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Benefits of Jalneti and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Health is the real wealth. It is the path to one’s happiness. Health is defined as having the physical, emotional, mental and social ability to deal with one’s environment. Yoga includes breathwork practices, mainly through the nose and nostrils, and it may be hard to keep the nasal passages clean especially in those having upper respiratory tract ailments. Therefore, ‘Shatkarma’, the six types of cleansing practices described in hatha yoga, are beneficial before performing yoga asanas. Among these, jalneti is the most popular and widely used method that is helpful in respiratory illnesses and other health issues. In addition, neti practices allow you to perform yoga and pranayama much more comfortably.1-3 Let’s find out more about jalneti now.  

Did you know?

jalneti

  • Jalneti can improve nasal airflow and reduce nasal congestion.Source:ncbi
  • Jalneti can help alleviate symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Source:ncbi
  • Nasal irrigation with jalneti can improve the effectiveness of nasal medications. Source:ncbi
  • Regular jalneti practice can enhance the sense of smell. Source:ncbi

What is Jalneti:  

In Sanskrit, jala means ‘water’, and neti means ‘to guide’. Jalneti is mainly intended to clean the nasal airways of the body.2 Let us learn the process of jalneti.  

Studies suggest that regular practice of Jalneti may help improve the vision as well. From my knowledge, Jalneti is believed to cleanse the eye ducts, hence enhancing eyesight. I suggest the practice of Jalneti only under the guidance of the expert.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

How to do it?  

Jalneti is ideally practised in the morning before asanas and pranayama.3 The process of jalneti is as follows: 

  • To do jalneti, you need a unique pot known as a neti pot.3 
  • Take salted warm water in the neti pot.2 
  • After gently inserting the nozzle into the uppermost nostril, open the mouth.2 
  • Wait for the water to come out from the other nostril.2 
  • Wait until all the water has exited from the other nostril.2  
  • Then repeat on the other side.2,3  
  • Afterwards, water will run in your mouth, and you can spit it out.3 
  • Some sources suggest using milk and honey instead of lukewarm water.3 

In this way, you can practice the jalneti. 

In my experience, cases of headaches, migraines, anxiety, and stress are mainly caused due to clogged sinuses. Jalneti may be helpful for headaches and migraines because it clears nasal congestion. When done often, irritability and wrath are believed to be reduced.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Do You Know? 

Jalneti is thought to serve an important role in spiritual and physical health. Yogis have been practising this for ages because of its numerous and tremendous benefits. Some fun read facts about jalneti are as follows:  

The ‘nasal wash’ originated in ancient India and has been used for cleansing by ancient yogis and people for centuries. It has been practised as commonly as tooth brushing in South East Asia including India. It is named ‘Neti’ in the Siddha discipline.  

“It clears the nasal passage. In winter, especially in polluted cities like Delhi, particulate matter clogs up the nasal cavity and lungs. This kriya cleanses out the dirt,” said a popular yoga trainer. 

Let us go into more detail about the benefits of jalneti. 

Benefits of Exercise: 

The cleansing process jalneti has several benefits as follows: 

1. Benefits of jalneti for upper respiratory tract conditions: 

According to yogic literature, jalneti may reduce the progress and occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections. It may be more effective in managing rhinitis, which occurs due to inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose. It may also be helpful in sinusitis, in which inflammation occurs inthe nasal spaces and head or sinuses.It appears to be effective in both children and adults. Jalneti process may restore nasal mucosa capacity and fight against mucus and dirt. Jalneti may also be helpful in respiratory diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and pulmonary tuberculosis as it may clear the nasal canal and increase oxygen intake, improving respiratory functions.3 However, don’t rely on jalneti as it can cause serious side effects. So, please visit a doctor for proper therapy and try this under the supervision of a trainer. 

2. Benefits of jalneti for eliminating toxins from the body: 

Cleansing processes like neti and dhauti might be helpful in removal of toxins and other unwanted secretions from air sinuses and nasal passages. It might even clear the secretions from the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it may help to reduce the volume of infected material and intensity of infection.4 Even so, you must consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

3. Benefits of jalneti for rheumatoid arthritis:  

A study by Singh et al., 2011 showed the effectiveness of jalneti and yoga asanas in managing rheumatoid arthritis. It may reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis like early morning stiffness, pulse rate, joint inflammation, pain intensity, lymphocyte count, blood pressure and uric acid levels in the participants.4 Thus, yoga and jalneti might be used as sound therapy for rheumatoid arthritis for faster healing if done with medication. Kindly consult a doctor for better results. 

4. Benefits of jalneti for mental health: 

Jalneti may improve the presence of mind and intelligence. Also, it may relieve stress. In a study, Uma and others developed an integrated approach to yoga comprising jalneti as a therapeutic tool for mentally disabled children. The results were positive as it improved their mental ability, intelligence and social behaviour. In addition, jalneti may improve memory, concentration and occupational stress. Also, it may help reduce anxiety and depression.3,5 However, the promising result of jalneti in improving mental health needs to be explored. Please consult the doctor to avoid complications. 

5. Benefits of jalneti for eyes: 

Lauha et al. did a study comparing yoga therapy, including jalneti and others. The result was that jalneti and others had a more significant impact on the reduction of myopia, a condition where distant objects appear blurry. Jalneti may relax the eyes by stimulating the tear ducts and glands. It may improve eyesight. Along with other yoga techniques, it may help with symptoms such as eye pain, heaviness, strain and moisture. Even so, we need more research to claim the effects of jalneti on the eyes.2,3 Kindly consult the doctor and do not rely on jalneti alone as it may cause side effects. 

