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Heart-Warming Health - The Benefits of Sauna Detox Therapy

Relaxing and Heart Warming Sauna Therapy - National Sauna Week


Happy National Sauna Week!

It is no coincidence that National Sauna Week is during American Heart Month.

In honor of American Heart Month and National Sauna Week, this blog post will review the many benefits of sauna therapy, which can help you cleanse and detox while boosting the health of your cardiovascular system.

What Does a Sauna Do?

A sauna is a whole-body thermotherapy treatment that increases body temperature. People have sought out saunas for thousands of years in many parts of the world for spiritual, social, hygiene, and health purposes.

Saunas can use wet or dry heat to increase body temperature and induce sweating. Fortunately, as research continues to confirm impressive health benefits, saunas become more popular and easier to access across the globe.1

Healthy Active Young Friends Supporting Their Heart Health in a Sauna

What are the Health Benefits of a Sauna?

At the cellular and vascular levels, sauna induces numerous beneficial changes, including:

  • Production of heat shock proteins
  • A reduction in reactive oxygenated species (ROS)
  • Reduced oxidative stress
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased NO (nitric oxide) production and bioavailability
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Increased vasodilation of blood vessels to decrease blood pressure1

Sauna activates and improves the function of the following systems:

Healthy Physician Performing Clinical Research on Cardiovascular Benefits of Sauna Detox Therapy

Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy Per Clinical Research Studies

General Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • Significant relaxation, stress reduction, sleep improvement, general pain relief, and socializing benefits.2
  • A reduction in the concentration of NaCl (sodium chloride) in the sweat of healthy individuals. 
  • 25% less forehead sebum production in healthy individuals, which could be beneficial for those with acne or other skin concerns.1

Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • Decreased total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels in healthy individuals.
  • A 63% risk reduction for sudden cardiac death and a 40% risk reduction for all-cause mortality.
  • Significantly improved heart rate and systolic blood pressure in healthy women. 
  • Improved levels of growth hormone (GH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and cortisol.
  • Decreased diastolic blood pressure in healthy women. 
  • Medically supervised sauna therapy increased 6-minute walking distances, improved heart size, and improved the NYHA (New York Heart Association) classification of disease after only two weeks in those with congestive heart failure (CHF). 
  • Elimination of the need for heart surgery in 9 out of 12 infants with ventricular septal defects (VSDs) and related severe CHF, according to one clinical trial. The infants participated in medically supervised sauna therapy daily for 5 minutes for four weeks.
  • Significant reduction in ventricular arrhythmias in those with congestive heart failure and more than 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) per 24 hours at baseline after only two weeks of medically supervised sauna sessions. No significant beneficial changes were documented in the control group that received standard medical treatment.
  • Improved the visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores, 6-minute walking distance, and ankle/brachial index (ABI) in those with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). There was no improvement in the control group that received standard medical care.
  • Improved scoring indices of defect reversibility on myocardial perfusion scans in those with ischemic heart disease and chronic total occlusion of coronary arteries after three weeks of daily medically supervised sauna sessions. No improvement was seen in the control group that received standard medical care. 
  • A clinical study of athletes demonstrated sauna therapy induced an expansion of plasma volume, improvement in temperature regulation, alkalization of the mean venous pH, an impressive 53.3% boost in mean venous oxygen levels, improvement of the mean hemoglobin concentration in the blood by 5.2%, and a right shift of the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve, indicating more efficient release of oxygen to tissues.1
Cardiovascular Health - National Sauna Week - American Heart Month - Detox Sauna Therapy

Cognitive Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • Sauna therapy leads to a 66% risk reduction for dementia and a 65% risk reduction for Alzheimer's disease.1

Mental Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • Decreased fatigue, anxiety, and depression in those with chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis. 
  • Improved somatic complaints, hunger scores, and relaxation scores in those with mild depression.1

Chronic Pain Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • A 44% reduction in headache intensity after six weeks of sauna treatment in those diagnosed with chronic tension headaches.
  • Significantly increased likelihood of return to work two years after sauna intervention in those with chronic pain disorders.
  • Decreased pain and stiffness in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) after four weeks of sauna therapy.
  • Improved VAS pain scores, reduced symptoms based upon FIQ (fibromyalgia impact questionnaire), improved quality of life indicators, and decreased number of tender points after 12 weeks of medically supervised far-infrared sauna plus underwater exercise therapy in those with fibromyalgia.1

Benefits of Sauna Therapy After Exposure to Toxins:

  • Sauna therapy decreased the number of “poor physical health” days, “sick days,” and neurotoxicity symptoms while boosting sleep hours in symptomatic policemen exposed to employment-related drugs and toxicants.
  • Improvement of several somatic well-being scores in individuals with elevated levels of fat-soluble toxicants.1

Lung Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy:

  • Improved lung function tests, symptom scores, and pulmonary artery pressures during exercise in those with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Increased exercise times and boosted oxygen saturation during exercise in those with COPD.
  • Sauna therapy improved peak nasal inspiratory flow rates and lung function test results in those with symptomatic allergic rhinitis.1
Sauna Detox Therapy for Heart Health - National Sauna Week and American Heart Month

Is Sauna Therapy a Detox Cleanse? What Toxins Do You Sweat Out in a Sauna?

