When our son started college he was surveying all the equipment for his dorm room: sheets, towels, electric kettle, microwave popcorn, first aid kit.
“Wait,” he said. “Where is the Neti pot? What if I get a cold? Or allergies? I can’t go to college without a Neti pot”!!!!
And what, you might ask, is a Neti pot? Available online or at health food stores, this ceramic or plastic pot is shaped sort of like a bottle where a genie would hide. It is a great tool for colds (or avoiding them), any type of sinus infection, or simply for flushing mucus and allergens out of your nose and sinuses. There are also squeeze bottles and large syringes sold for the purpose.
To use it, mix one half teaspoon of salt into a pot of pure warm water (this “buffers” the water so it doesn’t sting; the salt is also antibacterial). We also like to add 1 to 3 drops of our Oxygen Elements Max™ to the water.
Oxygen Elements Max™ floods the sinuses with oxygenated salt water and flushes out anything growing there. It also leaves a residual oxygenated solution that continues to kill off bacteria, fungi and viruses.
(Jim believes he can chase off an oncoming cold by using the Oxygen Elements Max™/salt water combo two or 3 times a day for two days at the first signs of the cold.)
Tipping your head over the sink, you run the warm saline water solution into one nostril and let it run out the other. You are literally “washing” your nasal passages and sinuses and this gentle flushing provides immediate relief. If your sinuses are fully clogged you can also add a menthol-based product called Alkalol. It’s a basic formula that has been around since the late 1800s and you can get it easily online. You can add a tablespoon or so of Alkalol to the water in your pot or syringe. It’s quite “refreshing” in a Vicks Vaporub sort of way. The stronger it is the more it can break up your congestion, but you have to discover how strong is comfortable for you. If your sinus problems are fungal, adding 14 drops of an herbal tincture called Usnea can also be helpful.
More and more people are discovering how useful this simple tool can be. Here’s a link to a story that NPR did on the subject a few years ago.
A bit of caution here: unfiltered or sterilized tap water can contain pathogens. Just boil the water and then let it cool to a comfortable temperature before using.
Oh, and by the way, our son got his own going-to-college Neti pot – and he claims he got way fewer colds than his dorm mates!