Is Sauna Good for Cold? Benefits and Risks of Using Sauna for Cold

When the cold weather hits, we all want to stay warm and cozy indoors, but what if I told you that there is a way to heat up your body naturally that could also improve your health? That’s right; I’m talking about sauna therapy. Many of us associate saunas with luxury spas or gyms, but sauna sessions can offer a range of health benefits, including easing the symptoms of colds. But first, let’s understand what happens to our bodies when we catch a cold.

A cold is a viral infection that affects our respiratory system, causing symptoms such as coughs, a runny nose, and congestion. Our immune system kicks into gear to fight off the virus, leaving us feeling drained and lethargic. But, did you know that the heat from a sauna can help to alleviate some of those uncomfortable cold symptoms? That’s right! Not only is sauna therapy a fantastic way to unwind and relax, but it could also work wonders for your health.

You might be wondering how sitting in a hot room could help a cold, but research shows that the heat can help to increase circulation, stimulate the production of white blood cells, and loosen mucus, making it easier to breathe and cough up phlegm. So, if you’re feeling under the weather, rather than reaching for a hot toddy or over-the-counter medication, consider a sauna session to give your body a boost and help ease those pesky cold symptoms.

The Benefits of Sauna for Colds

Can regular visits to the sauna actually help you fend off those pesky winter colds? Recent studies suggest that it just might. Here are some of the benefits of sauna for those battling a cold:

  • Relief from sinus congestion: The steam and heat generated in a sauna can help open up your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe and release mucus buildup that can cause congestion.
  • Increased circulation: Saunas can promote increased blood flow and circulation, which can help your immune system fight off colds faster.
  • Sweating out toxins: The high temperatures in a sauna can induce sweating, which can help eliminate toxins and bacteria from your body. This can be especially beneficial when fighting off a cold virus.

While it’s important to note that saunas are not a cure for the common cold, they can certainly help alleviate the symptoms and provide some relief. Just be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session to prevent dehydration.

How Sauna Helps Boost Immune System

Sauna is a popular way of relaxing and rejuvenating body and mind. But did you know that it’s also effective in boosting our immune system? Here’s how:

  • Sweating: Sauna induces heavy sweating, which helps flush out toxins and impurities from our body. This not only cleanses our skin but also improves blood circulation and cellular metabolism. Moreover, sweating also helps expel harmful bacteria and viruses, which ultimately leads to strengthening our immune system.
  • Heat Stress: When we expose our body to heat stress, it triggers the production of heat shock proteins. These proteins help repair damaged cells and activate immune cells, ultimately increasing their efficiency. Heat stress also increases the number of white blood cells in our body, which are vital for the immune system to function optimally.
  • Cold Resistance: Regular sauna use also induces a state of cold resistance. Studies have shown that after just four weeks of regular sauna sessions, the body’s immune response to a cold virus infection is significantly improved.

The Science Behind Sauna and Immune System

Sauna has been studied intensively by researchers worldwide for its benefits, including boosting immunity. A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that sauna improves our bodies’ natural defense mechanisms and increases the number of T-cells, which are vital for immune response. Furthermore, it was concluded that regular sauna use can strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of infections and diseases.

Another study published in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health found that repeated sauna visits can increase the production of white blood cells and positively impact the body’s defense mechanisms. This increased resistance to infections and illnesses was noted in people who regularly visited saunas compared to those who did not.

The Bottom Line

Sauna is an excellent way to unwind and relax, but its benefits go beyond just mental relaxation. Evidence suggests that sauna can help boost our immune system, which is critical for our overall health and well-being. So, the next time you visit a sauna, just remember that you’re not only relaxing your mind and body, but also improving your body’s natural defense mechanisms against infections and diseases.

Benefits of Sauna for Immune System
Flushes out toxins and impurities from the body
Improves blood circulation and cellular metabolism
Expels harmful bacteria and viruses
Activates immune cells and increases their efficiency
Increases the number of white blood cells in the body
Strengthens the body’s natural defense mechanisms

So next time, you want to ward off illness or make your immune system stronger, try taking a dip in the sauna.

The effect of sauna on respiratory system during a cold

As we all know, cold and flu can be excruciatingly painful. When a person is down with a cold, it can lead to a blocked or runny nose, a sore throat, cough and various other complications. While there is no cure for the common cold, treatments like medications, herbal remedies, and steam inhalation are often suggested to alleviate symptoms.

