COVID-19: Dr warns against excessive steaming

COVID-19: Dr warns against excessive steaming

Can steaming help prevent the coronavirus or help cure it? Doctor Manoko Mabotja from Curewise Medical Center in Gauteng shares advice about when steaming can become a problem and when it is needed.

Steaming / iStock

There is no cure for the coronavirus, however, there are many home remedies that people with underlying conditions have been using.

READ: COVID-19: At what age should children wear masks?

One of the most common methods is steaming.

Does steaming cure or prevent the coronavirus?

Many people believe that steaming helps prevent COVID-19. Doctor Mabotja says, “Steaming does not prevent a person from contracting the coronavirus. It does not even kill the virus as most people believe.”

The medical doctor says steaming just helps open the airways.

“Steaming once in a while is good because it opens the airway, but overdoing like many people are doing it is not right,” warns the doctor.

How often should you steam?

Some people believe that steaming should be done daily. Others believe that one should steam after being in environments that could have put them at risk of contracting the virus.

Doctor Mabotja says steaming daily is not recommended and can even cause more harm than good.

The dangers of over-steaming

“Over-steaming may lead to dehydration because as you steam, you lose a lot of body fluid." She says to avoid that, you will need to drink water regularly.

Besides the dehydration, the doctor warns that steaming opens the sweat glands and if you do it excessively, it can lead to dry skin.

Another danger which she warns about is the damage over-steaming can cause to the lungs.

She says excessive steaming can lead to “a lot of humidity in the lungs” which might damage your lungs in the future.

Which products are best for steaming?

There are many products on the market that are said to help open up the lungs during steaming.

Dr Mabotja says it is important to speak to your health practitioner before using any product.

“We need vapour to open the airways, just water alone will still work. As for many other things, they should discuss with their doctors. Medically there is no single product that is deemed the one.”

READ: What we know about SA's coronavirus variant

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