All of a sudden, you hear it. That nasty, loud sound coming from your little one that just irks your ears. You know what it means… a virus most likely. It interrupts your day and your night, it makes your child irritable, and it leaves you exhausted. Thankfully there’s help… simple, natural help. Keep reading to find out how a steam vaporizer for cough and congestion can help.
That Irritating Cough
Coughs, in my opinion, are obnoxious. They are just plain irritating. They hurt, they’re annoying, and you can’t really control them. Plus, there are so many different types of coughs and natural treatments for each kind… keeping up with it all can feel really overwhelming.
Coughs can also be classified in two different ways. Productive and non-productive.
A productive cough means that each time a cough is made, mucous comes up from the lungs, and is the body’s way of clearing unwanted nasties from the respiratory tract. Many times it’s referred to as a “wet cough”. These are the kinds of coughs that can turn into bronchitis and pneumonia if coughs are suppressed (you don’t cough) or if medicines that keep you from coughing are taken.
A non-productive cough would be the opposite. Nothing comes up, and these are sometimes referred to as a “dry cough”. These are usually a result of an irritant or the signal that a cold is coming to a close.
Either way, both types of coughs can hurt and be really frustrating.
How To Use A Steam Vaporizer For Cough And Congestion
Thankfully there are natural methods that we mamas can use to help our little ones with those coughs. There are many recipes for cough syrups that can help soothe your little one’s throat as well as help the body to get better quicker. The great thing is that you probably have most of these cough ingredients in your kitchen now.
But beyond making a DIY cough syrup, there are other things you can use that will help to loosen congestion in the lungs and soothe those spasm-like coughs.
When your child is congested or coughing a lot, you can always go for the old home remedy of going into the bathroom and turning your shower on to produce steam or even heating a pot of water on the stove and putting yourself and your child safely over the steam that comes up, but with the new steam vaporizers, there’s really no need to go to such drastic measures unless you’re in a pinch.
Using a steam vaporizer is great because it adds moisture and humidity into the air allowing your child to breathe it in. That warm steam helps to loosen the congestion that’s built up in the lungs so your kiddo can better cough it up as well as soothe the throat if it’s dry. There isn’t sufficient enough evidence to show that breathing in steam reduces the duration or severity of a cold, but it sure does have good results when it comes to helping relax coughing fits.
When it comes to choosing a vaporizer, you can go with this cheaper steam vaporizer that can be used to put steam into a whole room or you can use the personal steam vaporizers that give you a good bit of steam right to the face. Just be sure to be careful of getting to close to these so you don’t get burnt… especially with a child.
It’s Heat & Menthol To The Rescue
Now, beyond just using a steam vaporizer to release steam in the room, you can also use them along with some DIY concoctions that can help calm those coughs even more. Most of these concoctions include the use of menthol or camphor essential oil which helps to open the sinuses or at least make you feel like you can breathe better, but you can always go with a synergy blend of oils that’s specific to breathing better. This is the one I have, but doTERRA and Young Living also have really great options too.
One option you have to boost your vaporizer’s effects on congestion and coughs is if you get a vaporizer that has a place for menthol sticks to be inserted, you can either buy them or better yet, make them yourself. You also have the option of putting essential oils in the medicine cup that comes on most vaporizers so that the steam picks up the oils as it comes out and distributes them in the air. Some vaporizers even work when you put the essential oils straight in the water. The only caution with putting your oils in the water is that essential oils tend to damage plastics so it could damage your vaporizer over a period of time. I’d only do that when using the cheaper versions.
UPDATE: Use caution when using menthol essential oils around children under 6 years old. Some children can experience decreased respiration.
Stay tuned to upcoming posts because I’ll be sharing how to make DIY menthol pads soon. Subscribe to the blog posts below so you don’t miss it!!