Procedures to safeguard your health during nasal cleansing
Neti Pot Safety Guide:
The Neti Pot is a time-honored, doctor-recommended, and clinically tested way to cleanse the nasal passages. Using it regularly can markedly lessen symptoms of colds, allergies, sinus problems and post-nasal drip. Multiple studies prove that nasal irrigation “improves sinus-related quality of life, decreases symptoms, and decreases medication use in patients with frequent sinusitis,” along with conventional medicines. Additionally, “there is evidence that saline is beneficial in the treatment of the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis when used as a sole modality of treatment.”
Even when symptom free, nasal cleansing loosens and washes away built up mucus in the nose and allows for freer breathing. Regular use of the Neti Pot reduces inflammation in the nasal passages, increasing the flow of air through the nose. Yoga practitioners have known this for thousands of years and appreciate the free flow of air through both nostrils during asana and meditation.
To ensure that you get the maximum benefit, and to protect yourself from infection or re-infection during nasal irrigation, we have created this safety guideline. Please read and follow these instructions.
Step 1- Making Saline Solution
Rinsing the nasal passages with a properly mixed warm saline (salt water) solution doesn’t burn. The saline solution you will be making has the same concentration of salt as tears and other body fluids. This makes the solution soothing to the mucus membranes of the nose. It is best to use a pure, non-iodized salt, such as Neti Salt™, which is pure sodium chloride. Other minerals found in sea or table salt can be irritating to the nasal passages.
Use a level ¼ teaspoon for finely ground salt (such as Neti Salt) or up to ½ teaspoon of coarser ground non-iodized salt.
Mix with 8 ounces of warm sterilized water until the salt is completely dissolved. Always use sterilized water, such as boiled or distilled water, during nasal cleansing. If you boil your water, please make sure it is cooled to body temperature before using in your Neti Pot.
If the solution irritates your nose, it is either not salty enough, or too salty. Taste the solution: If you can barely taste the salt, you’ve used too little and need to use more. If it is very salty, you’ve used too much salt and need to use less.
Step 2- Water Quality
Because the nasal passages are so close to many critical organs, it is important to use pure water to cleanse them. Always use sterilized water, such as clean and previously boiled water, distilled water or filtered water through a 0.2 micron filter during nasal cleansing. If you boil your water, please make sure it is cooled to body temperature before using your Neti Pot.
Always rinse your nasal passages with Himalayan Chandra Neti Salt only. Our packets contain a mixture of USP grade sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate. These ingredients are of the purest quality available to make the dry powder mixture. Rinsing your nasal passages with only plain water without our mixture will result in a severe burning sensation as the plain water is not physiologic for your nasal lining, even if it is appropriate for drinking. Additionally, for your safety, do not use tap or faucet water for dissolving the mixture unless it has been previously boiled for five minutes or more as boiling sterilizes the water. Other choices are distilled, micro-filtered (through 0.2 micron), commercially bottled or, as mentioned earlier, previously boiled water at lukewarm or body temperature. You can store boiled water in a clean container for seven days or more if refrigerated. Do not use non-chlorinated or non-ultra (0.2 micron) filtered well water unless it is boiled and then cooled to lukewarm or body temperature. Do not rinse if your nasal passages are completely blocked or if you have an ear infection or blocked ears. If you have had recent ear or sinus surgery, contact your physician prior to irrigation. If you experience any pressure in the ears or burning in the nasal passages, stop irrigation and get further directions from your physician. Keep out of reach of children. Read and retain this enclosed brochure for instructions and other important information.
Himalayan Chandra has learned about recent news and internet articles concerning the improper use of unfiltered or contaminated tap water with neti pots. We emphasize that, when used as directed, Himalayan Chandra’s nasal wash devices are safe, affordable and effective to use. Himalayan Chandra’s directions of use have always stressed the importance of using clean and previously boiled water, distilled water or filtered water through a 0.2 micron filter for nasal irrigation. Our product brochure instructions clearly note that using tap water is not recommended. Please do not use tap or faucet water when using Himalayan Chandra’s nasal wash devices. If you always use distilled, previously boiled or filtered water through a 0.2 micron filter for nasal rinsing with a Neti Pot; there is no cause for concern.
