Salt Therapy as a Complementary Method for the Treatment of Respiratory Tract Diseases, With a Focus on Mold-Related Illness

Altern Ther Health Med. 2021 Oct;27(S1):223-239.


Salt therapy has been used for millennia, but modern salt therapy can be traced to the salt mines and caves in Europe and Russia from the early 19th century. Today, breathing in the microclimate of caves with their stable air temperature and moderate to high humidity in the presence of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium and the absence of airborne pollutants and pollen is called speleotherapy. The inhalation of natural pure sodium chloride (NaCl) in a controlled environment (air temperature 18° to 24°C and relative humidity 40% to 60%) is called halotherapy. The main active ingredient in halo- and speleotherapy is NaCl aerosol particles, which penetrate all layers of the respiratory tract. In addition to their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, salt particles also facilitate mucociliary transport and reduce immunogloblin E (IgE) levels. Clinical trials have confirmed that salt therapy is an effective option for relieving symptoms and improving functional parameters in sinusitis, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, mild and moderate asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Rinsing with hypertonic saline has been found to be beneficial in reducing airway inflammation in patients with bronchiolitis. In addition to avoidance, salt therapy should be recommended as a complementary therapy in patients with prolonged exposure to indoor air dampness microbiota, which may cause damage to the respiratory mucosa. Salt therapy is safe and well tolerated.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma*
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive*
  • Sodium Chloride


  • Sodium Chloride