Homemade Neti Pot Rinse


| 1/9/2017 12:00:00 AM


Tags: neti pot, home remedies, family health, sea salt, Hannah Kincaid,

When I still lived at home with my parents, my mom would sing out “neti pot!” every time I complained of sinus pressure or sounded congested, which was fairly often during cold, dry winter weather. At first I hated using the neti pot, which involves pouring salty water into one nostril and out the other to help clear sinus congestion and rinse out allergy-causing debris, like pollen. I always waited until the infection was so bad that my sinuses were completely clogged and the salt burned my irritated mucous membranes. No wonder I hated it!

In college, I couldn’t afford to buy antibiotics every time my sinuses flared, plus I was becoming more aware about the negative side-effects that antibiotics can have on our gut microbiomes. As an alternative, I started using my neti pot 3 or 4 times a week to prevent sinus and allergy symptoms from taking hold in the first place – what a difference that made!  I learned that Ayurvedic practitioners have used nasal rinses for thousands of years and they complete their rinse with the application of Nasya or “nose” oil to keep their nasal passages from drying out.

neti pot rinse 

By switching my neti pot usage to a preventative habit rather than a last-minute treatment for acute sinus conditions, I completely changed my relationship with the neti pot and my appreciation for sinus rinses in general. I haven’t had a sinus infection for years, and now I’m the one singing out “neti pot!” every time a friend or coworker complains of sinus or allergy congestion.

Infused Salt Rinses

For years, I kept a container of sea salt and a box of baking soda underneath by sink and I would sprinkle a bit of each into my neti pot before adding warm water.  The salt helps prevent irritation because it makes the rinse more closely resemble your own sinus fluids; the baking soda increases the mucus-thinning properties of the solution. Casually mixing the solution on an as-needed basis is a fine technique, but after splurging on a store-bought, infused salt rinse I realized that adding a few drops of essential oil can drastically improve the experience.

The infused salt rinse that I purchased had a gentle mix of rosemary, fir, and cedar wood essential oils, and by inhaling deeply after the neti rinse I felt like I was standing in the center of a cool evergreen forest. Although I loved the infused salts, I didn’t love the price tag, especially for something I could so easily create myself.




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