Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Praise of My Neti Pot

Yesterday, I started getting a sore throat and stuffy nose. And right away, I got out my Neti Pot and rinsed my sinuses. This might sound strange to you if you've never heard of it before. I'll admit that I was skeptical when I first was told about it. But I have never found anything that is as effective at stopping a cold in its tracks or, if I have one already, shortening its duration.

Believe me, as a veteran of chronic bronchitis and sinus infections, I've tried many things over the years including massive does of vitamin C, homeopathic remedies and a whole range of over the counter medicines. Over all of them, the Neti Pot rules.

To use it, I simply fill the pot with warm water and a pinch of sea salt. The video below shows the rinsing technique. It does take a little practice, but you'll quickly get the hang of it.

If you try this, be sure to use it at the first, slightest sign of a cold. If you wait until you are so congested that you can't breathe through your nose, the pot won't help. If you can't breathe through your nose, it's because inflammation has closed off your nasal passages. The warm saline can't get into your sinuses once things have gone that far.

However, once the swelling goes down and the cold starts to break up, rinsing once or twice a day will help speed your recovery. The rinsing will clear your sinuses and nasal passages, getting rid of the excess mucus and viral "debris" accumulated there.

Friends of mine who have nasal allergies swear by their Neti Pots, too. Regular rinsing flushes pollen and other irritants out of their sinuses and reduces their discomfort.

So ask Santa for a Neti Pot and enjoy a happy, healthy winter. Ho Ho Ho!