Nasal Lavage – Why are we recommending it?

Written by Dr. Laura Jones

We all know some obvious ways to maintain our health; exercise, a clean diet, and adequate sleep are just a few ways we know well and employ often.  However, a healthy nose is another vital pathway to a healthy body.

Many of us don’t realize that the nasal passages are one of our the first lines of defense against pollution, allergens, irritants and germs. This is why it is important to keep them clean and functioning effectively.  A nasal lavage, also known as a sinus rinse, irrigation or wash, is a valuable way to flush out mucus, allergens and germs, better allowing for healthy sinus passages.

The neti pot is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that many allergy sufferers, and those with chronic sinus concerns have employed for years. It is starting to gain more popularity again as its effectiveness is quite clear to those who are willing to give it a try.   Using a neti pot is quick, simple, and low cost. 

We are suggesting the use of nasal lavage to patients with chronic allergies or sinus concerns more often in recent months.  In addition, it is a serious consideration to use the neti pot at the end of each day, prior to bed, to flush any unwanted bacteria or viruses off of the nasal mucosa.  This can improve health by limiting our vulnerability to illness. Our Wellness Shop here at Whole Health carries the neti pots along with the saline mix or Xlear saline/xylitol sachets.  The saline is important to prevent burning while using the neti pot to rinse, and the xylitol is an antimicrobial alcohol sugar that is safe and effective for knocking out many microbes that we may not want in the nasal passages.

The pot is filled with a saline solution and then poured into the nostril. The solution flows through the nasal passage, flushes out excess mucus and accumulated debris, and exits through the other nostril. The same process is then done to the opposite nostril. While saline packets typically come with the neti pot, the mixture can be made at home using a half-teaspoon of salt for every cup of water.Important Tips for Using a Neti Pot

  • Always wash your hands before using a neti pot.
  • Use clean water, either distilled or filtered tap
  • Use non-iodized salt and make sure it’s completely dissolved to avoid stinging
  • Clean the neti pot thoroughly after each use 
  • Mild side effects such as nasal irritation occur in a small percentage of regular users.
  • Users with a history of nosebleeds may want to avoid nasal irrigation.

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