Across the globe, the new coronavirus has been plaguing the minds, bodies, and day-to-day activities of people. As of today, there are more than 160 countries affected with over 180,000 confirmed cases of the virus. Countries have been shutting down their borders, travel bans have been popping up here and there, and governments have been imposing lockdowns on major cities all over the world.
Without a doubt, this new strain of coronavirus has been causing widespread panic on a global scale. News outlets are covering every update on the COVID-19 case every second, people are panic buying and hoarding rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizers, the prices of hand sanitizers, face masks, sterile gloves, and disinfectants have skyrocketed, and so forth.
Indeed, the virus has been wreaking havoc on nations and has sadly caused more than 7,000 deaths. But despite this, a total of about 80,000 people have already recovered from the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) even stated that almost 80 percent of coronavirus cases are mild. Plus, the common flu is more widespread and more likely to pose a problem—even if we factor in the stark difference in death rates between this and the coronavirus.
Of course, that isn’t to say we shouldn’t be vigilant about flu-like symptoms. There’s still no known treatment or vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus. That being said, people should be wary of businesses promoting fraudulent claims of coronavirus prevention and treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued warning letters to companies that are claiming their products, including colloidal silver and essential oils, are an appropriate medical treatment for the virus.
In this article, we’ll delve into the topic of the new coronavirus, proper prevention, and demystifying essential oil use in relation to dealing with the current pandemic.
What is Coronavirus?
Previously referred to as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was recently discovered last December 2019 in Wuhan, China. On March 11, 2020, the WHO classified this disease as a pandemic or a “worldwide spread of a new disease.”
As some might be familiar, the coronaviruses (CoV), a large group of viruses, have caused different well-known diseases, from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), and today’s COVID-19. Coronaviruses are considered zoonotic or are transmitted from animals to humans. Most of the first COVID-19 cases, in particular, were linked to a wet market in Wuhan, which sold live animals.
In some cases, the coronavirus is asymptomatic, which means that some people infected with it do not exhibit symptoms at all. However, most infected people experience mild flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may include fever, cough, body aches, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, or diarrhea. Furthermore, this new strain of virus takes 2 to 14 days or 5 days on average for infected individuals to present mild symptoms.
It’s also worth noting that people who are particularly susceptible to becoming severely sick with the virus are those with decreased immunity. These people include those over the age of 65 or people with serious preexisting medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, HIV, chronic lung disease, and chronic kidney disease. They also include those taking immunosuppressive medications.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for the coronavirus yet. Scientists, biologists, and biological technicians are still scrambling for a cure and trying to develop experimental antivirals and vaccines.
People who are experiencing mild symptoms of coronavirus are recommended to stay at home and self-isolate for two weeks to prevent the spread of the disease. Those exhibiting high fever, shortness of breath, and lethargy should seek medical care right away. When treating coronavirus cases in hospitals, medical professionals care for patients by mitigating their symptoms.
While there’s currently no cure for the coronavirus, experts strongly suggest that people should take preventive measures to protect themselves and others from the virus. Basically, these measures revolve around basic hygiene and limiting social interactions. To protect yourself from the virus, you should:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands if there’s no sink or bathroom nearby.
- Avoid or stop touching your face altogether, particularly your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Practice social distancing or keep a distance of at least 3 feet away from anyone who is sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your inner elbow whenever you need to sneeze or cough.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Seek medical care and contact your doctor or local health authority if you have difficulty breathing, high body temperature, and cough.
Another thing to remember is that wearing masks is only required when taking care of an infected person or when you are coughing or sneezing. If you do need to wear a face mask, you should know how to properly use and dispose of it.
Essential Oils and Coronavirus
Because of the worldwide prevalence of coronavirus, people are anxious about the development of a cure and a vaccine. Considering the high death rates caused by this disease, it’s no wonder that many are resorting to alternative medicine, which includes essential oil use. As was mentioned before, the FDA has already warned some companies against promoting and selling fraudulent products as a cure or prevention of the coronavirus. The administration stated that these products are posing a threat to public health as these can discourage customers to get appropriate medical treatment.
Just to reiterate, there’s no cure for COVID-19 at the moment. That said, using essential oils is neither an effective medical cure nor preventive measure when dealing with this new virus. There is currently no evidence or scientific research to support the claim that essential oils can be used to treat and prevent this type of illness.
If you’re considering using essential oils due to the outbreak, it doesn’t hurt to use safe, diluted oils after taking effective, science-backed preventive measures.
Dealing With the Virus & Use of Essential Oils: Dos and Don’ts
Now that we’ve demystified that essential oils should not be used as a primary treatment for the coronavirus, let’s look at the benefits and safety precautions of using essential oils when dealing with the outbreak.
