From salt baths to salt rooms: The evolution of salt therapy

From salt baths to salt rooms: The evolution of salt therapy

From salt baths to salt rooms: The evolution of salt therapy 1200 800 INHALEUM

Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Its benefits have been recognized by many civilizations throughout history, and it has evolved into a popular form of alternative medicine today. Here’s a closer look at the evolution of salt therapy.

Early uses of salt

The earliest known record of salt therapy comes from ancient Greece, where Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, recommended inhaling the steam from saltwater to ease respiratory problems. The Romans also valued the healing properties of salt, bathing in saltwater to help heal wounds and skin conditions, and soldiers using it to cleanse their wounds and prevent infection.

Similarly, the ancient Egyptians used salt to treat skin conditions and even used it in the mummification process. In India, Ayurvedic medicine incorporated salt into treatments for various ailments. In the Middle Ages, European monks used salt to treat a range of conditions, including lung and skin diseases.

The origins of salt therapy

In the 12th century, salt mines in Poland were used as a form of natural healing for respiratory ailments. The miners working in these mines were known to have fewer respiratory issues compared to those working in other mines, and this sparked interest in the healing properties of salt.

The first scientific study on the benefits of salt therapy was conducted in the 1840s by a Polish physician named Dr. Feliks Boczkowski. This led to the opening of the first salt health resort facility at the Wieliczka salt mine in Poland, offering salt baths to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and allergies.

Speleotherapy on the rise

In 1949, German physician Dr. K.H. Spannahel noticed that individuals seeking refuge in salt mines during WWII experienced respiratory health benefits, leading to the creation of the Klyutert cave with the help of Hungarian geologist Dr. H. Kessler. Through their collaboration, they laid the foundation of modern Speleotherapy.

In 1958, Professor Mieczyslaw Skulimowski began treating patients in the Wieliczka salt mine, which led to the development of subterraneotherapy. This treatment method focuses on exposing patients exclusively to underground “salted” environments. The success of his treatments led to the opening of the world’s first underground Allergy Treatment Spa in the same mine in 1964.

Skulimowski’s methods spread to neighbouring salt mines and caves in Europe as well as former Soviet Union states, leading to the opening of the first speleo-hospital in the Solotvyno salt mine in Ukraine in 1968.

The emergence of halotherapy

The undeniable benefits of salt therapy caught the attention of the medical community by 1970, but accessing underground salt caves was difficult in other parts of the world. To make halotherapy more accessible, the first halotherapy device, the so-called halogenerator, was produced in 1985 at the Institute of Balneology in Russia, designed to replicate the natural crushing and grinding of salt particles found in salt mines.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Salt Therapy became more commonly known as halotherapy. It was made accessible to other parts of the world, and salt rooms began to be used in sanatoriums and hospitals to treat respiratory conditions. There are over 3000 salt therapy centers worldwide, and the Salt Therapy Association was founded in 2014 to promote the practice and establish industry standards.

Discover the research and studies that support our claims about the effectiveness of halotherapy. Overview of research and clinical studies >>

The benefits of salt therapy

Today, salt therapy is used not only to treat respiratory conditions but also to improve skin health, reduce stress, and boost the immune system. Modern technology has also made it possible to create salt therapy devices that can be used in the comfort of one’s own home. However, it should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment for serious conditions, but as a complementary therapy to help improve overall health and wellness.

Dealing with health issues? Explore how salt therapy helps alleviate symptoms of various conditions, boost your immune system, and contribute to your overall mental well-being. Health benefits of salt therapy >>


The evolution of salt therapy from ancient salt baths to modern salt rooms is a testament to its effectiveness and popularity. It is likely to continue to gain popularity and recognition in the years to come as more people turn to natural and complementary therapies for their health and wellness needs.


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