The water used in the practice should be pure and lukewarm; body temperature is the ideal temperature for pouring the water into your nose. The water should then be mixed with clean salt in the proportion of one teaspoonful per half litre of water. Make sure the salt is fully dissolved in the water. People often wonder why salt water is introduced into the nostrils instead of ordinary water. The reason is veiy simple and very practical. Saltwater has a much higher osmotic pressure than ordinary water, which means that salt water is not easily absorbed into the delicate blood vessels and membranes in the nose, whereas ordinary water is. If you try this practice with ordinary water you will discover for yourself, in the form of discomfort or a little pain in the nose. However, we don't suggest you do this, though it is not at all dangerous.
In conclusion, salt water is ideal for jala neti, because while it thoroughly cleans the nostrils of impurities it is not absorbed into the delicate nasal membranes. As such no discomfort will be felt when the water flows through the nose.
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