Herbal Steam

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Cough, cough, sneeze, (potential hair ball choke) seems to be all around me lately.  And I can really sympathize with a cold in warm-to-hot fall weather. Is there anything worse than sun beating into your room while you try and rest (in shorts, nonetheless) with a blaring fan at your side? Sick—literally. One of my close girlfriends, pausing between words with her dramatic PSA smoking replica-esq coughing, asked if I had any tips on how to beat this cough faster? I revel in days like this. Questions this simple!

Number one, I said, chuck the DayQuil she's secretly been using, and grab a few essential oils or herbs and your large Dutch oven, Bowl, Ikea Pot (you know you still have one lingering from when you were twenty-one that you tuck away in the pantry when guest come over), and boil up an herbal steam.

Herbal what?

You’ve seen it in movies and remember your mom going on about how your grandma used to make her do them. That’s right, hot boiling water, essential oils, and your tired face over a pot with a towel draped over you.

Because warm, moist air opens nasal and bronchial passages when you combine herbs with steam, you create one of the most effective, all-purpose cold and flu cures! To disinfect the entire house, simmer the water with the herbs or essential oils on low heat for half an hour.

3 cups water


5 drops essential oil of Lavender


5 drops essential oil of Rosemary


5 drops essential oil of Bergamot

1. Simmer the water in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the oils. You can get the same effect by putting 1/8 cup total of fresh or dried herbs in the simmering water instead of the essential oils (I just know that oils are more accessible for some people).

2. Hold your face over the steam and cover your head with a towel. Tuck the ends of the towel around the pan so the steam doesn't escape. Breathe in the steam as deeply as you can, coming out for fresh air when needed.

This act also helps to open and unclog your pores thus giving you a mini-facial as lavender is naturally antibacterial. Relieve your cough and clear up your skin all at the same time. BAM!