Saturday, March 30, 2013

Neti Pots: A Safe & Effective Remedy for Allergy Relief

If you live anywhere in the southern United States, then you are acutely aware of the awful allergy season most of us have been suffering through. Here in north Texas it has been horrendous & even people who have never before suffered with allergens are having some of the worst allergies they've ever experienced this year. Personally, I have not dealt with allergies in years, but this year I too have even been affected by the unusual amount of pollens & other allergens in the air.

There are many easy, inexpensive, & effective home remedies to obtain allergy relief. I will be writing about my most used tips & techniques in the next few articles- tricks that I have had great results from & use often. Today's article will be discussing neti pots which I swear by & recommend to anyone who will listen!

Neti Pots:

Growing up in Texas I had mild allergies & seasonal sinus infections, but as an adult was able to control it through diet & using my trusty neti pot (if you have never used one, I seriously recommend trying it- its immediate relief of nasal congestion, post nasal drip, hay fever, sore throat & eyes, facial swelling, trouble breathing, etc. as well as maintaining overall healthy sinuses).

Neti pots are safe & have been used in yoga & Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Most recently these pots have gained popularity in the West- Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Oz & even Oprah have endorsed using them across their platforms while Tina Fey & Amy Poehler even spoofed the pots on SNL. You can now find the pots at any drug, dollar, or grocery store or purchase online.

Neti pots are a wonderful & safe tool if used correctly with filtered water & sterilized often- I've never met anyone who has had ill effects using a neti pot. It should be noted that neti pots have been in the news recently because of improper use. It can lead to serious infections if not properly & regularly cleaned, but used with common sense, neti pots can be an invaluable health tool. 

Healing & restorative, neti pots helps to boost the body's natural defenses by flushing out toxins, bacteria, & other harmful pollutants that have become trapped in the sinuses. Mucus is our body's first line of defense against these inhalants, but can become easily infected if the mucus becomes stagnant or overwhelming to the our immune system. Using a neti pot can prevent & heal sinus infections by supporting the body's natural process for removing foreign bodies. 

Neti pots have even been shown to lower the body's histamine reaction to allergens without having to rely on OTC medicine, like benedryl or other antihistamine/allergy drugs. An allergy is an abnormal response by the immune system to a normal substance that would not otherwise be harmful such as pollen. During an allergic response, the body releases histamines to combat the allergen & as a result releases other inflammatory responses throughout the body. Anyone who has suffered through a sinus infections knows that inflammation makes it sometimes impossible to blow your nose and get relief from congestion! Neti pots are a great help by flushing out hard to reach mucus and by soothing sinus inflammation

Not just useful in removing mucus containing dirt & bacteria, neti pots helps to reduce hayfever, allergies, respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, coughs, & sore throat/tonsils, & chronic sinusitis but can also be soothing for headaches (whether sinus related or migraine) & overall mental fogginess or tension. I've even experienced relief from ear aches due to sinus pressure. 

They are easy to use & do not cause any discomfort when used as directed. I find the neti pot more effective than saline sprays which only loosen & moisten mucus and can be difficult reaching the deeper sinuses. If you are suffering from allergies, other sinus problems, or just want an effective, preventative remedy, I suggest looking at neti pots the next time you go to the store. It can be used daily or weekly & is easy to do during your morning and/or nightly routines- I do mine after I brush my teeth.   I recommend trying it for a few days- at first it might be cumbersome or even messy as you get used to the correct positioning. Don't worry! The technique is easily picked up & not messy once you learn how to use it in conjunction with your body

More Information:

1) Study shows that saline spray is not as effective as using a neti pot

2) Study shows that placebo is just as effective in providing temporary relief of upper respiratory infections & colds as antihistamine-decongestant combination in preschool children.

3) Study: Use of tap water versus 'sterile' water in sinus irrigation

4) Study finds that saline irrigations significantly reduces the amount of potentially harmful bacteria (staphylococcus aureus, pseudmonas aeruginosa, coagulase-negative staphylococcus (CNS), streptococcus pneumonia & haemophilus influenzae) within the infected mucus