One such remedy is the sauna. Spending time in a hot sauna can help with a cold, but how good is it for the respiratory system? Let’s take a look at some of the effects of sauna on the respiratory system during a cold:

  • Improved nasal breathing: When the inside of your nostrils is swollen due to a cold, breathing through your nose can be a challenge. Sitting in a sauna for around 20 minutes can help to improve nasal breathing by opening up the nasal passages.
  • Reduced inflammation: The heat from a sauna can help reduce inflammation in airways and nasal passages, which can lead to easier breathing. The steam in the sauna can help clear mucus from your lungs and airways. This can be very helpful if you are susceptible to bronchitis or asthma, which can be triggered by colds.
  • Soothing effect: Being in a sauna can have a soothing effect on the respiratory system, especially when you have a cold. The dry heat from a sauna can help break up mucus in the lungs and airways. This can be very helpful if you are experiencing coughing fits.

In summary, taking time in the sauna while suffering from a cold can have some positive effects on the respiratory system. It can help improve nasal breathing and soothe inflammation by reducing mucus build-up in the lungs and airways.

However, it’s important to note that if you have a fever from your cold or flu, you should avoid using the sauna until your fever has subsided. Additionally, using the sauna for an extended period of time can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to stay hydrated before and after your time in the sauna.

So, if you have a cold, you can try taking a trip to the sauna for some relief. Just remember to stay hydrated and avoid spending too much time in the sauna, especially if you have a fever.

Effect Benefit
Improved nasal breathing Relief from nasal congestion
Reduced inflammation Easier breathing and relief from asthma and bronchitis symptoms
Soothing effect Reduces mucus build-up and relieves coughing fits

Table: Benefits of sauna on respiratory system during a cold.

Sauna as a Natural Remedy for Cold Symptoms

Sauna, a small room used as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for various conditions. One of the benefits of sauna is its ability to relieve symptoms of the common cold. Here are some reasons why sauna is considered a natural remedy for cold symptoms:

  • Relieves congestion: The heat in the sauna can help alleviate respiratory congestion by causing the blood vessels in the nose and throat to dilate, allowing for better airflow. This can help reduce nasal inflammation and help in the clearing of the nasal passages.
  • Boosts the immune system: Sauna sessions have been found to stimulate the body’s immune system response, promoting the production of white blood cells which help fight off infections like colds and flu.
  • Increases metabolism: Our body temperature increases during sauna use, leading to an increase in metabolism which can help kill off viruses and bacteria.

Besides the points mentioned above, taking a sauna when you’re feeling under the weather comes with various benefits. Here are some additional reasons to consider taking a sauna when you have a cold:

  • Sauna can help you relax and relieve stress, which can be beneficial for your overall well-being.
  • Sauna can help improve your sleep, which is important for your immune function and overall recovery from illness.
  • Sauna can help you stay hydrated, which is essential for combating cold symptoms such as sore throat and dry cough.

If you’re planning to take a sauna when you have a cold, be sure to check with your doctor first if it is safe for you. Since high heat can cause dehydration, it’s essential to drink plenty of water before and after the sauna session. Also, make sure you don’t overdo the duration of the session and take breaks as needed.

Precautions to take while using Sauna during Cold Things to keep in mind:
Consult with your doctor prior to use Make sure it’s safe for you to use sauna
Do not use sauna if you’re running a fever High heat can make you even sicker if you have a fever
Limit your session duration Recommended sauna session duration is between 10-20 minutes
Stay hydrated Drink plenty of water before and after using a sauna

Taking a sauna as a natural remedy for cold symptoms can be a great idea if done with caution and care. However, if you’re experiencing severe cold symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor before undergoing any kind of heat therapy.

Sauna’s Impact on Reducing Inflammation Caused By Colds

When you catch a cold, your immune system triggers an inflammatory response to fight the infection. While this response is necessary to recover, it can also lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as sinus pressure, headaches, and muscle aches. Fortunately, saunas have been found to have a positive impact on reducing inflammation caused by colds.

  • Heat therapy: Saunas create heat that penetrates deep into your tissues, which can increase blood flow and circulation. This increase in blood flow can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of a cold.
  • Boosts immune system: Saunas stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which can help fight off infections. When your immune system is working optimally, it can better manage inflammation in the body.
  • Releases toxins: Saunas induce sweating, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body. This can be especially beneficial when fighting a cold, as toxins can contribute to inflammation and worsen symptoms.

In addition to the benefits listed above, saunas have also been found to have a positive impact on respiratory health. A study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology found that regular sauna use can improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases.

While saunas have shown to be beneficial for reducing inflammation caused by colds, it’s important to note that they are not a cure for the common cold. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications are still essential for a full recovery. However, adding sauna therapy to your cold-fighting regimen can help to alleviate symptoms and promote a faster recovery.

