Where I live in Texas, it’s pretty normal in the springtime for everyone to walk around sneezing, blowing their nose, and just generally feeling like they’ve been attacked by a gigantic pollen cloud.

I am no exception. Living like this gets very old after awhile, and it drives you to consider taking some drastic measures – something that heretofore would have seemed unthinkable…

Enter the Neti Pot.

Every time I went to the wellness section at the store, searching for a remedy to make me feel human again, an employee would suggest the Neti Pot.

It was offered as a good solution so many times that I began to suspect they were all working on some sort of Neti Pot commission. I would shudder, and say, “Uh, well, what are some other options?”  Until finally, finally, I was so desperate that I decided to give it a shot.  And guess what?  It works!  And it’s not as weird as I thought it would be – really.

So, you may be wondering, “What is a Neti Pot?”

A Neti Pot is a tool designed to help you rinse out your nasal passages. It’s a little pot (pictured below) that looks somewhat like a miniature teapot.  You fill the pot with a cup of warm water and a quarter teaspoon of salt.

Then you (and here comes the weird part) tilt your head to one side, raise the spout to the nostril on the higher side, and slowly pour the warm salt water into your nose. Yes, that’s correct – you pour water into your nose.  The water will run out the other nostril, rinsing out dust, pollen, and other allergens along with it.  Then you repeat on the other side.

Photo by Jacqueline Raposo

I tried it first in the shower (on the advice of the very nice lady at the store) knowing it might be messy, which it was. But I soon got the hang of it so that I can now do it over the bathroom sink without any trouble.  After the first time, I immediately felt better than I had in months! I’m not kidding.  My sinuses were so clear; it was fabulous.  I have used it daily since then, and I am very much convinced that the Neti Pot will be a permanent part of my life from now on, or at least during allergy season.

I have never liked using allergy medication or cold medicine.  For one thing, I think it’s best to avoid introducing unnecessary drugs into our system. If there is a natural remedy, I will almost always try that first.  And when I have a cold, I feel like cold medicine just makes it worse; it keeps the yuckiness inside of me that really just needs to get out of me!  The Neti Pot gets it OUT. I wish I hadn’t resisted it for so long.

Here is a video that shows the Neti Pot in action.  The video is produced by one particular brand, but there are many brands out there.  Check your local health food store or pharmacy, or you can also buy them from many places online, including


It’s also much less expensive than allergy medicine, making it a great frugal choice.

Photo by Claire Powers

Important Tips:

• Make sure you don’t omit the salt.  It sounds counterintuitive, but without adding the salt, it will burn your nasal passages when you use the Neti Pot.
• Conversely, don’t use too much salt – stick with the proportions recommended by your brand of Neti Pot.
• Many Neti Pot brands will sell their own salt and while that’s convenient, it’s expensive.  You don’t have to use theirs; I use a simple and inexpensive sea salt.

Have you discovered the magic of the Neti Pot?  Share your experiences and questions here!