Neti Pot Review: Remedy For Congestion

neti potAfter hearing lots of good things about Neti Pots, I decided I had to try one. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do it’s usually a head cold that ails me. So, I figured this would be a great addition to my natural remedies cabinet.

If you’ve never heard of a Neti Pot before, let me explain what it is. The pot itself looks somewhat like a genie’s lamp, and is usually made of ceramic. You fill it with a saline solution (warm salt water) and use it to flush out your nose.

I have to admit, I was somewhat apprehensive about using this thing. I mean, there’s something a little intimidating about the idea of pouring water up your nose. I imagined myself choking on saline, and spewing it out everywhere! No, I wasn’t looking forward to trying this one out.

Yet, inevitably the day came when I woke up with a stuffy nose, and after trying every other natural cure for sinus congestion unsuccessfully, I knew it was time to give the Neti Pot a try.

I locked myself in the bathroom so nobody would walk in on me. There was nothing attractive about what I was going to do next.

I followed the directions to the “T”, scooping the salt crystals into a cup of warm water and then adding that to my Neti. The kit also had some herbal drops that came with it, which I also added in.

Taking one last deep breath, I leaned over the sink, tipped my head sideways, and put the tip of the pot to my nostril. Slowly, I began pouring the solution into my nose. And right off the bat it went down my throat and I had to stop and spit it out.


I tried again, and the same thing happened. See, what is supposed to happen is this:

You lean over a sink, and tip your head sideways so that one nostril is directly above the other. Then you put the tip of the Neti pot to your upper nostril, and slowly pour the solution in. Keep breathing through your mouth. The saline flows from your upper nostril and drains out through the lower nostril. It looks like this,

A little weird, I know. Let me just say, she makes it look easy.

It definitely took some practice. I found that leaning forward a bit helped. What didn’t help was the fact that I was severely congested, and I’m pretty sure the saline couldn’t even drain correctly and was being redirected down my throat instead. It took a lot of blowing my nose before I made progress with a slight trickle of saline passing through.

Anyways, there was no immediate relief. However, about an hour after using the Neti I did notice that my sinuses did seem to be a little clearer. I used the pot twice a day for two days, and by the third day my cold was gone!

I definitely credit the Neti pot and the herbal drops that went into the saline solution for my quick recovery. My poor husband didn’t get over his cold as quickly. He chose not to try the Neti pot, and got to suffer with sinus congestion for a whole week.

Though it wasn’t fun to do, and took a bit of practice to get the hang of, it was worth it. Though weird and unflattering I will definitely use the Neti Pot again at the first sign of another head cold.

Have you ever tried using a Neti Pot? I’d love to hear what you think about this ancient cold remedy!

About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. I’m a neti pot fan — you should definitely learn to use it BEFORE you have a cold. Sometimes congestion really stops the flow and makes it difficult, so you don’t want to be trying it out in the worst conditions.

    Also, before waking up severely congested, there are warning signs (nose feels raw inside, or sore throat) — start using the neti pot then.

  2. ITA with Susan.

    If it is done right, it is not uncomfortable at all. I use the packs that come with the Neil Med Neti Pot – they are super cheap and have the right mix.

  3. I’ve been eyeing these for a while! I’ve heard about them for a few years now and recently saw that our Whole Foods has them. It’s definitely on my wish list. I have horrible sinus issues and this year has been especially bad (feels as if my nose is “stopped up” every other week). My two little ones seem to have inherited the same problem. So, I think this would definitely help and I hope to get one soon.

    PS. I totally HATE putting anything up my nose (such as that Afrin stuff). But I’m totally willing to try it.

  4. As everyone else, I was very reluctant to try theNeti pot, but now I love it. I have allergies on top of allergies and I couldn’t get through a week without it. I have woken up at night so stuffed up I couldn’t breath and my Neti pot is the only thing that will moisten my nose enough for blowing to work. I love it.

  5. I’ve been using a neti pot for years. Don’t save it for when you feel sick. Use it every day. Think of it as … well, you brush your teeth and take a shower every day….and you clean those body parts every day…the nasal orifice needs cleaning too and that is what the neti pot does.

    My husband will not use it every day but he does use it when he has a cold.

