To do the pot or not

I’m fighting a bit of a cold. Other than the sinus congestion and a little continued soreness in my hip, I’m doing quite well physically. As a matter of fact, I was starting to feel the old strength returning just before I awakened in the middle of the night a couple evenings ago to find my nose plugged.

At first I just chalked it up to a reaction to something – I do tend to fight mold allergies in the winter. However, after a day I realized this was just one of those colds that you get. Now the question is just how to deal with it.

Lots of fluids – check. Rest – well, I’ve had a few late nights recently, but pretty much get the sleep I need. Zicam – check (perhaps it is just a placebo effect, but the stuff really does seem to help me). Is there any thing else I could try that I haven’t given a go?

Oh yes, the Neti Pot.

I’ve seen them before. Initially I thought it was for making tea – or perhaps it was used for bringing out a genie. However, I learned that this was for pouring salt water in one side of your nose and out the other!


I’ve toyed with the idea of using this “nasal irrigation device.” My sister has used one and gives it a thumbs up. Of course, she also uses those candle thingies that you stick in your ear and catch on fire. It is supposed to pull excess wax out of your ear canal.

Bottom line is that medical science seems to back up the claims of Neti Pot users. However, it could be that the same thing can be accomplished with a bottle of nasal saline that you squirt up your nose regularly. The reason both work is irrigation.

Your nose has little hairs (not just the ones that some of us have to keep trimming back) called cilia. These are the traffic police for the snot in your nose. They direct it towards the back (where it is swallowed) or to the front (where you blow it out). Word from the researchers is that when you are facing a sinus infection or cold the little traffic police get confused. They start pushing stuff in an uncoordinated fashion causing your mucus to hang around and do bad things.

A properly irrigated nose helps keep your little cilia happy. They are better able to do their job when their not drowning and confused. Before you know it, they can direct that bad stuff right out of there and you’ll be feeling much better.

Here is the problem, I hate having foreign stuff in my nose. I think it goes back to that time in high school when I was eating a hamburger with friends. Just as I was getting to swallow a well-prepared-to-be-digested mouthful, a friend made me laugh. Instead of going down my throat the little burger particles went up my nose. I was blowing burger out of my nose for hours afterward.

I think I’ll start with a bottle of saline nasal spray. If my cilia don’t have burger flashbacks, then hopefully they will straighten themselves out and my symptoms will improve. If by Saturday I’m not feeling better, then I may take up the pot.