How To Use Essential Oils in a Neti Pot
Benefits of Adding Essential Oils to Your Neti Rinse
Steo-by-Step Guide to Neti Cleansing
The practice of using a neti pot to cleanse and soothe the nasal passages dates back centuries and is rooted in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. A neti pot resembles a small teapot and is designed to rinse the nasal passages with a saline solution. The pot can be made of ceramic, steel, or plastic.
The word "neti" comes from the Sanskrit term for cleansing the nasal passages with water.
When you use a neti pot, you pour a saline solution (a mixture of water and salt) into one nostril and allow it to flow through your nasal passages and out the other nostril. This helps to clear mucus, allergens, and irritants from the nasal passages, reducing congestion and improving breathing. The saline solution helps to hydrate the nasal passages and thin the mucus. This can be especially helpful during cold or dry weather when the nasal passages may become dry and irritated.
Nasal rinsing can help provide relief from a variety of symptoms and illnesses:
- acute or chronic sinusitis
- head colds
- post-nasal drip
- upper respiratory infections
- viruses such as bronchitis or COVID-19
- congestion or inflammation caused by air pollution
Essential Oils Can Increase the Therapeutic Benefits of Neti Rinses
Adding essential oils to the traditional neti cleansing technique can enhance its therapeutic effects by combining the power of steam and warm water with the natural aromatic and anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory properties of certain oils.
Benefits of using certain essential oils in a neti pot:
- Enhanced Decongestion — Some essential oils possess potent natural properties that can help alleviate congestion and promote easier breathing. Oils such as myrtle and ravintsara can act as natural expectorants. When added to a neti pot, the warm saline solution infused with essential oils can help clear mucus and open up nasal passages.
- Aromatherapeutic Benefits — The inhalation of aromatic molecules from essential oils such as marjoram and spruce can have a positive impact on mood and emotional well-being.
- Sinus Support — Some essential oils, including eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint, have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can support overall sinus health and help combat infections.
Sources: Myrtle Ravintsara Eucalyptus Peppermint Marjoram Spruce
▶︎ Essential Oils: Read Important Cautions and Disclaimers
Breathe Ease Essential Oil Blend
This blend from Rocky Mountain Oils combines most of the oils listed above and is specially formulated to support respiratory health. Breathe Ease contains Eucalyptus radiata, myrtle (Myrtus communis), Eucalyptus citriodora, peppermint (Mentha piperita), spruce (Tsuga canadensis), ravintsara (Cinnamonum camphora), pine (Pinus nigra), and sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorana L.).
▶︎ Buy Breathe Ease EO Blend
Many essential oils can be beneficial when used in a neti pot. Feel free to blend your own oils, taking care to dilute and test each oil properly before the first use (see cautions below). Trust your intuition about which ones will be most helpful for your situation.
Essential Oil Safety Considerations
- Dilution — Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be potent. Always dilute oils before using them in a neti pot. A safe dilution ratio is usually 1-5 drops of essential oil per cup of warm saline solution. Always start with 1 drop the first time you use an oil and build from there if it feels good and does not cause any irritation.
- Quality Matters — Choose high-quality essential oils to ensure purity and efficacy. Avoid synthetic fragrances or oils with additives. Any oils or oil blends purchased from Optimal Health Network meet these requirements.
- Allergies and Sensitivities — Be cautious if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain oils. Perform a patch test before using a new oil in your neti pot routine: Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. Apply a small amount of the diluted essential oil to a bandage and stick it to the soft skin on the forearm. Wait 24-48 hours to see if skin has a negative reaction to the oil. If so, you may be allergic and should try a different oil or blend.
- Proper Hygiene — Always use distilled, sterile, or boiled water to prevent the risk of infection. Ensure the neti pot is clean and dry before each use.
- Frequency — Overusing the neti pot may disrupt the natural balance of the nasal passages and potentially worsen symptoms. Start by using the neti pot once daily and increase or decrease based on your body's response.
