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Build and Manage Your Immunity: A Coronavirus Antidote?

What if you had a magic key to help keep your immune system strong and less likely to succumb to illness? Perceive the possibility for just a moment… that the first step in boosting immunity lies within you. You may further consider creating your own antidote of sorts through preventative healthcare measures. As word of [...]

What if you had a magic key to help keep your immune system strong and less likely to succumb to illness? Perceive the possibility for just a moment… that the first step in boosting immunity lies within you. You may further consider creating your own antidote of sorts through preventative healthcare measures. As word of the coronavirus continues to impact our lives currently, there is no better time than NOW to take full responsibility for your own health.

Since Ananda Apothecary’s inception in 2004, the health and well-being of the public and our customers has been our priority. Inherently we understand this critical aspect of managing health and knowing the importance of preventative health measures. Today the concern and uncertainty that We as a Global Community are experiencing, appears to be escalating as news surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is only a grand awakening on a whole other level. Health professionals are still learning how it spreads; to what extent it can spread; and the severity of illness that it may cause. It’s effecting our borders, our trade, our emotions, our minds, and most importantly — our overall energy field(s) both as individuals and collectively. If anything, let’s stay positive mentally, energetically rejuvenated, and most of all educated in a way we can proactively participate in our own preventative measures.

We feel it is appropriate to shed some light on this impending pandemic, and point you toward an Aromatherapy Course coming soon that can take to help share knowledge of integrative health management. We’ll get to the details below in a bit. First though, let’s take a look at what we do know given the current health situation known as Coronavirus (COVID-19):

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to keep your immune system strong and avoid being exposed. This is not unlike the cold and flu season in a sense, where precautions take more precedence. We all know a healthy immune system helps one be less likely to experience illness. Like other respiratory illnesses, and similar to the common cold, the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Much like any cold, or flu, this particular illness can be transferred either between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Given the fact, we all can’t just stay locked up in our homes, it does warrant a preventative mindset. The good news is, you can help calm the storm within your own body, and build your immunity by taking preventative measures into your own hands. Even better, you have some potent allies in this endeavor: essential oils.

Essential oils are unique allies in times of airborne illness because of their volatile nature and their inherent anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral qualities. Essential oils are distilled from plants into concentrated volatile substances that can purify the air. This quality makes them extremely effective for respiratory conditions by way of inhalation. It is this inherent, diffusive quality that allows essential oils to be used to strengthen the immune system. This has been known for ages.

Historically, aromatic herbs and spices have proven useful in times of airborne illnesses precisely because of their anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. For centuries, aromatic botanicals have been used in religious ceremonies. They’ve been used for smudging as a means of spiritual purification. Some ancient traditions continue today to smudge people and public areas as a means to purify the air, such as: Juniper, Cedar, Frankincense, Cypress, and other botanicals.  

 

 

Six Ways to Use the Benefits of Anti-viral essential oils:

  1. Steam Inhalation – Simply boil a soup pot filled with water, remove from stove, and add 4 drops of any singular or combination of any of the following: Bay Laurel, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Thyme, Niaouli, Ravintsara, or one of Ananda’s wonderful immune building blends
  2. Passive Diffusion – Set a bowl of water, with a few drops of the essential oils listed above, in a warm sunny window. Alternatively, you can place 8-10 drops in a inhaler to breathe throughout the day.
  3. Room Diffusers and Atomizers are also practical ways to disperse the anti-viral qualities of essential oils into larger spaces, such as living rooms, etc. See our Diffusers here!
  4. Topically, a person can apply Bay Laurel, Cajeput, Niaouli, or any of the Eucalyptus Essential Oils on the lymph nodes and adrenal glands after a shower. This will help to strengthen the immune system. To do this, dilute a total of 3-10 drops of a single or combination of these oils in an unscented lotion or vegetable oil, and massage on the sides of the neck, arm pits, lower back, and just above the kidneys.
  5. Disinfectant Room sprays – Add 20-30 drops of essential oil to 4 oz of distilled water. Shake well before using. Add to a spray bottle and deodorize and disinfect as needed.
  6. Household cleaners – Add 20-30 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle with 6 oz water and 2 oz white vinegar. Shake before use. You may also test on a corner of surface before using on the entire surface. 

