The Asthma Center


Hydrotherapy is the use of water to promote healing. Hydrotherapy may be achieved through steam inhalation, nasal irrigation, or warm compresses. These techniques help loosen nasal secretions and cleanse nasal passages of mucus. They also improve drainage and breathing. For aromatic steam, several herbal remedies to soothe inflamed nasal and sinus membranes have been suggested:


  1. Put 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger into steaming water in a sink, warm mist humidifier, or tea kettle. After the ginger tea is simmered for 20 minutes, drape a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 4 - 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of over the counter Vicks® VapoRub® ointment to steaming water. Breathe in the steam for several minutes.
  3. Add a few drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, or menthol into steaming water. Alternatively put a drop of eucalyptus oil into hot water, drape a towel over the head and inhale the steam.

Another technique of hydrotherapy involves alternating hot and cold compresses on the sinus area every 2 minutes. Repeating this 3 times a day reduces congestion and opens the sinuses. For more information see Nasal Saline Irrigation.