Neti Pot No No

She looks like she's drowning, yes?

I’ve never been one to stick stuff up my nose.


Beads, nah. Snorting Pixie stix, not so much. My first attempt at using a nasal spray left me choking and certain I was a drowned goner, so I’ve steered clear of all nostril activity my whole life.


(Except scenting. I bet you I could match a bloodhound in my scenting abilities. It’s a special gift, don’t be jealous. I’m sure you have a super-sense as well.)


My decision to avoid putting things in my nose was confirmed tonight when I saw a news story linking the Neti pot to two deaths via brain-eating amoeba.


Yep, a brain-eating amoeba. Sounds charming, huh?


Maybe you aren’t familiar with the Neti pot, it’s a bidet for your nose. I was late to learn about it — one day I woke up and realized everyone in my hippie-loving hometown was using this little teapot (short and stout) to clear out their nostrils and clean their sinus out.


Here’s how a Neti pot works. You fill the personal-sized teapot with water. You stick the spout of your personal drowning device up your nose and pour liquid through the airway typically marked “Exit” and pray it comes out the other nostril, clearing away nasty sinus issues as you go.


I’ve had several people strongly recommend this method as a way to combat overuse of medicines and stop illness in its tracks. I typically clear my nasal cavity out by eating hot chiles or Sadie’s salsa, but others prefer to flood their noses. Go figure.


When someone mentions “Neti pot” to me I have an instant memory of the day I used nasal spray and thought I would die. It’s a negative reaction. It does not encourage me to use a personal nasal irrigation system.


Now I know I was wise in my avoidance of said Neti pot. (Which also sounds like “nettle”, something I’m sure we all can agree we’d like to keep far from our sensitive nose flesh and protruding nostril hair.)


Brain-Eating Amoeba.


OK, granted, the brain-eating amoeba was introduced into the body because the Neti pot user didn’t follow instructions and used tap water instead of distilled water. They probably deserve a Darwin Award for that move.


But I still question the judgement of anyone who would willingly slide moisture non-mucous related through their nose on purpose.


They’re brain dead.


Knew it.


Have you used a Neti pot? Will you still use it after learning of this disturbing and deadly amoeba? If you use a Neti pot, do you still plug your nose when jumping into a swimming pool or amoeba-filled stream, lake or ocean?

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3 thoughts on “Neti Pot No No

  • December 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I don’t use a Neti Pot, but because of a fall that destroyed my sinuses, I do wash out my nose with a saline solution and I haven’t had a cold since I started doing it.
    This article reminds me to make sure I follow the directions and not to alter any part of it.

    Before I did this I would get infections that got so bad that doctors would “wash out my sinuses” with a tool the felt like a power sprayer clearing out not just my nose, but, all cavities in my head.. some folks think it explains a lot..

    Have a Merry Christmas in your mountain town….

  • December 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I use one and like it, but you are supposed to not only use distilled water, but also salt water. The salt is an extra layer of protection against creepy crawlees.

  • February 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I always knew that I was not the only one afraid of the Neti Pot! As an annual sinusitis patient, I have been admonished multiple times to use some sort of sinus rinse, but I simply won’t. It didn’t help when my mother said, “Well, yeah, you feel like you’re drowning for about three seconds, but then everything is better!” Nope. Three seconds is too much for me. I’ll stick to the Zyrtec.


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