It’s the holidays once again and you know what that means – winter is the time for colds, flu and other upper respiratory conditions. The combination of the weather, stress and being in crowds (where you can catch viruses) make you more susceptible to these conditions. At times, you may even wake up feeling terrible – your nose stuffed up, your throat scratchy and sneezing every few minutes. For these winter times, perhaps you should put down those cold medications and try using the neti pot. This device can help you get rid of those winter symptoms. The neti pot works as a nasal flushing device. Nasal flushing is the act of allowing water to flow through your nasal passages and flow out.

How does this work? First, the solution goes in one nostril, and flows through the nasal cavities. When it flows out, it should take away the foreign objects in there, caught by the small hairs in the nasal passages. These can be allergens or even viruses that cause flu and colds. When you get rid of them before they take hold into your body, you can prevent or shorten the time of your cold or flu. Nasal flushing can also work as a moisturizer for your nasal passages. The dry heat (from the heaters at home or at the office) can harden some of the mucus in the nasal cavities, which make it uncomfortable and even make it painful.

So, how do you use a neti pot? First, fill up the pot with filtered water and add some salt. Allow the salt to dissolve. Then, place the spout against your right nostril. Tip your head and continue to press the pot against the nostril. Allow the water to go into your nostril – keep your mouth open so you can breathe. The water will flow out your other nostril or through your mouth (make sure you spit it out.) Repeat with the other nostril. You’ll feel relieved instantly!

Many people prefer doing this method of nasal flushing rather than taking medicines. For one thing, while medicines can help you, taking too much can harm other parts of your body, like the liver. This is a more natural way of giving you relief from sinus symptoms and facial pain. It can even helps people with sinusitis. Nasal flushing is safe to do every day, even twice a day (in the morning and evening.)

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