Already in the 19th century recommended the pastor Sebastian Kneipp cold water for health promotion. Today, many people regularly go to the sauna and steam room, harden themselves with alternating showers or use cold wraps in case of fever or colds. If used correctly, heat and cold can be used efficiently to strengthen the immune system or relieve physical discomfort. We'll give you seven hot-cold methods that can help you, for example, to treat sore throats or sleep disorders.
The Finnish sauna is considered the classic means of strengthening the immune system. At temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees Celsius in dry air, the metabolism is boosted and toxins are sweated out. By cooling in the fresh air or cold showers between the sauna sessions, the blood vessels are trained and the skin tightened. In addition to the physical effects, most people usually experience deep relaxation, reassurance and general well-being after a sauna visit. With a full-blown cold or a viral infection, however, you should avoid the sauna better. The health-promoting effect of a sauna visit is only for healthy or slightly damaged people who can strengthen their immune system through the heat.
If the sauna is too strenuous, it can achieve similar effects in a steam bath at moderate temperatures: The warm steam relaxes, loosens the muscles and protects the circulation. For colds, cough or sore throat, a hot steam bath is better. Serve with a bowl of hot water and a few drops of chamomile essence or eucalyptus oil. Then hold your head over the bowl, spread a towel over your head and bowl so that no steam escapes as possible and for ten minutes take deep breaths deeply through your nose and mouth. In this way, cough and runny nose are alleviated and the mucous membranes moistened. The facial skin, which is often irritated by the nose, also receives gentle care from the warm steam. Pimples and blackheads are eliminated by the anti-inflammatory effect of chamomile.
Whether warm or cold, a damp wrap is one of the oldest home remedies for a wide variety of diseases. According to Sebastian Kneipp, a wrap should consist of a damp cloth, which is then enclosed with a dry cotton cloth. Finally, a soft woolen cloth over it and the heat or cold is optimally isolated. Especially in case of fever, a cool calf wrap is a popular way to remove some heat from the overheated body. But swelling and insect bites can be mitigated by the pleasant coolness. Warm compresses, on the other hand, have a relaxing effect on the blood circulation and can relieve discomfort in osteoarthritis. When you catch a cold around your neck, a warm wrap with chamomile supplement can be an expectorant.