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Salt and Wonders of Using a Neti Pot

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Neti pot

Neti pot

Prescriptions

I used to suffer from frequent sinus infections, and my doctor used to give me Penicillin prescriptions. The use of prescription pills eventually combated the infection and got me back to normal.

The sad thing is that with frequently using that type of therapy, I became allergic to all of the Penicillin drugs. This is not good because it wiped out an entire arsenal of antibiotics that might serve to combat vicious infections in the future.

Prescription pills

Prescription pills

Mother Knows Best!

I should have listened to my mother. She had told me for years that sniffing up some saltwater would be useful instead of relying upon antibiotics. She was a great one in trusting tried, and accurate, holistic methods passed down through her family. My mother undoubtedly learned that from her mother.

Mothers often know best.

Sea Salt

Sea Salt

Salt an Essential Element

One of the many essential elements of human life, as well as many other life forms, is salt. While the composition of our bodies is made up of an average of 70% of water, only a fraction of that is salt. We cannot live without it. Our bodies do not produce sodium, so we need to get outside sources of it.

Sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and several other elements are just as important as oxygen in being able to live and function healthily.

The makeup of the salt we consume is primarily made up of a mixture of sodium and chloride. There may be a few other trace elements and some that might be purposely added such as iodine or fluoride for health considerations.

Piles of Salt

Piles of Salt

Many Uses of Salt

Salt has been used for numerous purposes other than that which we consume. It has a long history going back to the earliest times of human habitation on earth.

  • Preservation of foods before refrigeration was an early use of salt.
  • It has religious significance.
  • Salt has been used as an article of trade and has many industrial purposes. Because of this, wars have even been fought over who could control this all-important substance.

How Salt is Harvested From Sea Water

The Great Salt Lake

When my mother, niece, and I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah many years ago, we viewed salt that was being harvested from evaporation from the Great Salt Lake.

It is 8th largest landlocked saltwater lake in the entire world. We chose not to swim or float in the Great Salt Lake. It in truth was rather smelly!

The water level changes through the years depending upon wet seasons or those of drought. I have to think that when my grandmother enjoyed floating in that same water decades earlier, perhaps the water level was higher and not quite so odoriferous.

Our seas are a significant source of salt. Since most of our planet consists of saltwater, we have just about an inexhaustible source of it.

Great Salt Lake Map

Great Salt Lake Map

Salt and Cell Function

  • Sodium is an electrolyte and is responsible for the nerve impulses being transmitted throughout our bodies.
  • Our blood (the majority of which is made up of water) carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the cells within our bodies.
  • Our cells function well when all of our electrolytes are in balance. Our muscles, as well as our brains, would not perform as they should if we lack the correct balance of sodium and the other electrolytes.
  • Our fluid balance will also be out of whack if these necessary electrolytes are not correctly balanced.

Most of us who eat western diets need not worry about taking in enough sodium. We often consume more than what is recommended for optimal health, a whopping 3,400 milligrams on average. Fortunately for those of us with healthy kidneys, any excesses are typically excreted in our urine. Through our tears and sweat, we also eliminate sodium. That is why our tears can taste salty.

Salt Shaker

Salt Shaker

How Much Salt?

So how much should we be consuming daily? That depends upon which source is consulted. A Harvard health study is just one of many health organizations that have tried to find out what amount of sodium intake is recommended. If a person has high blood pressure, which might lead to strokes or heart attacks, the recommendation is to cut way back. There may as well be other health considerations.

The AMA generally recommends trying to hit a target range of no more than 1500 to 2300 milligrams of salt consumption daily. Two thousand three hundred milligrams is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt.

Please consult your physician when it comes to deciding salt consumption and your health considerations.

Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

Neti Pot To The Rescue!

Now that we know that salt is a regular and integral part of the fluids in our bodies, it made good sense to use it to treat sinus infections holistically.

Many bottled saline solutions can be sprayed into nostrils to alleviate stuffiness and bathe the mucous membranes with natural moisture. I had tried some of them and had limited success with regard to a raging sinus infection.

