dry weather blows in from the high desert in the east. 

Dry weather aggravates our sinuses by dehydrating and harming the nasal mucosa. This makes us more susceptible to allergens, dust, pollutants, and even the rhino, flu, and covid viruses, all that enter the body thru the nose.

On the other hand, healthy nasal secretions act as a protective mechanical layer and are associated with a healthy microbiome of the nose and sinuses.  This helps to prevent allergens, viruses, and pollutents making their way thru the soe and into our sinuses.

The Neti pot saline rinse helps keep the nasal passages clean and promotes the healthy biome. It keeps the nasal mucosa layer healthy and flushes out contaminants.

In the case of our late summer and autumn San Diego Santa Annas, the double whammy is that the dry air from the deser bring with it not only allergens like sage brush, but also dust and irritating agricultural pollutants like pesticides.


Which Allergy Symptoms Does a Neti Pot Help?

Flushing your nasal mucosa with sterile salt water with a neti pot will help

  • moisturize dry nose,
  • hydrate nasal mucosa,
  • clear congestion, and
  • flush irritants from out of the nose.
  • It will also remove dry encrusted mucus that develops during hot dry conditions from a dry house in winter to the hot dry Autumn weather.


Push Hot Fluids, Too

Drinking lots of hot tea and soups also helps the nasal biome, again, but flushing the sinuses and even the lungs. This is important during cold and flu season, but also very helpful during allergy season.

How Do Neti Pots Work?

Irrigating the sinuses with saline changes the environment in the nasal passages bu washing away allergens, particulates, dead skin cells, and mucus/

Now there are less allergic triggers in your nose, and a healthier mucus membrane which is harder for toxic bacteria or fungus to grow in.

Saline/Neti pot reduces congestion by thinning mucus; it soothes dry irritated nasal passages caused by dry windy weather, allergies, rhinitis, colds, and flu, it also moistens mucus membranes that have been dried from dry weather, surgery, or drugs.


Neti Pot Versus Saline Spray

I prefer the Neti pot because it delivers a higher volume of saline into your nostrils.  But all natural over the counter sprays are more convenient, especially when travelling.

I like Arm and Hammer “Simply Saline” Nasal Spray, which is just saline and baking soda.


Never Blow Your Nose While Using the Neti Pot

Warning: When using saline irrigation do NOT blow your nose.

Allow the water to drain out your nose and down the back of your nose and then dry your nose with a handkerchief or tissue.

If you blow your nose hard you can send unwanted matter into your eustachian tubes.

If you like, you can gently blow one nostril at a time, by pressing one nostril down with your index finger and blowing out the open nostril. This is the safe way to  blow your nose in general.

Blowing both nostrils together can also send unwanted mucus and other matter into your eustachian tubes and may lead to ear infection.

Especially with children, teach them to blow one nostril at a time.


How to Use the Neti Pot Correctly:

Mix your salt with water that is body temp, not too cold nor too hot. Use enough salt so it tastes like the ocean.

Lean forward over the sink, but turn your head 45 degrees to the side.

Insert the neti pot nozzle as far up the nostril as is comfortable, and allow all the contents to drain through one nostril. If your head is turned to the side adequately, the water will drain out the opposite nostril.

Allow the water to finish draining, DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE, but dry your nose with a towel and allow the rest of the water to drain down into your throat. Spit if neccessary.

Repeat with opposite nostril.


Anu Thailam Ayurvedic Nasal Oil

In addition to Ayurvedic Neti Pot, a wonderful traditional Ayurvedic remedy for Allergies, Sinusitis, and Colds is an oil used to lubricate and open the sinuses called Anu Thailam.

Read more about here on my separate article Anu Thailam.


for more on the treatment of allergies with Acupuncture.



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