Monday, 25 May 2009

Steam Inhalation for Hayfever

Steam Inhalation for Hayfever
Hayfever affects everyone differently. Symptoms include sneezing, blocked or runny nose, sinus congestion, itchy eyes, nose and/or throat, headaches, lack of concentration, sleep disturbances, and generally feeling unwell.

It is possible for you to be allergic to one or more types of pollen and this determines when your symptoms will be at their most severe. If you are allergic to grass pollen for example, your symptoms will be at their worst May through to July/August.

There are many different types of medication available including nasal sprays and anti-histamines which help to relieve the symptoms associated with hayfever. Another way to help relieve these symptoms is to use steam inhalation which can also be used in conjunction with prescription and over-the-counter remedies.

For a steam inhalation, you will need a non-metallic bowl, 2-3 drops of the appropriate essential oils, a towel, and some boiling water. Pour boiling water into the bowl. Position your head over the bowl and cover with the towel; this will help prevent the steam and vapours being lost. Place the essential oils into the hot water. Breathe in the vapours slowly. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes. This can be done up to three times daily. Ensure that your eyes are closed throughout the steam inhalation. You may find that you need to blow your nose after the steam inhalation as the steam helps to loosen any congestion.

There are many essential oils which can help relieve the symptoms of hayfever especially oils with expectorant, mucolytic, anti-inflammatory, and immune system stimulating properties. Ones which are particularly helpful for hayfever include eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, pine, frankincense, thyme, niaouli, chamomile (German and Roman), cajuput, myrtle, tea tree, and peppermint. Several essential oils are anti-histaminic such as manuka, plai, orange, tangerine, blue tansy, and lemon.

My personal favourites to use in a steam inhalation for hayfever are plai, eucalyptus, and thyme.

If you don't have any essential oils and don't want to buy any, you can still benefit greatly from a steam inhalation without essential oils. The warm, moist steam alone helps clear and soothe the nasal passages and throat - the essential oils just enhance this affect adding in their individual properties to the mix.

I was told that inhaling a drop of Roman Chamomile on a tissue every day in the lead up to the hayfever season can help to lessen any reaction you might have to pollen. I haven’t personally tried this out but Chamomile is known for its anti-histaminic property so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work.

Steam inhalations can also help relieve the symptoms of colds/flu, sinusitis, headaches, asthma, bronchitis, and other upper respiratory problems.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this blog with such in depth details about inhaler. This is indeed a very informative post and really helpful for those suffering from asthma.