Nasal Irrigation (Neti Pot) For Allergies Or InfectionNasal irrigation is a cheap and easy way for people with allergies, nasal congestion, stuffy noses and post-nasal drip to get relief, says Dr. Melissa Pynnonen, co-director of the Michigan Sinus Center and an assistant professor in the University of Michigan’s department of otolaryngology:

“For most patients, the benefit of nasal irrigation is that it does a great job of treating symptoms that otherwise aren’t well treated with medicine, nasal irrigation can be considered a first-line treatment for common nasal and sinus symptoms. It’s often more effective than medications.”

Nasal irrigation involves rinsing nasal passages using a neti pot filled with a solution made with a quarter-teaspoon of kosher salt and eight ounces of warm water.

If you have a sinus infection, you can flush your sinuses 2 to 3 times a day with a neti pot mixture of:

  • 1 cup warm/hot filtered water (some tap water contains infectious microorganisms, so best to boil or filter water first)
  • 1/4 tsp. neti pot salt (use himalayan or celtic sea salt if you don’t have neti pot salt)
  • 1 tsp. or 1 dropperful colloidal silver (minimum 22 ppm)
  • For a stubborn sinus infection, also add 4 drops wild oregano oil (use 2 drops for children) OR 2-3 drops iodine

How To Use the Neti Pot:

1. Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground Neti Pot Salt in 8 oz of warm/hot filtered water. Use the purest salt available because impurities in the salt can be irritating. Colloidal silver, wild oregano, or iodine can also be added in case of sinus infection.

2. Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink, keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher.

3. Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.

4. Raise the neti pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth. Make a “K–K–K” sound if you find the solution is draining into your mouth. Dispense half the contents of the neti pot.

5. Then face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils.

6. Switch nostrils and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear the nasal passages, after neti pot is empty.

*Opening your mouth and making a “K” sound will prevent the solution from coming out of your mouth.

Why a Nasal Wash? 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 can also kill pathogens that have been inhaled. Compared to other nasal wash techniques, using the neti pot is easy.

Use it anytime to:

  • Remove excess mucus due to congestion.
  • Rid nostrils of pollen and other allergens.
  • Cleanse the nasal membranes of dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants.
  • Relieve nasal dryness due to air travel.
  • Improve flow of breath before doing relaxation or meditation techniques.

This short video also shows you how to use a neti pot (they suggest using a full neti pot for each nostril – I’ve never found this necessary, but do what feels good to your body):

Original post dated May 2008. Most recently updated January 2022.