6. Benefits of Jalneti for Haemoglobin and RBC: 

Priti Verma, 2015 researched the effect of pranayama on selected haematological variables related to blood and blood organs in male and female players. The study found that two months of pranayama practice had a considerable effect on all three haematological variables, such as haemoglobin and RBC, in male players. Pranayama exercises for two weeks significantly affected female players’ haemoglobin.1 Even so, more research is needed to prove the effects of jalneti on this topic. Kindly consult the doctor. 

7. Benefits of Jalneti for thyroid: 

Hypothyroidism is a common condition characterised by thyroid hormone deficiency. Regular yoga may stimulate adequate blood flow to the thyroid gland. Pranayama and jalneti may help release stress and improves a sense of deep relaxation. It may be beneficial for the thyroid and for hypothyroidism because it may encourage blood flow, which offers nourishment to the cells and may help in the thyroid gland function.6 Kindly consult the doctor; if it is not treated correctly, it can have severe adverse health impacts.  

8. Other benefits of Jalneti: 

  1. Jalneti may help reduce discomfort and excess nasal flow.2 
  1. It may help reduce snoring.2 
  1. It might help relieve covid-19 symptoms.7 
  1. It might help in maintaining complexion of face.2 
  1. It may effectively manage diseases of several organs from the neck upwards.2 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Risks of Exercise 

  1. Those suffering from chronic nasal bleeding should perform under proper guidance.3 
  1. If you are suffering from ear infections, you must avoid practising jalneti.3 
  1. Suppose you are suffering from nasal septum deviation, a physical nose disorder involving a displacement of the middle nasal bone. In that case, please consult the doctor and perform jalneti under the guidance of a trainer.3 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can access and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice exercise with precautions.  

Also Read: How to Stop a Bloody Nose: Effective Methods & Safety Measures

Conclusion  

Neti is a technique for cleansing nasal passages. It is a type of shatkarma. ‘Shat’ means six, and ‘karma’ means activity. Jalneti is a type of neti kriya, a cleansing procedure associated with the upper respiratory system. It may assist with visual, lung, thyroid, and other conditions. It appears to be effective in both children and adults. However, if you suffer pain or have any other issues when performing jalneti, you must discontinue and consult a physician. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does jalneti help to reduce snoring at night? 

Jalneti practice may clean the nasal passages as well as the throat. It may clean the pollutants from the nose. It may help supply more oxygen to the whole body and enhance the functioning of the nostrils and brain cells. In addition, it might have a relaxing effect on the mind and may reduce snoring at night. Kindly consult a specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.2  

Does jalneti show any effect on the skin?  

Jalneti may improve the complexion of face.2 However, studies need to be done to find more information on jalneti and its effects on the skin. 

What is occupational stress, and how is jalneti helpful in occupational stress disease? 

Occupational stress is the adverse health effects of physical and emotional responses when an employee’s resources don’t compete with the job demands or talents. It may result in poor mental and physical health. Yoga practices such as jalneti prepare individuals to deal with challenging work conditions and adapt to the job’s various mental and emotional needs.5 It may help combat stress levels. However, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Does jalneti alleviate symptoms of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)? 

No, jalneti doesn’t provide any relieving effect for HIV patients. However, research is required to prove the effect of jalneti on HIV. 

How is jalneti helpful in managing symptoms of covid-19? 

Jalneti may clear the nasal passage and enhance oxygen intake, boosting respiratory functions. Therefore, by practising jalneti, we may improve respiratory symptoms like the common cold, cough, asthma and pneumonia, which are the primary symptoms of covid-19. However, you must consult a doctor if you suspect covid-19.7 

References: 

  1. Verma P. Pranayama Practice: Its effect on Haematological Variables of Male and Female Inter University Players Priti Verma. Available from: https://www.academia.edu/20121717/Pranayama_Practice_Its_effect_on_Haematological_Variables_of_Male_and_Female_Inter_University_Players 
  1. Naragatti S. Neti Kriya Enhances the Nasal Functions. Journal of Current Medical Research and Opinion. 2022 Aug 2;5(08):11281-283. Available from: http://www.cmro.in/index.php/jcmro/article/view/539/715 
  1. Meera S, Rani MV, Sreedhar C, Robin DT. A review on the therapeutic effects of Neti Kriya with special reference to Jala Neti. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine. 2020 Apr 1;11(2):185-9. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0975947617306216 
  1. Singh VK, Bhandari RB, Rana BB. Effect of yogic package on rheumatoid arthritis. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 1;55(4):329-35. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23362725/ 
  1. Verma A, Shete SU, Doddoli G. Impact of residential yoga training on occupational stress and health promotion in principals. Journal of Education and Health Promotion. 2020;9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7161695/ 
  1. DR Gupta R. Case Study on Patient with Hypothyroidism. International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts (IJCRT), 2020 Aug;8(8):2184-2188. Available at: http://www.ijcrt.org/papers/IJCRT2008235.pdf 
  1. Nair PM. Integrated approach of yoga and naturopathy alongside conventional care: A need of the hour healthcare strategy in the management of COVID-19 in India–An overview. Yoga Mimamsa. 2020 Jul 1;52(2):70. Available from: https://www.ym-kdham.in/article.asp?issn=0044-0507;year=2020;volume=52;issue=2;spage=70;epage=75;aulast=Nair 

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