I had heard of the Neti Pot. Practically every drug store in America has them, and they are inexpensive. The one I have came from either Walgreens or CVS and mine is a plastic one that also came with little packets of a dry salt mixture that you mix with body temperature warm water.

The directions are to insert the small opening of the Neti pot into one nostril while tilting your head and hanging over a sink. Breathe through your mouth and let the salt solution bathe your sinuses. Do the same for each nostril. The water will exit through your other nostril into the sink.

Below is a video showing just how easy it is to use a Neti pot.

Using a Neti Pot is Easy!

Using a Neti Pot

I just thought that I would share what has genuinely helped me about battling sinus infections. Using the salt solution with the use of a Neti pot helped clear up bacterial infections even faster than the use of antibiotics that I used to take.

Supposedly it also helps with allergies if used daily.

If you have used a Neti pot, please let me know if it helps you as much as it seems to help me by leaving your comment in the comment section below. Thanks!

Disclaimer: In no way is this information intended to take the place of your doctor's advice. This health information offered above is simply a starting point for consideration and discussion with your medical professional.

Sources:


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 07, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of using salt solutions and a Neti Pot. There are now more versions of them available.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 07, 2020:

It was very interesting to read about how the Neti pot helped your sinus infections. I've heard of the device but have never investigated its potential benefits. Thank you for sharing your personal experience, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2019:

Hello Umesh Chandra Bhatt,

Gargling with salt water is an old tried-and-true remedy for sore throats, and other mouth ailments. Some of the old-time remedies are the best!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 02, 2019:

Nice use of salt water. We are using the hot salt water for gargling to get rid of tonsils and sore throats.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2019:

Hello Shaloo,

So very glad that you also found it to be useful.

Shaloo Walia from India on September 19, 2019:

This is a very good remedy. I did it once during my advance yoga course.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2019:

Hi Dale,

Some alternative treatments are really good! With all of the salt air that you breathe, I'll bet that you do not suffer from many sinus-related issues.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on May 10, 2019:

This was an interesting find. I grew up in a house where alternative medicines were talked about and tried daily so this is a subject I am kind of familiar with. Plus, I live on the ocean so salt is pretty much a big deal in every part of my life ;)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 16, 2018:

Hello Kyriaki,

I agree with you. Most pills have side-effects whereas using a Neti Pot is a more natural approach to addressing some of the same issues.

Kyriaki Chatzi on October 16, 2018:

I've never heard of Neti pots before, but they definitely sound waaay better than stuffing your body with pills.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 17, 2018:

Hi Elena,

Salt has definitely been utilized through the centuries in many different ways. As you wrote it is inexpensive and can be a life saver in numerous applications. Happy to be able to introduce you to the neti pot.

Elena from London, UK on June 16, 2018:

Interesting Hub and thanks for the useful tips.

I have never heard of a neti pot. I do now. :-)

It's amazing what salt can do. Cheap but effective and a life saver.

Happy weekend.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 16, 2018:

Hi C E Clark,

I used to have so many sinus infections and was given penicillin drugs until I could no longer use them. That is when I found out about the neti pot and salt water treatment. It cleared up the infections just as fast or even faster than the antibiotics ever did. Too bad doctors don't usually recommend such things instead of just writing prescriptions. Glad that this was informative to you.

