Neti pots are nothing new, and people have been using them around the world for centuries (or longer). But surprisingly, many out there still don't know what they are.

In addition, a lot of people aren't exactly sure how to use it, what type of water they should fill it with, and what type of results they should expect when they're finished.
We wanted to clear up this issue (pun intended), and put our spotlight on neti pots.

The Purpose of Neti Pots

People use neti pots to help clear their allergies. A neti pot looks like a teapot and a person uses it to help flush out the nasal passageways to help ease sinus pressure.

While the neti pot is well respected by those suffering from allergies, it can also be dangerous to use if not performed correctly. Always use purified water in a neti pot.

A young man from Louisiana died of an amoeba that he got from neti pot water. A woman also died from naegleria fowleri, which caused a serious brain infection.

Both of these people used the neti pot regularly before they died. After further research, it was discovered that the neti pot contained the naegleria foleri which was directly responsible for the infection. The neti pot allowed this deadly amoeba to make its way to the brain, a tremendous fear for people who don't use neti pots.

Doctors are not exactly sure why this amoeba enters the brain through the nasal passage. Once it reaches the brain, it follows the nerves which cause the damage.

This damage happens rather quickly. If the neti pot is filled with water that has reached a boiling point before being allowed to cool, this should be enough to kill any potential amoebas or other harmful microorganisms that may be hiding in it.

There are salt packs that come with many neti pots and they are a huge help. When people hear 'salt' they think that something is wrong. In order for the neti pot to work properly the water has to have a measure of salinity to it, for comfort.

Plain water alone can cause irritation in the nose. Other people use table salt which has iodine and also causes irritation. There's more to it than avoiding discomfort.

The salt that comes with a neti pot has the proper salinity levels that can kill microorganisms. Many of these organisms are not able to survive in salt water.

The naegleria fowleri is only able to live in freshwater, for example. Had the woman used a neti pot salt pack, or purified water, it may have been able to save her life. 

Preparing the Water Correctly

In addition to adding saline to the water, it is important to boil the water before putting it in the neti pot. A person can also use distilled tap water in the pot.

When using boiling water it should be allowed to cool off which can take a little bit of time. Never use boiling or hot water in your neti pot until it has fully cooled.

Boiling the water will kill all of the impurities that may be found in it. If a person uses the saline packets along with previously boiled water this is the very safest option.

The benefits of using salt water is also to wash the allergens out of the nasal passageway so that a person can experience relief from their symptoms.

A neti pot is less expensive than other types of allergy medication and if the proper measures are taken there are fewer side effects, as it's a more natural process.

Saline is obviously a lot safer for the human body then man-made medications.

FDA Research Into Neti Pot Usage

The FDA has even investigated the use of a neti pot. Once again, it is highly recommended to use the salt solution to make the neti pot safe before using it.

Improper use of a neti pot is when a person may run into problems. According to the FDA, the basic operation of the neti pot is safe. The bulb or the syringe, the bottle, and the pulsed water devices are all cleaned and sanitized before they
are ever packaged or sold. While this provides a safety net, it's not surefire.

The FDA also advised people to follow all directions on the neti pot very carefully.

The nasal bottle included with the neti pot will spray out a mist that will moisturize the nasal passage. There are others that will directly irrigate the nose. This will provide better results by removing bacteria, allergens, as well as excess mucus.

When using the neti pot, a person should lean over and tilt the head sideways. This will keep the water from getting into the mouth. The container is inserted into the nostril and pumped or poured in. This will efficiently clean out the nasal passage.

You are only able to do one side at a time. Saline solution will not irritate the nose.

A frequent user should practice some good safety precautions when using the neti pot. This will also reduce their chance of getting an infection. Be careful with it.

The hands should be cleaned with soap and dried. Be sure to check all components of the neti pot to make sure they are dry and clean as well. Boil the water and allow it to cool before use. The saline mix can then be added to the water for mixing in.

Final Thoughts

Be sure to follow all the instructions from the manufacturer for proper usage. After using the neti pot, be sure to clean and dry it. This will help prevent bacteria from growing on or inside of it between uses.

If a person does not understand how to use a neti pot they should speak to their doctor for proper instructions and to prevent any possible health complications.

Some people use neti pots with their children. Extra precaution should be taken when dealing with the little ones. There are special neti pots that are smaller and are designed for use for kids. Children as young as the age of 2 can use a neti pot.

Before using this with a child though, be sure to speak to their doctor to make sure the allergies are not due to a more serious health condition. Be sure to properly prepare the water before using it with kids. Health risks double with children.

If a person has further questions about the neti pot or how to use it safely they should speak to their doctor and get educated insight. It is better to get all this information up front so a person knows they are using the neti pot correctly.

People can become quite miserable when suffering from bothersome allergies. The neti pot can help reduce symptoms, and it is very rare indeed that a person gets an infection from using this device. Try to always take the proper safety precautions and take an extra couple of minutes to boil the water and allow it to cool to
ensure the neti pot is bacteria free.

When prepared correctly and used properly, the benefits can be extraordinary!