Steam Inhalation: Benefits and Side Effects


Facing blocked nasal passages during our sinuses makes it difficult to breathe which at times causes sleep disturbance too. One of the best home remedies to try for instant relief from nasal blockage is steam inhalation.

In this article, we will explain the benefits and side effects of steam inhalation. So, let’s investigate this.


What is steam inhalation?

A simple process of taking steam through the nose is steam inhalation. The warm vapor offers moisture to the dry secretion membranes in the nose and throat.

This helps loosen the mucus and provides relief from chest congestion. One can take steam inhalation using inhaler equipment, a bowl, a pan with hot water, or by taking a steam bath.

Also known as steam therapy, it involves the inhalation of water vapor. The warm, moist air is believed to work by loosening the mucus in the throat, lungs, and nasal passage.

This therapy will relieve symptoms of reddened, swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages. It may help you feel much better while your body fights it off.

This is the best home remedy; it is important to learn best practices so you do not hurt yourself during the process.


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Benefits of Steam Inhalation:

A blocked nose is triggered by the sinuses’ inflammation in the blood vessels. The blood vessels can be irritating because of acute upper infections such as a cold or sinus.

The fantastic benefit of breathing in moist, warm steam is that it may help ease feelings of irritation and swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages.

The moisture may also help to thin the mucus in the sinuses that allow you to empty smoothly. It can also allow your breathing to return to normal, at least for a short period.

Steam inhalation provides some temporary relief from some specific symptoms, like –

  • The common cold
  • The flue (influenza
  • Sinus infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Nasal allergies


With the help of steam inhalation, you can get subjective relief from the symptoms of cold, cough, and other respiratory problems.

Steam inhalation does not kill the virus responsible for the infection purpose. Although the results of this have been mixed, anecdotal, evidence claims steam inhalation helps to alleviate:

  • Congested (stuffy) nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Breathing issues caused by airway congestion
  • Dry or irritated nasal passages
  • Cough
  • Headache


How to inhale steam


How to inhale steam?

For inhalation, you will need a large bowl, water, a pot, or kettle for heating the water, and a towel. With these ingredients, you can follow the process step by step.

  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Carefully pour the hot water into the bowl.
  • Drape the towel over the back of your head.
  • Turn on a time.
  • Close your eyes and slowly lower your head toward the hot water until you are about 8 to 12 inches away from the warm water. Be careful to avoid making direct contact with the water.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for 2 to 5 minutes.

It is highly recommended to avoid taking steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Although, you can repeat steam inhalation two or three times every day.

You can also get a steam inhaler which is the best healthcare product that one should have in every home. The vaporizers are used to make steam that cools before exiting the machine.


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Side effects of steam inhalation:

The steam inhalation process is quite easy and a safe home remedy if it is done rightly. There are possibilities to hurt yourself unintentionally if you do not even care.

There is a risk of scalding yourself if you make close contact with the hot water. Some of the most common problems can cause severe burns in sensitive areas.

To avoid burns or harm, here are some of the best tricks to consider while taking steam inhalation. These are –

  • Be sure that the bowl of hot water is on a certain level, sturdy surface, and cannot be knocked over
  • Do not shake or lean on the bowl
  • Avoid letting the steam contact your eyes. So, it is best to close your eyes while steaming
  • Keep the bowl of hot water out of reach of children or pets

The steam inhalation process can generally be safer than compared to others, as the water is enclosed and cannot easily tumble on your skin.


Summing up

Taking steam inhalation may be an effective way to clear your nasal and clear respiratory passages when you are having a cold or the flu, but it will not cure your infection.

The immune system of anybody will do the bulk of the work to get rid of the virus causing your symptoms. Like other home remedies, always proceed with a grain of salt.

Something that works great for one person might not always work for you, but steam inhalation is one such process that will surely help you to deal with respiratory problems.


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