Neti pots: any proof they work?

I am a long time sufferer of headaches and clogged nose. I reckon it’s probably sinusitis, but anyway, now that I am getting them every day, I remember reading here about neti pots. Was there any work done to find out whether they’re actually effective or not?

I don’t have any direct cites but I put a lot of stock in the opinion of Qadgop the Mercotan such as here. He often refers to the literature on the topic and has done a lot around here to promote use of neti pots. Personally I have received great benefit from using mine.

Clinical study and literature review of nasal irrigation
CONCLUSIONS: Nasal irrigation is effective in improving symptoms and the health status of patients with sinonasal disease.

They are effective - as for studies I have no idea. I’ve just ordered two - try to get the stainless ones - more hygenic. I used one maybe twenty years ago religiously for a while. Over the last couple of years I’ve had some pretty annoying episodes of red itching eyes and generally stuffed up feelings building up, prompting me to order two from heathandyoga. I’m getting the other one for my nephew he’s a cronic sinus sufferer so I’m quite excited about how it’s going to benefit him. I still remember the first time I used it - instant relief - all sorts of “cleared” feelings between the eyes and nose.

Not scientific, but I use one all the time. I find it works great, and it cured a lot of my allergy problems. My girlfriend was a non-believer until she got sinusitis and used it. Now she’s an evangelist for them too. Incidentally, if you are going to buy one, I think the NeilMed sinus flush is better than the neti pot.

Why not just try it? If it works for you, who cares what the studies say?

What am I? On everybody’s ignore list? Studies show the Neti pot to be clinically effective!

Not on mine. My wife bought me one based on the say so of one of her officemates, but I hadn’t used it because it seemed like new age hoodoo. But based on your link, I’ll give it a try.

I’m listening too. I also have another question. Some have touted glass or metal pots as being more hygienic. I have a plastic pot and I either wash it thoroughly or dip the end in rubbing alcohol after each use. Is there anything wrong with either of these methods? Would I be better off purchasing a pot made of metal or glass?

If it makes you feel any better, I bought a neti pot when I saw one for sale at the local drugstore. I haven’t used it yet, mind you, but I did buy it specifically because you’ve recommended them.

SHOULD I be using it, even though I don’t have symptoms? I’m rather reluctant to add yet another chore to my regular hygiene tasks. I have a frigging checklist of a dozen items to do before I go to bed.

Your link didn’t go straight to a study and when I typed neti pot into the search engine of your site I got something on how effective it was on cadavers.

I use an ear bulb to flush my nose out and it’s very effective. I’ll probably buy a neti pot next time I feel the need.

The link worked for me, FWIW.

When I click on the link, it leads me to the study I cited along with links to 12 or so other studies and reviews that demonstrate the effectiveness of nasal irrigation.

Heck no, Qadgop - I started using one because YOU SAID SO! The clinical cites were just icing on the cake.

I’ll second the recommendation for the Neilmed Sinus Rinse.

QtM-you are definitely on my list of most important posters. Your posts are always valuable and much appreciated. I didn’t try the link, because I have your opionion on the subject already-that is what I need.

Why does everyone keep referring to this Qadgop fellow? Did he post here recently? :stuck_out_tongue:
I am heavily swayed towards getting one, both from anecdotal reference and because some dude whose name I can’t remember pointed to clinical studies.

But … but … but push water up my nose?! I can’t think of anything more painful to stick up my nose (ok, I can think of a lot of things more painful to stick up my nose, but work with me here). Whether it’s pool water, lake water or ocean water, damn that is a swimming buzz kill. Do neti pots recreate those wonderful sensations?

I found the sensation unpleasant the first time, not painful just uncomfortable, but after that it was no problem. If you were to use water rather than a saline solution I think you’d find it quite unpleasant.

For those of you who can see this:

It’s all about the saline concentration. Too little or too much saline, and it’ll be uncomfortable. Just right and it’s a non-issue.

For those of you who can’t see this:

Add a packet of gravy to the rinsewater.


You need the right concentration of salt and the right temperature. If the water is too cold, you get a mild pool water sensation. If the salt concentration is wrong, OH THE BURNING! If you have both right, there is practically no feeling at all except the delicious sensation of mucus dislodging and slithering from your nasal passages. Ahhh!