A well known and popular home remedy for cough and cold symptoms is steam inhalation. It’s more recently being recommended for the relief of some COVID-19 symptoms too. Originally thought to help chest congestion, it’s more commonly used to help clear nasal passages.
The warm steam vapour helps to clear mucus in the nose and sinuses by melting it away, clearing the passages and the congestion allowing you to breathe easier. You can use steam inhalation up to three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time if you are experiencing symptoms. Keep reading to find out the benefits of this simple and natural remedy.
The warm steam helps to relieve the pain often caused by dry, irritated and swollen nasal passages and blood vessels. The vapour also thins any mucus that could be lingering there and helps to clear the sinuses, reducing the blocked, heavy and painful feeling.
Steam vapour helps to liquify and soften any standing mucus in the nose and throat. This can help your body to clear it more easily when coughing or blowing your nose. Taking steam twice a day will help to clear your respiratory tract and could help your symptoms improve more quickly.
Using steam to clear the nasal passages will help you to breathe more efficiently. This can help to ease a sore throat as it relaxes the throat muscles, reduces inflammation and encourages better blood circulation. All of which will return your breathing back to normal.
Inhaling steam can help the throat muscles to relax which may also help to reduce the coughing reflex.
If steam is helping to relax your throat muscles, the cough reflex and has cleared the nasal passages enabling you to breathe more easily, then you are more likely to sleep better. If you concentrate on your breathing as you inhale, this can help your mind and body relax ready for a better night’s sleep.
Steam is just droplets of water and is a natural therapy that is unlikely to cause any harmful side effects. Our bodies are composed of approximately 70% water, so steam is a natural way to replenish this natural element.
The main risk of steam inhalation is of course scalding. Handling and having contact with hot water can be dangerous. You should only use a bowl of hot water that is sat firmly on a flat and stable surface, never sit with it on your lap. It’s not a good idea to let children inhale steam in this way, instead you could sit them in the bathroom with the shower running which will offer the same benefits. You may like to consider using a Steam Inhaler Cup, which offers a safe and simple way to use steam. This one comes complete with a lid to prevent spills, a face mask to direct the steam and has 2 built-in handles for stable usage.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about the benefits of steam inhalation. Whilst steam cannot treat an infection, it can be an effective home remedy to relieve the symptoms of coughs, colds and congestion.