What I Learned Today About Steam Inhalation

As someone who’s been plagued with airborne allergies since the age of 10, I’ve spent decades feeling stuffy and itchy, while struggling to breathe. My allergies often keep me feeling like a prisoner in my own home during warm weather because it often just seems safer to stay inside instead of risking an allergy attack.

The weather’s been so gorgeous lately that I snuck out today and spent hours in the yard, enjoying the sunshine. However, I was to pay the price for that little bit of joy. By nighttime, I was sneezing and itching miserably and wishing I’d just stayed inside. I went to grab my usual bottle of allergy pills, but today my husband had a different plan.  While I was busy sniffling, he’d been reading up on steam inhalation and its effects.

What Is Steam Inhalation?           

Steam inhalation is a method of introducing moist, warm air into the lungs via the nose and throat. Essential oils are often added for additional benefits. It’s been used since ancient times to simply and effectively treat the respiratory system.

After my treatment, I did a bit of research and found that there are all kinds of ways to inhale steam. You can perform it in the shower or spend a lot of money on fancy gadgets. My husband’s method is a bit simpler- he boiled some water, tossed in a few ingredients (I’ll share those in a minute) and tented a towel over me and the pot. I spent about five minutes breathing the steam deep into my lungs through my nose and then exhaling through my mouth. When I was finished, my lungs felt better and I could breathe more effectively.


After boiling the water, he started playing with essential oils. Lavender, chamomile, and peppermint went into the pot for an effective and fragrant steam treatment. Afterwards, he explained that these oils weren’t just good for allergies; they’re also soothing for the skin. It’s been several hours since my treatment and my skin feels softer and I’m still able to breathe through my nose. If you cope with allergies on a regular basis as I do, you can understand just how exciting this feels.

A Word of Warning

Remember that you’re dealing with extremely hot water so be careful! Don’t stay under the tent for too long and make sure your water is stable. Don’t let kids try this either. It would also be wise to check with your chiropractor before attempting any sort of steam treatment, as it can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure.

I’m still learning about steam inhalation, but to say that I’m intrigued would be an understatement. If you have any experience with this topic, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.