Wellbeing with Nutrition
Nurturing the Mind and Body

My husband has been having some issues with his teeth. He was promptly told to start oil pulling twice a day with a mixture of coconut oil and cloves along with daily drinking of bone broth. This helped a lot to resolve the tooth problem, however he's been complaining that his head and nose feels stuffed up.

Oil pulling stimulates lymphatic flow within the throat and mouth. The change in season from Winter to Spring, particularly if the weather changes from damp and cold to brighter sunlight and warmth stimulates body fluids like lymph to thin down. These factors could have contributed to increased congestion within the nasal passages.

Neti Wash

I suggested that he start clearing his nasal passages using a neti pot and the neti wash technique. What's a neti pot you may ask?  This is a small container with a spout on one end which can fit into the nostril. You fill the neti pot with clean body temperature water mixed with a little salt. If the water is too cold you get brain freeze and too hot well you can imagine how this would feel like! The water needs to be salty like regular body fluids (isotonic) otherwise the delicate tissues of the nasal passages will get irritated and dry.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of unprocessed salt with 8 fluid ounces of warm body temperature water, which has been previously boiled (9 grams of unprocessed salt/litre of water)
  2. Fill the neti pot with the salt water
  3. Tip your head to one side and forward.
  4. Gently insert the spout into the outer nostril, so that a seal has been made. The water drains though the nasal passages and comes out through the other nostril. It's a strange feeling as the water pours out through the other nostril.
  5. Then tip your head forward and gently blow out to help the water drain.
  6. Repeat the process by tipping the head to the other side and slightly forward.
  7. Use the neti pot to pour the salty water into the other nostril.
  8. After this tip the head forward and let any excess water drain out.
    You will probably want to blow your nose now.

How Often?

Once a day is fine for most. It is good to include a neti wash as part of the morning routine but if there are issues like sinus congestion then a neti wash may be repeated 2-3 times in a 24 hour period.

For my husband though, I thought it better for him to do a neti wash before bed so that any fluid movement within the nasal cavities could settle down overnight. He doesn't like feeling unwell, which can happen when you start any detoxification technique.

Origins of Neti Wash

This technique stems from the ancient Ayurvedic teachings of India. It has been traditionally used to support breathing during meditation and yoga.

I love this picture of these Indian school girls doing the neti wash.


There are many health benefits from having a regular neti wash:

  • Helps to clear and decongest a blocked nose,
  • Eases nasal, eye and throat irritation  
  • Reduces congestion from colds within the head, eyes, nose, ears and throat  
  • Eases symptoms of allergies, hay fever and asthma

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