What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 180: The Neti Pot

I'm writing a non-food-related post today, about one of my current best friends. I know many of my readers like to live natural lifestyles, so I hope I can convince some of you to get to know this friend of mine:

The Neti Pot
(Not-very-good picture taken with my phone -- camera out of batteries)

Those of you who read my sister's blog will have heard of this strange device. A few months ago, C.Beth posted a courageous picture of herself using a Neti Pot -- a little pitcher that you fill with warm saltwater and use to irrigate your nose and sinuses. I am not as brave as Beth, so I'm not posting a picture of myself using this thing. However, seeing as how she and I are identical twins, her picture will still give you a pretty darn good idea of how I look when I use a Neti Pot.

Saline irrigation has been clinically shown to have positive effects. I am a pretty big skeptic when it comes to alternative therapies -- I like my medicine to be science-based, and I am much more likely to take a clinical-trial-backed prescription than a non-FDA-approved herb -- so I use the Cochrane Report website when I want to find out if a therapy has been shown to be beneficial or not. The Cochrane folks have looked at 8 studies done on nasal saline irrigation, with the result that, "Saline irrigations are well tolerated. Although minor side effects are common, the beneficial effect of saline appears to outweigh these drawbacks for the majority of patients. The use of topical saline could be included as a treatment adjunct for the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis."

It is recommended that people with chronic nasal problems (like me, with my allergies) use the Neti Pot every day, twice a day. I'm not that dedicated. But I do try to remember to use it when I get a cold. (I know that the above quote talks about chronic rhinosinusitis, not acute conditions like the common cold. But I couldn't find any studies done regarding irrigation as a therapy for acute conditions, and I figure it can't hurt.)

I got an ear and sinus infection last month after battling a cold ... I hadn't remembered to use my Neti Pot. Then I came down with a cold on Thursday. I started to use the Neti Pot, morning and night. By Friday, it was one of the worst head colds I'd had in a long time. And by Sunday ... it was almost completely gone. I had a similar experience a few months ago, right after I'd gotten my Neti Pot, when it seems to have helped me get over another cold much more quickly than usual.

So, thanks to my wonderful dad who sent me my Neti Pot after seeing my comment on Beth's blog - she's made a believer out of him, and he, in turn, helped convert me! If there's anyone reading who is interested in getting a Neti Pot for themselves, you can usually find them in your local drug store (right by many of the alternative therapies that I usually eschew). Or, get yourself over to any big site like Amazon and order one.


  1. Your Grandmother is a great believer in saline irrigation, but she never uses a device such as a Neti Pot. Her method is a little more crude, but it works. I never have been that brave.

  2. Just FYI, friends have told me lately about squirt-bottle solutions that allow you to keep your face pointed down while irrigating... you just squirt it up one nostril. Though I haven't tried either, that sounds a lot less scary to me and with similar benefits.

  3. i just bought another bottle of saline nasal spray, and i guess it's time to try the neti pot. twice last summer i was on mega-biotics for a persistent sinus/ear/eye infection. i've battled similar infections forever...

    off-topic: therma-care, wonderful.

    and on topic for vegan products (and a daily read): http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2009/06/vegan-is-as-vegan-does.html

    plus, found via her site: http://www.foodpolitics.com/


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