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 can aggravates the sinuses all by itself, like in winter when indoor heating creates dry conditions inside. But even worse is that here in San Diego dry weather is accompanied by allergens, like sage brush pollen, dust, and agricultural pollutants. Using a Neti pot helps helps.

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.

It is also very important to push fluids during hot dry weather, and to push hot fluids when the dry heat is artificial as in winter.

People who suffer from nasal congestion when the tree pollen is high in Spring, or back east, when the Ragweed pollen blooms in August, will also benefit from using the Neti Pot.

How Do Neti Pots Work?

Irrigating the sinuses with saline changes the environment in the nasal passages washing away allergens, particulates, dead skin cells, and mucus so that there is less for your body to react to, 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.


Santa Ana fall allergy season of San Diego, or the late summer/autumn hay fever season east of the Rockies, or even due to  colds and flu in winter or from dried out nasal passages due to central heating in cold climates  is saline irrigation of the sinuses. Also excellent to irrigate sinuses after sinus surgery which prevents mucus from accumulating in the sinus. I prefer the Neti pot, but some of my patients find the over the counter sprays from the pharmacy more convenient, like Arm and Hammer “Simply Saline” Nasal Spray, based on the Neti Pot. Also convenient for traveling.


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 dry your nose with a handkerchief or tissue. If you blow your nose you can send unwanted matter into your eustachian tubes. Moreover, when blowing your nose at any other time, please blow one nostril at a time. Blowing both nostrils at once also sends 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 saline and the 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. Please be clear. NEVER USE ANU THAILAM AND SALINE OR THE NETI POT ON THE SAME DAY. IT WILL BURN YOUR MUCUS MEMBRANES.

for more on the treatment of disease with Acupuncture.

Thank You!

copyright eyton shalom, l.ac., san diego ca october 2013 all rights reserved use with permission


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