I know cold season is almost over (at least I hope!) but I still wanted to post this anyway. I started using a Neti Pot a few years ago to help with sinus congestion. It is a great natural method to relieve congestion and clear out the sinuses. I try to regularly use it a few times a week, year round. But the little packets you use to mix up the solution are expensive! The other day I checked them out at the drugstore and a box of 100 packets was $14!
Of course I had to figure out how to make it myself. If you google “homemade Neti Pot mix” or something of the sort, you will find a bunch of “recipes” for making up a liquid solution with distilled water.
I have personally never used distilled water in my Neti Pot. I have always used the pre-mixed packet with regular tap water from the sink and never had any issues. I now use boiled water. See edit below!
So for my homemade mix I wanted a dry mix that I could keep in a jar in the bathroom. I finally found a recipe on Food.com. When you see the ingredients involved you’ll see why it’s crazy to pay $14 for a bunch of pre-mixed packets.
The quantities listed seemed like a lot so I scaled it back a bit and ended up using:
1/3 cup canning salt*
1 1/2 tbsp baking soda
* Canning salt is fine grain salt that contains no anti-caking agents. Fine grain allows it to dissolve faster and you probably don’t want to send anti-caking agents up your nose. I found canning salt at my local grocery store, however it was in the household items section near canning equipment, NOT in the baking aisle with the rest of the salt. This four pound box was only $1.99!
Baking soda is also inexpensive. We buy the huge bag at Costco because we use it a lot for cleaning. We keep a small container in the kitchen. I placed both ingredients in a half pint jelly jar and shook it like crazy to combine. I also requisitioned a “dash” spoon from our measuring spoon collection to keep with the mix in the bathroom. Just by looking at it, I think it is a scant 1/2 tsp. Here’s my setup:
I combine one scoop of mix with approximately 4-6 ounces of lukewarm water for each side. I find using a Neti-Pot really helps my congestion but I will say it’s not for everyone. Benzo tried it and hated it.
Here’s to warm weather and the end of cold season! We are looking forward to warmer temperatures this weekend and melting snow!
Edited to add: A kind reader let me know that regular tap water might not be the best thing to run through my sinuses. I did some checking for myself and I agree! I now use boiled water with my neti-pot. I boil tap water for 5 minutes in my tea kettle, then let cool and pour into a labeled jar to keep in the bathroom. No big deal and no more impurities to worry about.