The new coronavirus causes little more than a cough if it stays in the nose and throat, which it does for the majority of people unlucky enough to be infected. The danger starts when it reaches the lungs.
Then the coronavirus invades the epithelial cells that line and protect the respiratory tract, said Taubenberger, who heads the viral pathogenesis and evolution section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. If it’s contained in the upper airway, it usually results in a less severe disease.
But if the virus treks down the windpipe to the peripheral branches of the respiratory tree and lung tissue, it can trigger a more severe phase of the disease. That’s due to the pneumonia-causing damage inflicted directly by the virus plus secondary damage caused by the body’s immune response to the infection.
As a child – when I had a cold or flu – my mother would do what her mother used to do. She would drop some vapour rub into a bowl of very hot water – cover my head with a towel – and make me breath the steam. Then she would rub my chest with the oil so that I was breathing it as I slept.
It certainly worked! It eased the congestion and the chest infection – though health and safety these days would frown upon a child and a bowl of very hot water!!!
Back then it was thought that ingredients in the vapour rub simply eased the symptoms. However, numerous modern studies are demonstrating that eucalyptus oil – the main ingredient in that rub – shows anti-viral activity as a vapour. This can help fight or prevent viral infection. So Mother and Grandmother were right!!!
Subjected to scientific study
While humans have used essential oils for hundreds of years, it is only recently that the application of essential oils for flu treatment and other medical conditions has been subjected to scientific study.
Both contemporary research and early home remedies suggest that essential oils can be effective tools in the battle against viral infections, particularly as resistance to existing medications grows.
Some claims about the effects of essential oils are anecdotal, but many studies are beginning to confirm that some oils can help fight or prevent the viral infection. Eucalyptus oil shows significant anti-viral activity as a vapour.
Steaming, has been used for generation. This is done by floating the oil in hot water and inhaling the vapours . . .
The simplest and most convenient way to inhale the oil is by using an essential oil inhaler stick – see instructions below:
Instructions for making a eucalyptus inhaler tube
- Soak the cotton wick in eucalyptus oil
- Using a pair of tweezers insert it into the main compartment
- Put the cap on firmly
- Put the cover on
- The cotton wick can be topped up with a few drops of eucalyptus oil when necessary
- Never use neat eucalyptus oil directly onto the skin or near the eyes.
- Never take eucalyptus oil orally
- Keep the bottle away from small children