You're making a mess with your neti pot.
For all-natural relief, doctors including Dr. Oz
often recommend "nasal irrigation." You can do this with a neti pot, which looks like a tiny teakettle that allows you to pour salt water into one nostril so that it exits out of the other. It may take practice to get the hang of it: First, use distilled water with plenty of salt (try this recipe from AAAAI
—baking soda prevents the solution from burning). Neti pots depend on gravity to pull the water through your nose, so when irrigating the right nostril, tilt your head so that your left ear is parallel to the ground; do the opposite for the left nostril. (You can also use a bottle like the NeilMed Sinus Rinse
. Same principle but less chance of mistakes, Bajowala says.) Don't bother with a neti pot if you're so congested that you can't breathe through your nose, because, Bajowala says, the water will either flow back out the same nostril or end up in your Eustachian tube (she often gets calls from annoyed-sounding neti potters complaining that their ears are full of water).