A salt pipe is an inhaler containing salt particles. Salt pipes can be used in salt therapy, also known as halotherapy.
Halotherapy is an alternative treatment of breathing salty air that, according to anecdotal evidence and some advocates of natural healing, may ease:
- respiratory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and bronchitis
- psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression
- skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis
Keep reading to learn more about salt pipes, whether or not they can relieve certain health conditions, and how to use them.
Salt Pipes and Asthma
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AFFA) suggests that it’s unlikely that halotherapy will make your asthma better.
The AFFA also indicates that halotherapy is “likely safe” for the majority of people with asthma. However, because reactions can vary for different people, they suggest that patients with asthma avoid halotherapy.
Do salt inhalers work?
The American Lung Association (ALA) suggests that salt therapy may offer relief to certain COPD symptoms by thinning mucus and making it easier to cough up.
That said, the ALA indicates that there are “no evidence-based findings to create guidelines for patients and clinicians about treatments such as salt therapy.”
A 2013 study Trusted Source of the effect of 2 months of halotherapy on patients with bronchiectasis who didn’t have cystic fibrosis indicated that salt therapy didn’t affect either lung function tests or quality of life.
A 2013 review published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease found insufficient evidence to recommend the inclusion of halotherapy for COPD.
The review suggested that high-quality studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of salt therapy for COPD.
How to use a salt pipe
Here’s how to use a salt pipe:
- If your salt inhaler doesn’t come prefilled with salt, place salt crystals in the chamber at the bottom of the salt pipe.
- Breathe through the opening at the top of the salt pipe, slowly drawing the salt-infused air deep into your lungs. Many advocates of salt pipes suggest breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose.
- Many advocates of salt pipes suggest holding the salt air for 1 or 2 seconds before exhaling and using your salt pipe for 15 minutes each day.
Check with your doctor before using a salt pipe or any other salt therapy method.
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Cleanses the Respiratory System
If you are living with asthma or another respiratory ailment, a himalayan salt inhaler may be an invaluable resource. It can cleanse the respiratory system and provide relief during breathing. A himalayan salt inhaler may temporarily relieve symptoms associated with asthma, allergies, sinus conditions, and hay fever.
When salt particles are inhaled through a himalayan salt inhaler, they make their way on the linings of the airway and draw water into it. This thins the mucus and helps the body clear it so that you can breathe easier.
Studies have found that a Himalayan salt lamp may increase levels of serotonin, which is a chemical that helps relieve stress, boost energy, and alleviate depression. It may revitalize and re-energize the body.
Himalayan salt lamps and inhalers may improve sleep by calming your response to stress. Stress generates cortisol, which obstructs the flow of melatonin, the sleep hormone. When your stress response is reset, your body may produce melatonin and tell your brain it’s time for bed.
While salt therapy from himalayan salt lamps and inhalers may provide some noteworthy benefits, you should discuss them with your doctor before using them as treatments for any respiratory problems you may have. They are often recommended as part of a treatment plan and should not be used as the sole treatments for respiratory conditions.