Neti pot adventures.

31 03 2008

I’ve had it. Three solid weeks of sniffling and mouth-breathing and tonight was the last straw. In yoga, during a pose where I bent all the way down to the floor, letting my hands rest next to my feet, my nose clogged up irreparably and I gave up. Since I went out with friends three weeks ago to a club, I have been stuffed up without respite, other than an addictive nightly nose spray and somewhat less addictive nose drops that have me on such a cycle of use I dare call myself a slave to their powers. They’ve got me in their grip, those chemicals, and they will ruin me if I don’t break free. (True story: when I was little I was seriously addicted to nose spray, so much so that I had to hide my “stash”, and yes I did have a “stash,” from my mother and she once searched my room for the goods. This is not a joke. I’d hidden them—-practically empty plastic bottles of Afrin and Nasonex—-around my room, taking squirts here and there, and eventually kept them in a tall red cookie tin next to my bed. For the record, I wholeheartedly disagree with this article because I am living proof that I was an addict. I even threw a temper tantrum to get my bottles back from my mom once she confiscated them. I was 10. I believe I’ve seen movies wherein heroin addicts act similarly.) In any case, now I am very wary of using any kind of sprays for nasal congestion.

However, when you can’t breathe, you can’t breath. And I can’t do yoga if I can’t breathe, so there I was, all bent over and stressing about not being able to breathe and then my mind floated to the neti pot. Have you heard of this? I read in the Times a few months ago about them, and my friend Catherine suggested I try it out as a healthy alternative to medicines. The yoga studio where I go had one for sale and so there, bent over and feeling the pressure the equivalent of a thousand bags of rice weighing my sinuses down, I vowed there and then to purchase it.

Which I did, and just now de-virginized (can you virginize something?) the pot and my nose, and it was the strangest feeling I’ve had in a long time. Continuing to breathe through my mouth, I tilted the pot into my left nostril, the one that was terribly congested all day. I could feel the warm salty water sit there in my nostril waiting for some pressure to release, which it did eventually, and after which evidence of the releasing came in the form of drops of water out my right nostril. I remember coughing, trying to get my breathing down, while remaining fascinated at the fact that water was going in one nostril and out the other, and then, feeling the sensation of hot water in between nostrils, I laughed through my nose and blew a bubble into the neti pot, at which point I laughed out loud and got nose water all in my throat and down my chin. There was a lot of spitting involved that first go-round.

I got the hang of it after a while and soon enough there were cascades of water coming out of the nostril that didn’t have the pot spout in it. I wanted it to just flow right out of my nose and into the sink, but it appeared that the path of least resistance for the water exiting my nasal cavity was straight down my lips, over my chin, and then into the sink. Kind of invoked my gag reflex at times, but I got over it because it was at least my own sinuses flushing down my face, and not someone else’s. I can’t even imagine that scenario, but I’m sure there’s a kinky website out there for it somewhere.

But I think there’s been some good change, afterall, because the water was able to flow out quickly after a while. That must be a good sign and while I’m not back to breathing normally (nor would I expect this effect after just one use) I do feel like some space has been cleared up, if only temporarily. So we’ll see. Have I found a cure for my chronic congestion? Or is it a strange new aged (actually, old aged because this thing has been around for centuries I think) remedy that yogis and my friend Catherine have devised? I’ll give it a shot and see what comes of it. Anything’s better than not being able to breathe. Even the occasional sinus flushing down the face. Not ideal, but at least it’s something. I’ll get the hang of it soon.


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45 responses

31 03 2008
Tina (aka Mom)

Folks, her true story is absolutely true, so beware of those sprays – and, GO, neti pot !!

31 03 2008
Catherine

Yah Gina! I’m so glad you’re using your neti pot! Stick with it and I swear (and Kyle too) that it will really help! If your nose is very stuffed up, taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar (it’s like taking a hard shot of liquor) helps to clear things up too. I hope you feel better soon!

1 04 2008
ginacoggio

Wait. You don’t mean to put the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar IN the neti pot, do you? That’d be like flushing with battery acid.

1 04 2008
rosalicious

I use the neti pot too – though, I don’t think it’s what ultimately helps my sinuses (I use Flonase, and THAT helps). But, I like thinking that the neti pot is cleaning out all the toxins up in there and I’m sure that can’t be a bad thing!

1 04 2008
Catherine

NO! Don’t put the Apple Cider Vinegar in your neti pot…goodness, NO! Just drink a tablespoon on its own. Wow…that would DEFINITELY burn those sinuses right up!

1 02 2010
Jonny Favorite

Hilarious. I put 1/2 tsp of ACV in my neti pot, along with the normal saline solution, and yes it did burn while flushing through my sinuses but for me it is the ONLY way to clear up persistent sinus (fungal) infection.

