Nasal irrigation is an ancient Ayurvedic technique known as Jala neti, which literally means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit.

Jala neti, though relatively less known in Western culture, is a common practice in parts of India and other areas in South East Asia, performed as routinely as brushing one's teeth using a toothbrush. It is performed daily, usually as the first thing in the morning with other cleansing practices. It may also be performed at the end of the day if one works or lives in a dusty or polluted environment. When dealing with problems of congestion it can be performed up to four times a day.


The saline solution irrigation and nasal flush promotes good nasal health. It can be used by patients with chronic sinusitis including symptoms of facial pain, headache, halitosis, cough, anterior rhinorrhea (watery discharge). Nasal irrigation is reputed to help prevent colds and otherwise promote good nasal health by cleaning out the nasal passages and helps alleviate stuffiness, dryness, nosebleeds and the symptoms of allergies.

For those who suffer from chronic sinusitis, nasal irrigation is a quick and inexpensive way to promote ciliary function and mucus turnover, decrease edema, and improve drainage through the sinus ostia. In serious cases of sinusitis a naturopathic doctor may suggest using probiotics or other substances instead of salt.

  • Clear out sticky, persistent mucus and help reduce nasal congestion
  • Cleanse and rid the sinus cavities of allergens, irritants, and contaminants
  • Treat chronic sinusitis
  • Treat acute bacterial rhinosinusitis
  • Treat allergic rhinitis
  • Prevent common colds and flu
  • Relieve nasal dryness
  • Improve breathing
  • Reduce cough and other symptoms of post-nasal drip
  • Generally improve sinus health.

Here's How:

  1. Fill the neti pot with water. The water should be lukewarm (not too hot, not too cold) and can be poured into the pot directly from the tap (approximately 1/2 cup of water). Distilled water is recommended if the purity/safety of the tap water in your region is questionable.
  2. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or table salt (without added iodine) to the water. Stir with spoon to dissolve thoroughly.
  3. Lean your head forward over the basin, bending your neck down slightly with your eyes looking downwards.
  4. Gently place the spout of the neti pot inside your right nostril, forming a seal to avoid any outer leakage.
  5. Open your mouth slightly. Breathe continuously through your open mouth during this sinus cleansing procedure. This allows a necessary air passageway so that the water will not drain from behind your nose into your mouth.
  6. Tilt your head sideways, so that your right nostril is directly above your left nostril. Tip the neti pot, allowing the water solution to pour into your right nostril. Within a few seconds the water will naturally drain from your left nostril into the sink.
  7. After the net pot is empty, remove the spout from your right nostril, and exhale through both nostrils. Gently blow your nose into a tissue.
  8. Repeat steps 1 through 7 for your left nostril.


  1. Thoroughly clean your Neti Pot after each use. Periodically place it in your dishwasher for a thorough sanitizing. Same as a toothbrush do not share your neti pot with anyone else. Everyone in the household should have their own neti pot.
  2. Your may wish to use only half the amount of recommended salt the first few times you use your neti pot until you become more accustomed to the process.
  3. Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the inside of both nostrils before the treatment helps sooth sensitive skin.
  4. You may notice improved breathing, smell and taste.
  5. If you experience any discomfort please discontinue using your neti pot and consult your doctor or other health care provider.