It’s no secret that air pollution, dust and pollen will block up your nasal passages and potentially cause sinus problems. Sinus problems are painful and expensive (the most frequently diagnosed chronic condition in the U.S.) but thankfully prevention can be easy and inexpensive. Enter the neti pot.
If you’ve never seen one of these things (which looks like a magical little teapot), the idea of running water through your nostrils – nasal irrigation – can be a little disconcerting, but the neti pot stems from ancient Ayurvedic tradition. The pot is filled with lukewarm, salty water (the same salinity as tears), poured into one nostril and allowed to flow out the other. It’s really not as bad as it sounds and feels rather nice once you get used to it.
The importance of cleaning the nasal passages cannot be overstated. After all, nasal hairs and mucus membranes are built especially to filter foreign pollutants, but as with any type of filter, the membranes need to be regularly cleaned.
The Himalayan Institute provides detailed instructions and a short video explaining neti pot use.
Image: Sarah Case