1 04 2008
ginacoggio

So how often am I supposed to use this thing? Seems to me like my stuffiness gets worse just after I use it. What should I expect to feel just afterwards?

1 04 2008
Catherine

How much salt are you using? You might be using too much and should experiment with a little less. Excess salt could be making you more stuffy or it could be that you’ve got “stuff” in your sinuses that is being worked out by your use of the neti pot and therefore you feel more stuffy. Just keep at it (twice a day is best while you are still stuffy) and be sure to blow your nose afterwards as well. If you want to relieve the stuffiness, I swear, apple cider vinegar works like magic.

1 04 2008
ginacoggio

How about red wine vinegar? Would that help at all? I don’t know if there’s such a thing as apple cider vinegar here in Brazil. I could be wrong.

1 04 2008
Susan

My dad hasn’t used a neti pot but he has always used warm salty water to “snort” up his nose when he has such problems with his nose. I for one have never been so brave. Hope you feel better soon! The “eyebrow plucker’ from my office as I will call her seems to be that she was addicted to Afrin. She had a huge bottle or two at her desk.

2 04 2008
ginacoggio

That stuff is so dangerous.

14 04 2008
Jennie

I saw the neti pot on Oprah once – my sister got one for her husband recently and they are very fascinated with it. I think it must be such a strange sensation!

2 09 2008
GG

I just used one and now one of my nostrils whistles! Quite fun. But why?

10 09 2008
ginacoggio

Ha!

21 05 2009
jeremy

As far as the ACV you want to drink 2 table spoons with 1 table spoon of honey in a large glass of water. Takes a while to get past the taste but once you see the difference it makes in your sinus relief you will have no problem with the taste. Also, I put just just two or three drops of ACV in a full neti pot along with the packed of salt and wow what a dirrerence. If you put in any more than a few drops it will burn like hell. I am prone to sinus infections and ever since i have started doing this on a daily basis. No infections. When I first started reading about this ACV, I was like “yeah ok, like thats going to work”. When have as many re occuring sinus problems as I have had your willing to try anything. Go for it. What do you have to loose.

29 05 2009
V.

I was miserable and even the saline packets in the neti pot weren’t helping. I put about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with the mother in with the neti pot saline rinse and it helped so much. I don’t know that I’d use the vinegar all the time but will definitely do it occasionally.

7 03 2010
bvw

Well, I just tried a mix of 1 part distilled Apple Cider Vinegar with my neti — not an experience for those likely to faint from pain! I’ll try the few drops method next time.

20 01 2011
ld

lol I was hurting so bad this morning and tried 3 parts apple cider vinegar to 1 part water plus the solution that goes in the spray thing like the neti pot but it squirts up your nose and lol it hurt soooo soooo bad never make that mistake again. I had forgot what it said on here. Guess I should have came back and re-read this. But I will say one thing it took a lot of the sinus pressure away. I could feel it travel through all my sinus passages it felt kinda strange. Don’t think it is hurting me but it did help more than it hurt.

7 03 2010
bvw

Meant to write 1 part distilled ACV to 5 parts filtered water.

10 09 2012
Lynne

do NOT use ‘DISTILLED’ acv…use the raw, unfiltered organic with the mother. b—gs is the most famous. just ask at the health food store…they’ll know what you’re talking about.

12 03 2010
Erin C

Use only a few drops or 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar plus 1 tsp of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda (added to room temp water) to make your own neti pot rinse. Yes it burns a bit but it’s not as bad as killer sinus pressure and pain!!!! I will also mix 1 tbs of the acv to 4 oz (small glass) of water and chase that with a tbs of organic honey. The honey helps get rid of the nasty taste.
Good luck allergy season is a real jerk!!!

28 04 2010
Pål

lol I have put several table spoons of acv in my neti and also onion juice in my neti lots of times now. it does sting like hell but I dont think it is dangerious. it feels gorgeous, you can just feel it opening up the sinuses.

any of you guys tried a sinus pulse irrigation system?

now I have settled for one table spoon a few times a day though

28 04 2010
Pål

uhm garlic juice that is

24 08 2010
Bronson

I also use raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s) in my neti pot. It doesn’t burn at all if you properly buffer the acid. I have found that the only brand of pre-mix packets with active buffer is Walgreen’s. You can also just add a pinch of baking soda and that will do the trick as well. You can tell if the buffer is working because you will see some bubbling when you stir in the vinegar. It also should not burn at all when you use the pot. The vinegar helps to stave off any infection causing sinusitis.

4 09 2010
Tom Neti

I have had many problems with allergies and other unpleasant symptoms for such a long time that it is good to read about healthy alternatives. Thanks for the good info.

