As the cold weather creeps in, our noses and sinuses can feel it! Some of the best support for this time of year comes from a simple preparation… herbal steams.
Herbal steams have long been used as a way to help aid the body’s natural defenses. While inhaling the rich vapors of aromatic plants, the essential oils released from a hot water infusion penetrate the airways and can have an immediate effect on the sinuses and lungs, encouraging deep, clear breathing.
These steams are a wonderful ally for children and adults alike. The warm touch of steam on the face during the colder days is something appreciated by all, especially when the steam is magnified by powerfully fragrant herbs that are soothing and invoke clarity.
A classic way to prepare a steam is to create a ‘tent’ with a towel over your head. You simply need a pot and a towel. Some of the best preparations are the most simple, so keep it easy! Add a handful of herbs rich in essential oils that are traditionally used for supporting the immune system– often the ones right in your spice cabinet. There you can find thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, peppermint… all rich in volatile oils, ready to be released and breathed in. For a more instant effect, try adding other herbs such as eucalyptus, lavender and/or essential oils.
Below is an uncomplicated yet effective steam recipe that can be prepared quickly once the cold weather begins. Regardless of the moment, it will undoubtedly provide comforting relief.
- 1 large stock pot
- 16 cups of water
- Handful of thyme, oregano, sage (dried)
- ½ handful of rosemary
- 1 pinch of peppermint
- Eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Turn off stove, remove from heat source and secure to make sure you won’t get burned!
Add herbs. (Optional: you can add 1-5 drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil for deeper coughs and congestion.)
Immediately cover. Place towel over your head, remove the lid and create a tent over the pot. Deeply inhale for at least 10 minutes, adjusting accordingly.
Steams can be done multiple times a day and are gentle enough for anyone. *We recommended re-using the herbs, if possible, for at least 2 rounds!
So next time you’re worried about the cold air, remember your herbal allies in the cupboard. The power of a steam is in the vapor…
Cheers to good health!