Advances in science cannot yet prevent us from periodically, and more frequently in autumn and winter, suffering from the annoying set of symptoms that characterize colds and flu (sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, dry cough and fever together with headaches, and also painful joints and muscles in the case of the flu).
THE CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE STRATEGY: Vaccines
We are not against vaccines, of course, but while vaccines are effective in preventing us from catching a certain virus and, if we do, helping us build a defence to fight it more quickly, they are not designed to fight viruses in general and to strengthen our immune system.
Several factors influence whether or not you get a respiratory infection. First of all, it is necessary to come into contact with the flu virus or, in the case of the cold, with one of the 200 known rhinoviruses. In the event that we come into contact, the state of our immune system will be decisive when it comes to preventing or facilitating viruses from multiplying.
And secondly, environmental conditions are important. It has always been said that it is necessary to protect yourself from the cold, but, incredible as it may seem, it was not scientifically determined until very recently that the cold promotes colds and flu. Medical students at the University of Cardiff (Scotland) had to soak their feet in low-temperature water for a while each day to see if they were getting sicker than their peers with hot feet. The result was that yes, the cold makes us sick, probably because it causes a momentary lowering of the defences.
The most frequent route of infection are viruses that float in the air after being expelled by patients by coughing and sneezing. Like the drops that settle on door handles, handrails, tables, chairs, towels, money or telephones, the most effective way to avoid viral invasion is to wash your hands frequently and always keep them away from the nose, eyes and mouth.
In indoor environments it is useful to evaporate essential oils of eucalyptus, thyme and peppermint because they have antiseptic properties. There are vaporizers (or even electric humidifiers) but you can also put two or three drops of the essential oil in a container with freshly boiled water.
We all come into contact with various viruses on a daily basis, through our breath, but also through the surfaces and substances with which we are in contact. Therefore, preventing us from coming into contact with them is almost impossible.
The determining factor when deciding whether or not to contract the virus will be the state of our defences. If our immune system is strong, it will reject all kinds of viruses that we come into contact with. Regardless of whether these viruses are known or unknown to us, our body has the ability to activate mechanisms for recognizing new viruses and defending against them. This explains the fact that with the recent “Corona virus” there are people who have come into contact with it and are asymptomatic. So clear, our immune system is our most perfect defence, more perfect even than vaccines, although sometimes they may be necessary.
If our immune system is depressed, it is very likely that we pick up all kinds of viruses with which we come into contact. The state of our immune system will be the determining factor when it comes to infecting us or not.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DIET
As we always say, the best way to start preventing any problems is to follow a healthy diet. This was already said by ancient doctors, such as Hippocrates: “Let your food be your medicine.”
A healthy diet will not only activate our defences, but it will also prevent us from many other health problems such as cholesterol, diabetes, coronary heart disease or cancer.
Therefore, the best way to protect ourselves from viruses is to increase our defences by effectively activating our immune system, and for this, it is necessary to take care of our habits and our diet. Immunity is strengthened by eating a balanced diet based on fresh foods, rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, along with an optimal supply of minerals and trace elements, especially zinc and selenium, and following healthy lifestyle habits. A strong immune system reduces the risk of contagion of all types of viruses, also the most aggressive.
A natural and varied diet, without processed foods and free of toxins, rich in vegetables and fruits, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and low in saturated fat will activate our immune system.
According to Raúl Martínez, dietician and biologist, “The essential trace elements to obtain good immunity are copper, an antioxidant that helps the body assimilate and use iron, favouring and stimulating antimicrobial immune responses; iron, which develops the defence capacity of white blood cells; selenium, enhancer of defence cell activity, being essential to achieve a correct immune response, both innate and acquired; zinc, which regulates the immune system, being decisive for its proper development and functioning; and manganese that guarantees the normal function of the immune system ”.
We must therefore try to consume natural foods that contain all these trace elements and vitamins. Vitamin C is obtained from daily ingesting oranges, kiwis, mangoes and peppers, which are foods with a high supply of vitamin C, among other things.
Other important nutrients are the minerals selenium and zinc. The first is capable of increasing the production of white blood cells, which are involved in defending against viruses. The richest food in selenium is the Brazil nut, but the necessary 70 mcg per day can be obtained with a serving of fish or by including eggs, whole grains and dairy products in the diet.
Let us always remember that, for all these measures to be really effective, the portions of protein derived from dairy, eggs or fish must always be a much lower percentage than the consumption of fresh foods of vegetable origin and whole grains and flours.
