Fact Check: Does Steam Inhalation Really Help to Combat COVID-19?
Does steam inhalation help reduce the Covid-19 viral load? Does it kill coronavirus in those patients who are already infected? Read our article to know the truth:
“Temperatures of 56 °C for 15 and 30 minutes in liquid environments, respectively, were enough to break down SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.” A study published in the journal Life Sciences (Nov 2020)
“Steam inhalation has helped me and my family in quick recovery from COVID-19. Steam does help because it helps to clear mucus from the lungs. I, my family, and friends all are taking steam regularly thrice a day post-recovery.” - These kinds of claims are surfacing on social media since the 1st wave of COVID-19 in our country. Is corona really prevented or cured by taking steam regularly? Is it really helpful in offering relief to the Covid-19 positive patients? If yes, how can it benefit your health during Covid-19 recovery? Let’s explore more.
What Is Steam Therapy?
Steam inhalation is one of the most recommended traditional therapies used to relieve the blocked nasal passages and get quick relief from sinus and common cold. It involves the inhalation of hot water vapors that might help in loosening the mucus in the throat and lungs which in turn clears the nasal passages. Steam may also help in relieving swollen blood vessels and respiratory symptoms. Steam inhalation provides relief from difficulty in breathing as it removes the phlegm, which covers the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Furthermore, warm water vapors make the mucus thinner which helps clear it out easily.
Steam provides subjective relief for some time from:
- Common cold
- Seasonal allergies
- Infectious sinusitis
- Respiratory infections
How Can Steam Therapy Help You Reduce The COVID-19 Virus Load?
Steam therapy is a non-invasive, easily accessible, inexpensive procedure proven to be effective in relieving signs of common cold, flu, sinus infection, nasal allergies, etc. It is important to note that steam can also soothe you during COVID-19 as its symptoms are like that of a common viral infection. One such study published in the journal Life Sciences says, “Temperatures of 56 °C for 15 and 30 minutes in liquid environments, respectively, were enough to break down SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.” The researchers explained that steam helps to destroy the natural properties of the proteins lead to loss of contamination of the SARS-CoV-2. The steam heat can also denture the SARS-CoV-2 virion's proteins. Notably, these are preliminary outcomes of a small level study and confirmation should be subjected to larger level clinical trials. While steam therapy has emerged as a popular alternative therapy to relieve Covid 19, all it does is eases respiratory problems resulting from the corona infection. It will not work as a treatment for COVID-19 patients but it may help in making them feel better while their body is recovering from the infection.
Inhaling Steam Safely and Effectively
Steam carries a high risk of burning if not taken properly. In the past years, we used to heat water in the utensils for steam therapy. We would kneel over a bowl of hot water and cover our head with a towel and breathe in the moist vapours rising from the hot water. This process is effective but can be cumbersome. Today, steam machines or steamers provide the same action in an easy and much simple way. Inhale steam for at least 5-10 minutes and repeat the therapy twice or thrice a day for effective outcomes. If you want to invest in an effective steam inhalation method that can help safeguard you from the load of the deadly CORONA virus, check out our range of electrical steamers and diffusers at Dr Trust. These multipurpose devices help offer quick relief as per your ease.
At last, it is important to note that steam inhalation helps in reliving covid symptoms, but it does not kill the virus responsible for the infection. It helps to ease headache, stuffy nose, throat irritation, breathing problems, cough, and dry or irritated nasal passages. Though one must be cautious of the correct method of taking steam. Also do not forget to follow the other general behavioral practices (social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands) to fight against the deadly coronavirus.