The Department of Health has recently debunked rumors that steam inhalation or ‘suob’ can actually kill Covid-19 or help them recover from the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and even the Centres for Disease Control do not support the claim.
It can, however, spread the virus (if one has) through aerosolization.
But did you know that there are actually health benefits from this practice?
According to a journal published on hindawi.com, warm steam inhalation before bedtime improved sleep quality among adult men. In the study, 17 adult men with mild sleep difficulties and anxiety have participated. It found out that warm steam inhalation before bedtime induced psychological relaxation and increased deep sleep in the early sleep episode. The results suggest that safe and easy inhalation of warm steam via a steam-generating mask may have favorable effects on relaxation and sleep.
Traditionally, the said practice is most widely done to soothe and open the nasal passages and get relief from the symptoms of a cold or sinus infection. While it can’t cure an infection such as the cold of flu, it actually does make one feel a lot better while their body fights it off.
In an article written by Jacquelyn Cafasso, writer and research analyst in the health and pharmaceutical space in healthline.com, which was medically reviewed by Family Medicine Physician Dr. Stacy Sampson, she found out that the process may provide some temporary relief from the symptoms of common colds, flu (influenza), sinus infections (infectious sinusitis), bronchitis and nasal allergies.
“While steam inhalation can provide subjective relief from the symptoms of a cold and other upper respiratory infections, it won’t actually make your infection go away any faster,” Cafasso wrote.
Meanwhile, anecdotal claims steam inhalation helps alleviate headache, congested (stuffy nose), throat infection, breathing problems caused by airway congestion, dry or irritated nasal passages, and cough.