Breathe Better

If you dread the onset of allergy season, an ancient Indian remedy stands ready to help.
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If you dread the onset of allergy season, an ancient Indian remedy stands ready to help.

If you've found winter colds hard to shake and dread
the onset of allergy season, an ancient Indian remedy stands ready to help. It's the neti pot, an ayurveda">Ayurvedic nasal irrigation tool that's been used for thousands of years. Enthusiasts say that with regular use, their nasal passages and ears feel clearer, and they snore less and sleep better. It's well worth learning the rather awkward protocol: dissolving one-quarter teaspoon of finely ground noniodized salt into eight ounces of warm water, then leaning over a sink and pouring the mixture up one nostril and out the other.

The neti pot got a boost from modern researchers in recent University of Wisconsin studies showing that nasal irrigation helps lessen symptoms for patients with sinusitis. And some practitioners who promote the neti, like DeAnna Batdorff of the dhyana Center in Sebastopol, California, report that it’s one of their most popular items. "All 10 practitioners here use neti pots," she says. "It’s how we start every day."