9 January 2014

Bangalore allergies? Try jal-neti

Usually, mine start in the morning. While I have had allergies all over the world, my most frequent attacks are in Bangalore. It starts with loud successive sneezes, tearing up, and then loss of bodily fluids through nose and eyes. My nose gets redder than Rudolf's (of the reindeer fame), and my visibility drops as fat droplets of tears form and flow. If I could compose music, I would have an "ode to the allergy".

I remember allergies in school, so mine is a fairly old complaint. Cetrizine, was the tablet that was recommend. Pop one, as soon as it starts. I was lucky enough to be sensitive to its other effects - sleep-inducement. Ah, the joys of sleeping in class due to "medical reasons". This went on till college. When I got to the US the tablet of choice was Allegra; unfortunately, not a soporific. The allergies returned in full gusto when I returned to India.

A few years ago my sister suggested jal neti - an old technique of pouring water through one nostril, and letting it drip from the other. My brother-in-law too has allergies and adopting jal neti really worked to alleviate symptoms. Despite this knowledge, I continued to pop the pills. Then one day my sister mentioned how all it takes is 2 minutes. Somehow the knowledge that it only takes a couple of minutes finally forced me to consider it. Go figure!

I tried is first when I had an allergy attack. Remarkably, symptoms cleared in seconds. Yes, seconds. Worked the second time too, and now I am hooked. I am too lazy to adopt this as an everyday thing, so, I do it as soon as I get my first set of 4 successive sneezes and the allergy dies down immediately. I have done this now for the last two months, about thrice a week and it has worked each time. I used to pop Allegra like you do vitamin pills and that's stop completely. There is a technique to doing jal neti, and best to have someone teach you. Also, I learned after burning my sinuses that you should definitely add salt and use warm water (body temperature).

Okay, n = 1, is not the most convincing scientific study. However, I can't believe how effective this has been for me. Anyone else out there for whom Jal neti has worked?


  1. Let me try this next time, thanks :-)

  2. Have to comment for multiple reasons:
    1. Didn't realise you started a Blogathon till I noticed a flurry of posts from you. Good to see this activity!

    2. Yes I agree that your last short story was not your best one. But it was still good though. Also, not everyone has to be about Rukmini, does it? In case you want to come up with another Rukmini story, here's what I wonder about her (R) - what was she like as a school girl? Was she a "spirited" girl or a shy one in pig tails till she met Murugan? What kind of books does she read or TV shows does she watch? Did she actually research the science of cocktail making or does she just play by the ear? Assuming a bar is mostly an afternoon-evening business, what does she do during the day? Run Shantum Pappum as a cafe or sleep in really late or pursue some other hobby...

    3. which is what your current post is about, I am a strong believer and supporter of jal-neti (known as a nose shower in German). It was recommended to me by my ENT last year when I was horribly sick and it helps tremendously. I didn't have allergies but a nasty cold for about 8 weeks and this kept my sinuses unclogged and head clear. I was asked to do this whenever it got cold in general and I know a couple of other people who do it regularly, twice a day. Go for it is all I can say.

    I should really stop now or else the comment won't get uploaded.

    Love, Shoots :)

  3. @momsince27
    Good lcuk! do let me know if it works for you

    @ shoots
    I LOVE your ideas for Rukmini. It unlocks a whole series of stories set in different times. goody goody gumdrops.
    Did your ENT in Germany recommend it? Cool! I can't believe that I waited 2 years after knowing about it, before trying it out.