Step 3- Head Position and the Nasal Cleanse
Correct head position ensures a comfortable flow of water through the nasal passages.
Lean over the sink so you are looking directly into the basin and then rotate your head to the side so that one nostril is directly above the other. The forehead should remain level with the chin or slightly higher.
Gently insert the spout into the upper nostril to create a comfortable seal. Keep your mouth open and raise the handle of the Neti Pot gradually so that the saline solution flows in through the upper nostril and out through the lower nostril.
- If the water doesn’t flow, lift the pot a bit higher, but avoid turning the head over the shoulder. This can cause water to flow into the Eustachian tube and make the lower ear feel clogged. This is uncomfortable, but not dangerous, as the water will drain over the next few hours.
- If the water drains out through the mouth, lower the forehead in relation to the chin.
- If you get a headache after using the Neti Pot, you probably had your forehead lower than your chin, and some water drained into the frontal sinus. This will drain out, but is uncomfortable and best avoided by keeping the forehead higher than the chin.
- Sometimes the nose is too clogged to allow water to flow well. If this is the case, stop and try later.
Step 4- After the Wash
After you are finished cleansing one nostril, rotate the head so you are looking into the sink and exhale sharply through both nostrils to clear the nasal passages of excess mucus and water. Quickly drawing the abdomen toward the spine with each exhalation will make your exhalations more forceful. You might like to use a tissue, but do not compress one nostril while you are blowing through the other; the pressure generated can cause damage to the sensitive inner ear structures.
Step 5- Turn your head to the opposite side and Repeat steps 3 and 4.
Step 6- Exercises after the Wash
You may want to do a few simple exercises after the exhalations in step 4 to expel any saline solution remaining in your nose.
Exhale through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink. Quickly drawing the abdomen toward the spine with each exhalation will make your exhalations more effective. If you exhale into a tissue, be careful not to pinch the nostrils closed while exhaling.
2. Forward Bending:
Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few exhalations.
3. Alternate Toe Touching:
Place your feet two to three feet apart. Raise the arms out to the side at shoulder height. Slowly bend from the waist and bring the left hand to the right knee, shin, or foot (whichever you can reach without straining). Reach up toward the ceiling with the right hand; turn the head gently and look toward the raised hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Come back to standing and repeat the movement to the left. Exhale through the nose.
7- Washing Your Pot
Because bacteria can grow on wet, dark surfaces, the Neti Pot should be cleaned after each use. You can wash the Neti Pot by hand with hot water and mild soap, and rinse well. After cleaning, let the Neti Pot air dry before the next use.
Always clean your Neti Pot and never share it, even with family members.
When cleaning, remember:
The Porcelain Neti Pot is dishwasher safe.
The Eco Neti Pot is not dishwasher safe.
Do not microwave Eco Neti Pot.
It is ok to use Porcelain Neti Pot in microwave for disinfection.
Nasal cleansing has been used for hundreds of years by millions of people without problems. These guidelines will ensure that this is the case for you too!
1. Rabago, D.; Zgierska, A.; Mundt, M.; Barrett, B.; Bobula, J.; Maberry, R. (2002).
“Efficacy of daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation among patients with sinusitis:
A randomized controlled trial”. The Journal of family practice 51(12): 1049–1055.
2. Rabago, D.; Pasic, T.; Zgierska, A.; Mundt, M.; Barrett, B.; Maberry, R. (2005).
“The Efficacy of Hypertonic Saline Nasal Irrigation for Chronic Sinonasal Symptoms”. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 133 (1): 3–8.
3. Tomooka, L. T.; Murphy, C.; Davidson, T. M. (2000).
“Clinical Study and Literature Review of Nasal Irrigation”. The Laryngoscope 110 (7): 1189–1193.
4. Harvey, R.; Hannan, S. A.; Badia, L.; Scadding, G. (2007). Harvey, Richard. ed.
“Nasal saline irrigations for the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis”.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (3): CD006394.