Cure Common Cold With Jala Neti

Jala Neti is one of the six ‘shatkarma’s’ in Hatha yoga.  The purpose of the shatkarma’s is purification and balancing of the two major pranic flows – Ida and Pingla (right and left nostrils). They are also performed to balance the three doshas in the body – kapha(mucus), pitta(bile) and vata(wind).

Jala Neti is highly recommended for treating common cold, allergies and sinusitis. Basically in this practice, any kind of pollution in the nasal passage is removed allowing air to flow without obstruction.

The practice should not take more than 5 minutes. Here’s how to do it:


  • You will need a Neti Lota or pot for this practice. The lota can be made of either plastic, clay, brass or  any other metal that does not contaminate the water. The one I use is made of steel. Just make sure the nozzle fits comfortably in your nostril such that the water does not leak out.
  • The water should be at body temperature and thoroughly mixed with salt. The right proportion is one teaspoonful of salt in 1/2 lite of water. The importance of salt cannot overemphasised in this practice. The purpose is dual – one it ensures that the water is not absorbed by the body and second it ensures the osmotic pressure of the water is equal to that of the body fluids thereby minimising irritation.


  • Fill the lota/pot with the salt water.
  • Stand with your legs apart and body weight evenly distributed on both legs, leaning forward.
  • Tilt the head to one side and slightly back.
  • Breathe through the mouth and gently insert the nozzle into the uppermost nostril. The nozzle should press firmly against the side of the nostril so that no leakage of water occurs.
  • Relax and don’t use any force.
  • Now tilt the Neti pot in such a way that water runs into the nostril and not down the face. If done correctly, the water should pass out of the other nostril.
  • If this is your first time, do this for as long as comfortable and then change sides. You can aim to use half the water for each side. Gradually, you can use the whole pot for each nostril.
  • Remove any mucus from the nose by blowing gently.

After completing the process, the nostril must be thoroughly dried.

Drying the nostril:

  • Close the right nostril with the right thumb.
  • Breathe in and out through the left nostril 5 to 10 times in quick successions. Exhalation should be similar to the exhalation in kapalbhati pranayama.
  • Repeat the process for the right nostril.


  • People suffering from bleeding in the nose or with structural blockages should not do Jala Neti without expert advise.
  • Make sure the nose is properly dried after the practice otherwise the nasal passage may become irritated and manifest symptoms of cold.
  • Do not blow the nose too hard as the remaining water may be pushed in to the ears.


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