Influenza (commonly referred to as flu) is a viral infection that is infectious through sneezing or coughing. There are 3 main types of virus: A, B and C, but there are several closely related viruses, and each epidemic is caused by a different type. The incubation period in the body is up to 3 days. Symptoms are headaches, coughing, aching limbs, loss of appetite, and malaise. Worldwide epidemics are caused by the Influenza A virus, and the less violent epidemics by the Influenza B virus. Influenza C is much less common. Unfortunately, each outbreak of flu is caused by a different virus, as strains are continually changing. For this reason, immunization is not always successful. As viruses cannot be treated through the administration of antibiotics, it is advisable to commence with treatment at the onset of the disorder. If left untreated, secondary bacterial infection can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, and sore throats. It must be noted that as the years progress, different virus strains are also being produced.
Bronchitis is an infection, or inflammation, of the bronchi. Acute bronchitis usually follows upper respiratory tract infections such as flu or a cold. As the immune system is lowered, resistance to infection is lowered as well. The excess mucus, secreted as a result, becomes infected as well which results in coughing as the lungs attempt to eliminate it. Symptoms include slight fever, breathlessness, wheezing, headaches, and general malaise.
Pneumonia is an acute inflammation of the lungs caused by fungal, bacterial, or viral infection. There are many types of pneumonia and 2 of the main ones are lobar pneumonia, where the whole lung is inflamed, and broncho pneumonia, where only patches of the lungs are inflamed. Pneumonia can develop as a result of other respiratory diseases such as colds, bronchitis, and flu.
Aromatherapy treatment aims at combating infection, reducing fever, easing the cough, and expelling mucus. The oils have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. The oils will help to reinforce the body's own defense mechanism in response to the infection. When dealing with acute or chronic conditions, seek professional advice immediately.
Suggested essential oils: Cajeput, lemon, niaouli, tea tree, thyme, ravensara, thyme, sage, rosemary, clove, frankincense, benzoin.