C E Clark from North Texas on May 16, 2018:

Very informative and interesting! Great videos. Like Bill, I'd never heard of a neti pot before. I didn't really understand the advantages of sea salt over conventional idodized table salt before reading this either. Penicillin and its derivitives don't work for me anymore. Unfortunately I'm allergic to sulpha drugs, so they aren't a good alternative. Very much appreciate this article as I learned a lot from it that is useful in everyday knowledge.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 09, 2018:

Hi Bill,

Don't feel bad. I am one year older than you and just learned about a Neti Pot several years ago. Glad you liked this article.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 09, 2018:

How is it that I am 69 years old and I've never heard of a Neti Pot? Thanks to you I now know more about salt than I learned in all those years combined. Great, informative article.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on January 06, 2018:

Mine too. I suppose I should take a look around more pharmaceutical stores. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 06, 2018:

Hi Alexander,

Most drug stores sell Neti Pots but nice that you were able to purchase yours at a Dollar Tree. The one I have is made out of plastic.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on January 05, 2018:

Peggy, it's really neat; they've been selling neti pots at the Dollar Tree now! That's where I got mine, considering they don't seem to be sold everywhere. The first one I ever used was made out of more expensive material though.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 10, 2017:

Hi Roberta,

As to cleaning with salt, it is an abrasive like sand so it would work when used with liquid. Lemon juice and salt makes a good cleaner for pots and pans, etc. An autoclave gets the surgical instruments sterilized.

Gargling with salt water is an old fashioned remedy for sore throats. Makes sense that it would also work as a preventative.

RTalloni on November 09, 2017:

Just recently heard of a doc who gargles with salt water during cold/flue season because it cleanses surgical tools. Makes sense that a salt filled NetiPot would be beneficial.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 03, 2017:

Hi Patricia,

I truly hope that this natural remedy helps you. I need to ramp up my use of it as well. My allergies have been really bad of late. Spring and fall seasonal weather always affects me more. Thanks for the wish of an angel.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 02, 2017:

I try not to whine about it Peggy. I do not feel too horrible unless my sinuses decide to act up. The worst part is walking up to the cashiers to pay with tears running down my cheeks ....they look at me so pitifully as I dab them away. I chuckle and move on.....no need to go into it you know? Expect an Angel today ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 01, 2017:

Hi Patricia,

Sorry to hear that your allergies and sinus problems are year round. Pretty much the same here in Houston for many of us who suffer the same malady. Hopefully you will find some relief. Thanks for the hugs and wishes of Angels. Wishing the same for you.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 30, 2017:

Hi Peggy....I am having a fit with allergies and unhappy sinuses...all year long now. I used to get a break in the winter but not so any longer. I am definitely going to investigate and give this a try.

Know that many hugs and Angels are winging their way to you ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 03, 2017:

Hi Kari,

Hope it helps your sinuses. It really does help mine when I use the neti pot.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on September 03, 2017:

That makes sense to me! I'm going to dig out that neti pot and start using it. Since I've moved to Ohio, my sinuses are giving me fits. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 03, 2017:

Hi Kari,

What I like about using the tap water is that it can be easily warmed to approximate body temperature so it is easier to gauge rather than using cold water or trying to heat it to the right temperature.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on September 03, 2017:

That makes it much easier for me. I currently do not have income, but if I can use tap water, I could do this. I think I still have a neti pot from a while ago. Thank You!!! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 03, 2017:

Hi Kari,

I must admit that I use it with tap water but distilled is probably safer.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on September 02, 2017:

I need to get myself a neti pot! Do you use it with tap water or distilled?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 01, 2017:

Hi Dale,

Am sure that your sinuses are benefiting from the sea air. Many old time remedies have value and some that your grandmother used were probably some of them. (Smile)

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on August 31, 2017:

This was a clever article. I grew up on a farm in rural Australia and was at the tender mercy of my grandmother who fancied herself as a bit of an olde timey traditional healer. She would have loved reading this and then spent the next week referring back to it. Myself, I'll refer my wife to this article to prove that me spending time on my boat is vital to my health. With all that exposure to sea salt that I'm getting from it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2017:

Hi Jackie,

Like you I often choose a natural approach when at all possible with things like this. Trust me you will not strangle when doing this. Just follow directions. It is easy to do.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 07, 2017:

I have one of these pots and had no idea what it was!

My mom use to do this, I don't recall how but it always scared me thinking it could strangle you. It doesn't? I will watch some videos to perhaps make me brave.

