Neti pot or nutty pot?

I have a sinus infection.

And I have been thinking a lot about three conversations I have had recently about neti pots. One of them was with someone wholly un-skeptical, who assured me that he has fewer sinus infections since he started using the neti pot. I asked how he knew he was having fewer sinus infections or that it was specifically the neti pot which was preventing them. He gave me an uncertain look, and I dropped it (because I really hadn’t looked into neti pots myself and did not have much to offer by way of evidence for or against them, although my instinct was to be skeptical of their efficacy). The second conversation was with a fellow skeptic, who said she swears by them. Again, I did not have anything to offer the conversation, but moved neti pots up on my prioritized mental list of “Things that I need to research more deeply.” A few days ago, a fellow biologist who suffers from severe allergies also promoted the use of a neti pot for flushing out the sinuses.

So I set about to answer a couple of questions pertaining to neti pot usage:

What is the history of neti pot usage?

Is the use of a neti pot harmful, neutral or beneficial?

Is neti pot usage a valid therapy to prevent the occurrence of sinusitis (sinus infections)? … continue reading this entry.

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