Yes, I know. It seems like I'm harping on the flu. But there are some ridiculous myths about the flu that can make you really - really - sick! And we're STILL in the middle of flu season!
Got a cold? Aromatherapy can help! Tis the season for sneezing, coughing and feeling miserable.
So maybe you just couldn’t stave off a nasty cold. There’s really nothing you can do to make your cold go away any faster – it has to run its’ course. However, there’s lots of ways to get through a head or chest cold with some measure of grace.
Beware of all the cold remedies from the drug store. Many of them are known to affect your blood pressure. Then there’s the disconnected feeling you get as well as completely drying out your system.
Do you purposely want to be dehydrated? (The correct answer is NO you do not!)
How To Deal With A Cold
I know you know how to deal with a cold. But sometimes, we all take leave of our senses and don’t take good care of our bodies.
A-n-n-n-d then we’re run down and end up with a head or chest cold.
Allow me to beat this into your head:
WASH YOUR HANDS WITH PLAIN SOAP AND WARM WATER.
Everyone in the world is sneezing and hacking leaving their germs all over the place. Right behind that, you touch a door knob or a handle of some sort and then you touch your face.
GAH! Now you’ve let slip the germs of war to get into your system. Simply washing your hands keeps these nasty germs at bay.
Okay, next thing to beat into your head:
DRINK AT LEAST 32 OUNCES OF PURE WATER EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Do I really need to explain why? The more pure water you drink, the more toxins are flushed out of your system. A build up of toxins can push your immune system to it’s limits – and that’s when you catch a cold.
Here’s what WebMD.com says about drinking water with a slice of lemon when you have a head cold or chest cold:
Hot or cold, it keeps you hydrated and loosens up stuffiness and congestion. Lemon is also high in vitamin C, which may make a cold slightly shorter if you get it regularly.
One more thing to beat into your head:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
Yes, I know you’re busy. We all are. Sleep helps your body recuperate from your daily grind. When you don’t get enough sleep, you get run down. Do you see a pattern here?
A little fun fact: Chicken noodle soup is one of those wonderful home remedies for colds. Why?
Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center point out:
Studies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken soup may help you to clear nasal congestion and have a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can help ease cold symptoms. Chicken noodle soup makes a great fallback for the cold winter days because of all its wonderful nutrients. The ingredients included are soothing to the throat, easy-to-digest and also pack a great taste.
How Can Aromatherapy Help With A Cold?
Okay, so you’ve ignored all the sensible advice and you have a cold. The good news is that essential oils are ideal for helping you through a cold. There’s lot of oils to help with congestion, promote good nasal and bronchial health and assist with aches and pains.
- Tea Tree helps with infections and congestion. Put a couple of drops in a bowl of steaming water and breathe it in.
- Eucalyptus is a natural decongestant. You can diffuse a few drops by your bed at night. (This is NOT for children under 10.)
- Rosemary helps suppress a cough.
- Peppermint is refreshing and will help open up airways, but don’t use this before bedtime (or with children under 10) as it’s a stimulant. You need your sleep!
If you prefer the natural route (it really is much better for you), I have two products that will help you through your worst head or chest cold:
SniffleKick Personal Nasal Inhaler: This blend supports healthy lung function, soothes your cough and encourages clear breathing.
So there you have it – I’ll stop acting like your mother now and step off my soapbox before I fall off! :0)
How about sharing this post with everyone in your life who needs a refresher course in colds – okay?
P.S. Want more information? Fill out this contact form and let’s talk!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The flu season is back in full swing again. It bears repeating: to lessen your chances of contracting the flu, WASH YOUR HANDS!
Last year, I took a two-hour webinar on the flu virus, how to prevent it and what to do if you still get it – all that good information. You can read the post titled “Understanding Influenza” for full in-depth information about it.
For today, I’m going to give you a basic primer on the flu, how to prevent it and what to do if you are diagnosed with it.
