Get steamy with herbal inhalation - Juice Daily
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Get steamy with herbal inhalation

Herbal steam inhalations have been used for centuries in different cultures as a natural healing remedy. Certain Indigenous communities, for instance, boil barks, roots and leaves to create a steam believed to heal everything from fevers to the flu, headaches to chest infections. Similarly, many of us grew up inhaling the steam from eucalyptus, tea tree or other essential oils as a therapy for common cold symptoms.

Steam inhalation is a process of breathing in warm moist air into the respiratory system via the nose and mouth and once herbs are added to the mix can have therapeutic health benefits. It is a simple and affordable natural remedy that is suitable to use on both adults and children.

Benefits of herbal steam inhalations for a cold and flu

Inhaling the steam acts as a natural expectorant and can alleviate difficult breathing and respiratory inflammation and nasal congestion. Also, there is laboratory evidence that the cold virus may be sensitive to heat. Herbs and essential oils with a large volatile oil component – that is the strong aroma that has therapeutic benefits – are best for steam inhalation mixtures. Herbs with large volatile oil component include eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, peppermint, clove, and lavender.

Making a herbal steam inhalation at home

When making herbal steam inhalations at home you can use fresh herbs, herbal tea or essential oils. I always recommend using organic herbs and essential oils and to make use of what you have available in your pantry or garden.

What you need

    • 1 large bowl
    • 1 large pot
    • 1 large towel
    • Essential oils/ fresh herbs/ herbal tea
    • Hot water

Cold-rid steam inhalation with essential oils

There are an abundance of therapeutic essential oils on the market. Below are my personal recommendations but feel free to substitute for others you already have or prefer.

Ingredients:

        • 4 cups of boiling water
        • 1 drop eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and clove
          Instructions:
        • Boil the water.
        • Pour the hot water into a large bowl on a sturdy table.
        • Drop the essential oils that you have selected into the bowl.
        • Place your head at least 30cm above the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel, to make a makeshift towel tent.
        • Ensure you keep your eyes closed and that you maintain this distance from the bowl to avoid scalding yourself.
        • Take long deep breathes for 2 minutes or longer through the nose.  If the sensation becomes too much or you find it difficult to breathe simply lift the towel and move away from the steam.
        • Repeat the treatment as needed

Cold-rid steam inhalation with fresh herbs/ herbal teas

Supercharge your steam inhalation with organic herbs from your garden, pantry or tea collection.

Ingredients:

            • 4 cups of boiling water
            • A bunch of thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon myrtle and peppermint leaves

Instructions:

 

            • Bring 4 cups of water to the boil in a pot on the stove
            • Add your herbs to the water and steep for 3-5 minutes, enjoying the fragrant aroma!
            • Pour the fragrant herb water mixture into a large bowl on a sturdy table.
            • Place your head at least 30cm above the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel.
            • Ensure you keep your eyes closed and that you maintain this distance from the bowl.
            • Take long deep breathes for 2 minutes or longer through the nose.  If the sensation becomes too much or you find it difficult to breathe simply lift the towel and move away from the steam.
            • Repeat the treatment as needed

 

 

Anthia Koullouros

About the person who wrote this

Anthia Koullouros

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Anthia Koullouros has been a naturopath, herbalist and organic food health and lifestyle educator since 1994. She founded Ovvio Organics (the most beautiful teas, herbs and spices range you'll ever meet) and is the author of I Am Food - Eating Your Way To Health. “It is my passion to educate and inspire as many people as possible to choose products and take actions that add health, happiness, peace, love, beauty and truth to their lives and the lives of others. Education is the key, debunking myths and offering clear and simple, no-nonsense, fad-free, sustainable solutions to take care of their minds and bodies”.

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