WARNING! Aromatherapy Treatments: Use Of Essential Oils Can Actually Cause Lung Damage And Inflammation, Making Conditions Worse For COVID-19 Patients
: Of late, there has been many companies in the United States, Britain, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore making fake claims and disseminating misinformation that the use of essentials and diffusers would help with prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The public is warned that to date there are no proven medical or scientific studies that demonstrate that any essential oils are able to prevent or treat any respiratory diseases, influenza or even COVID-19.
The US FDA had in March issued a warning to certain such companies promoting the use of essential oils to treat COVID-19. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-update-fda-and-ftc-warn-seven-companies-selling-fraudulent-products-claim-treat-or
However of late, there are again more such companies again making such unproven claims.
In fact, essential oils and diffusers should be completely avoided during the COVID-19 pandemic as studies have shown that diffusers with essential oils can actually emit or release VOCs or volatile organic compounds and these can cause a whole range of medical conditions including injuring the lungs when inhaled in and also cause inflammation of the lung and other tissues. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-018-0606-0
This is turn could make conditions more severe for patients infected with the COVID-19 disease or even make ordinary health people more susceptible to contracting the disease as their immunity systems would be compromised as a result of damage and inflammation in the lungs causes by the VOCs.
In fact inhaling VOCs and essential oils can actually lead to a medical condition known as chemical pneumonia. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/chemical_pneumonia/article_em.htm
In fact a study published in the Chest Journal in October 2019, it warns about the dangers of essential oils that are used in diffusers and the damage it causes to the respiratory tract, lungs and the immune system. https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(19)33664-5/fulltext
Although certain essential oils do have antibacterial and antiviral properties, inhaling them is not going to prevent or treat COVID-19 but rather it could cause more serious and dangerous side-effects.
Also some blogs and sites have advocated the dangerous advice of putting drops of essential oils on one’s protective mask. Individuals should avoid such a practice as the essential oils when inhaled directed can cause lung issues and also when the essential oils have dried up and oxidized, they again emit dangerous compounds.
Essential oils are more of a placebo and yes they do help with the mental issues and aid in managing stress and help to relax in cases of anxiety through the smells but in the current COVID-19 context, essential oils and diffusers should be avoided at all costs.
The use of incense sticks or aromatherapy sticks are even more dangerous and should not even be used considering the volume of VOCs and lung irritants released as a result of burning these sticks.
When visiting a spa or wellness center for a massage, it is ok to get an essential oil massage but make sure that no diffusers are around in the vicinity of the room. (also make sure that the masseurs are certified free from COVID-19, ie by frequent COVID-19 PCR Testing, are wearing a mask and that the facility has taken all precautions into account.) Although studies have shown that “happy endings” do boost the immune system and also releases beneficial chemicals in the brain https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15316239/
, it should be done by oneself in moderation and discretely without intrusions on anyone else. Soliciting a masseur to assist in any such practice is a criminal offense!
Any companies making claims that any essential oils or the usage of diffusers can help prevent or treat COVID-19 should be reported to the local regulatory agencies in your country.
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