With the recent sad headlines about two people dying from a “brain eating” ameoba in Louisiana after using their neti pots, I thought it was important to highlight the topic of safely using a neti pot. I use mine regularly, especially when I’m sick. It works wonders to flush out those nasal cavities. (See Joanna’s past post about neti pots by clicking here.) Perfect for helping with allergies, colds, and sinus issues, neti pots have been used for centuries. Ear, nose, and throat surgeons recommend their use post nasal surgery. But I’ll admit I do not always use my neti pot safely. I give it a good rinse when I’m done, but I have not been cleaning it properly. I’ve also been using tap water in my neti pot. Not good. I’m hoping that the recent headlines don’t scare anyone into stowing that neti pot away. It’s a great tool, when used properly.
First of all folks, always read the instructions that come with your neti pot. They provide good guidance for using and cleaning your pot. Cleaning after each use is essential. Some pots are dishwasher safe, which makes the cleaning super quick and easy. If it’s not, create a much diluted beach solution, then swish your pot out with clean water and let it air dry.
On the topic of the type of water to use in the pot as your saline rinse, it is recommended that you use sterilized water. Some say that distilled and bottled water is safe enough, but not according to a very recent article from Whole Living. Give that water a good boil before putting it in your pot. Just be sure to let it cool down prior to use!
This is a very sad story to come out of Louisiana. I do hope though that those who are using neti pots or those who haven’t tried them before don’t shy away. They can bring great relief to sinus sufferers. I began using a neti pot over three years ago and have not used any cold medication since. I’ve never liked how cold meds make me feel – either very jittery or extremely tired and my sleep is always disrupted. Plus, that congestion just doesn’t seem to go away like it does when you can give your nasal passages a good rinse with a neti pot.
Talk to your doctor about using a neti pot yourself and ask him/her for guidance on using one safely.
Have you felt relief from using a neti pot?