Saturday, 11 December 2010

Why diffuse essential oils in winter months?

Common Cold Bupa Q&As

A warming and welcoming atmosphere can be created with a christmas oil of oils noted for their warming properties.  Essential oils are also excellent at tackling airborne viruses. 

Why do we get more colds in the winter months?

The cold viruses are not necessarily more numerous in the winter, but we are more prone to picking them up, because we tend to spend more time indoors, so that we are closer to each other.
An infected person spreads the cold viruses, from their mouth and nasal passages, by coughing or sneezing tiny droplets, which are laden with these viruses into the air and onto unsuspecting victims close by!
A single sneeze can produce up to 5,000 droplets of mucus, travelling up to a distance of 13 feet!
During the winter, the air we breathe indoors is very dry due to heating and lack of ventilation. This dry air reduces the mucous membrane's ability to resist infection, and so we become more susceptible to attack by viruses and other organisms in the atmosphere.
Schoolchildren are particularly prone to catching colds, as they are exposed to many viruses for the first time, against which they have not yet developed any immunity. As they grow older, their immunity protects them, so that a young adult may only get two or three colds a year, and an old person gets one or none at all.

The common cold, or coryza to give it its medical name, is a virus infection resulting in the inflammation of the lining of the nose and throat. This lining is known as a mucous membrane, which will produce 'mucus' in response to the attack by viruses.
Almost 200 viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold, which is why we have not been able to develop a specific anti cold vaccine.

What is the best way to treat colds, and can they be prevented?

Many mixes contain eucalyptus.  There is no cure for the common cold, and it will be gone within a week. However, some people feel better using a simple cough linctus, decongestants or painkillers such as aspirin or paracetamol.
Some people swear by such remedies as honey and lemon drinks and hot toddies, which may ease the symptoms but don't actually alter the course of the cold.
Basically, you should just keep warm, drink plenty fluids and eat light meals. There is no scientific reason to "Feed a cold and starve a fever!"
With regard to preventing colds, the claim that Vitamin C is effective in large doses has not been scientifically proven.

How does 'flu' differ from a cold?

The symptoms of 'flu' are similar to the common cold, but they are also more severe. There is a higher fever, along with marked aching of the muscle and bones. You feel weaker and more ill with flu, and it takes a bit longer to return to normal. It is not uncommon to feel quite weak and easily tired after a bout of flu. This is known as 'post viral fatigue'.
Flu can be a serious condition especially in the elderly or in those with other illnesses. It can also kill. For example, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 killed millions of young adults around the world.


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