jala neti pot

The Dangers Of Using A Neti Pot

I will admit that I occasionally have a look at the Daily Mail online newspaper especially to make sure that people like Kim Kardashian are still alive and well (in fact it’s because of the Daily Mail that I actually found out who she is!)  This week an article caught my eye on how 3 people have died from using a neti pot incorrectly.  In the UK neti pots are prescribed by the NHS for blocked or runny noses.  In the US however, 3 people have contracted a rare condition called amoebic meningitis.

neti potA couple of years ago I wrote a blog post on how to use a neti pot with a video which you can read and see here.  It explains how you should only boiled sterilized water with salt and allow it to cool to room temperature.  The Daily Mail reports that by using tap water containing Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba less than 1mm in diameter, these 3 people contracted this rare and fatal disease.  However if your domestic water is treated with chlorine, the amoeba will be killed of.  If it is drunk however, it will be killed by stomach acids.  But taken in through the nose, it can travel from the sinuses to the brain, which it then proceeds to destroy and prove fatal for 90% of cases treated with antibiotics.

There have only been around 250 cases of meningitis caused by Naegleria Fowleri around the world so the chances of contracting it are extremely low.  It is still a great, natural way of cleansing the sinuses without having to use medicated sprays with unnecessary chemicals.  Using a neti pot is an ancient cleaning practice originating in India.  It is an Ayurvedic and Yoga practice performed daily and referred to as Jala Neti Kriya.  It is a fantastic way to clear, and cleanse the sinuses of mucus naturally, and really wakes you up in the morning.  However the Daily Mail reports that a study done by the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, suggests taking a break after using your neti pot daily for 3 weeks.  Flushing can also get rid of the healthy layer of mucus that acts as a defense for bacteria and allergens.  It is also very important to clean the pot after each cleanse.  A study done by the University of Alberta showed that 70% of neti pot users were not cleaning their pot after each use, increasing the risk of infections.

Therefore it is important to use your neti pot correctly and with caution.  Make sure the water has been boiled and sterilized beforehand and that it is cleaned after each use.  Although many use it daily in India, you may want to stop using it when your nose has cleared up, and resume only when needed.

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