Raw garlic and onion also have an antiviral effect and are reputed food-medicine that should not be missed. On the other hand, the lactobacilli and bifidobacterial found in yogurt and kefir exert a beneficial effect on the immune system through the intestinal flora.
Shiitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms are foods with prebiotics and nutrients of great interest, which, together with turmeric, ensure a contribution of all the trace elements and substances that strengthen our defences.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is effective in preventing colds, according to a study by Scottish researchers with more than 700 participants who took extract pills for a month. The research showed that colds were cut in half than expected.
Exercising and getting enough sleep every night will also help us to strengthen our health and our defences, therefore.
AGAINST VIRUSES; NATURAL SOLUTIONS PREVENT US FROM FALLS
If, despite all precautions, you end up catching a cold or the flu, there are still a few things you can do. A saying state that the flu is cured in seven days if you do not go to the doctor and in a week if you go. It is true that in general the only thing that really cures it is time, but it is also true that some remedies manage in some cases to shorten the process and reduce the intensity of the discomfort.
Conventional pain relievers and fever reducers may help us with the psychological effect of “feeling better,” but they actually do little to solve the problem.
With vitamin C, the results are controversial. Although some people do well, others do not appreciate the benefit. More proven is the effect of zinc, provided it is taken as soon as the first discomfort appears. Its action is direct: the pill must be allowed to melt in the mouth so that the contact time between the mineral and the viruses that have settled in the mucous membranes is as long as possible. A dose of 12 mg every 2 to 3 hours for the first three days can reduce the duration of the cold by half.
The treatment is completed with rest, light and digestive meals and an increase in the consumption of liquids that help to clear the airways. You can take water, water with honey, tea with lemon and infusions of medicinal plants, such as elderberry, verbena and eucalyptus.
Also, as we have announced in the headline of our article, they can be treated with the help of essential oils.
THE NATURAL TREATMENT WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils act as true natural antibiotics and, not only that, today they have opened a door to hope in the treatment of bacteria and viruses resistant to conventional antibiotics.
One of the most dangerous resistant bacteria today is MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin resistant), which can be fatal. In the Klinicum Neuperlach in the city of Munich in Germany, essential oils have been used successfully in infections caused by MRSA, especially thyme essential oil, but also tea tree, niaouli, rosewood wood, oregano, manuka, cinnamon bark and savoury. Today there are multiple studies that corroborate the effectiveness of essential oils in cases of multi-resistant germs.
For example, at the University of Sydney in Australia, the use of essential oils in a bone infection caused by MRSA that appeared after a surgical intervention is reported. A mixture of eucalyptus globulus, tea tree, thyme, cloves and lemon were used in equal parts. The wound healed completely in 21 days. At no time were antibiotics used.
However, we urge you not to make the same mistake that traditional medicine has made with synthetic antibiotics. Using antibiotics when they are not necessary to fight an infection is a tremendously aggressive solution that weakens our defences and undermines our intestinal bacterial flora.
We have the idea that essential oils, authentic natural antibiotics and no less effective, must be used with the same wisdom; that is to say, in a timely manner in the face of an infection or problem, never daily or preventively because they could be as counterproductive as conventional antibiotics.
Believe me, a few drops in a vegetable oil carrier are enough to act quickly. With the long-term benefit of preventing future relapses as they naturally strengthen our immune system.
WE PROPOSE A SYNERGY to treat flu and respiratory tract infections that you can apply using a vaporizer or electric humidifier.
And we will add the essential oils to the water in the vaporizer in the following proportion:
3 drops of Ravintsara EO
3 drops of saro EO
3 drops of lemon EO
2 drops of laurel EO, replaceable with incense.
In case of breathing difficulties, substitute the lemon EO for the eucalyptus one, which opens the airways.
This would be a treatment proposal that will undoubtedly relieve you. In addition, if you use it every time you catch a cold, it will help strengthen your defences and act as a preventive measure, shortening recovery times and preventing relapses.
ANOTHER DIFFERENT PROPOSAL.
This other synergy is recommended by the “company of sense” (https://www.compania-del-sentido.es/), one of the most reputable aromatherapy blogs on the net.
