A: A neti pot is a ceramic or plastic pot that looks like a small tea pot and is used to irrigate the nasal passages. Nasal irrigation has been used for thousands of years to relieve symptoms of allergies, sinus congestion or pressure and facial pain. It can be a great alternative to medications and is generally safe for most patients to use.
Many of the neti pot systems will come with packets that can just be added to the lukewarm water that is distilled, sterile or previously boiled. You may also make your own mixture using salt and baking soda.
Once the pot is filled, tilt your head over the sink at a 45-degre angle, place the spout into your top nostril and gently pour the solution into that nostril. The fluid will flow through the nasal cavity and out the other nostril. If the solution runs down your throat, just spit it out. You will want to blow your nose after to get rid of any remaining liquid. Then repeat the process on the other side.
You should not use a neti pot if you are prone to nosebleeds, if your nasal symptoms worsen after using the neti pot or have a weakened immune system. As always, make sure to check with your physician or pharmacist before using a neti pot.
Jen Alexander Pharm.D.
Pharmacy manager at NuCara Pharmacy
Information provided by Jen Alexander Pharm.D., pharmacy manager, Nucara Pharmacy, 4927 Maple Drive, Pleasant Hill,