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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Take a Breather—The Comforts of Aromatherapy During Cold and Flu Season

Posted: November 11, 2013

By Peter Friis, CEO and Founder, ESSIO Shower

Cold weather brings cold and flu season and a low-tech practice—the use of essential oils in aromatherapy—offers comfort for their symptoms, as well as the possibility of preventing the common bugs which cause them from getting a foothold.

Today, health practitioners still recommend the simplest possible aversion technique for protecting our health: washing hands frequently with warm water and conventional soap. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that food industry and hospital workers not substitute gel hand-sanitizers for soap and water (though it’s fine to use both). Health experts also recommend that we avoid touching our eyes, especially during cold and flu season, since microbes are easily introduced from the hands to the body’s internal systems via the conjunctiva—simply by rubbing our eyes.

The power of the breath

Essential aromatherapy oils, especially that of lavender, have been used for centuries for their mildly antiseptic properties. This was true long before human eyes ever gazed through a microscope and observed a pathogen. Yet, the word “lavender” itself relates to the word “lavare,” which means to wash, and cleanliness has been associated with health for millennia.

Inhalation of essential oils, especially in the medium of steam, can break up congestion of the sinuses and nasal passages and ease the inflammation of the nasal lining and throat. Breathing in micro-particles of essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint is are beneficial in particular.