The flu season in North Carolina will run from approximately October through May. Interesting little factoid: the flu begins in Australia and works its way over to the United States and usually hits the Southeast United States first.
What Is The Flu?
The flu is a virus that can only reproduce inside a targeted cell – which is you. Antibiotics won’t do any good whatsoever to help you with the flu as they’re for bacterial infections, not viral infections.
It can take as little as a few hours for the symptoms to show up once you’ve been exposed. I always thought the flu included an upset stomach (and all the loveliness that goes along with it) but it’s actually a respiratory issue.
The actual influenza virus spreads by killing cells in your respiratory tract, triggering a cough reflex which then propels the virus in the air to infect those around you.
Here’s the information about the 2018-2019 flu virus from the Centers For Disease Control in Atlanta:
There are many different flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on vaccine) that research suggests will be most common.
Here’s a quick rundown of flu symptoms. You may get all of them or a few of them.
- Moderate to severe cough
- Fever, possibly high lasting for 3 – 4 days
- Moderate to intense muscle aches and pains
- Headache, sometimes intense
- Sore throat and stuffy nose are common
- Generally lasts 12 – 14 days or longer
If you sneeze and have watery eyes, you most likely have a cold – it’s rare to have these symptoms with the flu.
Preventing The Flu
So what does that have to do with washing your hands?
As it turns out, a whole lot.
You know that doorknob or handle you just touched? Someone else touched it with their hands and left germs. And those germs can last for hours on hard surfaces.
So the best ways to prevent the flu are:
- Wash your hands with plain soap and warm water often, especially after using the toilet or coughing and sneezing.
- Drink more water than usual – this will keep your system flushed out.
- Get a flu shot – it’s a proven fact that getting a flu shot does NOT cause the flu!
- Avoid touching your face – germs spread easier in moist mucous membranes (such as your eyes and nose).
- Take Elderberry syrup at least 3 times every day during flu season. If you feel symptoms coming on, take a tablespoon every 2 hours.
I get my Elderberry syrup from a place called Norm’s Farms (NOT an affiliate link). They offer free shipping, too! To be honest, the flu vaccine is about 30% effective and the Elderberry syrup is about 80% effective against the flu. I actually take Elderberry syrup twice a day year round.
What To Do If You Get The Flu
Even though you’re careful, you caught the flu. Now what?
Go. To. Bed. Now.
Seriously, go to bed and stay there for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. Don’t go around anyone to spread the germs – especially day care centers and nursing homes.
Get to your doctor as fast as you can for an antiviral prescription medication, if needed. The faster you get the medication in you, the faster you’ll feel better.
Drink more plain water than usual. Again – water is flushing your system and this is a good thing.
Keep a vaporizer or cold mist diffuser running to help stop the spread of germs. If you add a couple drops each of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lavender to your cold mist diffuser (or inhale directly from a cotton ball), you’ll breathe easier and feel better.
Sleep. Sweet glorious sleep will help your body heal.
Don’t go back to work for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. You’ll still be contagious!
I make a wonderful blend called Thievery which contains several essential oils to boost your immune system. It’s $16.95 for a 10 mL bottle and can help boost your immune system as well as promote bronchial and nasal health. All you have to do is fill out this contact form or send an email and I’ll take it from there.
Be well, wash your hands and share this post!
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
If you live with arthritis, you probably wonder why your joints hurt before it rains. I never really understood how that works so I did a little digging. While I’m not a doctor by any sane stretch of the imagination, I want you to feel better. Knowledge is power and allows you some control over your health and doesn’t that make you feel better already?
In North Carolina, we’ve dealt with a couple of hurricanes this year already – dayum – enough is enough – and you’ve probably been in pain more lately. Here’s why.
A lot of people believe they hurt more when it’s raining, but that’s not really the cause of aching joints. Most likely, you can tell me when the weather changes long before it ever gets here. All you know is that you have knee pain when it rains. Why?
