Soothe Your Spring Allergies With This Natural Remedy
Spring is in the air and we have a trick to help you breathe easy as pollen season blooms. Treating your face to a steam bath followed by a cool compress will help to decongest and relieve sinus pressure that can occur with seasonal allergies (and as an additional bonus, steaming is great for improving your skin’s complexion). This natural aide is also wonderfully helpful when battling a cold. You’ll need only 15 minutes and some basic items:
-a small face towel
-a large bath towel
-a large, sturdy bowl, such as a mixing bowl for baking
-a comfortable spot to sit with a few pillows
-therapeutic grade eucalyptus oil (optional)
First, wet the face towel and wring it out completely so that it’s thoroughly damp, and put it in the freezer to cool while you steam.
Next, fill your large bowl halfway with water, and then pour that half-bowl of water into the saucepan to bring to a boil.
While the water is heating up, prepare a spot where you can sit comfortably for ten minutes of steaming. Have some pillows ready to prop the bowl up on your lap (it’s going to be too warm to place directly on your lap, and with the pillows as a prop, you won’t need to lean in as far to reach the steam) or find a sturdy surface to place the bowl on that is low enough to lean your face over. Grab the bath towel and set it in reach for once you’re seated and comfortable with your bowl of water.
Next, pour the freshly boiled water into your bowl and bring it to your seating area. If you have therapeutic grade eucalyptus oil, you can add one or two drops to the water at this time to further assist with decongestion. Prop the bowl on your lap with the pillows securely, or place the bowl on the table, either way taking care that at least one hand is kept steady on the bowl at all times to avoid splashes or spills.
Set the timer for ten minutes. Drape the bath towel over your head to trap rising steam and begin taking slow, full breaths to reap the most benefit. If the steam doesn’t seem to be warm enough, lean in closer to the surface of the water. If it gets too warm, pull your face further away from the surface of the water or lift your towel for a moment to let in a pocket of cooler air. Just as in a sauna, you can end your steam treatment at any time, especially if you feel light-headed, overheated, or have any other discomforts. Otherwise, once you have steamed for ten minutes, remove the towel and pat your face dry with it. Blow your nose right after the steam treatment to fully clear your airways.
Now for the finishing touch! The damp cloth you have stashed in the freezer should be thoroughly cooled at this point. Drape the cool cloth over your face and apply gentle compressions along your sinuses and temples with your fingers. Allow the cloth to rest on your face for about five minutes before removing it. Now take a deep breath and revel in the fresh air with your newly cleared airways!