Neti pot salt – it’s a must-have for a safe, comfortable nasal irrigation experience. A common neti pot solution recipe calls for mixing 8 ounces of pure, lukewarm water with a slightly heaping 1/4 teaspoon of pure salt. But what exactly does pure salt mean?
If it’s pure enough to sprinkle on your french fries, is it pure enough for your neti pot?
Probably not, and here’s why. Just because something’s tasty doesn’t mean it’s safe for your nasal cavities. After all, we don’t put apple pies in our noses, do we? So, when choosing neti pot salt, check those labels, especially the fine print, keeping an eagle-eye out for these three sneaky things that – like that Mom’s apple pie – are best kept firmly out of our nasal cavities.
Neti Pot Solution: Three Things to Avoid
1. Iodine. From reading your Morton’s salt label, you probably know that iodine is a necessary nutrient, but what the label doesn’t say is that iodine in your neti pot solution can irritate your sensitive nasal passages. Did you know that iodine doesn’t even occur naturally in salt? Rather, Morton’s and other companies have added iodine as a nutritional supplement to help prevent cases hypo-thyroidism. So, while this iodine has helped combat some pretty nasty symptoms including goiter, depression, and extreme fatigue, it’s made it just a little harder for nasal irrigation fans to find good neti pot salt — a worthy trade-off to be sure, but one to be aware of.
2. Anti-Caking Agents. If you envision a classic blue container of Morton’s salt, you’ll see a little girl with an umbrella. Near the girl is the now-famous slogan, “When It Rains, It Pours.” This advertises that the salt won’t clump up during cases of high humidity. This is good news when salting french fries in a rainstorm, but not so great when shopping for neti pot salt. Why? Because something added is causing the salt to flow freely, and that something is anti-caking agents. To see if anti-caking agents are lurking in your preferred neti pot salt, check the fine print of your salt label. These sneaky additions have technical-sounding names like calcium silicate or yellow prussiate of soda, and they’re best kept far away from neti pot. Not only do they not occur in salt naturally, but many anti-caking agents don’t even dissolve in water, making them an especially poor choice for nasal irrigation.
3. Big, Chunky Grains of Salt. When it comes to neti pot salt, the more finely ground the better. After all, you want the salt to dissolve completely in the water and flow freely through your nasal passages. If, however, the only pure salt available has bigger grains than you prefer, you still have a couple of options. If you have a salt grinder handy, you can simply grind the crystals to your heart’s, or rather’s nose’s, content. If you don’t have a grinder, you may still be able to use the salt if you don’t mind working a little harder, and waiting a little longer, for it to fully dissolve in your lukewarm water.
Summary: The Neti Solution Should Mimic Tears & Sweat. Your final nasal irrigation solution should be as natural to the body as possible, resembling the salty consistency of our tears and sweat. Label-checking tips and photos are available at http://www.neti-netti-pot.com/neti-pot-salt.html. Remember, in your most neti-friendly box of salt, you won’t find iodine, anti-caking agents, big grains — or odd apple pie slices for that matter.