Does inhaling steam with salt water help bronchitis?

Good morning. I use normal steam anyway to help with my breathing and was wondering if adding celtic or pink salt to the water helps in anyway. Seems to make me feel better or is it just the placebo effect? Or even if it’s not the case, is there any negative effects on health? Just using 1 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl of water. Many Thanks, Danny


Community Answers
  • Janet Plank moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi dannyboy

    I had researched this some time ago, because there were people asking about it. Very similar to your question.

    For alot of people it’s personal preference. However, this is something that they started using on those with Cystic Fibrosis and it did seem to help the children.

    Using salt in a nebulizer or other can sometimes do more harm than good, so it’s important that you talk with your doctor and get his/her recommendation. Remember too, what might be good for one person, might be wrong or harmful to another.

    Let us know what you find out.

    Janet (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi dannyboy and thanks for your post. While we cannot provide medical advice over the internet (for your own safety), your inquiry certainly warrants a comment. Many in our community have opinions about how inhaling steam or salt water-steam seems to help them. Remember that most of our bronchodilator medications are administered via aerosols and so, you may be experiencing the ‘placebo’ effects you mentioned based on those experiences, but without medication. There is an article here on COPD.net that references “salt lamps’ that I thought you might be interested in. You can find it here:https://copd.net/answers/himalayan-salt-lamps/. If inhaling the steam helps you to feel better, I would suggest making certain your physician doesn’t have any other issues with you utilizing it and then follow his suggestions.

    Many years ago, we (as therapists) administered ‘normal saline’ via aerosol to treat all kinds of conditions. There was no evidence to support that common practice and so it’s been largely discontinued. However, there are still patients today who claim they feel much better after using that type of ‘saline therapy’.

    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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