It’s been a bad cold season. I don’t know one person who hasn’t been sick in the last month, and most people are saying something like “I’m never sick for this long.” I’ve been to the doctor three times in the last four months. I’ve been told two things:
1. Colds and viruses seem to be lingering this winter more than is typical
2. If you come back for codeine this often, it will look suspicious
No, I did not see it first on Oprah, although I did first hear of it on television. The old man George on Six Feet Under was always raving about his Neti pot, which Ruth called his “stupid nostril pot.” Since I started using my stupid nostril pot, some things have improved.
How does it work?
1. Fill the pot with water. This can take some tweaking depending on the person, so experiment. The water can’t be too hot, or too cold. You’ll know. Just experiment.
2. Mix a quarter-teaspoon of salt into the pot.
Again, this amount may vary slightly depending on the person. If you have too much (or too little), it may burn a bit. The question of which kind of salt to use comes up occasionally. I’ve only used cooking salt. Most guides I’ve read suggest “pure sea salt” if available. If you don’t have sea salt handy, cooking salt or table salt are perfectly acceptable
3. Insert in one nostril and tilt your head so that it runs out the opposite nostril. The feeling can be a little unnerving the first time, but passes quickly. Pace yourself. It’s not supposed to exit like a fire hydrant. If your sinuses are stuffed up, it’s not going to go fast at all, so give it as much time as it takes.
4. Refill and repeat with other nostril. Some people do half a pot on each nostril to make it go quicker. That hasn’t worked as well for me.
The art of nasal irrigation has been around for centuries by smart Yogis. The idea is that diseases and germs enter the body through the nose. The nose is a impressive little petri dish of nastiness because of how moist it is. The sinuses are the front lines of the body, and once they’re infected (or dusty), the rest of you doesn’t have a chance. Enter the Neti Pot.
My father-in-law, an amateur mountain man known as “flint-striker,” used to practice this with a handful of water and salt. This method was apparently common in India as well. The pot itself just makes the process more convenient. Other people I know who rave about the NP have reported success in treating (or preventing):
Search long enough and I’m positive you’ll find someone saying this amazing nose douche will cure your cancer, send your virility through the cosmos, and take care of your bunions. Maybe they’re right, but I certainly can’t vouch for any of that. I personally have found it most effective for the common cold.
It’s strange to say, but my Neti Pot is now part of my day. It’s not fun, but I look forward to it…sort of. I always feel better when it’s over.
PS: Have some neti pots you’ve been jamming in your nose? Tell us all about it in the comments section