The practice of nasal irrigation, known as Neti, has been used by practitioners of Yoga and Ayurveda in India for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Neti is one of the six purification techniques undertaken prior to the practice of yoga to help prepare the body. It is referred to in the original yogic texts known as the Hatha Yoga Pradapika and the Gheranda Samhita. It is described at some length in the Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu Devananda, published in the USA as early as 1960.
Some yogic teachers consider it valuable in cleansing the energy channels and balancing the right and left hemispheres to create radiant, energetic health and wellness, which is the foundation upon which true yogic practice can come to fruition. While there are advanced techniques using various herbs and herbal oils, the simplest technique, known as jala neti uses water (jala) for the cleansing process.
Lukewarm water(not hot or cold) that has been prviously boiled or distilled is used to gently open up the nasal passages. Use of a neti pot or vessel is recommended to ease this process. Advanced practitioners may use this pot also for the herbal or oil administration (referred to as nasya) as well.
Improper use of neti pots can be dangerous. Neti pots must be sterilized before use and it must be used with lukewarm sterile water (free of germs and bacteria) so as not to cause infections. Do not over-use the neti pot.