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Clinical Study on Salt Therapy as a Respiratory Remedy

Chervinskaya, A. & Zilber N.(1995) Halotherapy for the Treatment of Respiratory Diseases. Journal of Aerosol Medicine 8(3): 221-232


Salt Therapy was administrated in a group of 124 patients (54 males and 70 females) aged from 16 to 62 years with various types of chronic nonspecific pulmonary diseases. In all of the patients (pts), the disease was in the stage of a prolonged exacerbation. Before the treatments 95% of the pts of the main group had been coughing, half of them (47%) had severe attacks of coughing with scanty viscous sputum. Most of the pts (81%) suffered from attacks of asthma so that one third of them used combined medication to control it. Auscultation revealed harsh and weakened breathing, and dry rales in 58% of the patients.


60% of the pts received a base therapy (beta-agonists, theophyllines, chromoglycate natrii, corticosteroids, etc.), the effect of which was insufficient and did not allow to achieve a complete remission. The pts had not taken any antibacterial medicine.

The control group was represented by 15 pts (7 females and 8 males) aged from 18 to 56 years. Placebo course consisted only of 10 procedures of musical psychosuggestive program with slides demonstration in an ordinary room.

The pts' condition was assessed by daily medical supervision, with functional and laboratory tests made before and after Salt Therapy, as well as every 7th day during the treatments. Series of examinations in the control group consisted of the tests similar to those for the main group of pts.

Disease Number of patients

Bronchial asthma
Chronic bronchitis
Cystic fibrosis

Total 124


After 3-5 sessions of Salt Therapy 70-80% of the pts (according to nosology) presented some improvements: expectoration of good amount of sputum- it was less tenacious and easier to discharge, better auscultator pattern of the lungs, less frequent occurrence of cough attacks or respiratory discomfort. Some pts with severe and moderate bronchial asthma (BA) (35 patients - 27% of the total number) experienced difficulty in brining up the phlegm and worsening of cough during 3-4 days after 3-4 sessions. These manifestations seem to be due to the temporal bad bronchial drainage resulting from hyper secretion of mucus and discharge of old clots of secretion from bronchi of smaller diameter. Expiratory dyspnea appeared or became more pronounced in 18 patients (15% or cases) at different periods of Salt Therapy. Those were mainly the patients with exercise-induced asthma and aspirin-induced asthma. None of the pts complained of bad condition during the Salt Therapy procedures.

By the end of the course of Salt Therapy all the pts felt better they slept well, had no fatigue or weakness, and their nervous system stabilized. Clinical symptoms analysis demonstrated that the number of asthma attacks and respiratory discomfort cases decreased significantly as compared to the initial ones (81% and 52%, respectively, p<0.001). The number of asthma attacks controlled by combined medication also decreased (32% and 2%, respectively, p<0.001).

The cases of coughing occurred more rarely (95% and 70%, respectively, p<0.001), coughing became easier and more productive, the amount of sputum reduced, it became mucousal. The number of the patients with signs of vasomotor rhinitis decreased (61% and 24%, respectively p<0.001).

Corticosteroids were discontinued in 50 % (11 pts) of the pts with corticosteroid therapy (22 pts). Those were the cases when inhaled corticosteroids were prescribed as anti-inflammatory agents. In 7 pts it was possible to reduce the dose, 41 pts (60% of pts who inhaled beta- agonists) were able to discontinue beta-agonists or reduce the dose. Reduction (or cancellation) in bronchodilator and inhaled corticosteroid consumption was an indicator of clinical benefit.


The clinical state of 85% of the pts with mild and moderate BA, 75 % with severe BA, 98%- with chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis improved after Salt Therapy. The pts were examined 6 and 12 months after the first Salt Therapy course. No aggravations of the disease were seen from the 3rd to the 12th month. The average duration of the remission was 7.6-0.9 m. Most of the pts (60%) used no medication and sought no medical advice.

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Published materials:

List of Halotherapy studies (Pub Med References)

Halotherapy medical description

Examples of published studies - available for download:

Host Defence Unit at Imperial College, National Heart & Lung Institute, London: Sodium Chloride Increases the Ciliary Transportability of Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis Sputum on the Mucus-depleted Bovine Trachea

European Respiratory Journal: Inhalation of hypertonic saline aerosol enhances mucociliary clearance in asthmatic and healthy subjects

The New England Journal of Medicine: A Controlled Trial of Long-Term Inhaled Hypertonic Saline in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology UK: Hypersaline nasal irrigation in children with symptomatic seasonal allergic rhinitis

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