    I think the picture you used shows an angle that is too ‘upright’. If you are more horizontal, it helps. Here’s a good video:

    If it is done right, it does *not* feel like water up your nose in a pool. Use as natural a salt as you can afford. Use warm water as it will help unplug things better than cold.

  6. We are a Neti family! My husband and I both love it for the dryness that often plagues our sinuses in the winter. In addition, we have found that we can greatly reduce or mitigate any sinus infections/head colds by using the Neti pot at the first sign of trouble.

    I taught my 9 year-old son to use it this year, with my assistance of course. He asks to use it now before bed when he has a stuffy nose that he know will force him to breathe through his mouth. Neti pots are indeed a necessity for anyone with sinus issues.

    I also use Natro-Bio Homeopathic Sinus Rememdy when I feel a sinus headache starting. We refer to them as “magic pills” because they reduce sinus flair-ups without drying your sinuses like OTC remedies can sometimes do. Plus no harmful side effects!

  7. I swear by it! And I could write a REALLY long comment about why – but I’ll try to keep it short. :0) I have been plagued with severe sinus issues my WHOLE life. It wasn’t so bad when we lived in FL for a spell until 4 years ago when we moved back up north. I couldn’t find a netti pot – so I started flushing my sinuses with a nasal aspirator and saline solution. (You thought the netti pot was bad?) But, it did get me some relief. In the summer I finally found a netti pot and got my whole family on board using it regularly. We have went the entire Fall and Winter without one of us having so much as a runny nose for the first time ever! We usually make at least a few trips each to the Dr. for antibiotics before the season is over. We use it as preventive maintenance. If we feel the slightest bit of stuffiness coming on – we flush. If we’ve been in contact with people who have been battling illness – we flush. If we’ve been in a large crowd of people (like last night’s concert) – we flush. We are a living testament to the effectiveness of this ancient/cost effective treatment. I tell everyone who will listen about how awesome it is. OK. That’s enough from me. :0)

    Have a good weekend!

  8. I have been using the Neti Pot for several years. I love it. It is so soothing. Sometimes I use it after I have been out with a lot of people just as a preventative measure for rinsing out germs. It seems to really help with the amount of colds that I catch, especially from the grandkids. I even told my general practice nurse at the doctor’s office about it and they got the brochures and have started recommending it to their patients, especially to allergy patients. Who would have thought that they never suggested it???!!!!

  9. I’ve heard of these, but I’m reluctant to try it! Yes, the whole idea of pouring water up my nose is enough to make me say No Thanks. I’ll use the squeeze bottles of saline nasal spray (which are far more expensive, probably), but this does not sound like fun!

  10. I have never heard of it. Hmm…I don’t like water in my nose in the pool, so I think I would have issues with this. Can you use a saline spray to work similarly?

  11. I’m like you and Jodie, I use mine whenever I’m having allergy or cold issues. Most of the time I’ll just use the salt water, but if I fell like it’s something viral, I’ll put about one teaspoon of colloidal silver with the salt water. It usually knocks the cold mess out in a day or so.

    If you’re having it drain down your throat just tilt your head forward a bit. If it’s making you feel like you got water up your nose at the pool, then just tilt back a little. Works for me anyway!

  12. I love my neti pot 🙂 I seen Dr. OZ use this on Oprah and I went out and bought one right away so I could try and get rid of some of my allergy prescription medicine’s. It helped me a lot 🙂 I use it twice a week to keep from getting so stuffed up but it did take a couple time to get the hang of it.


    Barbara 🙂

  13. I couldn’t bring myself to part with the money to buy a NetiPot, my inner frug wouldn’t let me 🙂 so I made one, I took a water bottle with a sports top on it, I filled it with warm salted water, I pressed it to one nostril, leaned over the sink and squeezed the bottle ever so gently. It worked like a charm! I will admit that I was afraid of using too much salt, it might burn, but I found out that if you don’t use enough salt, it will burn, once I got the ratio correct, it didn’t burn at all.

    It is a strange sensation to be putting water up your nose, but it does work wonders though.

  14. I was reluctant to try a neti pot until last year when my environmental allergies got so bad. I didn’t drown. Now I won’t go anywhere without it! I recommend it to everyone.

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