Steam inhalation is a method of introducing warm, moist air into the lungs via the nose and throat for therapeutic benefit. Steam inhalation is a simple and effective home remedy for various health issues.
Inhaling steam is a great treatment for respiratory complications and is recommended for dealing with common cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and allergies. Dry air passages are moistened, and mucus is loosened/eliminated which promotes easier coughing or blowing the nose. The moist air also alleviates difficulty breathing, throat irritation and inflammation.
An expectorant increases the amount of secretions, resulting in clearer secretions and as a result, lubricates the irritated respiratory tract. The inhalation of steam significantly benefits the lungs and throat by acting like an effective natural expectorant. This helps to relax muscles, thereby relieving coughing. Inhaling steam is also necessary for preventing excessive drying of the mucous membranes.
Plain hot water steam inhalation:
Place 4 cups of boiling in a bowl. Drape a towel over the patient’s head and bowl to ensure steam does not escape. The patient should continue to inhale until the steam has evaporated, (approximately ten minutes). This helps to free up nasal passages and gets mucus running.
Anyone with chest related problems, i.e. asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, chest congestions etc, should have a steam inhalation at least twice a day until their symptoms improve.
Eucalyptus steam inhalation:
Directions as above and add 4-6 drops of eucalyptus oil. The oil has an anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect. Always add the oil to the water.
Peppermint Tea steam inhalation:
Directions as for the plain hot water steam inhalation, place a tea bag in the bowl. Do not remove the tea bag until the treatment has been completed. This steam inhalation contains menthol and helps to clear the sinuses. Always add the oil or teabag to the water.
Directions as for peppermint tea steam inhalation. This steam inhalation has a soothing effect on the nasal membranes. Always add the oil or teabag to the water.
For a natural way to relieve headache, especially sinus related headaches, try a peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender hot steam inhalation.
Directions as for plain hot steam inhalation above, and then add:
- 1 drop of peppermint oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus oil, and
- 2 drops lavender oil.
Note: Always put water in the bowl first then add the drops of oil.