Use distilled water to fill your humidifier or vaporizer. This will prevent mineral deposits from accumulating on the parts of the device. It will also prevent minerals from spreading in the air. Menthol, which is found in abundance in peppermint oil, helps clear the respiratory tract.
Just adding a few drops to a vaporizer and inhaling will calm a cough and relieve congestion. Spearmint contains almost no menthol, but it works in a similar way to peppermint oil to help eliminate nasal and chest secretions and calm coughs. Spearmint's lower levels of menthol make it safer than peppermint for treating children's coughs. Peppermint and peppermint have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
In fact, I've never heard of that Les. Do you know the reason for sniffing it? The golden seal is an excellent antibacterial herb and is commonly used to help the body fight infections, so I suppose it is inhaled so that it can enter the sinuses and help fight the infection there. Goldenseal also works locally, so I suppose it should actually be applied in the area where you needed it. I'm not sure that tea is enough.
I think you could use an anti-congestion essential oil blend in an EO vaporizer and a steam vaporizer to help add moisture to the air. You can always make eucalyptus and rosemary tea and put it in the steam vaporizer. Just make it strong with HOT water to extract as much oil as possible from the plant material. You can try it and see.
However, I definitely think that the constantly running steam vaporizer can help.