Neti pots, despite their adorable name, are sort of controversial. Some people swear by them, some people think they'll kill you, and some people use them even though they heard they could kill you. Neti pots are not all bad, but the average person doesn't need to use one, says Erich Voigt, otolaryngologist and clinical associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center.
"People with allergies may make too much abnormal mucous and this, as well as the allergic particles can be washed away with the neti pot," Dr. Voigt says. If you have a cold or sinus infection, your mucous can become dense and thick, but is easily washed away with a neti pot, he says. You can also use a neti pot when you're perfectly healthy to wash away dust or particles that you might have inhaled throughout the day, he says. And if you're still skeptical, Dr. Voigt says neti pots really do help with congestion, at least temporarily.
As for the dangers, there are a few that are totally preventable, as long as you actually do it the right way. You should consult with your doctor before you start using a neti pot, so they can assess whether your immune system can handle it. Here are some neti pot dangers, and how to avoid them.