There are a few different ways to make an effective and safe neti pot solution at home to reduce the symptoms of congested nasal passages from cold, allergies, or infection. Most recipes include clean, clear water and a saline component such as salt and baking soda. The use of a neti pot to clear the sinuses is a centuries-old tradition, and is believed by the holistic community as well as many of the conventional medical community to be a good way to relieve sinus problems without the use of chemically based medications or over the counter remedies.
The water used in a homemade neti pot solution is very important and should be as clean and filtered as possible. Most holistic experts believe that regular tap water is fine for this application, but it should first be boiled and allowed to return to room temperature before any additional ingredients are added. Some practitioners recommend purchasing purified or distilled water from the local market instead of using boiled tap water to be on the safe side. Any introduction of bacteria into the already inflamed and irritated sinuses may create more severe sinus problems and infections.
When mixing a neti pot solution, some recipes only call for one form of sodium compound, while others may recommend the use of two. The most common sodium ingredients suggested for any type of recipe include sea salt, non iodized salts, and baking soda. In many cases, baking soda is only used in combination with one of the other salt ingredients. The solution is generally a mix of 2 to 3 cups (.5 to .7 liter) of water with a teaspoon and a half (approximately 7 grams) of sodium ingredients. When using baking soda, the mixture will be a teaspoon (approximately 5 grams) of salt and a half teaspoon (approximately 2 grams) of baking soda added to create the solution.
Due to its simplicity, most experts suggest making a fresh neti pot solution before each neti pot use, though larger amounts can be made and refrigerated to reduce the likelihood of bacteria contamination. Some people find they require a stronger solution, and choose to double the sodium ingredients for more effective results, though the positive effects of this varies from person to person and not all people benefit from the increase. It is also suggested to dilute the solution further, by a half a cup (approximately .25 liter), if the regular dosage of saline causes burning or stinging during application.