Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Neato Neti

I recently recieved a Neti Pot from one of the people I work with at the little Natural Foods market I work at. It's been sitting on my shelf for a month or so, and I finally decided the time was ripe to give it a whirl.

A lot of people have HEARD of neti, the process of cleansing the sinus passages with saline water. Long in practice in ayurvedic medicine, it is catching a hold here in the U.S. with all the chronic sinus infections people have these days. I've had many a collegue and friend swear by their daily neti in keeping these infections at bay.

But for some, the idea of pouring water into your nose on purpose is just beyond them. For anyone who hasn't seen a neti pot, or a neti in action, here's a clip ( not me) demonstrating the process.

The basic neti is done with saline water, 8 oz warm water, and 1/4 tsp of non iodized salt. Of course, once you get the knack you can easily include herbal infusions ( strained through a coffee filter please) to treat chronic infections or dryness in the sinus cavity. I think marshmallow infusion would be just fabulous in this dry mountain climate. But oregon grape, yerba mansa, and goldenseal would be appropriate for nasty and tenacious infections. I haven't tried the herbal neti yet.

I found the process to be a bit unnerving, just because it was new. A bit like inhaling water, without the pain. It took quite a bit of patience on my part to get the angle just right so the water flowed in one nostril and out the other. And my oh my did it clean me out. I don't really suffer from sinus problems, but there was plenty of dried out mucus that came out. It was remarkably easy to inhale after wards.

I'm not as researched as I should be on the benefits of neti for the generally healthy person, but for anyone with sinus problems, medicated neti is definately a therapy that should be tried. At NAIMH we often reccomend a sinus spray with yerba mansa and goldenseal, but I'm thinking neti might be a nice and possibly more effective therapy for the chronic sinus infection. Of course, it requires a bit of instruction, and a good dose of heartiness.

I had my sweetie coach me through it, even though he's never done a neti either, it was nice to have support in case I accidentally drowned myself!

Now that i've done it once though, I'm thinking I'll do it more often. Very interesting indeed. And much less unpleasant than swallowing a long strip of cloth. (Another ayurvedic technique that I dont think I'll EVER try.)

1 comment:

LiviaIndica said...

I'm intrigued. I wonder if the neti pot would be good for chronic allergies. I would love to be able to breathe again!

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~