COMFORT and HOPE in Times of Pandemic

Hydrotheraphy for COVID-19 Patient


Steam Inhalation

The steam inhalation treatment consists of directed water vapor from a source of boiling water to the nose and mouth area.

Purpose and Effects:

  1. To relieve inflammation and congestion of upper respiratory mucous membrane.
  2. To relieve throat of irritation by moistening the air.
  3. To relieve spasmodic breathing. (Asthma, Croup)
  4. To loosen secretions and stimulate discharge of mucous from the throat and lungs.
  5. To relax muscles and relieve coughing.
  6. To keep mucous membranes from excessive drying.


  1. Coughing.
  2. Congestion in lungs, nose and throat.
  3. Throat irritation and dry throat.
  4. Spasmodic breathing as in asthma and croup.
  5. Loosen dry or thick secretions.


  1. Extremely young children or the very aged who may not be able to respond to heat.

Equipment/Things needed:

  1. Tea kettle with boiling water
  2. Newspaper cone
  3. Hot plate
  4. Medication, pine oil, eucalyptus (optional)
  5. Sheet/Blanket
  6. Umbrella


1. Important Considerations.

  1. Check inhalation frequently.
  2. Be careful not to burn patient.
  3. Be extra careful when treating children. See illustration below

2. Preparation for Treatment.

  1. Assemble equipment.
  2. Make sure there are no drafts in the
  3. room and that it is warm.

3. Treatment

  1. Fill tea kettle with boiling water; add
    medication to water
  2. Carry to bedside and place on hot plate.
  3. Cover spout with a cone made of rolled
    newspaper in order to carry steam
    directly tO person’s nose and mouth.


Place a towel over the head and catch the steam with the towel. If the patient
is in bed, use an umbrella to make a tent (see illustration), place umbrella at
head of bed, just above the patient’s head and drape a sheet over it, making sure the paper cone is under the “tent.” Do NOT completely enclose the patient.
d. Have patient breath slowly and deeply.
e. Continue for 30 minutes to 1 hour at least 2-3 times per day.
f. For continuous inhalation, place teakettle
and hot plate on the floor without the
paper cone. This will saturate the air of
the entire room. Or use a vaporiser
beside the bed.

4. Completion of treatment

a. Make sure patient is warm and dry.
b. Encourage patient to rest for at least 12
hour after treatment.

c. This treatment may be given following other treatments such as fomentation to the chest.

© C. Dail, M.D./C. Thomas, Ph.D., Hydrotherapy – Simple treatments for common ailments

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