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  • Writer's pictureDr. David Della Morte Canosci


Thermal water is not just your ordinary tap water or bottled water. It is a special type of water that emerges from natural springs and is rich in minerals and elements that are beneficial for our health. Italy, in particular, is blessed with numerous thermal springs throughout its territory, making it a haven for thermal water enthusiasts. In addition to being soothing and relaxing, thermal water also possesses therapeutic properties and can be used for various treatments, including respiratory diseases.

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Thermal water has been revered for its healing properties since ancient times. The use of thermal water for medicinal purposes dates back to Greek civilization, where its therapeutic virtues were widely recognized. The formation of thermal water is part of a complex hydrogeological cycle. Rainwater seeps deep into the ground, absorbing minerals and elements present in the earth, and resurfaces through natural springs with unique mineral content and temperatures suitable for therapeutic use.


Thermal water can be utilized in various ways for therapeutic purposes. It can be ingested, used for compresses, hot and cold baths, steam inhalation, and showers. It forms the basis of treatments such as balneotherapy and mud therapy. However, for the treatment of respiratory diseases, thermal waters with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties are particularly recommended. These waters are beneficial for the prevention and treatment of respiratory and otorhinolaryngological conditions such as nasal and sinus inflammations, bronchitis, sinusitis, otitis, vasomotor rhinopathy, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tubal stenosis.


There are several inhalation therapies utilizing thermal water, each with its own specific characteristics and benefits. The choice of therapy depends on the individual's condition and is determined by a medical professional. Some of the main inhalation therapies include:

  1. Inhalations: In this therapy, thermal mineral water, usually warm and moist, is fragmented into micro-particles and inhaled through the nose and/or mouth using a specialized delivery device. This allows the water to reach the upper respiratory tract and the respiratory system.

  2. Aerosol: Thermal water is finely nebulized, producing tiny particles that can penetrate deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the pulmonary alveoli. To inhale the "mist," a person can use a mask, nasal fork, or mouthpiece connected to the nebulizer via a rubber connector.

  3. Humages: Humages therapy utilizes the naturally occurring sulphurous gas released by thermal water or intentionally added to it. It can be performed individually or in collective environments where the water is introduced as steam, mist, or droplets.

  4. Nebulizations: Nebulizations transform thermal water into a mist of varying particle sizes, which can reach different parts of the respiratory system. Similar to nebulizers, nebulizations can be done individually or in a collective chamber.

  5. Pulverizations: Pulverizations dissociate the saline ions and gases from thermal water, forming a solvent-free aerosol that is highly effective. Like nebulizations and humages, pulverizations can be performed individually or in a collective setting.

  6. Nasal Irrigations: Nasal irrigations involve the low to medium-pressure introduction of thermal water alternately into one nostril and out of the other, cleansing the nasal mucosa. An olive-shaped nasal device is used for this treatment, and the patient should keep their head tilted.

  7. Throat Sprays: Thermal water is transformed into coarse particles and directed into the oral cavity for a few minutes using a specialized device.

  8. Nasopharyngeal and Eustachian Tube Insufflations: In this therapy, the gases of thermal water are directly delivered to the nasal cavity or pharynx through a catheter inserted into the nostril or nasal olive devices.

  9. Micronized Showers: This treatment involves the continuous flow of thermal water into the nasal cavities, delivered through a special device connected to ampoules that adhere to the nostrils.

  10. Politzer Crenotherapy: In this therapy, the gases of thermal water are directed into the patient's nasal cavity using a glass or plastic olive. The patient swallows repeatedly, allowing the gas to reach the tympanic cavity through the Eustachian tube.


Thermal water therapies have proven to be effective in preventing and treating various respiratory conditions. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Action: Thermal waters with anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, providing relief from conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

  2. Mucolytic Effect: Inhalation of thermal water can help loosen and clear mucus secretions, making it beneficial for respiratory conditions characterized by excessive phlegm production.

  3. Antiseptic Properties: Thermal waters with antiseptic properties can help fight against infections and prevent the recurrence of respiratory diseases.

  4. Improved Respiratory Function: Inhalation therapies using thermal water can enhance respiratory function and improve ventilation in the lungs.

  5. Relief from Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: Thermal water therapies can alleviate symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract infections, including nasal congestion, sinusitis, pharyngitis, and laryngitis.

  6. Support for Eustachian Tube Function: Thermal water insufflations can help improve Eustachian tube function, which is crucial for maintaining middle ear health and preventing conditions like otitis media.

Promotion of General Well-being: Thermal water therapies promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can have a positive impact on overall respiratory health.

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Thermal water therapies should be considered when respiratory diseases are in a chronic phase, at least one to two months after the acute phase or as a preventive measure. It is essential to choose the appropriate thermal water source and undergo a treatment period of at least one week for effective healing. A complete healing cycle typically requires around 12 days.


Thermal water therapies offer a natural and effective approach to prevent and treat respiratory diseases. With their unique mineral content and therapeutic properties, thermal waters can provide relief from respiratory conditions, improve respiratory function, and promote overall well-being. Whether it's through inhalation therapies, balneotherapy, or mud therapy, the power of thermal water can be harnessed to support respiratory health and enhance the quality of life.

Remember, before undergoing any thermal water therapy, it is crucial to consult with a medical professional who can guide you in choosing the most suitable treatment for your specific condition. Embrace the healing potential of thermal water and experience the benefits it offers for your respiratory health.


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