It's that time of the year again when bacteria and viruses run rampant - the common cold, the flu, bronchitis, etc. are constant threats (especially when you work with kids like I do!). Instead of filling my body with chemicals to ward off sickness, I prefer to flush out impurities that might lead to sickness. Enter the "Nasal Cleansing Pot" - a.k.a. the "Neti Pot". Traditionally used as a purification ritual for practicing yoga, the Neti Pot can also be used simply to cleanse the nasal passages.
To use: fill the dishwasher safe, lead-free, ceramic pot with a saline solution of 1/4 teaspoon fine table salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water. Tilt your head slightly forward and to one side so that your forehead is at the same level as your chin. Place the spout of the pot gently against your raised nostril and slowly pour in approximately half of the saline solution. The salt water will flush out your sinuses and come out from your lowered nostril. Be sure to breathe through your MOUTH during the cleansing process. When done, exhale gently through your nose to clear the nasal passages (preferably into a tissue or over the sink). Repeat with the other nostril.
If you're thinking it sounds pretty awful to pour salt water into your nose, let me assure you that it is not nearly as masochistic as it sounds. It is a little uncomfortable at first, but not at all painful if you make sure not to inhale the saline solution. This is a great way to remove excess mucous, clear your nostrils for easier breathing, reduce pollen or allergens, relieve nasal dryness, and to flush out any lingering germs.