Seasonal viral and bacterial influenza is infection of the sinus, lungs and airways, and presents with one or more of the following symptoms: fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and a general feeling of weariness. It used to be that winter was the most likely time you would get the flu. The typical flu season runs from late November to March, however, there are possible outbreaks at other times during the year.
There are many sensible ways to keep seasonal viral and bacterial influenza at bay. Common sense and scents can help. Create awareness in school and the workplace and adopt and share one or more of the following suggestions that can put your mind more at ease:
Wash your hands often throughout the day with pure soap. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs enter your body more easily this way. Steer clear of synthetic chemical antibacterial liquid cleansers that strip your skin of its protective flora and actually create bacterial rashes. We carry several lovely choices of pure, natural soap, Black Soap from Africa, made from powdered Cocoa pods and the peel of the Plantain, using Coconut and Palm Kernel oils, is a wonderful choice. This soap will amaze you with its wonderful cleaning power and clean smell. We use it for everything! It comes in a bar, or liquid, including a handy 2 oz. size for your purse or backpack. You can easily make your own hand-wipes, spritzing cut-up paper towels with our Healthy Skin Hydrosol and conveniently carrying in a ziploc bag.
To avoid spreading disease, stay at home if you are sick, unless absolutely impossible. If you sneeze and cough at work or school, cover your mouth with a handkerchief or tissue. Do your best to keep those germs from going airborne and infecting others, prolonging illness in the workplace or school. Avoid crowds, and especially close contact with sick people. Generally keeping a distance of about six feet between yourself and others helps reduce your risk of exposure.
Using aromatics can introduce antibacterial, antiviral protection into your respiratory, sinus and throat regions. First Defense™ is a proprietary blend of the most powerful, yet gentle essential oils proven to address colds and influenza. This synergy is handy to have at hand when you feel the need to keep germs at bay. It is available in a convenient inhaler, especially good for travel, and for teachers, who are constantly exposed to the colds and flu of the younger population. It is also available as a diffuser synergy.
Proper ventilation significantly reduces the concentration of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the air. Simply opening a window can help; unfortunately, this is not possible in many workplaces. If your workplace allows, use an environmental aromatic blend of essential oils like First Defense™, or Spring Breath™ in a personal diffuser on your desk to improve the air quality. You can also use them in a diffuser that works in the cigarette lighter socket in your car, or make a fine mist spritzer with the synergy suspended in water. You’ll find a wide range of aromatic diffusers here at Samara Botane, as well as the bottles and closures. For routine prevention, you might also enjoy our L’air Frais™ Aromatic Room Spray, a bright, fresh environmental mist to clean and purify air.
Drink lots of water and eat sensibly. Foods that can boost your immune system include raw garlic (actually kills cold and flu virus), yogurt (immuno-stimulatory effects), green tea (powerful antiviral), fruits and vegetables (preferably fresh: full of vitamin C: apples are an excellent choice). If you get sick, avoid mucous-producing foods like milk, cheese . . . and, yes, ice cream! Pay attention to your nutritional needs and include vitamins and supplements as necessary. See your doctor and other health practitioners regularly, including your trusted dentist (I’ve been visiting Calgary dental offices for couple years now).
Marcia’s Chicken Tortellini Soup for Flu Season
Sauté to soften in skillet (adding more olive oil if needed):
1 1/2 c. celery, diced
1 1/2 c. carrots, diced
2 small or 1 medium onion diced
3-6 garlic cloves, minced (the more the better)
Add above ingredients to stockpot with:
8 c. chicken broth (add water as needed)
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
3 c. spinach leaves, chopped (or 3 c. broccoli)
1 15-oz. can sliced tomatoes (do not drain)
3-4 Tbsp. Braggs Amino Acids (optional)
2 tsp. Dried Tarragon, ground in mortar & pestle to release optimum flavor
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
cook at slow boil for 15 minutes
12 oz. fresh cheese tortellini pasta
cook for another 4-5 minutes or according to directions on pasta pkg.
Spoon into bowls, add:
freshly grated Parmesan for garnish, optional
This soup will keep well for several days refrigerated and can be reheated.
More tips for avoiding colds and flu:
Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is a high risk factor for influenza, and there is a higher mortality rate from influenza for smokers than non-smokers. Smoking causes structural changes in the respiratory tract and a decrease in immune response.
Dress properly. Thermo receptors (our body’s temperature sensory receptors) are concentrated on hands, feet, neck and head. Keep these parts of your body warm.
Modern life is stressful and many of us are worried, apprehensive and dealing with difficulties. This mental and physical state can lower your immune capability and create an environment for colds and flu to take hold. Pay conscious attention to reducing the stress in your life and pamper yourself – take time to relax. Luxurious aromatic baths and footbaths can soothe tired and sore muscles and calm frazzled nerves. Treat yourself to a therapeutic massage. Take long walks in the open air, away from the smog and traffic. Find time to relax with soothing music and/or a good book. Have a cup of tea with a friend. Talking to an empathetic ear can have a therapeutic effect.
We at Samara Botane hope you find these simple suggestions useful. We are here to serve through the aromatic life. You’ll find specific aromatherapy uses for each essential oil on the “uses” tab in the shopping cart on our website.