The positive effects of regular sauna bathing on body and soul are undisputed. Especially in times like these it is important to strengthen the immune system. Find out below what going to the sauna or dry salt inhalation do against viruses and how to protect and strengthen your immune system.
In recent weeks, we’ve received more questions than ever about the health benefits of saunas. For this reason, we are pleased to announce that Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Ludwig Resch from the German Institute for Health Research in Bad Elster answered our questions about how sauna heat and dry salt inhalation can work against the coronavirus. In recent weeks, he has been intensively studying the SARS-CoV-2 viruses and ways to reduce these viruses as quickly and easily as possible.
The coronavirus and its course
The "new coronavirus", now usually referred to as "SARS-CoV-2", belongs to a type of virus that (so far) has mainly attacked the respiratory tract and caused damage there. Much can only be surmised at this point, assuming that SARS-CoV-2 behaves as other viruses – especially those that cause equally acute respiratory illnesses – are known to do.
What happens when you get infected with COVID-19?
The so-called droplet infection is probably by far the most important transmission route. This would also explain why the SARS-CoV-2 virus typically spreads first in the nasopharynx. Any virus particles contained in the droplet dock to the cells of the mucous membrane in a clever way with special "arms. By the way, these arms gave the viruses their name: Corona, Latin for "the crown," describing the spherical outer shape with the "contact arms".
Once the virus has succeeded in docking with a cell that is suitable for it, it penetrates the cell and forces it to make copies of the virus in large numbers and to expel them. As a result, the hijacked cells are severely damaged and die off. The resulting damage explains the painful symptoms such as sore throat or cough, the incipient defensive activities of the body’s immune system are the main reason for the accompanying fever.
If the virus succeeds in establishing itself deep in the lungs, the associated damage to the cells has completely different consequences. Where the exchange of oxygen takes place, only a thin layer of cells lies between "inside and outside". If this is damaged, a barn door opens through which pathogens can enter the body.
Sauna bathing against the coronavirus?
A visit to the sauna can make a difference from a medical point of view and in several ways. One of the few things that can be assumed to be certain about the SARS-CoV-2 virus is that it usually first settles in the nasopharynx.
Now it is also known that coronaviruses in general and also the new SARS-CoV-2 virus are quite sensitive to heat. And for sauna, it is well known that "the hot air in the sauna room affects the skin and respiratory tract". Anyone who has experienced a "real" infusion ritual will be able to confirm this. It is therefore quite conceivable that viruses are inactivated in the upper respiratory tract with every breath taken in the sauna.
The strong heat stimulus – and also the usual clear cold stimulus after every sauna session – have reliable and immediate effects on the part of our immune system that is currently particularly important.
Effect of essential oils in sauna infusion?
The smell of many essential oils is perceived as pleasant by most people. However, there are also scientific studies that show that essential oils have multiple and relevant positive effects on health. A smell that is subjectively perceived as pleasant induces in the body an increased production and release of many other substances that are active directly or as messenger substances, e.g.B. the recently so popular "happiness hormone" oxytocin, which in turn develop significant positive effects on the immune system.
Easier to imagine here are the immediate effects of these oils, which are far better researched and described than is commonly expected. There are many effects of essential oils against bacteria and fungi, but also against viruses and here specifically against smog, which have been proven by scientific studies. RNA viruses, to which the coronaviruses also belong.
" After 6 months of regular sauna use, susceptibility to colds can drop by 50%. "
Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Ludwig Resch