Herbal Medicine Chest: Add Steams During Cold and Flu SeasonOct 30, 2020 08:59AM ● By Katja Swift
1. Bring a medium-sized pot (two to four quarts) of fresh water to a boil, covered.
2. Set the pot in an area where it will be comfortable for you to sit with your face over the pot*.
3. Cover yourself and the pot with a towel or blanket to make a tent that will keep the steam in.
4. Uncover the pot and toss in a handful or two (one to two cups) of dried herbs.
5. Breathe in the steam as deeply as possible. Inhale through the nose, if able to.
6. Remain in the steam tent for 10-15 minutes.
7. You can drink the leftover infusion, cook with it, soak your feet in it, or pour it into a full bath to get more medicine from the plant material. Alternately, a second steam can be done with the water and plant matter from the first steam by then adding half as much again; it is not necessary to start over each time.
*If doing this with a child, try draping a blanket over a table to make a much larger
tent. Then, a parent and the child can be in the tent together, where the child
can be protected from accidentally touching the hot pot. Children’s faces do
not need to be directly over the pot—the steam will accumulate in the tent at a
concentration that is sufficient for kids.
Katja Swift is a clinical herbalist and director of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, in Boston. To learn more about herbal remedies for colds and flu season, visit Online.CommonWealthHerbs.com/Courses/Cold-Flu.