You will need the following equipment:
Fresh or dried herbs, a heat proof bowl, 4 cups of boiling water and a bath towel.
Boil 4 cups of water. In a large heat proof glass or ceramic bowl, add one teaspoon of the herb of choice. Pour the boiling water slowly over the herbs. Hold your head about six inches above the bowl and inhale the steam. Capture the healing herb vapor by draping the towel over your head. This creates a vapor tent and holds in the steam. Usually 5-7 minutes is enough to relieve congestion.
Thyme: Acts as an expectorant, loosening phlegm in the respiratory tract so it can be coughed up. Thyme’s active ingredient is thymol. Thymol has strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
Peppermint: An active ingredient in chest rubs and is used to treat the common cold. Peppermint kills certain bacteria, fungus and viruses. Used in steam inhalation it clears sinus passages, and relieves a sore throat. Peppermint and its main ingredient, menthol, are effective decongestants. Menthol vapor thins out mucus, and helps loosen phlegm.
Sage: Contains thujone and camphor. Remember those chest rubs and warm flannel when you were a child? Inhaling the sage steam will break up congestion and ease the tightness in your chest.
Rosemary: Also contains camphor as well cineole and borneol. These compounds contain adequate amounts of antibacterial properties. Rosemary is used to help clear head colds, reduce fever and headache, and bring relief to those who have a cough or congestion.
Ginger: Is good for the lungs, digestion and circulation, so it makes this herb perfect for treating colds. Ginger’s hot properties stimulate circulation and produces a mild sweating action. Excellent for breaking up congestion and clearing sinus passages. Add 1/2 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger to 4 cups of boiling water. Lean over the bowl and inhale the steam.
Orange peel: While dried orange peel is not an herb, I consider it a powerful source of healing. Orange peel contains aromatic compounds that are antiseptic. These compounds reduce phlegm, lessen muscle spasms, and increase blood circulation through perspiration. Citrus peel is used to treat coughs and colds, flu, fever and bronchitis when combined with other herbs in inhalation remedy/therapy.
Eucalyptus: Is recommended for relieving nasal and sinus congestion, usually from colds and flu.
Lavender: Is often included in asthma, cough and other respiratory and steam inhalation formulas. One of lavender’s essential oils, linalool, has been found to relax bronchial passages, reducing inflammatory and allergic reactions.
This information is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice.
You may substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs, and increase the amount to 2 teaspoons.
You can use steam inhalation therapy as often as needed. Bed time is the best time, as the warm and moist steam promotes restful sleep. For extra healing add a pinch of sea salt along with the herb when preparing the remedy. Steam inhalation has been around for a long time. It’s perfectly safe to use and does not cause drowsiness, nor is it habit forming.
I love the combination of thyme and rosemary. I keep small containers of the dried herbs in my first aid kit. If colds or flu strike suddenly, then I’m ready with some healing vapors.
~ Meadow Walker