When I was a kid, I used to get canker sores--part of building that immune system I suppose. My mom always had me rinse my mouth with warm salt water and oh how I dreaded it. And there's a good chance you've had to gargle salt water when you had a sore throat. It stings, it tastes strange, and inevitably you swallow a little--which is not pleasant. But--it did help.

Salt has healing properties. Learn more about the benefits of salt here.

But what about using salt water when it comes to allergies, colds, or other types of infections? Enter the neti pot. The first time I heard about a neti pot and what you need to do to use it, I was terrified. If you want to see it for yourself, take a look here. But when you're desperate, you are almost willing to try anything for relief.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

In essence, you're flushing your nasal passages to alleviate a runny nose or your congestion to wash out bacteria or allergens that can become trapped. Isn't that disgusting? Well, perhaps. But I've found it helpful.

When using a neti pot, make sure you don't use tap water--only distilled or sterile water. Alternatively, you can use tap water as long as it's been sterilized by boiling it for 3 to 5 minutes and, once the temps lowers, mixing it with salt.

Once you're ready to use it, make sure you're near a sink because once that water starts flowing, you're going to be more focused on not feeling like you're drowning rather than where the water is going. I don't mean to be dramatic, but it's a strange feeling until you're used to it.

I've found it really does help. Although, please know that not everyone has the same results. If you experience severe irritation or your nose starts bleeding, cease and desist at once and call your family doctor.