Essential oils have been used as a holistic approach to health. While there’s still more to discover about essential oils, some researchers as well as users can attest to the fact that certain oils bring about specific health benefits. Of course, these oils should only be used for coping with a disease after seeking medical treatment and consulting with a doctor. If you don’t have adverse reactions to your essential oils, it doesn’t hurt to use them to help attain holistic health. This guide explains the health benefits and uses of each essential oil.
As local and international media outlets deliver news pieces about the coronavirus at every turn, it’s not surprising that people are struck with anxiety and panic because of this pandemic. Now, our immune system coupled with stress and anxiety is a recipe for disaster. That’s why, in the midst of this anxiety-inducing outbreak, it’s best to just stay at home, sit back, relax, and do some self-care. And while you’re at it, blend a relaxing essential oil recipe of your choice and enjoy a DIY aromatherapy session at home.
Apart from dissolving your worries about the outbreak, some other ways to boost your immune system are getting uninterrupted sleep, eating healthy food, and cleaning and disinfecting your home. Needless to say, it’s also best to practice proper hygiene by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face. After you’ve finished all the best practices of fortifying your immune system, use the best immune-boosting essential oils to further strengthen your physical defenses.
If you prefer to try essential oils as an additional way to combat viruses, then go ahead and diffuse or inhale essential oil blends. When diffusing blends, always remember to air the room afterward.
Inhaling essential oil blends, on the other hand, is a safe way to get the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils for your respiratory system. Make sure that these blends are not too strong and that your hands are clean when using your diffuser or inhaler.
First off on the list of don’ts of essential oil use and tackling the virus is to avoid putting essential oils on face masks—and we’re not talking about the well-loved skincare product type of mask.
A lot of people are hoarding face masks in fear of getting the virus or just to sell them at a higher price. However, if you’re a healthy person and are not in close contact with people who are ill, wearing a face mask can do more harm than good.
Since masks are essential for healthcare providers and infected individuals, the mass shortage of face masks isn’t helping the spread of the virus at all. If you do fall under the category of people required to wear face masks, avoid dropping essential oils on your mask. This can significantly diminish the effectiveness of wearing masks. Moreover, certain essential oils are too potent to inhale for long periods or to be placed against the skin.
Diffusing essential oils is a great way to enjoy an aromatherapy session at home. But if you have cats or/and dogs at home, you should never use essential oils on pets. This includes diffusing essential oils that are toxic to animals. Despite the fact that a lot of essential oils provide humans with various benefits, these oils can be harmful to our furry friends.
Tea tree essential oil is well-known for its poisonous effect on animals. But aside from this, you might want to be wary of using other essential oils around your pets. These essential oils include but not limited to cinnamon, peppermint, pine, ylang-ylang, wintergreen, clove, citrus, and pennyroyal.
This, of course, begs the question: Are there even essential oils that are safe to diffuse around pets or even children? The answer is a resounding yes. Some of these essential oils are Siberian fir, grapefruit, spearmint, lavender, cedarwood, tangerine, and lemon.
Yes. Essential oils bring us a number of benefits, but you should never spray your blends—even your favorite antimicrobial oils or antiviral essential oils—in public, especially in enclosed spaces. Always keep in mind that other people might suffer from the strong scents of essential oils. Also, you have to respect and be considerate of people’s personal spaces. You’ll never know if one or more of those people are pregnant or have asthma, allergies, and other health conditions. By spraying essential oil blends in public spaces, you might be aggravating the health conditions of some. Remember that as with all other products and medicines, people have different reactions to essential oils.
As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is bad.” This particularly applies to the use of essential oils. These oils are already potent in themselves. If you use too much essential oil, you might run the risk of getting adverse side effects. Even if the whole world’s dealing with a serious pandemic, there’s no cause for alarm and no need to use more essential oil than normal. Whether you’re blending them or applying them to your skin, don’t use too much oil, even if it’s diluted.
This has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating: essential oils do not serve as the main cure for COVID-19 and other serious health conditions. If you’re experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, call your doctor right away and follow his or her instructions. The same goes for other serious health conditions. If you’re suffering from one or if you’re having a baby, it’s still best to consult with your doctor before you try using essential oils as holistic remedies. As with all other kinds of medicine, you should practice caution when handling essential oils.
There’s still so much to discover about the benefits and uses of essential oils, especially when it comes to tackling serious viral infections. As of the moment, no scientific evidence exists to support the claim that essential oils can serve as remedies for the coronavirus.
As the world is facing a frightening pandemic, the best thing each of us can do is to take care of ourselves by following the directives of local and global health authorities. Using essential oils is still considered safe, but these oils shouldn’t be treated as primary remedies for any kind of health condition, including the coronavirus disease.Right now, nations around the globe are under lockdown, and many are left to wait until this pandemic is over. That’s why one cannot blame people for panicking and stressing about the outbreak. If you’re one of these people, keep in mind that all the panicking and stressing might harm your immune system. So avoid stressing out at all costs and make your own favorite aromatherapy blend with Aroma Foundry’s essential oils—whether it’s for meditating, for immune boosting, or for simply relaxing.