Yeesh. Two things we love—neti pots and organic food—took a bit of beating in the press last week. Did you guys see? Did someone smug forward you an article about how organic food isn’t healthier after all, or sound alarm bells about why you can’t pour tap water through your nose? (You really can’t.)
Let’s do a quick survey of the facts, starting with neti pots today and organic food tomorrow. The New York Times and others have reported that two cases of a deadly brain infection have been linked to neti pots. From the piece:
The Food and Drug Administration last month reported on two cases in Louisiana in which patients contracted infections after using neti pots filled with tap water. The culprit was an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, which is commonly found in lakes, rivers and hot springs.
But before you swear off your neti for good, known to help irrigate the nasal passage and proven to reduce pesky allergy symptoms, or freak out about your water, here are two important facts: 1) the amoeba in question is killed by stomach acid, so this isn’t a drinking concern; 2) it’s also killed by boiling, which is what you should do if you use tap water in your neti, as opposed to filtered or distilled.
This year, I had allergies for the first time in earnest. And when I reached out for natural remedy suggestions, the neti came up over and over again. It’s a wonderful device, and it can help reduce symptoms by clearing out pollen and other allergens.
But this is a harsh, and very serious, reminder that it’s not OK to just pour in some warm tap water to rinse with, even if it’s easier than boiling.
It’s also super important to keep your pot clean, and as the people from the Mayo Clinic said in the piece: no sharing.
I know a lot of you are neti users. What kind of water do you rinse with, and did this report scare you off your pot?
Holy allergy season Batman.
I’ve never had allergies until this year, but before you think I’m on some random non-beauty tangent… I beg differ! Incessant sneezing, red eyes, and a runny nose are all very real beauty problems. Not to mention that allergies feel like crap!
Word is they’re getting worse with climate change—something about a longer growing season, more pollination and something something. To boot, according to this NPR piece, pollen got going even earlier this year in LA, which may explain why I’ve felt like I have a cold for two months. A cold that mysteriously appears and disappears over the course of the day.
Another reason more people are suffering from allergies? We’re too clean and our immune systems are suffering for it.
I’m pretty sure that’s not my problem though: As many of you know we’re big proponents of being a little dirty (and skipping the soap sometimes). Whatever the cause, everyone seems to be suffering. Which has got me thinking about possible natural remedies.
Some quick googling lead me to peppermint tea, face steaming, and reminders to wash your pets. Oh, and don’t smoke if you have allergies, you guys. Real remedy gold here.
The Neti Pot was also mentioned on NPR as a good natural way to combat the achoos. It’s a tiny little pot that let’s you poor water through your nasal passage, known more formally as nasal irrigation. This apparently clears our allergens, which sounds like an awesome plan.
I tried a Neti pot once in ashram in India. I know, I’m embarrassed for me too. Anyways, it felt super weird, but I’d totally do it if it works.
Have you tried the Neti Pot? Know of any other good natural allergy remedies?