Please be aware that this review is NOT sponsored by Higher Nature or their representatives, but an honest review of their product based upon my on personal experience in using it. It also is not intended as medical advice or instructions, if you aren't sure about if the salt pipe is for you, please speak to your doctor, respiratory nurse or anyone else who can advise you.
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a PR representative of Higher Nature, a website that promotes natual health supplements and complimentary therapies. I'm a big believer in natural remedies and herbal therapies so it was my pleasure to be asked to try out one of their salt pipe products. For those of you who don't know what salt pipe are, they use a special kind of salt, in this case from the Transylvanian Priad salt mines. When inhaled regularly, this can cleanse the airway and help with secretion clearance, something I personally have a lot of problems with. I was excited to try this as I suffer terribly from chronic chest infections due to not being able to cough up the muck easily.
This review will be written over a week and published when its done. I'll be using the salt pipe for 5 minutes 4 times a day (for 20 minutes total, the instructions say 15-25 mins a day so 20 seems fair) and recording my progress. If you would like more information about Higher Nature and their salt pipe please visit their website by clicking here.
So when I first got the salt pipe, I liked the design of it, the salt is sealed in a chamber below the ceramic mouthpiece. I first read the instruction leaflet inside the box. It felt well assembled and sturdy, not to mention small enough to pop in my bag if I needed to. I found the leaflet inside was informative and knew that this was a high quality product. The only thing I noticed was that it seemed a bit heavy but considering its construction I think that was to be expected, but considering its longevity, I think porcelain is a more hygienic material compared to plastic.
I did wonder how long I would have to use the pipe before I saw any difference so believe that could have been a bit clearer on the leaflet, and I also had to do my own research in to how it worked and any side effects I had to look out for. The weight did take me by surprise but considering that it is porcelain and will last 5 years, it was understandable.
Day 1: Saturday:
So, I read the leaflet and started my first treatment. It took me a while to get the technique down (in through mouth and out through nose, apparently breathing out the mouth in to the pipe damages the salt), but I definitely did feel the difference, admittedly I was rather breathless at first as I'd been breathing in a way that was different to usual. I also noticed that after using it for the day, I did manage to bring up some rather sticky and unpleasant stuff that had been in my lungs. I also noticed that night (Jace did too) that I wasn't snoring as badly as I do sometimes.
Only downside was that my mouth was a bit dry.
Day 2: Sunday:
I started off day 2 with producing a lot of mucous off my chest. My breathing felt a bit less congested on a whole and I found that combining the salt pipe with my other therapies (nebulisers and even a bit of flutter) meant that I was a little more able to clear my chest. I had to consciously remember though not change my breathing pattern too much but still remember to exhale through my nose. My mouth wasn't so dry though.
Day 3: Monday:
Again, started off with a lot of gunk coming from up from my chest. I did notice that after using the pipe before nebulisers, my chest felt a bit sore but that was easily remedied with my meds. The important thing to remember with these "complimentary therapies" is that they aren't a miracle cure and aren't intended to replace your regular medicines. They do however help to add an extra boost to your regular therapies and help you with symptom control. Salt pipes are particularly useful if you have problems with congestion and secretion build up.
Day 4: Tuesday:
My airways have been less congested, I've found that the best way to use the salt pipe is around the same time as nebs as the airways are more receptive to the therapy. I managed to move a mucous plug that had probably been there for a while and needed to come up. My mouth doesn't feel so dry anymore and I'm not getting a salty taste on my tongue now. I am finding the technique easier to manage and I'm getting something positive from the experience. It seems to work similar to saline nebs but a lot more is getting down in to the base of my lungs.
Day 5: Wednesday:
More of the plugs are shifting, but I don't know if it's causing me to cough more. It could be the salt being a bit irritating or it could just be my asthma being it's usual self. I'm finding it simple enough to do and find time during the day to sit down and with my salt pipe and use it. So far I'm not getting any negative side effects from it and it seems to help when I'm congested. I could definitely find this helpful when I'm shifting an infection.
Day 6: Thursday:
My snoring at night has improved and as I'm not so gunked up, my apnea has improved somewhat. I can honestly say that it's a quick and easy way to help with clearing the mucous from your airways which seems to be the main thing. Less gunk and more lung to use.
Day 7: Friday:
So, I woke up earlier than usual this morning as I needed to cough a lot. This was not unusual for me as I cough more than anything anyway but once I had finished, I noticed that my airways didn't hurt so much as usual after a coughing fit. It seemed that the inhaled salt had calmed my airways a little. I won't say that it was a complete transformation but it certainly was a pleasant surprise.
I am honestly going to say that although the salt therapy hasn't been a miracle cure, it's definitely worth a try if you're congested and have trouble with thinning down the mucous enough to cough up, it does feel like it's done something positive but there were times where my lungs found it a little irritating but that could be my lungs being their usual selves. To be honest I didn't know quite what to expect with trying a salt pipe and I did some research on it to see what I was trying. It seems that these are great for people who are prone to infections or have problems with gunk pooling.
I found the pipe easy to use and once I had worked out a technique with it, it seemed to fit in with the rest of the physical therapy devices I use for chest clearance. It was a bit awkward though at first as you have to remember not to breathe out through your mouth while using it so as to not affect the salt crystals inside. Its a really useful additional therapy but you can't just use that and expect to not need anything else, so if you do decide to give this a try (and I recommend it myself) you must take care to take your normal medication alongside it and you do need to keep at it regularly for the benefit to be felt. Also, it can provoke airway spasms so if you do experience anything like that then you must stop and seek advice.
I thank Higher Nature for the chance to try this product.