When the barometric pressure is higher, it “presses” in on your body holding your tissues in place. You really don’t feel it, but it’s there. Conversely, when the barometric pressure falls, there’s less pressure on your body which gives your tissues room to swell. And you hurt more.
If you are a weather watcher, then you know the barometric pressure falls right before it rains. That’s less pressure on your body, your tissue swells and your joints ache.
The Arthritis Foundation says this about cooler temperatures and falling barometric pressure:
A study from Tufts University in 2007 found that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. In addition, relatively low barometric pressure, low temperatures and precipitation can increase pain. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens. They suspect certain atmospheric conditions increase swelling in the joint capsule.
We’re into October, it’s cooling off and your joints hurt more lately. Yes, it’s miserable and I’m sorry that you hurt.
If you’d like to track this, you can personalize your own weather forecast to connect the dots between falling barometric pressure and arthritis pain. Accuweather.com has an Arthritis Index based on the weather. When you go to their site, look toward the top of the menu (I’m working on a laptop) for the medical cross and click on the arrow to the right of the medical cross. You’ll see a dropdown menu and you can pick any number of concerns such as allergies, arthritis, migraines and cold/flu.
If nothing else, you get a heads up to better plan your day around the weather – even if it is unpredictable!
What Can I Do To Feel Better?
If you have chronic pain and/or arthritis pain – and have been diagnosed by a doctor – there are several things you can do to help yourself.
- If it’s cold outside, layer up! Most office buildings are freezing cold in the wintertime, so wear a couple of layers such as a camisole or an extra pair of socks to keep your bones warmer. I now have a pair of those fingerless gloves because I’m miserable when my hands are cold! I found a couple of links for you on Amazon (not affiliate links): Half Finger Gloves and Cable Knit Fingerless Gloves.
- Wear compression clothing – as in wrap your knee or ankle in an elastic bandage. This compresses the area and helps keep the swelling to a minimum.
- You’ll hate me for this one, but mild and gentle exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the stiffness. Swimming in particular is very helpful and doesn’t put any pressure on your already sore joints. Seriously – this alone is worth the cost of a Y-membership!
- Take regular Yoga classes. I love yoga. I’ve learned to breathe deeply and stretch my body and my bones. It’s gentle, effective, helps with your range of motion and who doesn’t need some awesome self-care? I absolutely love my yoga instructor at Lovingkindness Reiki and Yoga. If you haven’t tried, now is a great time. One more thing about yoga. You’ll find classes for women – and men – of all shapes, sizes and health levels. GO – today!
- Acupuncture has been proven to relieve pain along with many other health concerns. Please don’t use this instead of proper medical care! The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has an excellent article on their website that gives you lots of information.
- Allow me to tell you about Flexatoid for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s one of my most requested products for chronic pain. Flexatoid is warming to your skin and the essential oils in the blend address the pain, inflammation and joint swelling. It’s good for any chronic pain.
I’m a huge fan of Integrative medicine as it incorporates the very best of Western medicine (if there is such a thing) yet looks outside the box for more holistic answers to your health concerns. If you live in or near the Winston-Salem, NC area, there are two practitioners that practice integrative medicine to serve your body, mind and spirit:
- Robinhood Integrative Health on Robinhood Road. I’ve been a patient there for over a decade and appreciate their care and concern. They have an on-premises supplement shop and you’ll find some Scented Balance products there.
- Thrive Integrative Health on Reynolda Road. While I’m not a patient here, I have met Dr. Young and appreciate her holistic approach.
Each of these practitioners are concerned about your well-being, not just shoving a pill down your throat. I realize that’s a sharp comment, but if you know me at all, you know the rough time I’ve had with allopathic physicians.
I hope I’ve helped you today because I want you to be informed and have an easier time of taking charge of your own health. If you’re looking for more holistic solutions to your health concerns, please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk – today!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
There’s a lot of people out there – maybe you – who experience pain of some sort quite often. And, I’ll bet you take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve the pain. Here’s 5 reasons why you shouldn’t take NSAIDs along with some excellent alternatives.
