Steam Inhalation

Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India
First Created: 02/05/2001  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

Steam inhalation is useful in relieving the congestion of bronchitis, common cold, sinusitis, and other respiratory conditions. It decreases the viscosity of the mucus so that it can be discharged and the patient can breathe more easily. It is given either as plain water inhalation or with herbs added to it.


Either a sink or a pot (stainless steel or glass/enameled) can be used. If herbs are added to the steam, glass or enameled pot is preferred.

When using a sink, fill the sink with very hot water. Keep the water hot and steaming. Hold your head over the sink with a face far enough from the water and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes.

When using a pot, fill a wide pot with water and bring it to a boil. Remove the pot from the store and allow the water to cool slightly, hold your head over the pot and breathe in the steam. Drape a towel over your head and the pot to prevent the escape of the steam. Continue for 5-10 minutes.

After each steam inhalation treatment, take several deep breaths to clear lung congestion. Therapy may be repeated as and when required.

Steam Inhalation Steam Inhalation 2015-08-01
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