When thinking about the health benefits of taking a bath, most people think about relaxing the muscles, relieving stress, or simply improving overall hygiene. While these certainly are excellent health benefits of a hot bath, a nice soak in the tub can provide other benefits you might not have imagined—including helping to relieve the symptoms of many respiratory issues. Whether you’re congested from a cold, have seasonal allergies, or even have a permanent condition that makes it difficult to breathe, soaking in a tub full of hot water can help you breathe a little easier. Keep reading to find out how.
The mucus in our respiratory system helps to keep things lubricated and protected, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. You’ve likely experienced that sensation more than once in your life, when you’re constantly sniffling, blowing your nose, and coughing up phlegm. For those with certain health conditions, properly clearing the mucus from the lungs can actually be quite difficult. But whether you have such a condition or just need some relief from your cold, a bath can help.
The steam from your bath can help to warm mucous membranes in the lungs and loosen the mucus they produce, allowing you to clear it more easily from your body. It can also open nasal passages and encourage deep breathing, so you can finally get a good, full breath into your lungs.
Soothing a Sore Throat
If you have a sore throat for any reason, a bath can help with this as well. The steam from your bath moistens the tender skin inside your nose and throat, helping to soothe away that scratchy, achy feeling you have when you get sick.
Adding Essential Oils
Adding certain essential oils to your bath can further improve the health benefits of a long, hot soak. Eucalyptus oils are particularly useful for relieving congestion and promoting easier breathing. Rosemary and peppermint are also commonly used for clearing nasal passages and helping the body to clear out excess phlegm and mucus.
Whether you have a medical condition that impacts your breathing and makes it difficult to clear mucus naturally, or you simply have a cold or some irritating allergies, you might be surprised by how much a hot bath can help. So have a seat, turn on the hot water, and add a few drops of essential oil to the aromatherapy chamber found on many walk-in baths. Then, relax and enjoy some deep, clear breaths.