After a week and a half I am finally out of the haze of the spring flu complete with chills, fever, body aches, watery eyes and sinus congestion that left me feeling like my nose was going to blow off my face. It came on suddenly and hit me hard. Suffice it to say I got as much rest as I could, drank my weight in bone broth and had lots of vitamin C. I love trying out different home remedies when I’m sick, there are plenty of powerful herbs and spices that can make you feel surprisingly better. One of my favorite things to do, especially when I have nasal congestion, is an herbal steam. Specific herbs have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well as soothing aromas that will help you rest.
An herbal steam is amazingly simple. Find your biggest heat-resistant bowl, boil some water, grab a towel that is large enough to drape over your head and the bowl (I use a large cotton dish towel) and your scent of choice. I like to use herbs and oils like mint or peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree. If you are using fresh herbs I recommend rubbing the leaves or breaking the stems to help release the oils and if you are using essential oils place 5-10 drops in the bowl. Once your water has boiled you want to pour it directly onto the herbs. Here comes the best part, place your face over the bowl, cover your head with your towel and breathe deeply (through your nose if you can!) and enjoy the soothing effects.
Enjoy your steam for about ten minutes. As an added bonus, when you are finished, soak a washcloth in the herb infused water and place it on your forehead as you drift off to sleep! Facial steams can be used for nasal congestion due to a myriad of reasons (cold, flu and allergies) and are a great natural way to find relief. Be well!