Aromatherapy for Colds and Flu
Well it is that time of year! Colds and flu are still one of the most common illnesses and one that hits us when our immune system is low, possibly through stress or because we are generally under par. We need to tackle this naturally using age old remedies that really work and do not leave us with any side effects from chemicals that our bodies do not know how to deal with. Aromatherapy is one of the solutions that can help alleviate symptoms and this is the main focus of this article.
What is the difference between a common cold & influenza (flu)?
They are both contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract and there are three main types of influenza (A, B & C) and flu viruses continually change over time, usually by mutation (change in the viral RNA) (www.medinenet.com/influenza). They are both spread via large groups of people, such as in offices and in schools for example, by droplets released in the air when someone with the virus sneezes or coughs. Someone who has flu is usually infectious for about a week. Despite this similarity, getting the flu is far worse than having just a common cold and with flu you are likely to have a fever for several days of 103ºF and your head and body will ache (www.webmd.com). Colds can make you feel miserable, but with flu you can literally be knocked off your feet and it can lead to serious diseases, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Even after the flu has eased (usually after about 7 days), you are often left feeling quite weak and tired for several weeks after.
Antibiotics are of course useless here as they only treat bacterial infections (although they may be needed if there is a secondary chest or ear infection). In recent years the Flu vaccine (influenza vaccine made from inactivated and sometimes attenuated [non-infective] virus) is specifically recommended by the Department of Health for those who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of flu infection. These high-risk groups include all people aged 65 years or older and people of any age with chronic diseases such as respiratory diseases, heart liver or kidney disease, diabetics, those with weakened immune systems, residents of care homes and carers. The flu jab is repeated annually, usually around October of each year. Despite what people may think, we are told that you cannot get flu from the flu jab as there is no live virus in the vaccine; however, there are health risks from receiving vaccinations and there is evidence to suggest that they do not work. Recently it has been announced that all 7 years olds will be getting the flu jab at school but parents can decline this if they wish. The problem is that if you get the flu and haven't had the jab, they tell you it's because you didn't have it. If you catch the flu soon after a jab (as many do) they say it's not connected and if it's a while after, then it must be a different strain - in which case, what was the point? If you are interested in reading more, see www.vaccinationcouncil.org and read the article entitled "A shot never worth taking - the Flu vaccine" by Kelly Brogan M.D.