February 10, 2005
Jala Neti


“Has Tod been making drug paraphenalia in the middle of the night?” I wondered when I spied a length of rubber tubing glued onto a 500 ml plastic bottle sitting on the kitchen counter. On further inspection, it became clear that this was not a bong, but I had no idea what it could be.

It is a neti pot.

Jala neti is a yoga practice meant to improve breathing. You use warm, isotonic salt water to wash out your nose and sinuses by pouring water in one nostril and letting it flow out the other.

Sounds gross, but it’s quite effective.

Not only does it loosen mucus, but it can also help to unblock your ears and every time I do it (perhaps through a fault in my procedure) I get a refreshing wash of saline across my eyes. It’s said to be effective against allergies, hay fever and other sinus-related illnesses. It’s too soon to tell if that’s true; I just think it feels good.

If you want to try it, this instruction manual (PDF) is helpful, or you can Google for nasal lavage, sinus irirgation or my favorite—nose douche. Although the manual advocates having someone teach you in person, I found it wasn’t at all difficult after I stopped laughing and snorting water everywhere (Tod was watching me). Every swimmer will recognise the feeling.

The plastic contraption Tod created will be replaced by a proper metal neti pot in the very near future.

Posted by kuri at February 10, 2005 07:51 AM


When he’s not looking, switch the salt water with clear vinegar.
Be sure to have the video camera set up first, though…

Posted by: Jim O'Connell on February 10, 2005 07:09 PM

The nose douche and the snot rocket - both effective.

Helen and I did two hours of yoga last night. Funny that you posted this today!

Posted by: Jenn on February 11, 2005 11:03 AM

Based on the info in your link, I tried this myself last week and have done it every day since. It’s amazing. Usually I suffer from morning sniffles. Sometimes they are so bad I’m up at 4AM and sitting up on the couch so as not to wake the hubby. But since I tried this, I’ve been able to sleep through the night and wake with nary a sniff.


Posted by: M Sinclair Stevens on February 18, 2005 01:02 PM

We got out neti pot yesterday in the mail. It works beautifully—much better than Tod’s hot-melt glued bottle and hose. I’m glad to hear it’s working for you, M.

Posted by: Kristen on February 18, 2005 05:30 PM
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