Steam Inhalation

Inhalation of warm, moist air into the mucous membranes and respiratory tract.


1. Relieves inflammation and congestions of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
2. Relieves irritation (throat tickle) by moistening the air.
3. Loosens secretions and stimulates expectoration.
4. Relieves spasmodic breathing.
5. Relaxes muscles and thus relieves coughing.
6. Prevents excessive dryness of the mucous membranes.

Things Needed:

1. Boiling water in a kettle with a spout. An empty juice can may serve the purpose.
2. Hot plate or gas stove or local stove using charcoal (“uling”).
3. Vicks Vaporub ointment or tincture of Benzoin or Camphor oil for good smelling sensation.
4. Old newspaper.
5. Umbrella.
6. Sheets.
7. Paper bag.


1. Fill up kettle with water just below the level of the spout, and bring the water to boiling point. Add 1 tsp. of medication (Vicks or Benzoin) into the boiling water.
2. Carry the stove and the kettle with caution near the bedside of the patient, if the patient is unable to stand or sit on the chair.
3. If a croup tent is indicated, open an umbrella over the head of the patient and cover it with a sheet to form a tent.
4. With the newspaper make a cylindrical tube to direct the steam into the tent away from the patient’s face.
5. If the patient is able to sit on the chair, he may sit near the stove in the kitchen. With the cylindrical tube of paper the steam is directed into the patient’s face for inhalation.
6. Treatment time: 30 minutes to one hour, morning and evening, as tolerated.


1. Avoid all risks of burning.
2. Avoid drafts during time of treatment. Close windows near the patient.
3. Extra care must be observed when giving treatment to children and restless patients to avoid scalding.

One thought on “Steam Inhalation

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