Thanks for such an unusual information piece. I always go for natural anything when I can.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2017:

Hi Glenis Rix,

It certainly couldn't hurt to give it a try! Hope you find something that helps with that situation so that you get a good nights sleep.

Glen Rix from UK on July 19, 2017:

I'm plagued by a post-nasal drip that wakes me several times during the night. Have a prescription spray that doesn't seem to have any effect, so I wonder if a neti pot might help?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2017:

Hi Shyron,

The comment section must not have been working for some reason if this is your 3rd try. Nice to know that you liked this information. The Neti Pots are very reasonably priced. Enjoy your weekend!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 13, 2017:

Peggy, this is very interesting. This will be my third attempt to leave a comment. I have never heard of a Neti pot, I will look for one next time I go to Walgreens or CVS. It is good to know that sea salt does not have MSG which is a migraine trigger the way regular iodized table salt does.

Thank you for this valuable information

Blessings my beautiful friend

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 30, 2017:

Hi Rajan,

I always use a tissue when blowing my nose after a Neti Pot treatment. From your comment it seems you truly know the value of using Neti Pots. Thanks!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 28, 2017:

This reminds me of the time I used a neti pot while attending a nature cure camp.

It is, however, very essential to blow out air through the nostrils forcefully when you're done to flush out any remaining water drops.

Neti does help with curing problems like asthma, sinus, headaches, allergies, colds etc.

The neti done with water is called Jal Neti.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2017:

Hi Jill,

Happy to know that this was educational for you. Neti pots and the use of salt water really can help to clear up sinus infections. Thanks for your comment.

Jill Spencer from United States on June 24, 2017:

This article was very educational for me. I'd never heard of a neti pot! Thanks for the good information and I'm glad it helped you with your sinus infections.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 14, 2017:

Hello The Writer from Earth,

It is truly not that difficult to use a Neti Pot. I'll admit that it looks a bit funny but it is worth the effort.

The Writer from Earth on May 12, 2017:

This is a very informative post. I am not sure if I have the courage to use Neti Pot though. :-) Now that I know about it, I have the option to try it. Thanks a ton for sharing the information.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2017:

Hi Tom,

I am glad you found this article useful. Hope you enjoy the results of using a Neti Pot.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on April 30, 2017:

Hi Peggy thanks for this great information on the Neti pot , I was just looking at one today but was not sure it I should try it .

But now I will go back to the store and buy it .

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2017:

Hi Audrey,

Nice that you got to play in the Great Salt Lake when it was more like a lake. My grandparents enjoyed it many years ago. When I was there with my mother and niece we were not even tempted. The lake was diminished in size and was pretty smelly. Let me know what you think of the Neti Pot if you do give it a try. Thanks!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 12, 2017:

I'm up for trying the Netti Pot after reading this informative hub of yours. Been to The Great Salt Lake many times. As a kid my cousins and I played and floated in this lake. Of course we always complained of salt stinging our eyes. But the last time I visited the lake I barely recognized it. What a shame. I do hope it fills up again.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2017:

Hi Martie,

I hope it helps your daughter and family as much as it helps me. Thanks for the share on FB.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on April 10, 2017:

I am so glad sinusitis is not one of my ailments. But my daughter and her husband AND children have endless sinus problems in our dry and dusty climate. I am sharing this on my FB-Page.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2017:

Hi Audrey,

Nice to know that using a Neti Pot helps you as a singer and for general health. It does really help! I agree.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 01, 2017:

Doing the Neti Pot dance! I have used one daily for years--as a singer, I have to stay as healthy as I can--and this really helps!! Everyone should do this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2017:

Hi Thelma,

If your friends have sinus problems it is surely worth a try using this natural method. It helps my sinuses so I can personally attest to the efficacy of using a Neti Pot. Glad you found this to be of some use.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on March 31, 2017:

Great hub. This is the first time I have heard of a Neti Pot. Thanks for the information. Some of my friends have sinuses. This will be a good news to them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 29, 2017:

Hello Vellur,

Glad that I could fill in a little information about how salt affects cell function plus information regarding how the Neti pot works. Thanks for your comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 28, 2017:

Great hub, I have never used the Neti Pot but have heard of it. Interesting information about the salt and cell function, thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 27, 2017:

You are welcome Robert.

