Salt and and a neti pot—the perfect team to keep you healthy this winter. Here’s why: In the U.S., sinus problems are the #1 reason people see a doctor. With increasing pollution and chemicals in our environment, there is an enormous rise in the number of people who suffer various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. Alternative health practitioners throughout the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and wellness, a basic health-maintenance activity equal to flossing your teeth. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose.
The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that is one of our body's first lines of defense against disease. A nasal wash keeps this layer of mucus moist, clean and healthy. And compared to other nasal wash techniques, using a neti pot is easy. A nasal wash can be as routine as brushing your teeth.
Rinsing with saline solution is a time-honored practice in the Far East. Here in the West, the nasal wash has been used for decades as a means of treating sinus problems, colds, allergies, and post-nasal drip and to counteract the effect of environmental pollution. Those practicing yoga and other meditative disciplines use the nasal wash to ensure free air flow through both nostrils.
A Healthy Nose
Breathing through the nose filters and conditions the incoming air. The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dirt, dust, and pollen and moves steadily to the rear of the nasal cavity and settles in the throat, where it is swallowed. Saline nasal rinses carry some of these impurities out of the body before they reach your stomach.
They also keep this protective layer of mucus functioning properly. If the mucus becomes too thick and dry or too thin and runny, it is easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate the nasal lining and cause the swelling and excess discharge of mucus we call a “cold.” That’s why gargling or sniffing a little salt water at the first sign of a cold is a staple of folk medicine and why health-conscious people in India use a small pot of saline to rinse the nasal passages. The Neti Pot™ continues these time-tested traditions of hygiene.
Uses for the Nasal Wash
For some people, the nasal wash is as routine as brushing their teeth. Others use it for specific purposes. Suggestions:
Do the nasal wash to wake up, clear your nostrils, and start the day breathing freely.
Use it to remove excess mucus when you are experiencing nasal congestion.
Do it several times a day during the allergy season to rid the nostrils of pollen and other allergens.
Use the nasal wash when you’ve been exposed to soot, dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants.
Use it to dissolve mucus build-up in dry climates or in air-conditioned or heated rooms, or after air travel.
Do the nasal wash before practicing systematic relaxation techniques or meditation to help you breathe freely and easily through your nose.
Remember, the nasal wash is not a substitute for medical treatment. Anyone with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages or other ear, nose, or throat disorders should seek medical attention. However, there are 5 good reasons why a neti pot makes sense:
1. Soothes dry nasal passages and protects them from cold, flu, sinusitis viruses
2. Gently washes away dust, pollen, and environmental irritants
3. Offsets the effects of breathing dry indoor air (especially in winter)
4. Removes excess mucus…naturally
5. Helps you breathe freer when practicing yoga or meditation
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