27 Dec Decongesting Herbal Face Steam
Congestion is the worst and generally occurs when excess mucus builds up in the sinus cavities and the sinuses cannot drain properly. According to the University of Michigan Health System, congestion often occurs with colds and allergy symptoms and usually goes away on its own. However, there are occasions when the sinus pain and pressure are so uncomfortable that added relief is necessary. So we thought we would share with you a great herbal face steam that you can try at home should you need to fight a cough or cold this season!
Benefits of an Herbal Face Steam
Besides the soothing warmth of steam on the face during illness, there are two additional benefits worth noting, especially when you add herbs to the mix:
Steam is often used in spas as part of a facial treatment and so facial steams are touted for their ability to open pores, soften skin and improve circulation.
Herbal steams are known for their ability to sooth coughing and congestion during illness. Inhaling steam can help loosen congestion and offer relief from coughing and this remedy may have very well been used as far back as Ancient Egypt in public bathhouses and private residences.
How to Do an Herbal Face Steam
The best part about herbal face steams is that they are incredibly quick to prepare (3 minutes to be more precise) and are very simple to make with herbs you probably already have stocked in your kitchen.
You will need:
- A large pot/bowl or teakettle
- 1 tablespoon each of desired herbs: thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender.
- 2 large towels
Pour at least about 3cm of water in the bottom of a large pot and bring to boil. If you happen to be using a bowl, you can boil the water in a teakettle or pot before pouring it into the bowl.
Fold a towel in half and place on a sturdy, heatproof, flat surface (such as a counter or table). Place the pot or bowl on top of this towel. Add any dried herbs, stir well and cover with a lid for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove the lid and check temperature of steam to make sure it isn’t too hot for your face. Lean over the pot and cover head with a towel to create a tent, letting as little air escape as possible.
Slowly begin to breathe in the steam for up to 10 minutes. Be sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth at first and then eventually try to breathe in and out through the nose to loosen congestion. If needed, let any mucus fall into the pot.
When finished, pour out the liquid and herbs in the pot (never reuse!) and thoroughly wash the pot. For skin benefits, you can wipe your face with a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water after a face steam to tone your skin!