6 11 2010
Cheryl

I was really suffering with sinus pain when I found this website desperate to find something to relieve the pain from this sinus infection. (I just caught a cold and it turned into a sinus infection)
The last couple days I had been swallowing minced garlic, taking 4,000 mg of powdered vitamin c and also drinking the vinegar/honey combo, and a few other things daily. (found a great drink for that painful sore throat too)
This morning I was so clogged on the right side nothing worked. I thought about using vinegar in the neti pot so read the above poster’s msg who used 1 tbs in his neti pot…WOW that burned..reduced it to 1tsp, and it still burned so I just barely used it til it go to the other side and stopped. I did this a few times getting out some mucus each time, not alot but enough. My pain has lessoned sooooo much…I can’t believe it!
It’s a miracle is all I can say.

6 11 2010
Cheryl

I would like to say since I can’t edit my first response, that although the above procedure really helped alot, as it reduced the pain to bearable….I still am fighting the congestion..but I needed some relief from the sinus pain as it was unbearable. So just wanted to clarify that.

15 12 2010
Jim Greenwood

I had sinus surgery so I have to flush them a lot. Here is my tried and true solution: DIstilled water, a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar, non-iodized salt, a drop of a cayenne hot sauce, about 5 drops of a nasal spray.

The ACV is the antibiotic
The salt is the absorbant/loosener
The cayenne shrinks the blood cappliaries
The nasal spray drops are the antihistamines – cheap 99 cent store brand

I won’t give ratios as i had to find out for myself as I believe everyone does. Also, most people don’t get the solution up the eustachian tube to dislodge/dissolve behind the drum and, if you are lucky, middle ear infections. check out earadicator for the best neti technique for really getting to the places in your upper sinuses and ears. watch the free video and have patience. Say no to freemasonry God bless

15 12 2010
bvw

@Jim Greenwood — I thought about using cayenne, for the anti-fungal properties it has.
See the 2003 paper “CAY-1, a novel antifungal compound from cayenne pepper”

(You aren’t the Jim who was a US Rep are you?)

30 01 2011
Gertrude

Thank you to all of you who mentioned putting apple cider vinegar in your neti pot!!! I began my adventure with my neti pot 6 days ago now. I had a history of sinus inflammation from my work, but doing a metal cleanse helped. However, my sinuses were then trained to completely close their doors to any sign of intrusion, and apparently salt water was one of them (I’m sure the fact that I have actually drown in my life and really don’t like water up my nose had something to do with it).

Anyway I saw this as an opportunity to not only heal my post nasal drip that developed a couple months ago, but to heal me emotionally as well.

To begin with, my sinuses were open, just dripping down to my throat, so when I use my neti pot for the first time, I was surprised by how much mucus was coming out! The second time had me congested and tired (immune system finally kicking in?) and getting the water to flow was difficult. I was only doing half a pot per side at this point, because it was taking at least 20 minutes. Then yesterday I read all your posts, and although I have been drinking ACV to balance my body’s PH level, and eating raw organic garlic with honey to try and kill the fungus / bacteria in my body, I couldn’t think of a safe way to kill the evil things in my nose. I tried the few drops of apple cider vinegar last night, and everything went so smoothly! I was able to do a full pot per nostril for the first time!!! And the same thing happened today, with the amount of mucus diminishing drastically. I’m so excited! I’m even breathing through my nose again as I write this!

Thank you!

27 02 2011
Scotto

Ah, interesting to read your description of how your sinuses would “completely close their doors” when they sensed the salt in the water. I have tried the ACV with the salt, but never just ACV and water alone. I will try that now.

I’ve been badly congested for over a week now after being inundated by a cold just prior. I had the same trouble with the neti pot, where it would not flow at almost at all after my sinuses detected the salt water. I was having to plug the other nostril and suck neti water in, only to have most of it come pouring out my mouth.

Another technique I have tried when things are just not flowing, is to pull neti water into my nose, (as mentioned above) and then — and this is the tricky part — covering the top of the neti pot with the palm of my second hand and =blowing= the solution up into the upper sinuses. Like I say, it’s a little tricky to get just the right amount of pressure, but when things are just sealed up tight up there, it’s the only way I have found to get anything to flow up into the reluctant sinuses.

Just though I’d share that little tidbit. Now to go try just ACV/water in the neti.

- Scott

31 05 2011
angela

actually, vinegar,makes any spores explode, so you don’t have to have them removed. i would suggest cleaning with the neti hot salt water,every day and then 2 times a week with the vinegar diluted of course,or as you can handle it.also if you get some sea salt and drink a teaspoon full with water. then keep drinking water, your sinuses will drain like mad.but i am sure repeated sinus infections are caused by spores that are in your sinuses.you can try the vinegar, or go talk to a surgeon and get them to go in and remove them.hope i hepped.

