Well it is officially cold and flu season and despite the zinc , elderberry and vitamin D, many of my colleagues and patients are still getting the flu or are complaining of cold symptoms.
Inhaling steam can help loosen congestion and offer relief from coughing as well. Steams are a wonderful natural way to alleviate cold symptoms and I love to add herbs to my steams for the delicious aroma and also for their medicinal virtues.
Here is one of my favorite recipes if you are congested. It is easy to make, it smells fabulous and it works!
Herbal Face Steam Ingredients
- a large pot
- 1 tablespoon each of desired herbs, for congestion, my favorite is eucalyptus. But feel free to roam your kitchen and add whatever else you may have like; rosemary if you want to feel more alert, or lavender , if you want to feel more calm. Garlic can also be added to the steam mixture for additional antibacterial benefit.
- 2 large towels
How to prepare
Put about an inch of water in the bottom of a large pot and boil.
Fold a towel in half and place on a sturdy, heat-proof, flat surface like a counter or table. Place the pot or bowl on top of this towel.
Add any dried herbs, stir well and cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes.
Herbal Face Steam Instructions
Remove lid and cautiously check the temperature of steam to make sure it isn’t too hot for your face.
Steam is hot and caution should always be used when handling and breathing it.
Once you have determined that the temperature is ok, lean over the pot and cover head with a towel to create a tent. Try to let as little air escape as possible, this will maximize the benefits of your steam.
Slowly breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes. Initially you can breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Eventually try to breathe in and out through the nose to loosen up all the congestion.
When finished, pour out the liquid and herbs in the pot and thoroughly wash your pot.
The beauty of this steam is that it also has skin benefits. When you are done, your pores are open so you can wipe your face with a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water after your face steam to tone your skin and remove anything that has loosened from the pores.
Steam is often used in spas as part of a facial treatment. Facial steams are touted for their ability to open pores, soften skin and improve circulation.
So steam your congestion away and get a mini facial all in one! How fabulous right?
Enjoy and stay well…