Neti Pot: Step-by-Step Guide
- Prepare the Saline Solution — Mix 1 cup of distilled or boiled filtered water with ½ to 1 teaspoon of high-quality sea salt to create a saline solution. Allow it to cool to a lukewarm temperature.
- Add Essential Oils — Add 1-5 drops of Breathe Ease Essential Oil Blend (or your chosen essential oils) to the saline solution. Shake the solution vigorously as it can be difficult to get the oil to mix into the water and not sit on top.
One way to get the oil to mix in better is to first stir the oil and salt together so the salt has absorbed some of the oil, then mix this into the warm or boiling water.
- Fill the Neti Pot — Pour the saline solution with essential oils into the neti pot.
- Position Yourself — Lean over a sink at a 45-degree angle. Tilt your head sideways so one nostril is slightly lower than the other.
- Insert the Spout — Gently insert the neti pot spout into the higher nostril, creating a proper seal.
- Irrigate — Pour the solution slowly into the higher nostril, allowing it to flow through your nasal passages and exit from the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth during this process.
- Clear Your Nasal Passages — After irrigating, gently blow your nose to clear any remaining solution and mucus.
- Repeat on the Other Side — Switch sides and repeat the process with the other nostril.
- Clean the Neti Pot — Wash the neti pot thoroughly with warm water after each use.
You may find that using a neti pot regularly, even with essential oils, isn't enough to address the root causes of your symptoms, which often have to do with allergies. If your challenges are allergy-based, here are some other things you can try:
- Optimizing diet should be one of your first steps, if you haven't already. The general diet I recommend to my clients is my Ten Days to Optimal Health diet. This is a good place to start, as it cuts out common allergens such as gluten, sugar, and dairy (other than raw dairy, though if you have issues with congestion you may wish to avoid dairy altogether). It's helpful to cut common allergens from your diet to see how that may impact your symptoms. Furthermore, optimizing your diet to include a variety of non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and a good amount of protein will support your body in healing from whatever may be causing your symptoms.
- Try to identify and remove any potential allergens in your environment, such as chemical cleaners, skin/hair care products, synthetic materials used in clothing, perfumes, pet dandruff, mold, dust, etc.
- Many sinus issues can be caused by pollution in the environment. Check out our detoxing from fossil fuel pollutants article for more information.
- Read our article on natural approaches to dealing with seasonal allergies.
- Key supplements for allergy support:
Ortho Natural D-Hist — This is a targeted blend of flavonoids, antioxidants, proteolytic enzymes, and botanicals designed to provide comprehensive support for seasonal challenges caused by common environmental allergens. The formula includes quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles leaf, and N-acetyl cysteine. This powerful combination actively promotes healthy nasal and sinus passages for individuals with elevated histamine and respiratory irritation.
HistaQuel — Allergies may develop as a result of many environmental conditions. When exposed to an allergen, the human body produces a natural mast cell activation response. This mast cell activation causes a release of histamine which binds to histamine receptors, leading to common allergy symptoms. HistaQuel™ combines seven flavonoids shown to support healthy mast cell function by promoting a healthy amount of histamine release, along with herbs shown to block histamine from attaching to receptors via competitive inhibition.
- Taking vitamin C regularly is beneficial, both to the immune system and because the antioxidants in vitamin C can neutralize the free radicals that form in the body due to inflammatory response to allergic substances.
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- For more support tailored to your situation, consider a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). Hair tissue testing ensures that you have adequate amounts of essential nutrient minerals and that their relationships to one another (ratios) are optimal. The HTMA also alerts you to any toxic metal levels in your body. Therefore the HTMA is a valuable screening tool which allows an appropriate program of diet and supplementation to be designed for each individual's specific needs.
DISCLAIMER: This material is presented for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or prescribing from a licensed healthcare professional. We make no claim or guarantee for cure or relief of any specific symptom, medical condition, or disease when using any of the products or protocols referenced here. Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment, or care, or starting any diet, exercise, cleansing, or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.
By Kristina Amelong, CCT, CNC
I-ACT-Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Certified Nutritional Consultant
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