Yes, sauna therapy can support the cleansing and detoxification of toxins from your body.3 Not nearly enough research has been performed to determine all of the nasty toxins your body detoxes while sweating in a sauna, but the latest research shows the following toxins are eliminated in sweat:

  • Phthalates1,4
  • Arsenic
  • Tin
  • Mercury
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)5
  • PCBs
  • PBBs
  • Some pharmaceutical medications6
  • PBDEs7
  • Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs)8
  • Lead
  • Cadmium9
  • Nickel
  • Aluminum10
  • Uranium
  • Bismuth
  • Antimony
  • Thallium11

The removal of toxins from the body is one process that leads to the significant health benefits associated with sauna therapy, including cardiovascular benefits.

Sauna Safety - Sauna Detox Therapy for Heart Health

Sauna Safety - Are Saunas Safe?

If you choose to begin a sauna protocol, request guidance from your doctor first. Some individuals must begin with only 3-5 minutes of sauna per session and increase sauna time slowly by 3-5 minutes per week or every other week. In general, begin with a low temperature and minimal time in the sauna to reduce your risk of injury while you detox, support your heart health, and reap the other health benefits of sauna therapy.


  • Ensure wooden benches are regularly maintained, smooth, and sealed to prevent splinters
  • Be mindful of and replenish the essential nutrients excreted in sweat, including minerals and electrolytes like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.12
  • Never sauna alone. If you have a sauna at home, ensure someone else is aware you are in the sauna, so they can check on you as needed
  • Stay well-hydrated before, during, and after a sauna
  • Consider a cool shower after each sauna session to reduce your core body temperature and remove all excreted toxins from your skin
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Do not bring glass into the sauna
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • If you do not feel well while in a sauna, request assistance from someone to help you out of the sauna to prevent dizziness and fainting. Standing up quickly in a hot sauna could cause dizziness or blackout (syncope).13

Research shows regular sauna use does have one consistent negative side effect, which is a reduced sperm count.14 Thus, men who are concerned about fertility may choose to avoid sauna therapy and focus on other supportive heart-healthy options, such as supplementation with heart-healthy bioflavonoids.*

A Quick Sauna "Horror Story" From Dr. Paul Anderson, ND

Remember! When you sweat, essential nutrients like calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium are lost, so make sure you replenish them after every sauna session!*
Replenish Electrolytes, Minerals, and other Nutrients After Detox Sauna Therapy - National Sauna Week

InterPlexus Supplements that Support Sauna Therapy Recovery*

Potassium+Mag is a physician-formulated blend of highly bioavailable chelated magnesium and potassium that supports heart health and optimal electrolyte levels after sauna therapy.*

Magnesium3 is a blend of magnesium bisglycinate (magnesium glycinate) and two additional forms of highly bioavailable chelated magnesium that support healthy electrolyte levels after sauna therapy and the optimal function of the cardiovascular system.*

Fura-Mag is formulated with highly bioavailable magnesium fumarate and vitamin B6 to support optimal stress management, balanced electrolyte levels, and healthy cardiovascular system function.*

Calcium2 is formulated using calcium citrate and calcium bisglycinate for superior calcium bioavailability. Calcium supplementation supports optimal electrolyte levels after sauna therapy while maintaining cardiovascular health and bone density.*




  1. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic ReviewEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:1857413. doi:10.1155/2018/1857413
  2. Hussain JN, Greaves RF, Cohen MM. A hot topic for health: Results of the Global Sauna Survey. Complement Ther Med. 2019;44:223-234. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2019.03.012
  3. Lennox RD, Cecchini-Sternquist M. Safety and tolerability of sauna detoxification for the protracted withdrawal symptoms of substance abuseJ Int Med Res. 2018;46(11):4480-4499. doi:10.1177/0300060518779314
  4. Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Lobo RA, Birkholz D. Human elimination of phthalate compounds: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:615068. doi:10.1100/2012/615068
  5. Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D, Lobo RA. Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) studyJ Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:185731. doi:10.1155/2012/185731
  6. Cecchini M, LoPresti V. Drug residues store in the body following cessation of use: impacts on neuroendocrine balance and behavior--use of the Hubbard sauna regimen to remove toxins and restore health. Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(4):868-879. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2006.08.035
  7. Genuis SK, Birkholz D, Genuis SJ. Human Excretion of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Flame Retardants: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:3676089. doi:10.1155/2017/3676089
  8. Genuis SJ, Lane K, Birkholz D. Human Elimination of Organochlorine Pesticides: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:1624643. doi:10.1155/2016/1624643
  9. Baker LB. Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health. Temperature (Austin). 2019;6(3):211-259. doi:10.1080/23328940.2019.1632145
  10. Hanafusa N, Lodebo BT, Shah A, Kopple JD. Is There a Role for Diaphoresis Therapy for Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease Patients?. J Ren Nutr. 2017;27(5):295-302. doi:10.1053/j.jrn.2017.04.008
  11. Genuis SJ, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, Beesoon S. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011;61(2):344-357. doi:10.1007/s00244-010-9611-5
  12. Baker LB, Wolfe AS. Physiological mechanisms determining eccrine sweat composition. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2020;120(4):719-752. doi:10.1007/s00421-020-04323-7
  13. Kaiser P, Seeher U, Krasniqi A, et al. Injuries related to sauna bathing. Injury. 2023;54(7):110825. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2023.05.056
  14. Panara K, Masterson JM, Savio LF, Ramasamy R. Adverse Effects of Common Sports and Recreational Activities on Male ReproductionEur Urol Focus. 2019;5(6):1146-1151. doi:10.1016/j.euf.2018.04.013

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