Dr. Oz Makes a Bad Call on Neti Pot Use

Neti pots have been in use since ancient times as a means to cleanse the sinuses. Recently Dr. Mehment Oz recommended the use of Neti Pots and what Dr. Oz recommends huge numbers of people act on. He’s very popular.

It turns out though that there’s a brain eating amoeba in some drinking water supplies that are harmless unless you put them up your nose. Naegleria fowleri is a deadly amoeba that rarely infects people. They are found primarily in the southern U.S. where they live in surface water that may be a source of drinking water. When they enter the human body through the nose they can cause a serious brain disease known as meningoencephalitis or PAM.

You may become infected while swimming or drinking unfiltered spring water, though you have to somehow get the latter up your nose. Two people in Louisiana recently died. Using a Neti pot with infected water is suspected as the cause.

Where Dr. Oz went wrong was in his recommendation that you use warm tap water in your Neti pot. To safely use your Neti pot, you should first kill any bacteria or amoebas that may be present in your water by boiling that water or using a kitchen water filter with UV light to kill bactria and viruses.

What most people don’t realize is that even though our drinking water supplies are treated with chlorine there are still numerous bacteria in the water in your home. Studies have shown that bacteria live in water pipes, faucets, shower heads, and most likely in your water heater. Bacteria may also colonize your water filter if you have one. While these are mostly harmless the case of Naegleria fowleri shows that’s not always true.

I have used a Neti pot in the past and have never thought about boiling the water until now. Having read an article about this issue by a prominent microbiologist I wanted to share that information with you. Of course that begs the question as to what other toxins you’re forcing up your sinus when you use a Neti pot. To learn what contaminants are present in your water you may review your local water quality report. Once you find that and look it over you may learn which water filter is the best for you by subscribing to my Five Steps to Healthy Water.

Best wishes to you for a safe sinus cleanse…

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Best Water Filter, Healthy Living. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Dr. Oz Makes a Bad Call on Neti Pot Use

  1. Mary Anne says:

    Jim, your posts and informative emails are wonderful. I like reading straight-forward information along with your honest approach. It is hard to get information about water purification that is as inclusive as what you share with all your readers. I email your articles to people who I know would benefit from receiving them and also tell all my students about your website and your free E Course: Five Steps to Healthy Water.

    Thanks for all the effort that you put into educating us about our options and making sure that people fine-tune precisely what they need in order to have clean drinking water and air supply in their homes.

  2. Marietta Bricker says:

    Thank you, Jim, for the very important information. I, too, have been using a nasal irrigator (battery operated neti pot) recently. However, I do not use public water; I use bottled purified water. Should I boil this water?

  3. Ed Kanet says:

    My wife follows Dr. Oz and many times my eyebrows raise when I hear some of the things that appear on his show. We use Neti pots so this is definitely going to get passed on to her.
    Usually we don’t think twice when a prominent doctor recommends something, but many times there are missed pieces of information—like included here in your blog entry—that can really make a difference in how you apply those recommendations.

  4. maggie hanus says:

    Hi Jim,

    I don’t follow Dr Oz, but I’ve used a neti pot before. I bought purified bottled water and never gave it much more thought. I’ll definitely be boiling the water in the future! Thanks for your informative straightforward articles.

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