Try an Herbal Steam

| 10/4/2016 3:18:00 PM

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Your childhood memories may include a bedside humidifier with Vicks VapoRub, a common home treatment for cough and congestion from colds and flu. It’s still a medicine cabinet staple today, containing synthetic camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol to purportedly help open up stuffy nasal sinuses and relieve cough and labored breathing.

Many people swear by it, but Jay L. Hoecker, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, reports that not only does Vicks not really relieve nasal congestion, the camphor in it can be toxic, especially to babies and young children. You can get the same kind of comforting steam for breathing ailments by using fresh or dried herbs and flowers without the risks of camphor.

Why Herbal Remedies Instead of Prescription or Over-the-Counter Drugs?

Preparing and using natural and herbal remedies is a beneficial form of self-care that many feel they don’t have time for in today’s stressful, overscheduled modern lifestyle. You may ask yourself, “Why should I use an herbal steam for my stuffy nose and cough when I can just take some medicine?” The short answer is that it’s an opportunity to care for and soothe yourself in a much more natural and relaxing way.

Using an herbal steam is a form of self-care that requires a little more time than popping a prescription anti-biotic or using an over-the-counter treatment filled with chemicals.

Selecting organic herbs that you possibly pick from the garden or a trusted source, and taking the time to boil clean, filtered water, and sitting with your face over a bowl of hot, steamy botanically-infused water means taking 30 to 60 minutes of time out of your day to purposefully care for your body. It requires you to stop other activities and focus on healing yourself.