 

Many of the discoveries of the benefits of using aromatic plants to prevent and treat respiratory conditions, came out of the European regions.

In the 16th century, also known as the Golden Age of Herbalists, pomanders of Myrrh, Sandalwood, Clove, Nutmeg and Rose, were popular, as well as Lemon peel, Juniper oil, Camphor and Marjoram. Pomanders were small, ball-like vessels that were stuffed with aromatic plants. These were worn around the neck or on a belt. 

In a popular illustration from the 17th Century, a doctor is pictured wearing protective clothing that can be best described as a hood with a beak. This vessel is said to have been filled with Cinnamon, Clove, and other aromatic herbs. (Battaglia, 2008)

During the 19th century, someone observed the low incidence of tuberculosis in the flower-growing districts of France, particularly in the south. It was here that someone made note that the workers who processed flowers and herbs remained free of the respiratory illness that was common at that time. This led to published studies showing that essential oils were able to kill the micro-organisms of glandular and yellow fever. They particularly noted the properties of Oregano, Chinese Cinnamon, Angelica and Geranium. (Battaglia, 2008)

Epidemics of the past were worsened by several factors, including: 

  • Rapid growth of urban areas with poor sanitation
  • Horrific working conditions in factories – dawn to dusk, 7-day work week
  • Epidemic vitamin D deficiency – rickets in some urban areas nearly universal
  • Deterioration of the diet
  • Sugar and white flour as staple foods for the first time in history

The listed above in bold type should be noted, as currently we are also seeing many deficient in Vitamin D, poor diets, and too much consumption of sugar, processed foods and white flour. Perhaps you take Vitamin D supplements, eat better, cleaner, more life-giving (living) foods, while avoiding sugar and white flour? Food for thought! 🙂

Photo Courtesy of: Angelika Fürstler

The Center for Disease Control recommends these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,
– Wash hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
– If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
– Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

3 MUST DO Practices to Keep a Healthy Immune Response:

  1. Reduce unnecessary stress. Stress has been shown to be the first domino that effects all illnesses.
  2. Get adequate Sleep. Sleep deprivation causes elevated cortisol levels and results in impaired immune function. 
  3. Reduce Sugar intake. Americans consume an average of five ounces (> ¼ lb.) of sugar every day, either consciously added to their food or hidden in processed foods. Scientific studies have found that amounts less than this can profoundly suppress the immune system.  

Staying healthy is a lifestyle and takes concerted effort. It is as important as eating clean foods, being mindful of overall self care, and adjusting behaviors or patterns to ensure the rejuvenation of energy and optimal body function for health. Basic self-care is what helps build a strong immune system. Modern lifestyles tend to command a lot of energy output and introduce stressful ways of living. Many of us are now becoming aware and familiar with the relaxing and healthful benefits that aromatherapy can have on stress levels. Essential oils as allies have inherent qualities that have proven through the ages to be invaluable during times of legendary epidemics.   

You can always take a more proactive role in maintaining your health by learning more about essential oils and how and when to use them, and for what. The more you know about aromatherapy and how it works, the better you can be a living example of preventative health management.

UPCOMING: Aromatherapy 100 Course at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. The course is designed to provide an introduction to the basic arts and sciences of aromatherapy and essential oils for the beginner to intermediate seeker. You’ll get hands on experience too and learn about the chemistry of essential oils, so you can blend your own formulations for whatever you need, any time you need!

 

We are happy to have co-authored this blog with the help of Kathryn Delaney, CCA, CCH, CN. Delaney is the Director of Aromatherapy 100 Course at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. She says students will learn the history and chemistry of essential oils, EO Materia Medica, blending and/or formulation, product creation, and clinical skills for the practicing aromatherapist. The course also includes a basic introduction to the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the relevant body systems as they are affected by essential oils. Ananda Apothecary will provide the aromatherapy kits for this course in this collaborative effort.

For more information, please visit: https://clinicalherbalism.com/programs-courses/aromatherapy/ or write to Kathryn.delaney@clinicalherbalism.com

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