After my son accidentally sneezed directly in my face while doing some AcroYoga, within two days, I was whipping out the tissues and, of course, my trusty neti pot. When I quickly realized that I was out of the little salt packets that came with mine, I went over to my spice cabinet to see what other salt I had. All I found was pink Himalayan sea salt, so is that safe to use?
When it comes to salt in your neti pot, allergist Kathleen Dass, MD, from the Michigan Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center, said you can use the salt packets that come with your neti pot (also sold separately if you run out like I did) or "if you prefer to make your own mixture, you can add one-quarter teaspoon of noniodized salt to eight ounces of distilled, sterile, or bottled water." As far as sea salt goes, she said, "You may find sea salt too irritating to your nasal passages, so I do not recommend it."
Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) Alexander Farag, MD, from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, added, "Sea salt is not safe. Only canning or pickling salt can be used because it is of a higher purity and is not fortified with anything such as iodine or other impurities."
Well, that's pretty clear. Save the pink salt for your food, and use special neti pot salt or noniodized salt for your nose.