Allergy symptoms are debilitating. They affect every aspect of your life. It’s difficult and stressful to get through another day of sneezing, and having a runny nose, watering eyes, itchy throat and all the other allergy symptoms.
Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, 26 million of whom are seasonal allergy sufferers. One basic, frequent suggestion for allergy treatment is found in conventional and alternative medicine: nasal irrigation.
Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is also known as the ancient yogic cleansing technique of jala neti, which simply means “nasal cleansing with water” in Sanskirt. It has been used by practitioners of Ayurveda (medical system) for thousands of years. In yoga, Neti is a purification rite performed prior to practicing yoga. This practice is as routinely done in Southeast Asia and India as brushing your teeth.
Today this form of hygiene is done worldwide by the health conscious who purchase neti pots in health food stores and drug stores for about $10.95. It will cleanses the sinuses and soothes nasal passages. It reduces the swelling in nasal passages. It will help prevent sinus conditions from occurring. The gentle stream of salt water is the same substance as your tears. It flows through the mucus membranes and removes pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. And it is simple to do.
You can buy an irrigation kit, a neti pot or make one yourself from a nasal bulb syringe. All you need in addition is water and salt.
- Fill the neti pot with lukewarm water.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until thoroughly dissolved.
- Place your head over basin with neck down.
- Place the spout of neti pot inside right nostril. Form a seal to avoid leakage.
- Open mouth slightly and breathe through it so water will not drain behind your nose into your mouth.
- Tilt head sideways. Right nostril should be directly above left nostril. Tip pot, allowing the water solution to pour into your right nostril. After a few seconds, the water will drain from your left nostril into sink or basin.
- When pot is empty, remove spout from your right nostril. Exhale through both nostrils. Gently blow nose into a tissue.
- Repeat steps 1 through 7 using your left nostril.
This can be performed first thing in the morning, as well as before bed if you feel the need. May repeat up to four times per day if necessary.
Be sure to clean pot after each use. You can place it in dishwasher.
You might want to begin with the smaller portion of salt until you are used to it.
Improved breathing, smell and taste may occur very soon after frequent use.
To keep mucus membranes moist when you are out or it is otherwise inconvenient to use neti pot, use one of the nasal sprays available at the drug store. These are just pure saline, non-medicated and non-habit forming. They can be used with whatever medications you may be taking. They are also alcohol-free. They help clear nasal passages and soothe dry, irritated nasal passages.