Monday, January 16, 2012

Nasal Irrigation, neti pot

I have been blessed with sinuses that are temperamental.  I am allergic to cats, dogs, pollen, and dust to name a few of the airborne trouble makers.

I have added an important safety feature to my nasal irrigation ritual.

I use a device called a neti pot to flush water into my sinuses, the water is introduced in one nostril and travels the sinuses exiting the other nostril.  The neti pot is one of many devices available to flush the nose and its accompanying cavities evacuating debris best flushed out.  I have been doing this for many years and I can tell when I miss a day or two by being more congested, and longer term I get fewer colds when I am diligent.

The flush is a saline liquid and it can be purchased prepackaged or I make my own.  The saline combination I use is 1 teaspoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 16oz of water. The Mayo Clinic recommends 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of water, they have no mention of baking soda.

I am hearing grave warnings about using tap water with this flush which is what I have always used  in the past.   Here is the scoop, health authorities have issued a statement about the type of water you should use in neti pots or any nasal irrigation system.  The recommendation is for users to obtain sterilized water not water from the tap even if it is city water.

Ignoring this warning may lead to life threatening complications.  Two people have recently died using tap water.  Can you imagine that?  The organism that is in common fresh water in some Southern states will not hurt you if you drink it but if it is introduced into the sinuses it can cause a brain infection sometimes, with fatal consequences.  Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, although we had a death in 1999 here in Palm Beach County.  The swimmer was using a local lake and the amoeba got into the victim’s sinuses, they contracted the infection, and poof they were gone. 

People with sinus issues that use the neti pot or other irrigation devices get a great deal of relief from the saline water flushing out bacteria, pollen, and mold spores that aggravate sensitive sinuses. The water flushes out the allergens and the saline can kill bacteria.

Be careful, it is important to realize problems can occur yet used safely this is a wonderful way to keep sinuses healthy.

God Bless,
Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc


  1. So what kind of water are you now using?

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      When Harley was having all his troubles with Chemical Neuropathy we installed a reverse osmosis water filter. This is what I have been using and I am comfortable with the purity of the water. If this was not available I would purchase distilled at the local grocery story.

      Most sincerely, Teri

  2. teri - i will pass your neti pot article along to others for their benefit - thought i would share my own nasal care procedures with you - when i lived on a 750 acre ranch in mt valley, arkansas, in the late 70's there was wild garlic growing abundantly so i pulled some up regularly and cut off the tubers and kept them in a hanging basket in the kitchen for consumption and air purification - seems that garlic attracts all the little germs and bacteria, etc. - now for several years i just take store bought garlic and remove the thin paper cover from 4 to 6 cloves then cut them up into little pieces and keep them in a small dish in the kitchen - if i experience any congestion i know it is time for my weekly replacement of the garlic - also, i have ecoquest air purifiers in my office and bedroom - the bedroom one can be used in the van when i travel and also in hotel rooms where it is much needed - i always do the garlic trick in the hotel rooms too - my primary care physician who is health oriented for prevention advised me a few years ago to spray saline solution in my nostrils for obvious reasons - i use the publix saline nasal spray in the 3 fl oz bottles - spraying each nostril with my head positioned down with my chin on my chest rather than in the position of looking upward - that keeps the fluid from going down my throat - on rare occasions i even gargle with water and sea salt - frequently i will also take a heaping teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a 12 oz glass of water and drink it down to keep my body on the alkaline ph side - that also gives immediate relief from those rare times of pain or muscle cramps in any part of the body - wow - this kinda got carried away - but so be it -