- Steam inhalation is recommended as cure for many pulmonary diseases
- It helps reduce the swelling of the mucosa
- It should not be practiced for over five minutes
- One may also resort to electronic vaporizers for steam inhalation
The common cold is bound to not only make one feel irritable but also tired. If you are phobic to medication that is prescribed for this ailment, then here is your perfect solution.
Steam inhalation – the Ayurvedic Perspective
Traditional medical techniques, such as Ayurveda, state that steam inhalation is the process of heating up the body to ensure that the body perspires, especially after the application of medicated oil.
The technique is often adopted by many people even at the onset of fever. Studies have also shown that steam inhalation is also beneficial to those diagnosed with severe pulmonary diseases as well.
The common cold is caused due to the presence of a virus that leads to the swelling up of the mucosa that is present in the nasal cavity or the nose. The heat or the steam helps to reduce the swelling of the mucosa, thereby, making the person feel better and capable of breathing normally.
How to do Steam Inhalation?
Boil a sufficient quantity of water in a vessel for a brief period and keep it covered. Use a Turkish towel or a bed sheet to wrap around your head as well as the vessel containing the boiled water. Open the vessel to a small extent to release the steam. Inhale and exhale the hot air about 20 times. Breathe in and breathe out, alternately, from each nostril. Subsequently, inhale through your nose and exhale through the mouth. Practice doing the vice-versa as well.
Using Electronic Vaporizers
One may also resort to using electronic vaporizers as opposed to boiling water. These instruments cost approximately Rs. 500 and are easily available in the market. It is portable and user-friendly too.
Additional ingredients for additional benefits
Dr. R. Raghavan, a doctor working at the International Ayurvedic Research and Training Center in Kalady, Ernakulam district of Kerala, stated that one may also add a few herbs while boiling the water. These include the basil leaf or even eucalyptus.
Things to remember
While the procedure could relieve you of the stress and fatigue, it ought to be done in the recommended manner. To begin with:
- Ensure that the steam inhalation process does not last for more than five minutes. Too much steam can harm the body and could also cause severe burns.
- Take extra care to ensure that the steam does not harm the eyes. Some doctors also recommend tying a wet cloth above the eyes to prevent any problems in this regard.
- Do not mix balms or other external applicants that are often used for headaches other health issues, with the water while boiling.
- If possible, avoid inhaling the steam derived from boiling hard water.
- Place the vessel on a strong and firm surface
While using the vaporizer:
- Do not use the equipment while it is dry
- Clean and discard the water in the vaporizer ONLY after switching off the instrument.
- Place the instrument on a strong and firm surface
- Ensure that the instrument is inaccessible to children