Do Neti Pots Really Work?

Do Neti Pots Really Work?

Neti Pots and Saline Nasal Irrigation

neti pot
A neti pot

Millions of people suffer from chronic sinus problems, and if you happen to be one of them, then you are well aware of how miserable clogged nasal passages can make you feel. In your quest for relief, you may have decided to give nasal saline irrigation a try. This is a treatment which makes use of water and salt solution which is then used to flush out the nasal passages.

There are quite a few methods which can be used for nasal irrigation, including the use of either bulbs or syringes, but one of the most popular is the Neti pot. A Neti pot is a ceramic pot which might look similar to a small teapot. Some say that it looks like a cross between an Aladdin style Genie lamp and a teapot. While the Neti pot has been used for many centuries as an Avurvedic/yoga medical tradition, its popularity has been on the increase in the United States in recent years. This increase in popularity might be contributed to the Neti pot being featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and has recently received quite a bit of national news coverage.

Do Neti Pots Really Work?

Patients who have endured sinus surgery are often recommended by their surgeons to either use a Neti pot or some other method of administering nasal irrigation. This is so that they can clear the nasal passages of any dried mucus. Other people who make use of the Neti pot do so because they are regularly inflicted with clogged sinus passages due to allergies and other irritants found within the environment. The consensus amongst these people is that the Neti pot aids in alleviating facial pain, pressure, and congestion. Research has been done which concludes these claims to be factual. It has been recognized that using the Neti pot to administer saline nasal irrigation is quite an effective way to assist in the relief of sinus symptoms when used along with other typical sinus treatments such as medication. In some cases using the Neti pot may alleviate the necessity of medication.

How Does the Neti Pot Work?

In layman’s terms, the Neti pot works by thinning the mucus contained within the nasal passages, thus allowing the nasal passages to be flushed out.

How the Neti pot works in a more biological explanation is this:

Your nasal passages are lined with miniscule, hair like structures which are called cilia. These cilia coat the inside of your sinus and nasal cavities. These cilia move back and forth which then either pushes the mucus to the back of your throat where you are then able to swallow it, or they will push them to your nose where you can then blow the mucus out. A solution made of saline helps to increase the speed and increase the synchronization of the cilia so that they work more efficiently to aid in the removal of allergens and other environmental irritants which cause sinus problems.