You may have heard that saunas or rather exposure to hot steam can be helpful when it comes to treating cold or flu, but why this might prevent or cure sickness in the first place? Today we’re going to cover that question: “Can sauna help with cold?”. The most common idea is to sweat out cold using heat, or things that can make you sweat like saunas.
There has been much research and theories on how to use heat to treat cold, but most of them were overthrown, and we can’t be sure about it yet. For now, all we know is that the heat will clear you to relieve the nose’s air passages, it can be used as a temporary solution.
We can’t be sure that the viruses will disappear because of the high temperature or just increased sweating. There is not much evidence to it so far, however, there aren’t many adverse effects confirmed also. The adults average 2 to 3 colds per year and children average even more.
Saunas have some benefits, you will be surprised but almost half of them are related to your mental health rather than physical, also it’s a good way to calm your mind and relax your body.
You can reduce the chance to catch a common cold if you use a sauna
In an Austrian study, 25 healthy subjects who regularly used saunas had significantly fewer episodes of common colds than those who did not after almost half a year. This change becomes more significant, especially after 14 weeks of consecutive sauna use once per day. Therefore, in order to fully get that immunity, you will have to be consistent and visit the sauna at least 2 times per week.
After all of that, we can say that sauna can make your immunity system more resistant to catching a common cold or flu.
The ancient saunas
The first saunas ever human-made were simple caves that were closed with animal skins to lock the air inside, then the fire was covered in stones to make them hot, then those hot stones were poured with water to create steam. The more archeologists look, the more they find evidence of saunas across the ancient world. Many civilizations had some sort of thing that is similar to our modern sauna. They believed in their healing powers, as well as a way to stop the process of aging.
Can hot steam treat colds?
It’s common knowledge that hot steam can help treat a cold, but is that true? Hot steam, such as what’s found in a steam sauna or hot shower can actuallybe helpful somehow.
There has been a study about this topic in 2017 that totally undermined this belief. Six trials found that being exposed to hot, humid air was neither beneficial norharmful for healthy people and those with the common cold. Any steam inhalation can put the risk of scalding or burning from steam, air, or even water that can be simply too hot for our air passages. So it was only a myth all along, that we can finally forget about.
In summary – can sauna help with cold?
Yes, but no after you are already sick, a sauna can help you only if you want to prevent any future infection. Saunas have been with us for many ages but even until these days we are not sure why the ancients used them, and we have yet to uncover many mysteries about them, but for now, almost none of the benefits we have found are related to treating a common cold. If you are already sick then check out our new article about foods that you should eat when you have colds.