Benefits of Sauna on Reducing Inflammation Explanation
Increases blood flow and circulation Increase in blood flow helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of a cold.
Boosts immune system Increase the production of white blood cells, which can help fight off infections and manage inflammation in the body.
Eliminates toxins from body Toxins can contribute to inflammation and aggravate symptoms, eliminating them help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Improves respiratory health Studies have shown regular sauna use can improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases.

In conclusion, saunas can have a positive impact on reducing inflammation caused by colds. Heat therapy, immune system stimulation, and toxin elimination are just a few of the ways saunas can help alleviate cold symptoms and promote a faster recovery. However, saunas should not be relied upon as a sole treatment for the common cold, and it’s important to stay well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and use over-the-counter medications as needed.

Optimal duration and frequency of sauna for cold relief

Many people swear by the healing properties of a sauna when it comes to relieving cold symptoms. However, it’s important to understand the optimal duration and frequency of sauna sessions in order to reap the maximum benefits.

  • The recommended duration of a sauna session for cold relief is between 10-20 minutes. Staying in the sauna for longer periods of time can actually be counterproductive and make your symptoms worse.
  • It’s also important to space out your sauna sessions appropriately. Ideally, you should wait at least 30 minutes after your first sauna session before taking another one.
  • If you’re new to saunas or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before beginning any sauna regimen. They can help you determine the best duration and frequency of sauna sessions for your specific situation.

Overall, saunas can be a great way to relieve cold symptoms and promote overall health and wellness. By following these guidelines for optimal duration and frequency, you can maximize the benefits of your sauna sessions and feel better in no time.

For more detailed recommendations, refer to this table:

Duration of Sauna Session Frequency of Sauna Sessions
10-15 minutes Once every 1-2 days
15-20 minutes Once every 2-3 days
20-30 minutes Once every 3-4 days

Remember, the key to using a sauna for cold relief is to listen to your body and not overdo it. Stick to these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to feeling better in no time.

Sauna vs. Steam Room for Cold Relief

When it comes to relieving the symptoms of a cold, both a sauna and steam room can be beneficial. They both produce heat, which can help ease congestion, reduce inflammation, and improve overall respiratory function. However, there are some key differences between the two that may make one more effective than the other.

  • Humidity – The most notable difference between a sauna and steam room is the level of humidity. A steam room produces moist heat while a sauna produces dry heat. If you have a dry cough and/or dry nasal passages, a sauna may be a better option as it can help moisten the mucous membranes and make it easier to breathe. If you have a wet cough and/or a lot of congestion, a steam room may be more effective as the moist heat can help break up phlegm and mucus.
  • Temperature – Both a sauna and steam room produce high temperatures, but a sauna tends to be hotter with temperatures ranging from 160-200°F (71-93°C) while a steam room ranges from 110-120°F (43-49°C). The higher temperatures of a sauna may be better for improving overall respiratory function and helping to fight off viruses and bacteria. However, if you are more sensitive to heat, a steam room may be a more comfortable option.
  • Duration – When it comes to using a sauna or steam room, duration is key. A typical session in a sauna is around 10-20 minutes while a steam room session may last around 20-30 minutes. It’s important to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the time as your body becomes accustomed to the heat. Overdoing it can actually weaken the immune system and make cold symptoms worse.

Potential Risks and Precautions When Using Sauna for Colds

Sauna has been used for centuries as a method of relaxation and healing. It is said to have numerous health benefits such as reducing stress, improving circulation, detoxification, and even boosting the body’s immunity. However, using sauna for colds is a topic of debate among the medical community. While sauna can help relieve cold symptoms like congestion and coughing, it also poses certain risks that need to be addressed.

  • Dehydration – Sauna causes sweating, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of colds and even lead to more severe health problems. Therefore, it is crucial to drink plenty of water before and after using the sauna.
  • Increased Heart Rate – Sauna can cause an increase in heart rate, which may not be suitable for people with heart problems. Patients who have severe cold symptoms and a history of heart disease should consult their medical practitioner before using the sauna for colds.
  • Interactions with Medications – Certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and other prescription drugs, can have adverse effects when taken before or after using the sauna. It is always best to consult with a medical practitioner before combining medications with sauna use.

Below is a table that includes some of the precautions while using the sauna for colds:

Precautions Actions
Stay Hydrated Drink plenty of water before and after using the sauna. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before and after sauna use, which can cause dehydration.
Avoid Using Sauna when Sick One should avoid going to the sauna when he or she is feeling sick or showing symptoms of cold. The sauna room can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, which can make the cold worse or cause other complications like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Limit Session Time Staying too long in the sauna can be harmful, especially for those with health conditions. Limit time inside and immediately exit if you feel any discomfort, lightheaded or dizzy.
Avoid Sauna Alone It is always best to use the sauna with other people than alone. In case of an emergency, it is safer to have someone nearby to help.