What Are NSAIDs?
According to the website Drugs.com, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a group of medicines that relieve pain and fever and reduce inflammation.
There are nearly two dozen different NSAIDs available, but they all work in the same way, and that is by blocking a specific group of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase enzymes, often abbreviated to COX enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a group of compounds with hormone-like effects that control many different processes such as inflammation, blood flow, and the formation of blood clots.
They’re commonly used to relieve mild to moderate pain caused by headaches, migraines, muscle strains and sprains, menstrual cramps, arthritis and toothaches.
Ah, but at what cost? On the surface, it seems fast, cheap and easy to pop a couple and go on about your business, but in the long run, it’s damaging to your body. Truthfully, that cost is too high under any circumstances.
According to Drugs.com, if you take NSAIDs for long periods of time or at higher doses, you could be putting your life at risk. (Is aspirin an NSAID? The short answer is yes.)
The good news is there’s healthy and natural alternatives to NSAIDS and that’s where aromatherapy shines!
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take NSAIDs
Reason #1 – Digestive Woes
NSAIDs, including aspirin and Ibuprofen, block the release of prostaglandins which protect your stomach against stomach acid. Taken too often, you may experience irritation to your stomach lining which shows up as heartburn, stomach pain and possibly bleeding. Other side effects an include bloating, diarrhea or constipation. If you’re experiencing these digestive symptoms, Tummy Tamer Aromatherapy Roller Ball helps to ease heartburn, stomach cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
Reason #2 – More Headaches
Huh? You take ibuprofen 3 or 4 times a week to relieve your stress headache, but doing so may actually cause a rebound headache. Constant use of NSAIDs may cause changes in hormones and inhibitory pathways resulting in headache pain. A plant-based alternative is Headache Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball. It addresses your headache and migraine pain with no nasty side effects – and no rebound headache.
Reason #3 – Hearing Impairment
Hmmm…all this time you thought it was selective hearing! But, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, frequent use of ibuprofen increases the risk of hearing loss particularly in men. This also includes ringing of the ears known as tinnitus. It’s rare, usually associated with high doses and the issue usually goes away after you stop taking NSAIDs.
Reason #4 – Nasty Skin Eruptions
Because ibuprofen blocks so many different pathways, your skin could erupt with no real explanation. Truthfully, any synthetic drug you take could cause skin rashes as you’re introducing a foreign substance into your body and rashes are a known side effect of most drugs. According to DermNetNZ.com (a website about all things skin) NSAIDs commonly cause itching, rashes and hives. PsoMaxx Salve will help to calm your skin and again, there’s no nasty side effects or damage to your liver.
Reason #5 – Kidney Damage
According to Drugs.com, NSAIDs may also affect kidney function and reduce how quickly blood flows through the kidneys. They may cause retention of sodium and water which can lead to edema and high potassium levels. Occasionally, they may cause more serious damage to the kidneys.
Why Aromatherapy Makes Sense
The more I studied to get my aromatherapy certification, the more scared I got. There’s a ridiculous amount of toxic chemicals in products we depend on everyday to make us feel better. These very products are making us sick!
If you’re taking NSAIDs everyday for pain from arthritis, please try Flexatoid for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It specifically addresses pain and inflammation without any negative side effects.
A certified aromatherapist is trained in the safe use of essential oils that make a huge difference in pain, skin conditions, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, stress and many other concerns that we deal with in daily life.
I’m proud to be a certified aromatherapist, and I can tell you firsthand how I transformed my life simply by reducing the chemical load on my body with aromatherapy blends.
If you know someone who takes NSAIDs regularly, please share this post with them. If you’re taking NSAIDs way too much, please fill out this simple contact form and let’s talk TODAY!
P.S. Aromatherapy will transform your life!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.