March 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm , by Julie Bain
After fighting allergies and chronic sinus problems for years, I decided to try a neti pot. I’d seen Dr. Oz demonstrate it on Oprah, and I knew that people in other cultures have used them for thousands of years. Still, it sounded weird to me—kind of like an auto-induced version of waterboarding. Why pour salty water up your nose when you can take a high-tech pill?
CAN A LITTLE POT OF SALTY WATER REALLY DO ANYTHING?
I wasn’t convinced until I interviewed Gary Rachelefsky, M.D., director of the Executive Care Center for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Diseases at UCLA last year for a story on allergies. Because it mechanically clears the sinuses by thinning secretions so they can flow out, he said, nasal irrigation can prevent chronic problems, allergies and infection. Simple as that. So as allergy season approached last spring, I decided to try it.
HOW TO USE A NETI POT
I got a small plastic pot at the drugstore, along with the premeasured Sinus Rinse packets by NeilMed (basically a mixture of salt and baking soda, with no preservatives) and followed the directions.