Nasal and sinus irrigation (jala neti) is a safe and effective practice that supports and restores upper airway function. Jala neti is an ancient Ayurvedic practice whose roots are traced back to the Vedas. If you are entirely new (or skeptical) to nasal and sinus irrigation it may help to consider that dental hygiene in the form of teeth brushing was only introduced as a public health intervention in the late 1940-50s in spite of having quite ancient roots. Jala neti has the potential to produce enormous health benefits.
Jala neti is used to treat and manage:
- allergy – washes out allergen and reduces irritation
- sinusitis/rhinitis/nasal polyps
- post-nasal drip (PND)
- air-borne infections
- recurrent upper respiratory tract infection
- sleep apnea, snoring and CPAP-related side-effects
- industrial, agricultural and recreational particulate exposure
- jaw and masticatory muscle pain – a common sign of mouth
breathing which is often associated with fatigue
If you would like to read more about the ‘evidence’ we have included a good quality clinical trial.
Flow rate is critical to the effectiveness of jala neti. The neti pot that we use and recommend here – combines a long wide diameter spout and large head volume that produces the best flow rate that we have encountered.
QUICK AND DIRTY USER’S GUIDE
Fill the calibrated spoon with fine sea salt to the upper mark and bicarbonate to the lower mark, tip both into the neti pot. Fill the neti pot with drinking quality water up to the top mark of the neti pot. Dissolve the sea salt and bicarbonate completely. This solution should be no warmer than body temperature (37°C). We suggest using a thermometer until you calibrate your finger tips to this temperature.
With your head in a neutral position insert the spout carefully into one of your nostrils – get a good seal – then tilt your head to the opposite side and elevate the neti pot to initiate flow – pour either the whole or half the neti pot though one nostril, then the other. With your finger blocking the opposite nostril gently blow a few times to clear excess saline. Sniffing mid-stream and spitting out of the mouth accelerates the flow and seems to help the saline enter the sinuses. Saline may continue to drain for some time after performing jala neti. Some initial stuffiness afterwards is normal.
For more detailed instructions.