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Luci Phipps teaches yoga in Guildford, Bramley and Godalming
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jala neti

Jala Neti Pot

Troubled by coughs, colds, allergies or sinusitis? Try the Neti Pot

Lots of people have been saying that they are troubled with catarrh, coughs and colds at the moment so I thought this might be appropriate for this time of the year.

Jala Neti, or Saline Nasal Irrigation (SNI), is a traditional method of self-administered nasal cleansing. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine (the ancient system of healthcare from which yoga originates) to alleviate nasal congestion, sinus and allergy problems.

What is a neti pot?

A neti pot is a small device, a bit like a miniature watering can, which is filled with warm, sterilised, slightly salted water and the spout of the pot is inserted into one nostril. The position of the head and pot are adjusted to allow the user to pour water in one nostril and let the water flow out of the other nostril.

How does it work and what do people say about it?

This video demonstration of the neti pot on the Oprah Winfrey Show shows how it is used and you can hear personal accounts of a few people who have used it.

When asked what he always took on holiday Frank Skinner replied as follows:

“A neti pot. It’s like a small watering can. You fill it with warm water and a little salt and you pour it up your nose in the morning. From the age of about 11 I seem to have had perpetual catarrh. Maybe it’s because I come from Birmingham and speak through my nose. But someone suggested the neti pot and it completely changed my life. It’s like a spring clean of the head every morning.”

I also use a neti pot whenever I feel a cold is threatening and generally it keeps it at bay.

What evidence is there that it works?

Numerous clinical studies have shown that nasal irrigation is effective at improving a variety of symptoms associated with nasal congestion, colds and sinusitis. This article  summarises many of these studies.

One such study ends like this…

“CONCLUSION: Nasal irrigation is a simple, inexpensive treatment that relieves the symptoms of a variety of sinus and nasal conditions, reduces use of medical resources and could help minimize antibiotic resistance.”

My favourite neti pot styles are available for sale in the GuildfordYoga shop.