Reducing the Risk of Contracting a Cold or Flu
Can Essential Oils Prevent Me from Contracting the Flu or Help Me Recover if I Get It?
The use of essential oils will not prevent you from contracting a cold, the flu or a virus. Although many essential oils are considered to be antimicrobial, essential oils are not effective against all microbes. There is no current, reliable evidence that any essential oil is effective in killing the viruses that cause the seasonal flu or against viruses like COVID-19. [Source: Essential Oils and Coronaviruses (Shannon Becker, PhD RA - Tisserand Institute).]
If you do contract a mild flu, however, the proper use of essential oils may help to ease particular symptoms.
AromaWeb's Essential Oils That May Provide Support With Mild Cold and Flu Symptoms article offers some tips that may be benficial to you if you catch a mild cold or flu.
General Steps to Help Reduce Risks of Contacting a Cold or Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a reputable source for the most up to date news regarding learning simple ways to minimize your risk in contacting the the flu.
Below is a list that contains common sense suggestions and suggestions originally inspired by the H1N1 Epidemic and the CDC:
- When you are out in public, try to minimize the surfaces that you touch, and wash your hands often. If you are shopping and spot someone nearby that is ill and not taking considerate measures to cover their mouth/nose when they cough/sneeze, leave the store or vicinity until they've departed. Shoppers will still be at risk by touching the items that shopper may have touched, but by simply taking the initiative to steer clear of visibly sick individuals, you will reduce your risk.
- Make it an absolute habit to never touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face anytime you are out and about. Wash your hands the moment you get back home.
- If you can't wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that is formulated to comply with the recommendations of the CDC. For precautions about using DIY hand sanitizers, read Beware of DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes.
- Stress and anxiety can strain your immune system. Utilize aromatherapy as one method of helping to combat stress and anxiety.
- Minimize sugar intake. Sugars and glucose, including the natural sugars found in fruits can potentially burden the immune system and make it harder to fight off disease.
- Nourish your body with healthy foods. Ensure that you drink plenty of water and eat nourishing whole foods to help you help your body stay healthy.
- COVID-19 Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Prevent Getting Sick (CDC)
- COVID-19 Information from the World Health Organization (WHO)
The above tips were written before COVID-19. For much more complete and current information that pertains to COVID-19, refer directly to these offical sites:
Be Considerate of Others
- Stay home as very much as possible during pandemics, even if you do not feel ill and even if there is no national or local laws/ordinances in place requiring you to do so.
- If you are ill with any type of cold/flu virus, show common courtesy by waiting to dine out, run errands and do other non-essential public matters until you have recovered. Parents, also show courtesy by keeping sick children home. I can't count the times I've seen parents let sick children cough and sneeze on food items in the grocery store.
- If ill with any cold/flu virus and applicable in your situation, talk to your employer about your illness and see if you can work from home while you recover.
- If you must cough or sneeze while around others, cover your mouth, ideally by coughing or sneezing into your shoulder and elbow. This prevents you from transferring your germs onto your hands and then onto the surfaces that you touch. And for everyone's sake, wash your hands often.
AromaWeb's Essential Oils That May Provide Support With Mild Cold and Flu Symptoms article offers details and tips that may be benficial to you if you catch a cold or the flu.
Aromatherapy is not a substitute for proper medical care and cannot replace your doctor/medical professional/medications when needed.