Neti Pot: Nasal Irrigation Tool

Shatkarma is an essential yogic purification method, and according to Yogic texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gherand Samhita, Neti cleanses the cranium region and gives extrasensory perception.

It also destroys all diseases above the throat. We can only find Sutra Neti in classical Hatha Yogic texts, but Jala Neti is a prevalent yogic practice in the yogic tradition. To practice Jal Neti, we need a tool called Jala Neti pot or Neti pot.

Neti Post

What is a Neti Pot?

Neti pot is a necessary device for Jala Neti practice(Neti is one if six cleansing practices – collectively known as Shatkarma). Neti pot flushes out the nasal cavity with lukewarm saline water to cleanse the nasal cavity from dust, mucus, and allergens. 

How many of you remember the famous movie or childhood memory of the cartoon series Alladin, and do you still remember the famous Jinie and his lamp? 

So, a Neti pot is similar to a miniature lamp or teapot. Neti pots are built mainly through ceramic, hard plastic, or metal materials.

History of Jala Neti

If we look at the traces of the Neti pot, then Jala Neti is a yogic method that ancient yogis practiced for centuries. These yogic practices developed in the Hatha Yoga tradition, and through the Guru Shishya tradition, they orally transferred for centuries. Later, some gurus wrote some of these practices for everyone’s benefit.

Swami Rama, the founder of the Himalayan Institute, first introduced mass production of ceramic Neti Pot in the Western market for his students in 1972 because Swami Rama wanted to introduce Jala Neti for nasal cleansing. Hence, his students prepared for higher yogic practices because of the popularity of Yoga; an American celebrity, Oprah, also covered Neti pot in her show in 2007 and 2009.

Jala Neti, or nasal wash or Nasal Irrigation, is an effortless cleansing technique to cleanse your nasal cavity through saline lukewarm water. In this practice, you use a Neti pot, an essential tool, and through the Neti pot, you clean both nostrils one by one.

Jal Neti can practiced as a routine, like taking a shower to clear your blocked nostrils so you can start your day with proper breath. It sounds hellish, but when you learn this practice, you feel it’s effortless, like brushing your teeth, and you can take fresh breath properly, which gives you comfort and makes you healthier after this practice, and you can easily follow the next step of yoga.

Health benefits of Neti or Nasal Irrigation

We live a passive and mechanical urban lifestyle with much pollution, specifically very regular air pollution. These pollutants or impurities can cause Nasal blockage, headache, shorter breath, and inflammation over time, and these symptoms can cause severe health problems.

Yogis and yoga practitioners have cleansed nasal passages through saline lukewarm water for thousands of years, so they can easily do higher yogic practices. In the modern world, people need instant results, and they also don’t want to do higher practices; that’s why Jala Neti’s practice gained lots of popularity because of its fantastic results on Sinusitis and other cold-related problems, and it is the safest and easiest way to cleanse your sinus region.

Types of Neti Pots

Neti pots are a tool similar to a teapot used for cleansing nasal passage and traditionally made from ceramic, hard plastic, or metals; because of their popularity in a few years now, we have different types of Nasal care equipment that offer similar treatments in various forms such as Squeeze bottle design, Automatic version and Traditionally Neti pot; they are also trendy tools to cleanse your nasal passage.

In the squeeze bottle design, it’s problematic if you squeeze the bottle with more pressure. The automatic version of nasal irrigation is too expensive and needs more care and cleanliness than other tools. 

I recommend traditional or standard Neti pots because they are more hygienic, washable, reused, and easy to maintain. To use these pots, you need to learn the Jala Neti technique under the guidance of a yoga instructor, and then you can practice regularly.

How to use Neti Pot

Jala Neti is a yogic nasal cleansing method that is advisable to learn under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. However, with a few sessions under guidance, we can follow these steps to use Neti Pot to practice Jala Neti.

