Skip Nav
Try These Overnight Oats Recipes — All Under 400 Calories
2-Week Tone-Up
Printable Abs and Arms Workout — No Equipment Needed
Tone Your Arms and More With This Bodyweight Workout

Cold and Flu Tip: Neti Pot Instead of Decongestants

It's cold and flu season and just about everyone I know is sniffling, sneezing, and all stuffed up. To deal with these nasal symptoms, you can pop decongestants like Sudafed, but they'll cause annoying side effects like dry mouth, sore throat, and headaches, and can lead to sinusitis. Plus if you think about it, your body creates all that mucus to help flush the germs out. So why would you want to turn off your body's natural response? It means the germs will just stay in your body.

You can help get rid of the germs and mucus by using a neti pot. It's a small container that you fill with warm salt water, and use to flush out your nasal passages. Think of it as a bath for your nose.

To see a video of the neti pot in action,


Once you try it, you'll be hooked. It's not only great for colds, but also good if you suffer from congestion caused by allergies. For detailed instructions on how to use the neti pot click here.

Does anyone else think that gal in the photo looks an awful lot like Reese Witherspoon, or is it just me?

Join The Conversation
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
You pictured the cheap-o ones you get at the drug store chain. The nicer, more well known ceramic ones are found at a local health food store for around $20. Yes, they work & give people a non-drug solution. My brother loves his & he suffered for decades & numerous sinus surgeries to no avail. This has given him the most releif along with avoiding wheat as much as possible.
sugsug sugsug 8 years
I live in a really dry climate and last year had 6 sinus infections - yuck! This year every time I feel one coming on I get rid of it with the neti pot. I swear by it! I got my at WalGreens but I've seen them at all of the organic stores as well! (Just a little pricier)
julieulie julieulie 8 years
The neti pot gives me horrible headaches. After a few experiences, my ENT told me to never, ever try using one again. For most people it is fine, but for those considering use -- if you happen to get very bad headaches immediately afterward, discontinue use!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I work in a lab full of microbiologists and we all swear by Neti pots. If you want to avoid getting a sinus infection, use one. If you rinse all the mucus out of your nose, there's nothing for the bacteria to grow in. So even though you have a cold, you won't feel as terrible as you would if you had a blocked up, stuffy nose. But yeah, it's REALLY important to use the right temperature of water and the right amount of salt so that it's almost like your natural tears. If you get it too hot/cold/salty, it'll sting your nose.
Winn Winn 8 years
You are absolutely right - the water temperature and salinity are supposed to mimic those of your body. Most netis come with spoon so that you addthe correct amount of salt to the body tmperature warm water. To little salt or too hot/cold water and it will feel like it is stinging
ahles ahles 8 years
snakewash- we've used the sinus rinses for a few years now after several doctors recommended them. It's not supposed to hurt. It will sort of burn like pool water if you don't get the water temperature right (body temp), or the saline mix right (pre-mixed packets are great) though.
Winn Winn 8 years
Hi we are the USA distributors of the Rhino Horn neti pot featured in the fitsugar article and video. Go to our website for instructions, medical studies and how to order one
zeppelinrules zeppelinrules 8 years
Someone I work with loves these things and was just trying to describe them to me and it sounded horrible...but after watching that video it doesn't seem so bad...just weird. Might be worth a shot.
snakewash snakewash 8 years
Everyone is saying it's weird at first. By weird do you mean horrible pain in the sinuses? That's what happened when I used the one I have. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, does it go away? Thanks.
insidesusan insidesusan 8 years
Love my neti pot. It's fantastic for allergies. It may take some getting used to, but everyone should give it a try. What's more gross anyway, rinsing your nose into the sink, or filling tissue after tissue with sticky snot until the trash overflows?
redsilkshoes redsilkshoes 8 years
Have one and just can't get into it. I may try again though. CVS and Rite Aid sell them for like $20.
kristints kristints 8 years
When I first used mine I ended up with water going up my nose, but once I got the hang of it, I fell in love! It's wonderful, I use it before a run or before yoga and it makes the workout a lot more pleasant, not struggling to breathe.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I'm interested in this.
teremel teremel 8 years
I dont think i will be using this, i think it will feel like when you get water in your nose at the pool.
nancita nancita 8 years
I don't know why it's any ickier than just blowing your nose. I have been so congested lately I will pretty much try anything. Maybe it's time for neti pot.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
I have a neti pot, and i've used it twice. It seriously felt like getting water in your nose when you're swimming. Plus the water can make its way to your ears and cause an ear infection. It also isn't useful if you're congested since the water will have nowhere to go.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
The idea doesn't ick me out... I just can't stand the feeling of water going up my nose. I guess what I'm saying is I'm afraid I'll drown or something. Stupid I know My sister-in-law uses one and loves it and the dr gave me a print out of instructions on how to use one when I had a sinus infection... I've just never got up the nerve to do it. My bf would probably benefit though, he has bad allergies.
1apple 1apple 8 years
I just use my teapot for this. Kidding!
ImJessica ImJessica 8 years
I have one of these, but I stopped using it because I could never really get the hang of using it. I have really bad allergies and sinus pressure though, so I suppose I should get it out and try again.
chatoyante chatoyante 8 years
I don't use a neti pot, but I use a very similar sinus rinse. it's a weird feeling to have the liquid go in one nostril and out the other (or mouth - echh) but boy, does it help. I'm on day 5 of a monster cold and it really helped relieve that "water balloon in face" sensation. Rinsing it out is good; if the crap sits in there, that's when you get sinusitis. Trust me, that's a much worse feeling.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I am LAUGHING SO HARD at that picture. I have no freaking idea what this is but nobody is sticking that thing up my nose. She looks in agony!!
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
Ok... I thought it looked completely ridiculous at first... but I think i could actually use this! I totally have a cold right now and i hate taking cold medicine cuz it makes me totally weird. This would be perfect!
Benefits of Giving Up Sugar
Is It a Cold or the Flu?
Natural Remedies For Springtime Allergies
When Is a Fever Too High?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds