Spring brings flowers and trees and newly growing grass. Unfortunately, for many people, these joyful harbingers of warmer weather and longer days also mean the beginning of allergy season. Allergy medications relieve symptoms, but often come with unpleasant side effects. A natural alternative that has been helpful for many allergy sufferers is the regular practice of a nasal wash by using a Neti pot.
The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that is one of our body’s first lines of defense against disease. A nasal wash keeps this layer of mucus moist, clean and healthy. And compared to other nasal wash techniques, using a Neti pot is easy. A nasal wash can be as routine as brushing your teeth.
Rinsing with saline solution is a time-honored practice in the Orient. Here in the West, the nasal wash has been used for decades as a means of treating sinus problems, colds, allergies, and post-nasal drip and to counteract the effect of environmental pollution.
Breathing through the nose filters and conditions the incoming air. The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dirt, dust, and pollen and moves steadily to the rear of the nasal cavity and settles in the throat, where it is swallowed. Saline nasal rinses carry some of these impurities out of the body before they reach your stomach.
They also keep this protective layer of mucus functioning properly. If the mucus becomes too thick and dry or too thin and runny, it is easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate the nasal lining and cause the swelling and excess discharge of mucus we call a “cold.” That’s why gargling or sniffing a little salt water at the first sign of a cold is a staple of folk medicine. The Neti pot continues these time-tested traditions of hygiene.
For some people, the nasal wash is as routine as brushing their teeth. Others use it for specific purposes. Suggested uses:
- Do the nasal wash to wake up, clear your nostrils, and start the day breathing freely.
- Use it to remove excess mucus when you are experiencing nasal congestion.
- Do it several times a day during the allergy season to rid the nostrils of pollen and other allergens.
- Use the nasal wash when you’ve been exposed to soot, dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants.
- Use it to dissolve mucus build-up in dry climates or in air-conditioned or heated rooms, or after air travel.
I’ve been using a Neti pot regularly for several years, and I rarely get a cold, nor do I have allergy problems.
A nasal wash is not a substitute for medical treatment. Anyone with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages or other ear, nose, or throat disorders should seek medical attention.
Neti Pot can be purchased online or at Whole Foods grocery stores and other health food stores.
Your pets can contribute to your pollen allergy. If your pets go outside, they’ll inevitably end up attracting pollen to their fur. Wipe them down with a damp towel when they come inside – that way, when you cuddle with them, you won’t breathe in a concentrated dose of pollen!
Amber prefers to enjoy spring from inside.