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Neti – Nasal Cleaning according to Ayurveda

Nasal cleansing practices, collectively known as neti karma, have been integral components of traditional Indian medicine and yogic traditions for centuries. Among these practices, sūtraneti, jalaneti, and madhu neti stand out as effective methods for purifying the nasal passages and promoting respiratory health. Rooted in ancient texts like the Gheranda Sanhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika, these techniques offer a holistic approach to wellness by not only clearing the nasal passages but also balancing the doshas and enhancing overall vitality. In this discourse, we delve into the intricacies of these neti techniques, exploring their methods, benefits, and precautions to provide a comprehensive understanding of their therapeutic potential in modern health and wellness practices.

Method of Neti

वितस्तिमानं सूृक्षमसूत्रं नासानाले प्रवेशयेत्‌।
मुखान्निर्गमयेत्यश्चात्‌ प्रोच्यते नेतिकर्मकम्‌। ।

(पे.सं. १/५०)

The method described involves using a thin thread measuring 32 angulas, which is inserted through one nostril and pulled out through the mouth. This technique, known as neti karma, is a traditional practice aimed at cleansing the nasal passages and improving respiratory health.

Benefits of Neti

साधनान्नेतिकार्यस्य खेचरीसिद्धिम्रयात्‌ ।
कफदोषा विनश्यन्ति दिव्यदृष्टिः प्रजायते ।।

(घे.सं. १८/५१)

The practice of neti karma offers several benefits. Firstly, it enables practitioners to achieve khecari mudra, a yogic posture associated with the control of the tongue and the flow of energy within the body. Additionally, neti karma is said to eliminate kapha dosha, one of the three doshas or bodily humors in Ayurveda, which, when imbalanced, can lead to various health issues. Moreover, regular practice of neti karma is believed to enhance vision and promote eye health.

Sūtra Neti

While the classical texts of Gheranda Sanhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika primarily mention sūtraneti, which involves the use of a thread, other variations of neti, such as jalneti and madhuneti, are also commonly practiced.


Jalaneti, a traditional nasal cleansing technique, has been practiced for centuries in Ayurveda and yoga. Using a saline solution, jalaneti effectively clears the nasal passages, providing relief from sinus congestion, allergies, and promoting respiratory health. This simple yet powerful practice offers a natural and holistic approach to nasal hygiene and overall well-being.

Method of Jala Neti

Jalaneti involves the use of a saline solution to cleanse the nasal passages. To perform jalaneti, a pinch of salt is dissolved in lukewarm water, which is then poured into a neti pot with a nozzle. The nozzle is inserted into one nostril while the head is tilted to the opposite side, allowing the saline solution to flow through the nasal passages and out through the other nostril. This process helps to flush out impurities, mucus, and allergens from the nasal passages, promoting clearer breathing and sinus health.

Precautions while doing Jala Neeti

During jalaneti, it’s important to breathe through the mouth rather than the nose to avoid inhaling the saline solution. Additionally, after completing jalaneti, practitioners are advised to perform Kapāla bhāti, a breathing technique, to further expel any remaining water or mucus from the nasal passages.

Benefits of Neti

Jalaneti offers several benefits, including improved nasal hygiene, relief from sinus congestion and allergies, and enhanced respiratory health. It is also believed to be beneficial for the eyes and helpful in managing conditions associated with excess kapha dosha.

Madhu Neti Variation

Madhuneti is a variation in which honey is used instead of salt in the saline solution. This practice is said to provide similar benefits to jalaneti, with the added properties of honey providing additional soothing and antibacterial effects to the nasal passages.

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