How to do traditional steam inhalation

What is steam inhalation?

Inhalation of warm, moist air into mucus membranes and respiratory tract.

Effects of steam inhalation:

  1. Relives inflammation and congestion of the mucus membrane in the upper respiratory tract.
  2. Relieves throat irritation by moistening the air.
  3. Loosen secretions and stimulates expectoration.
  4. Relieves spasmodic breathing
  5. Relaxes muscles and thus relieves coughing.
  6. Prevents excessive dryness of the mucus membranes.

Things needed for steam inhalation

  • Boiling water in a kettle with a spout. An empty juice can may be used.
  • Hot plate or gas stove or charcoal stove
  • Vick Vaporub ointment or tincture of Benzoin or Camphor oil or Eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil for good smelling sensation.
  • Old newspaper
  • Umbrella
  • Sheets
  • Paper bag

Procedure

  1. Fill up kettle with water just below the level of the spout, and bring the water to boiling point. Add 1 teaspoon of medication (Vicks or Benzoin) into the boiling water.
  1. Carry the stove and kettle with caution near the bedside of patient , if patient is unable to stand or sit in chair
  1. If a croup tent is indicated, open umbrella over the head of patient and cover it with sheet to form a tent.
  1. With newspaper make a cylindrical tube to direct the steam into the tent away fro. The patient’s face.
  1. If the patient is able to sit on the chair, he may sit near the stove in the kitchen. With the cylindrical tube of paper the steam in directed into patient’s face for inhalation.
  1. Treatment time: 30 minutes to one hour, morning and evening as tolerated.
  • Precautions:
    • Avoid all risks of burning
      Avoid drafts during time of treatment. Close windows near to the patient.
      Extra care must be observed when giving treatment to children and restless patients to avoid scalding.

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