by Sophia Ruan Gushée
Nasal cleansing is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that dates back thousands of years. And Neti pots, one tool for nasal cleansing, has become very popular in the US, especially after being occasionally featured on the Dr. Oz Show.
Nasal cleaning devices come in different forms—including bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, and Neti pots (they resemble a tea pot). Using saltwater, nasal cleaning devices clear clogged nasal passages.
I have found the Neti Pot to be very easy and effective to use.
A Neti Pot (Neti is Sanskrit for “nasal cleansing”) can help those suffering from sinusitis, seasonal allergies, and a stuffy nose from the common cold.
While nasal irrigation systems can help congested sinuses, colds and allergies, they’re also helpful when nasal passages want moisture during dry seasons or environments.
Precautions should be taken, however. An alarming case in December 2018 got many Neti pot users wondering if using a Neti pot is safe.
A woman died from a brain-eating amoeba after using a neti pot, as reported in an article "Careful use of neti pot advised after woman contracts rare but fatal brain infection: The woman inhaled a brain-eating amoeba that was not discovered until nearly a year later" by Shamard Charles, M.D. on the NBC News website (December 7, 2018).
The 69-year-old woman, who had a chronic sinus infection, used tap water filtered by a Brita water purifier, according to a report published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
“Fortunately, these amoebic infections are quite rare, but we have documented that some have occurred due to use of tap water in neti pots," Dr. Jennifer Cope, a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC News on Friday. "The message we want people to hear is that if you use the neti pot you should not use tap water directly."
So is Neti pot use safe?
Experts—including physicians, medical authorities, and the US FDA—say the infection is exceedingly rare, and that Neti pot use—with precautions—can be helpful for those suffering from sinuses, colds, and allergies.
Follow manufacturers directions carefully. Improper use of these neti pots and other nasal rinsing devices can increase your risk of infection.
These nasal rinse devices operated pulsed water devices are usually safe and effective products when used and cleaned properly, says Eric A. Mann, MD, PhD, a doctor at FDA.
Some tips for safe Neti Pot use:
As you can seen in the light-hearted video below, even Hugh Jackman uses it to help nasal congestion.
Buy it with the high grade salt below.
Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, Neti Pot use can be safe and effective with proper precautions. Read manufacturer's instructions carefully. Pay special attention to the latest advisories on what kind of water and salt to use.
You can explore the Neti pot above on Amazon by clicking on the image. Please note that I will make a small affiliate fee if you buy it.
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