8 09 2011
Jennifer

Beware…I was taking 2tspns of apple cider vinegar a day and one day I guess my gag reflexes couldn’t handle the taste so all of the ACV shot back up through my nose and made my sinuses so inflamed I had to breath out of my mouth for 2 hours. So be careful how much ACV you put in your neti

26 10 2011
Bethany

Today I just reviewed a CT scan with an ENT dr. He said that I have a large polyp in one of my sinus cavities. :( They do not know what caused it really, most of the time it happens from allergies, but I don’t have any of those. I was getting 3-4 sinus infections every year… so solution to the problem is surgery. I was looking for other options to help my congestion and reducing the polyps and came across ACV and neti pots…Which led me to this great post. What a great source of info! So… I just drank the ACV/Honey mix. It really was not bad at all. I warmed it and it was just like apple cider, well a little more bite to it. The sweeteness from the honey was actualliy harder than the cider for me. I even made up ‘apple cider’ for my kids(ages 6 and 4) to drink. They both drank them down easy. I did add cinnamon to theirs. I told them it was healthy and the drank it right down. Both of them suffer from allergies and one has asthma and has a constant runny nose. Hopefully this will help us all!

18 12 2011
Ann

Well, I thought I had an original idea, to put some ACV in my neti pot, but thought I’d check out the idea on the internet. So glad to see so many others have actually tried it! I recently began drinking a mix of grape juice, (5 parts) apple juice (3 parts) and ACV (1 part) for arthritis. I think it is really helping. Got the recipe from a 90+year-old friend who is as active as a 30 year-old and has no more arthritis. Also re-read my old copy of Folk Medicine, by Dr. D.C. Jarvis. That gives you all the info on ACV and honey.
The vinegar is a good antibiotic, so I started using it to rinse the area of an infected tooth that hasn’t healed well after a root canal. Only have done it a few days, but I think the tooth is actually getting better. I just lost the adjacent one after they repeated a root canal on it three times over 6 months because it wouldn’t heal. Finally had it pulled.
I also suffer from frequent sinus infections and stuffy nose. I think its improving since I started drinking 1/2 cup a day of the above mixture, which is what gave me the idea of using it in a neti pot to get at the area directly. So here goes, a few drops of ACV in the water in my neti pot. Will post results it it works.

23 12 2011
Steve

Tried about 1/3 Apple Cider Vinegar & 2/3 distilled water and a walgreens pack in the squeeze bottle neti pot and it lit me up…

5 02 2012
kazoo

grapefruit seed extract is good as well

7 04 2012
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13 04 2012
Allison

Try adding a drop or 2 of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to a neti pot mix using Himalayan Pink Salt (about 1/4 teaspoon in 8 ounces of luke-warm purified/distilled water. That could be too much/too little for you – you have to experiment & see what is the best mixture for you) If I use the pink salt, I don’t have to buffer the neti solution with baking soda, which I heard is not so great for the cilia in the nose. The pink salt doesn’t sting me at all!

22 08 2012
Betsy

I can’t believe these comments are going for years – but I’m so grateful. They were super helpful for me. I’m now adding ACV (Bragg’s) to my neti pot as well as drinking a shot of it every day.

22 08 2012
bvw

Since it is wise to use distilled, filtered or boiled (and cooled) water in a neti pot to avoid getting nasties into the brain, is it wise to use Bragg’s ACV, which has the “Mother”, that is active biological lifeforms which ferment the apple cider?

26 03 2013
Reid

Just made acv & honey tea: 2T each + 2C water, warm as tea you can drink straight down. It is old reliable to me. I’ve yet to try acv in my neti pot, but I use it faithfully w/sea salt (sometimes w/baking soda), and have tried a couple of drops of tea tree oil. I imagine any more would be like snorting kerosene. I may try acv in my neti pot, and if I do I’ll go w/only a couple of drop for starters. I have had sinus discomfort for years and the past few years have noticed it comes on when the air pressure is low. So, I check the weather along with what comes out of my nose when discomfort looms. I counteract low pressure with deep cleansing sinus breathing and actively visualizing the expansion of the mucous membranes in my sinuses fully into my sinus cavities. great stuff for un-stuffing. :) cheers!

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4 10 2014
Shirley Stitt

I did the acv sinus rinse two days ago. It did clear out the mucus real good, but I can’t taste or smell anything now. My nose is clear but I’ve lost those senses. I don’t know what to do now, hopefully I’ll get them back. Has anyone else experienced this?

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