How to Use a Neti Pot for Asthma

The neti pot, a tried-and-true method that's effective in relieving nasal passages, is also a do-it-yourself asthma remedy that can be used to rinse your nasal passages and prevent related respiratory symptoms.

Research on this Method

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin followed a small group of people suffering from allergic asthma who tried using some form of nasal irrigation, such as that accomplished with a neti pot, to help themselves feel better. Their findings, released in the Wisconsin Medical Journal in April 2008, revealed that some participants reported significant relief after using this treatment in relieving asthma symptoms.

An Easy Home Asthma Remedy

Try the neti pot for yourself and see if it helps to treat your own allergic asthma symptoms. You can buy one for $20 or less at most health food stores, drug stores, or websites selling natural remedies. Once you have the container, which looks almost like a small tea pot with a long, narrow spout, you'll either need a store-bought nasal saline solution or you can make your own with a combination of warm water and non-ionized salt.

Getting Started

Here's how to use this easy asthma remedy:

  • Fill the neti pot with your saline solution.
  • Lean your head sideways over your sink area.
  • Direct the spout of the neti pot into the nostril that's on top.
  • Let the water slowly drain into the cavity and then flow out the other nostril.
  • Turn your head the other way and repeat in the other nostril.
  • Clean or sterilize the neti pot after each use.

The Benefits

The mucus and other allergens trapped in your nose should come out with the saline, helping to clear your passages. For asthma that's allergic in nature, this can help prevent related respiratory symptoms.

A Word of Caution

While many doctors believe that most neti pot usage is harmless, there are possible side effects. For instance, you could find yourself coping with irritated nasal passages, a stinging sensation, or even nosebleeds after using. This can often be avoided by adjusting the water temperature and salt levels. Side effects could also be a sign that you need to reduce the frequency of this treatment.

Keep in mind that you may need to use this tool daily over the short term just to treat a presenting problem, but once you have the symptoms in check, you should scale back to using the neti pot just a few times a week to maintain the effects.

Scientists at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) also warn that using a neti pot too often-such as every day for longer than a week at time-or not cleaning it well after each use can change the balance of your nasal chemistry and could put you at increased risk for getting a sinus infection. Therefore, if you experience this complication, you may need to reduce or even stop using your neti pot.




Li, James T.  "What is a Neti Pot? And Why Would You Use One?" Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). 22 Dec. 2009. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.

Rabago D, Guerard E, Bukstein D. "Nasal Irrigation for Chronic Sinus Symptoms in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, and Nasal Polyposis: a Hypothesis Generating Study." Wisconsin Medical Journal. 107; (2008):69-75. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.