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Allergies Got You Down?

Try a neti pot! It is used to irrigate the sinus passages. The neti pot is filled with a gentle salt water solution and then poured into one nostril and then drained out the other nostril. The water goes through the nasal passages, gently washing and clearing out debris like old mucus, dust, pollen and other irritants that we breathe in-- and that tend to cause allergies.

Using it is a yogic technique of cleansing and its very common practice for people in India who use neti pots as part of their daily routine, like brushing their teeth. Where can you purchase a neti pot? Just about any health food store, or online, for around $20. For first time users I recommend a ready made saline solution, as too high a salt concentration can irritate the nose.

Six Feet Under fans might remember George getting Nate a neti pot as a wedding gift.

Also address the reason why you may be congested the first place!

When you've got a cold and you're blowing your nose until its raw you may remember your mom telling you to avoid dairy products because dairy makes mucous. Well, Mom's right! Even if you don't have a cold you may find yourself blowing your nose a lot-- and it could be related to what you are eating.

In Chinese Medicine, dairy produces dampness, one form of which is excess mucous. Although its not just dairy products that cause dampness. The "big five" as I like to call them are dairy, wheat, eggs, sugar and bananas. Try an experiment, cut out the big five for a couple of weeks and see if you notice any change in your mucous production--or anything else of note. Those with allergies or asthma may notice a difference as well.

Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Maryland. You can read more articles by signing up for her monthly newsletter at