While sauna use may have benefits for colds, it is essential to be cautious to avoid complications. It is best to talk to a medical practitioner before starting any sauna treatment, especially if you have underlying health conditions. People should also pay attention to their body’s reaction to the sauna and exit immediately if they feel any discomfort or adverse symptoms.

Scientific evidence supporting the use of sauna for colds

Many people swear by the benefits of a sauna when they have a cold. But is there any scientific evidence to support this claim? Here are some findings:

  • A study published in the Annals of Medicine showed that sauna use can help prevent colds and reduce their severity. Researchers found that taking saunas once or twice a week reduced the incidence of common colds by 30 percent and their duration by over 40 percent.
  • Another study conducted in Finland found that regular sauna use lowered the risk of respiratory infections. Participants who used a sauna at least once a week had a 23 percent lower risk of developing pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
  • Research has also shown that exposure to heat can boost the immune system. One study found that people who used a sauna twice a week had higher levels of white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off viruses and infections.

Aside from these studies, there are also other potential benefits of sauna use that may help with cold symptoms. These include:

  • Relief of nasal congestion: The heat and steam in a sauna can help open up nasal passages, making it easier to breathe and reducing congestion.
  • Reduced inflammation: Sauna use has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a common symptom of a cold or infection.
  • Stress relief: A sauna session can be relaxing and help reduce stress levels, which may be beneficial for immune function and overall health.

In conclusion, there is scientific evidence to support the use of sauna for colds and other respiratory infections. Its potential benefits include immune system boosting, reduction of nasal congestion, reduced inflammation, and stress relief. So, next time you come down with a cold, consider taking a trip to the sauna and see if it helps alleviate your symptoms.


Study Journal Date
Sauna use reduces the risk of respiratory infections: a long-term prospective cohort study Pneumonia 2017
Sauna bathing reduces the risk of common colds in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial Annals of Medicine 2015
The effects of repeated sauna treatment on leukocyte, cortisol and growth hormone levels in healthy young men Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2002

Sauna therapy in combination with other natural remedies for cold relief.

Sauna therapy has been known to provide relief to individuals seeking to alleviate the symptoms of a cold. This therapy involves subjecting oneself to high temperatures, typically in a sauna room for a set period. While the heat from the sauna can help to loosen up the congestion in the chest, it works even better when combined with other natural remedies.

Here are some natural remedies that can be combined with sauna therapy to help relieve cold symptoms:

  • Vitamin C: Intake of vitamin C can help shorten the duration of a cold and alleviate its symptoms. Foods such as oranges, kiwis, and bell peppers are rich in vitamin C.
  • Fluids: Drinking fluids such as water, herbal teas, and broths help keep the body hydrated and soften mucous, making it easier to clear.
  • Ginger: Adding ginger to herbal teas or incorporating it into meals can help reduce inflammation and nausea associated with colds. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for treating colds.

Combining sauna therapy with other natural remedies can help to produce the desired results effectively. Here are some additional tips to follow when using sauna therapy:

1. Hydrate: Drinking lots of fluids is essential, particularly when using sauna therapy. This is because excessive sweating can lead to dehydration, which can worsen cold symptoms.

2. Start Slow: For individuals new to sauna therapy, it is advisable to start slow by gradually increasing the time spent in the sauna. Starting with a few minutes and gradually increasing to 15-20 minutes can help your body adjust to the change in temperature.

3. Listen to Your Body: When using sauna therapy, it’s important to listen to your body. If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, it’s best to exit the sauna and rest for a bit before trying again.

Sauna therapy in combination with other natural remedies for cold relief Benefits
Sauna therapy & Vitamin C Can help shorten the duration of a cold
Sauna therapy & Fluids Keeps the body hydrated and removes mucous effectively
Sauna therapy & Ginger Effective anti-inflammatory for treating colds

When combined with other natural remedies, sauna therapy can help you breathe easier and reduce the duration of your cold. Additionally, it can help you to relax and relieve fatigue, which are common symptoms associated with a cold.

Time to Sweat That Cold Out

So, is sauna good for cold? The answer is yes, it definitely can be. While it’s not a cure-all, sweating in a sauna can help reduce the symptoms associated with a cold and even boost your immune system. Just remember to stay safe, stay hydrated, and consult with a doctor if you have any concerns. With that said, thanks for taking the time to read this article and I hope you come back for more health-related tips and information in the future. Stay healthy!