Robert Sacchi on January 26, 2017:

Thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 26, 2017:

Hi Robert,

I am glad to know that you are feeling much better. :)

Robert Sacchi on January 25, 2017:

Yes, I feel much better. Thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 25, 2017:

Hi Robert,

Hope you feel much better! There seems to be a lot of colds and flu going around this year.

Robert Sacchi on January 24, 2017:

Definitely. I was just getting over a bout when I read your article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 24, 2017:

Hi Robert,

Hope it works for you as good as it does for me. Certainly worth a try! :)

Robert Sacchi on January 22, 2017:

Thank you. I may give this a try.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 19, 2017:

Hi Genna,

That is certainly my experience with using the Neti Pot. It seems to help many people and is certainly easy enough to use. Glad you found this informative.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2017:

I've heard of Neti pots but I didn't know if they really worked. "...using the salt solution with the use of a Neti pot helped clear up bacterial infections even faster than the use of antibiotics that I used to take." Good to know! Thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2017:

Hi Nell,

Glad to hear that this was informative to you and filled in some blanks as to the value of using items like the Neti pot. I can vouch for its effectiveness!

Nell Rose from England on January 09, 2017:

I had heard of it before, but only from reading online the last few years. we don't use them over here, I don't think. But with your info it definitely looks like something we should look into, so thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 09, 2017:

Hi ChitrangadaSharan,

Nice to know that you already know about the benefits of using a Neti pot. I did not realize that it was also related to Yoga. Thanks for that information.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 09, 2017:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

I agree that it does look strange for people who have never tried using a Neti pot. But as both of us know from experience...it is easy to use. Like you, I have also recommended it to others. I have even purchased some and given them as gifts. Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 09, 2017:

Hi Jewels,

Good to know that it can also be done via a mug and both nostrils at once. I wonder if the same amount of saline would actually make it through the nasal passages via using a Neti pot? Since I have a Neti pot I will continue using it. Your idea of using it after being exposed to dust, etc. makes good sense.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 09, 2017:

This is a very useful information you have shared with others!

In fact this is a Yogic activity and is called 'Jal-Neti ' in Yoga. Jail means water and Neti is exactly what you have described above in your article.

You are right about the wonderful benefits of doing Jal Neti. I do have a Neti pot at my home.

Even if one does not have sinus issues, it is used to clear cough trapped in the tracks that is responsible for common cold and cough.

Very useful, well written and informative hub! Thanks for sharing!

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 08, 2017:

The first time I saw a video of someone using a neti pot I cracked up. I thought it was awkward and the strangest thing I had ever seen. But then I learned a little more about it after a health practitioner mentioned it to me and I've been using it ever since to alleviate seasonal allergies. It's wonderful. When the flu or colds are going around I also use it as a preventative. It seems to truly help and I have recommended it to a number of people.

The one thing I don't know is whether to use tap water or sterile water. A doctor told me that anything that close to your brain should be sterile given the very rare but lethal amoeba that has been found in some water sources (including the local river). Honestly though I skip that and just take my chances.

Jewels from Australia on January 08, 2017:

I did the Neti practice for 12 months but not using the pot. I found the pot blocked one side of the nasal passage while unblocking the other. Instead I use a non-lipped bowl and do both passages at once. Or you can also use a large mug as it will do the trick also. Saves money on an expensive pot. The balance is perfect and the technique is not hard to master. You may find this interesting: https://discover.hubpages.com/health/Neti

I now do the practice when needed, like after doing lots of housework or garden work or being in dusty or dirty places. It's a good maintenance tool for overall health. Interestingly though the practice is an energetic one more than a physical one. But of course it does wonders on the physical level.

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