To combat the flu, mix it in an empty glass bottle:
You will need a carrier oil to make the mixture, maybe a few tablespoons of almond or jojoba oil, which have very little aroma and are very light oils. To the carrier oil you will add the following essential oils in the stipulated amount:
60 drops of Camphor essential oil (ravintsara)
40 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil
20 drops of Laurel essential oil
40 drops of Black Spruce essential oil
Dosage: Apply 3 drops of the following mixture to the chest and upper back. Repeat 6 times a day for 2 or 3 days.
This synergy can be used by adults and children over 6 years old, but should be avoided by pregnant or lactating women and children under 6 years of age.
In any case, it is always possible to experiment with different essential oils and try the unique combination that we find that suits us best since each of us is different and has different metabolisms and constitutions.
THE FIVE ESSENTIAL OILS THAT EFFECTIVELY FIGHT RINOVIRUSES ARE:
-It is possible to use these oils in the form of a serum, that is, added to a vegetable carrier oil and massage the feet, the solar plexus and the chest with them. The most suitable carrier oils are almond, jojoba and hazelnut due to their low odor and lightness.
-But it is also possible to use a humidifier, a vaporizer, or even a container with water that we can place on the radiator to vaporize the oils in the environment.
-And, of course, it is possible to steam or spray them. For this we will use a couple of drops of each essential oil added to a saucepan with hot water. We will cover our head with a towel and breathe in the vapors for at least 10 minutes, pausing for 30 seconds every 2/3 minutes.
Ravintsara essential oil, Cinnamomum camphora (formerly known as Camphor) is the quintessential anti-flu oil. This oil has important antiviral properties against influenza, the flu virus. In addition, Camphor essential oil effectively strengthens the immune system by stimulating the adrenal glands. These glands, when subjected to a state of stress, produce a large amount of cortisol, a hormone capable of suppressing the immune system to some extent. This causes general tiredness and the immune system to weaken. Therefore, it is important to stimulate the adrenal glands and keep them in shape to boost immunity, which helps fight viruses and infections that could take advantage of the flu-fatigue state to settle in.
Camphor also has expectorant and mucolytic properties that promote fluidization and expulsion of mucus from the trachea and bronchi, allowing the airways to decongest. This property is essential if we take into account that the flu is, mainly, a respiratory infection.
Lemon Oil: Thanks to its antiseptic and regenerative properties, it helps to increase and strengthen the body’s defenses. One possibility is to add a few drops to a tablespoon of almond oil and massage the area above the navel until it is completely absorbed.
Cajeput Oil: This oil acts particularly in the respiratory tract by facilitating decongestion, its strong and spicy aroma has expectorant properties and helps soothe irritation of the nasal mucosa.
Eucalyptus Radiata Oil: Just a few drops added to the water in a container that we can place on the radiator (better if we have a humidifier, but it is not essential either) will be enough to moisten the air and make the environment healthy, fresh and I clean. Eucalyptus opens the airways, helping us breathe, while clearing our lungs of mucus and phlegm. This essential oil is able to calm the spasms of the respiratory muscles responsible for the cough reflex by inhibiting the contractions caused by acetylcholine in the tracheal muscle. This can significantly alleviate one of the major symptoms of the flu: a cough. In fact, this oil is an essential aid in almost all types of respiratory infections. In addition, this oil is highly compatible with that of ravintsara, thereby reinforcing its antiviral action and its expectorant and mucolytic properties.
Thyme oil and Eucalyptus oil: With these oils it is interesting to make steam covered with a towel. Although, also, it is possible to vaporize them in the room and breathe the air.
Thyme oil has invigorating and stimulating properties on the body’s immune defences and is ideal for treating a sore throat and helping to counteract flu symptoms. Eucalyptus oil, as we said, is considered an excellent natural remedy for the treatment of respiratory disorders.
BETTER ALSO WITH HONEY
An also interesting idea to stay hydrated that allows us to solve the problem more quickly is to drink infusions several times a day with thyme or another antiseptic herbs to which we will add a teaspoon of honey.
If it is possible that we find “Honeydew honey or manuka honey”, is better, and if not, conventional honey will also help us very well because honey is a substance with a double effect. On the one hand, it is a probiotic that will help us recover the healthy bacterial flora of our mucous membranes and, on the other, it is a natural antibiotic that strengthens our defences and helps us fight viruses without affecting the health of our intestinal flora. With which, the recovery of the process is much faster.
We hope that you have liked this article and that it is useful to you, in any case, remember that nothing in this article or site should be interpreted as medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns about your health.