Home remedy for chest congestion
Air pollution, smoking, viruses, dirt and germs are part of our daily life, that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to our lung health.
Steam inhalation is one of the most recommended therapies worldwide and it has been used for more than 3500 years. It is low cost, 100% natural and you don’t need to invest in equipment.
Steam therapy is a technique in which you inhale water steam. In this technique, you introduce warm moist air into your nose, throat and lungs to alleviate congestion and other respiratory symptoms.
What are the benefits of steam therapy?
The steam adds warmth and moisture to the air, it improves breathing and helps loosen mucus inside the airways and the lungs. It also relaxes throat muscles, reducing soreness and inflammation, and dilates blood vessels improving blood circulation.
What conditions can steam therapy help with?
- Common cold
- The flu
- Sinus infections(infectious sinusitis)
- Nasal allergies.
- Congested (stuffy) nose
- Throat irritation
- Breathing problems caused by airway congestion
- Dry or irritated nasal passages
How can I do it safely?
The traditional way is to boil water, then pour it into a bowl and place it in a flat, level, stable and safe surface (table). Be sure the bowl can`t be knocked over.
You can add 2 or 3 drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender if you have any; they are great to reduce congestion.
Never shake or lean the bowl, you can spill hot water and burn yourself.
Put a towel over your head like forming a tent. Lean a little, your face should be 15 to 20 cm from the steam, (don’t get closer and avoid direct contact with hot water to avoid burning).
Avoid allowing the steam to make contact with your eyes. Your eyes should be closed and directed away from the steam.
Inhale deeply and slowly for at least 10 – 15 minutes for each session. If you still have symptoms you can repeat it twice per day.
Do not put the bowl on your lap as this increases the risk of accidentally spilling the hot water into your lap and causing severe burns. So make sure the bowl is placed on an stable surface.
Keep the bowl of hot water out of reach of children or pets. Steam inhalation isn’t advised for children due to the risk of burns.
Just run hot water in the shower and inhale the steam; this technique is great for kids. Sit your child in the steamy bathroom and explain how to breathe. Never leave little one alone while hot water is running to avoid burns.
To take into account
Steam inhalation is considered a safe home remedy if you do it right, but there is a possibility to hurt yourself unintentionally if you’re not careful.
Remember that inhaling steam relieves symptoms of congestion, but it is not a cure. It doesn’t replace any medical advice. If you continue feeling congested for more than a week or symptoms get worse, call your GP.
For more detailed information about how our physios or osteopaths can help with congested chest feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help. Remember you can book a video consultation on 02079932720.