Steam inhalation: Do they really work against colds and the flu?

Inhalation is one of the most popular household remedies for colds and flu-like infections, even though its benefits have not been scientifically proven.

steam inhalation cold flu
© Roos Koole / GETTY IMAGES
steam inhalation cold flu

It's getting cold again and flu season is starting. Vaccination is recommended for certain groups of people, while others wait for the first cold of the season.

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Cold remedies, nasal sprays, paracetamol and ibuprofen are part of almost every cold. Many people also use inhalation to clear their nose. This is because it is important to avoid blowing your nose too much, as this can trigger sinusitis.

Inhalation is not always good

Putting a towel over your head and bending over a bowl of hot water and possibly essential oils is not always a good idea, according to doctors. Anyone who suffers from inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis, eye diseases, low blood pressure or other circulatory disorders should generally refrain from inhaling.

You should be careful if you have an infection, as your mucous membranes are swollen and irritation can be exacerbated by heat.

How to do inhalation right

Inhaling is a good idea as a preventive measure. You can promote blood circulation, support the removal of mucus and activate the defense cells of the mucous membranes. Temperature is also important. To prevent burns, the water should be between 38 and 42 degrees.

However, a clear medical effect has not yet been proven and does not help everyone. The feeling of improvement is therefore rather subjective.

This article has been translated from Gentside DE.

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