Did you know that breathing in salty air could help detox your lungs?

Our lungs–and ability to breathe freely–take quite a beating due to the myriad pollutants in the air.

Therefore, we must do whatever we can to keep ourselves healthy. Detoxing our bodies, minds, and spirits will allow us to thrive and put our best selves forward.

You might not think twice about it, but you breathe in thousands of different chemicals daily. These range from ozone to fine particulate to industrial pollution such as nitrogen dioxide.

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After inhaling these pollutants for years, they can affect our health. However, scientists have found that one way to combat environmental toxins involves halotherapy.

Halotherapy is a fancy word for breathing in salty air to improve lung function. Salt therapy has been around since medieval times, but it’s grown in popularity today.

For instance, salt caves and rooms claiming to cure various ailments have begun popping up worldwide. Not all of the purported benefits have been proven by science, but some studies have shown promise in treating certain lung conditions.

Some claim that halotherapy can detox your lungs and treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Others believe that it can help with the following:

  • ease symptoms from smoking, such as cough and breathing problems
  • reduce depression and anxiety
  • treat flareups from skin conditions like acne and psoriasis

The benefits of salt come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also anti-allergenic and can boost the immune system by helping to keep your electrolytes balanced.

In addition, salt keeps you hydrated and increases vascular system function. We all need salt to survive, but breathing it in can offer certain benefits you can’t get through diet alone.

How Salt Therapy Could Detox Your Lungs


Depending on your preference, you can use either wet or dry methods to enjoy halotherapy.

Dry Methods

The dry method of halotherapy usually involves a salt cave or room that doesn’t have humidity. Owners of the salt caves keep the temperature at 68°F (20°C) or lower to provide the perfect relaxing environment. Salt rooms can help detox your lungs, improve breathing, fight infections, and promote healthier skin.

Most sessions last about 30-45 minutes, but some people opt for longer treatments because of the calming atmosphere.

The salt cave’s successful mechanism involves a device known as a halogenerator. The machine grinds salt into tiny particles and releases them into the room.

As visitors inhale the particles, the salt absorbs toxins from the respiratory system. Proponents of salt rooms claim that it also clears mucus from the airways and lowers inflammation.

Since relaxation actively reduces inflammatory proteins, it’s easy to see why stressed people find relief in salt caves. The salt in the air can also improve skin health by removing bacteria that cause many skin conditions.

Wet Methods

Some people practice halotherapy by using a combination of salt and water. For instance, they may drink, gargle, or bathe in salt water to boost immunity and calm the nervous system.

Other people use salt water to clear mucus from the nasal passageways. Finally, flotation or sensory deprivation tanks filled with salt water have become increasingly popular.

While more people explore alternative therapies such as halotherapy, science on the subject is limited. A few studies have found the benefits of salt therapy, while others have inconclusive findings. The available research on salt therapy includes the following:

  • In a 2007 study, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had reduced symptoms and improved well-being after salt therapy. However, the Lung Institute doesn’t recommend it since no medical guidelines exist.
  • Unfortunately, a 2013 study found that halotherapy didn’t improve lung function or quality of life in people with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. This condition causes mucus to build up in the lungs.
  • Salt therapy causes anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic responses in people with chronic bronchitis or bronchial asthma, according to a 2014 study.
  • Nearly all research on salt therapy for psychiatric or skin conditions involves anecdotal evidence. Until peer-reviewed studies are available on the subject, it’s unclear whether salt therapy can improve these conditions. However, relaxation can improve your mood and lower stress levels. Whether you choose salt therapy, meditation, yoga, or another technique, it’s important to practice self-care.

Other Ways to Detox Your Lungs and Breathe Better

Maybe you don’t have access to a salt cave to help detox your lungs. You can still receive the same benefits using other methods, such as the ones below.

#1. Quit smoking. Carcinogens from cigarette smoke introduce thousands of toxins into the lungs. Smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for 80-85% of all lung cancer deaths.

#2. Eat a well-balanced diet. Another way to detox your lungs include eating an antioxidant-rich diet. In general, stick to fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and low-fat dairy for the best results.

#3. Exercise regularly. Exercise remains one of the best ways to detox our entire bodies, including our minds. Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

#4. Ensure you have a well-ventilated environment. Also, if you work around dangerous chemicals, ensure your employer offers proper protective gear.

#5. Breathe better. Most of us breathe in a shallow, hurried manner due to our fast-paced lives. However, this constantly keeps us in fight-or-flight mode, wreaking havoc on the nervous system. Try to breathe more slowly and deeply, and notice how you feel better.


Final Thoughts on How Salt Therapy Can Detox Your Lungs

While the science isn’t conclusive on whether salt therapy can improve breathing, a small study found it can reduce COPD symptoms. Another study found that people with asthma and bronchitis can benefit from halotherapy.

Even if you don’t use salt therapy to detox your lungs and breathe better, it offers other health advantages.

For one, being in a salt cave or bathing in salt can lower stress levels. Since we live in a hectic world, halotherapy offers an inexpensive, accessible way to calm our nerves.

Whether you believe halotherapy can improve your lungs and help you breathe easier or not, it might be at least worth a try.