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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Take a Breather—The Comforts of Aromatherapy During Cold and Flu Season
Posted: November 11, 2013
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Another caveat: Antibiotics, the wonder-drugs of the 20th century, rarely are effective against cold and flu. Many health experts advise against taking antibiotics to shorten the bacterial aftermath of a viral infection, since doing so may build resistance to the future effectiveness of these drugs.
To help: Take more showers
Why do we call colds “colds”? A drop in temperature, per se, isn’t exactly the problem. For instance, being exposed to a chill, or leaving the house with wet hair won’t make you more likely to get sick. However, cold weather is generally accompanied by a drop in humidity, and this dryness depletes the protective linings of the nose and throat, allowing rhinoviruses to colonize and replicate more easily.
Also, chilly weather drives people indoors. This means shared air and shared surfaces, not unlike a long duration in the cabin of an aircraft. Clean hands, enhanced by the mild antimicrobial action of essential oils, may be among the simplest, yet most effective of preventive measures.
With this in mind, the experience of gently inhaling steam can help to maintain our nasal linings. A warm shower, especially one diffused with 100% USDA organic essential oils, hydrates these tissues and may prevent infection. In addition, certain essential oils such as peppermint have been proven to deliver mild analgesic effects, and can calm inflammation in the nose and throat.
Last, and least only because of lack of empirical evidence, is the role which essential oils have played for thousands of years in stress-reduction. Stress, like mood, is loosely defined. However, centuries of anecdotal history suggest that when diffused into a daily steam-treatment and massage, essential oils release tension and in this way may support healthy immune function. And, the easiest way to integrate the benefits of essential oils into daily wellness is as close as the home shower.