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Have you ever used a Neti pot? It looks like a teapot used for kids tea parties, but in fact,it's actually made for you to stick up your nose and pour salt water through your nasal passages. The Neti pot helps to cleanse and clear the nasal passages, helping to relieve sinusitis, allergies, cold symptoms, and hay fever. The warm flow of slightly salty water helps to remove trapped old mucus, dirt, and germs from your nasal passageways. This may sound like a crazy voodoo remedy to most, but in fact, it's highly recommended by many Doctors,to those who have consistent sinus infections year-round.
I used to experience consistent sinus infections monthly. Seriously, I could tell the moment they were coming on, because everything around me would take on that nasty smell that I actually think neem oil smells like (am I the only one who can NOT STAND the smell of neem oil because of this? It makes me want to puke when I get even the tiniest whiff!). A couple years ago, my general practitioner must have been terribly tired of seeing me in his office for all these sinus infections, so he finally steered me in the direction of the Neti pot. I was sold the moment he told me I might get to see some seriously gross stuff come out of my nose in the process...ok, I know I am not the only person out there totally fascinated by some of these gross bodily functions. Needless to say, I HAD to get my hands on one and try it out! Three years later, with a combination of using my Neti pot, eating healthier, and removing bronchial irritants from my household (i.e. Glade/Febreeze sprays and candles, etc.), I have not had a single sinus infection since. Seriously...NOT ONE!
What's in these Neti pot refills?
If you have ever gone searching through the grocery store trying to find where they have conveniently hidden the Neti pot refills, you wouldn't be alone. I once spent 20 something odd minutes trying to find those little boogers! At some point, I finally gave up and decided to look up the ingredients so that I could possibly try making them myself. Fortunately for me, we had an extra packet lying around the house! According to the packet ingredients, these refills simply contain sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate. If you can remember from chemistry class back in the day (ok...it's become "back in the day" for me lol), then you too will deduce that these refills are made with salt and baking soda! That's pretty easy to recreate, so I began working on a recipe.
What are the benefits of using a Neti pot?
Saline solutions have been used for MANY ailments for thousands of years. Used by the Greeks, Romans, in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and more, salt is very helpful at relieving cold symptoms, nasal congestion, and sinusitis. Using a Neti pot frequently has been proven to be beneficial for many reasons:
- Saline solution is very soothing on nasal membranes
- Salt is antiseptic, helping to cleanse your nasal passages of bacteria and allergens
- Can help relieve allergies, sinusitis, cold symptoms, and hay fever
- Decreases swelling of the mucous membrane
- Removes irritants that cause inflammation
- Decreases mucus production
- Helps sinuses drain and function properly
- Relieves hay fever symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes
Your water choice is extremely important to your safety
In 2011, there were two very unfortunate incidents of death reported because of the use of unboiled tap water. It's very important to use filtered or boiled tap water, rather than water straight from the tap. According to the CDC;
Some tap water contains low levels of organisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas, which may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them. But these “bugs” can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recently I have seen news reports of the same brain-eating bacteria, Naegleria
DIY Neti Pot Sinus Rinse Refills
Make sure to find salt that doesn't have any additives in it, including anti-caking agents and iodine! You want non-iodized salt that's pure of any contaminants! I have read that some people use Epsom salt for this as well! I first bought this plastic one here, but I recently switched to this lead-free ceramic Neti pot here.
- Combine ingredients in a water tight container and store for future use.
Combine 1/2 tsp. Sinus Rinse Refill with 8 oz. warm filtered or boiled tap water in your Neti pot.