  • Prepare Saline lukewarm water; for this preparation, mix warm water with room temperature water and add a little salt, approximately one teaspoon in a half liter of water, and then put this solution in your Neti pot. You also need to check the water temperature; it should be warm and warm enough.
  • Sit in Kagasana or Malasna, or you can practice this while standing. Now, place the tip of the Neti pot in one nostril.
Neti Pot - Nasal Irrigation Demo by Acharya Ankit Tiwari
  • Tilt your head and lift the neti pot at an angle so saline water can go through your nostril, and then through gravity, it goes through the nasal passage and then comes out through another nostril.
  • Repeat this practice through another nostril.

Safety Concern of Neti pot

Jala Neti is an easy and safe practice, but as a practitioner or teacher, you must look at some potential risks associated with Neti pots. Hence, you get the best possible results and easily avoid unnecessary problems from regular use.

  1. Neti pot tips should be soft; if they’re sharp, they can cause problems.
  2. Avoid Tap water or untreated water during Jala Neti practice because it can cause infection; for Jal Neti practice, it’s always advisable to use distilled or boiled water.
  3. If you use cold water during this practice, cold water cannot cleanse your nasal passage properly, and it may also trigger your sinus problem, So don’t use cold water in Jala Neti practice.
  4. If you do not follow post-cleansing methods after Neti practice, then little water may remain in your nasal passage and cause a cold, headache, runny nose, or irritation. 
  5. Net pot cleansing and maintenance are essential. Cleanse and disinfect your Neti pot before and after your practice, then dry it properly to reuse it. If you cannot maintain proper hygiene, bacteria or fungus can grow in your Neti pot. To clean the Neti pot, I advise hot water with antibacterial soap and keep your Neti pot in a dry and clean place.
  6. Overuse of Neti pot can disrupt the natural protective mechanisms of the nasal mucous, which potentially leads to infections.

How to prepare Neti Solution Recipe

Jala Neti is a very effective practice for cleansing the upper respiratory system and sinus region. To practice Jala Neti, you need a Neti solution. With your Neti pot, you can get a solution and purchase it through shops. This solution recipe is easy to prepare at home. 

For this solution recipe, you need 

  • Rock salt or Sea salt (Iodine free salt)  

Pure salt is free from iodine, preservatives, and other chemicals which can cause irritation or infection.

  • Boiled and sterilized water

Tap water can contain bacteria or microorganisms, so boiled water is safe for nasal cleanliness.

With these two ingredients, you can easily prepare the saline solution. Mix one teaspoon of rock or sea salt with half a liter of water. While preparing the solution recipe, remember that the salt and water ratio should be ideal. If you add more salt, then it can cause dryness or irritation. The ideal saline solution has a similar salt concentration as tears and maintains water temperature; it should be lukewarm, approximately your body temperature.

Effectiveness of Neti Pot

Neti Pot is a very effective tool for practicing Jala Neti, and in various studies, researchers have found that Neti Pot is very effective in many health conditions. 

  1. Chronic Sinusitis

Various studies demonstrated that using a Neti pot with a saline solution can significantly alleviate symptoms of chronic Sinusitis. 

A study highlighted by CNN found that patients experiencing chronic sinusitis symptoms, including nasal congestion and headaches, reported improvement after regular use of Neti pots. 

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal [2], indicated that symptoms improved not only, but there was also a reduction in the use of over-the-counter remedies and a decreased likelihood of patients seeking further medical care for Sinusitis [1].

  1. Allergic Rhinitis

Neti pots have also been found effective in managing symptoms of allergic rhinitis. A review published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy confirmed that nasal irrigation with a saline solution, facilitated by Neti pots is a safe and inexpensive method that improves allergy sufferers’ overall quality of life. It leads to a reduced need for allergy medications [3].

  1. Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

While the primary use of Neti pots has been for cleanliness, evidence suggests potential benefits in acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). However, the literature indicates a need for further studies to conclusively determine the efficacy of nasal irrigation in treating and preventing acute URTIs[4].

Neti Pot Workshops and Classes

Neti practice is very effective, but you need to learn Jala Neti and Neti practice under the guidance of an expert Yoga teacher before self-practice. To learn Jala Neti, you can contact your nearby yoga studio or us by email, and we will provide you with a proper online workshop and guidance. I am providing a video of Sutra Neti and Jala Neti’s practice for your reference.