Using a Neti Pot: A Natural Remedy for Sinus Congestion

Clear your nasal passages naturally without resorting to pharmaceuticals

Credit: Flickr/Karen

It might seem a little strange, but a neti pot will effectively clear your sinuses

Suffering from a stuffy nose? Try a neti pot with an all-natural saline solution to clear your nasal passages

While over-the-counter decongestants can provide temporary relief, they can also produce side effects, including sleeplessness and rebound stuffiness (especially with prolonged use of nasal decongestants).

Next time your sinuses are totally stuffed up, try nasal irrigation – a natural approach that relieves congestion without the side effects
. Nasal irrigation involves flushing mucus out of the back of the nose adjacent to the sinuses using a saline solution (usually buffered with sodium bicarbonate).

How to Use a Neti Pot

Many pharmacies carry neti pots (like small teapots) or syringe bottles that can be filled with a sterile saline solution. The process involves pouring the solution into one nostril and allowing it to run out through the other nostril, flushing away congestion. 

To make your own saline solution, combine:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) distilled water (or boiled tap water cooled to room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) sea salt
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) baking soda 

Using an irrigation syringe to flush the solution through the nose is an especially effective approach to clearing nasal congestion.

While it may not sound great, this traditional treatment (if used once or twice a day) really does work.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.