As traditional winter wellness practices for our sinus, herbal steams are also appropriate for welcoming spring, as they are a powerful herbal tool for clearing out stagnation and supportive to moving lymph. They are a great way to wind down from a busy day, and a lovely holistic practice to gently nourish the skin, soothe and warm the eyes, face, neck, and jaw.
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 breathing, and brightening to dull and congested winter skin.
Herbal steams have long been used as a way to help support the body’s natural defenses and are an excellent 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 simplest, so keep it easy!
Below are two uncomplicated yet effective steam recipes that can be prepared quickly as a comforting and soothing practice 1 or twice a week.
For immune and lung support:
Add a handful of herbs rich in essential oils that are traditionally used for supporting the Immune system- often the ones you find 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 essential oils.
For brightening and renewing winter skin: Herbs like lemon balm, rose, lavender and calendula are great. Add in a drop or two of essential oil, and you have a home spa!
I recommend steaming in the evenings where you can then wind down, stay hydrated and enjoy deep, restful sleep!
- 1 large stock pot
- 16 cups of water
- A handful of dried herbs
- A few drops of essential oils—eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Turn off the stove, remove from heat source and secure to make sure you won’t get burned!
Add herbs and 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. The power of a steam is in the vapor…
Steams can be done multiple times a day and are gentle enough for anyone. I recommend re-using the herbs, if possible, for at least 2 rounds.
Cheers to good health!