Aromatherapy In The Care of HIV/AIDS: Is It Work?

HIV/AIDS is taking the lives of many people around the world. There are many treatments researched to cure the disease. Apart from the prescribed medication, using essential oils can enhance the process.

Aromatherapy is a complementary and alternative therapy that uses various methods to treat and care for some typical health issues. The key feature of this form of remedy is the expert application of essential oils in relevant chronic and fatal illnesses.

This is a method without practicing any physical pain, so it is easier and more applicable at home. Our article below will focus on the potential use of essential oils to support HIV/AIDS treatment and show you where to buy best essential oils.

Basic Information About Essential Oils And Its Application On HIV

1. Essential Oils: Definition And Usages

Essential oils are compound substances extracted from flora. And each plant has a specific taste and scent called “essence”. Based on these characteristics, every essential oil has a different aroma from the others.

To make the oils, people will distill the plant to get the essence through steam or water. Later, combining the extract with a carrier oil gives the final product.

The scent molecules from the essential oil will get into the brain through the olfactory nerves and affect the brain’s emotional center. The remedy can also be applied to the skin by massaging to absorb the flora extract into the skin.

There are many health benefits when using aromatherapy. Since it impacts the nerves and carries antioxidants, its functions are to reduce stress and slightly strengthen the immune system.  This remedy is usually used to aid mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and prevent certain diseases like cancer.

The Extract From Plants In The Oil

2. How Aromatherapy Supports HIV Cure?

Patients who suffer from illnesses or syndrome like HIV/AIDS can use essential oils to improve the healing process. Aromatherapy is an effective way to build up a stronger immune system directly.

Furthermore, it can aid their psychological and emotional levels. Since HIV patients may get tension and pain due to the treatment, this therapy keeps a key role in making them feel relaxed.

Using essential oils can approach their feeling factor and ease the negative emotion such as anger, worry, scare, etc. In general, applying aromatherapy helps the patients cope with the side effects in treatment or the disease symptoms.

Aromatherapy targets the patient’s body and the sense of smell to boost the cure and improve well-being. An appropriate essential oil in the therapy must contain antiviral properties. And some oils with a high density of antiviral characteristics are Cinnamon oil (Cinnamomum Verum), Thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris) and many more.

Since HIV breaks down the body’s immune system, patients are vulnerable and have to suffer from opportunistic infections and diseases. The immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties of the oils helps decrease swelling, pain and strengthen the immune system.

Whenever a person comes down with a disease, inflammation is the cause. Soothing the swelling by essential oils can bring about a better state of health.

There are many methods to slow down the symptoms, ranging from mental aids and stress-relieving practice with the help of oils through ways such as baths, massages, mood improvement, etc.

However, patients still have to strictly follow the prescription given by doctors as the therapy only assists the process but cannot alter the proper treatment completely. Patients should have a check-up regularly at the hospital to update their HIV status.

A Method Of Applying Essential Oils Through The Skin

3. Oils Used For Treatment

As mentioned above, there are certain essential oils suitable for HIV therapy.  developing the immune system, consider some kinds of oils such as: Geranium oil (Pelargonium sidoides), Manuka oil (Leptospermum scoparium), Black pepper oil (Piper nigrum), Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Rose oil (Rosa damascene, Rosa centifolia), Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus radiate), etc.

These types contain a high antioxidant rate to lessen the swollen parts and help patients strengthen from the inside.

For relaxing purposes and relieving tension, we use the oils with a pleasant scent, usually have fruit or flower note like:

Bergamot oil (Citrus bergamia), Violet leaf oil (Viola odorata), Grapefruit Oil (Citrus x paradisi), Jasmine oil (Jasminum officinale), etc.

These scents have been documented to have positive effects on HIV patients. And it will be better if you contact an aromatherapist beforehand and ask for more relevant information.

Only Natural Oils Used In Treatment

4. Where To Buy Essential Oils And How Do We Choose An Item?

You can find the item in the local drug mart with the detailed usage provided by the seller. If it is not available in your area, online shopping will be a good choice as there are thousands of results when you search for the oil on the online platform.

When purchasing a product, remember that it should fulfil these requirements.

  • Label: It should include the Latin name of the plant used to process the oil, the purity and the components.
  • Brand: The company has to be well-known among Aromatherapists or been recommended for a couple of years.
  • Originality: The product cannot contain any fragrance oils, a substance created when combining essential oils with chemicals. This type of oils is inappropriate in aromatherapy. It is advisable that you purchase a bottle with the purest ratio, 100% extracted from plants.
  • Container: The origin oils are concentrated densely in the liquid form, so they may dissolve the material like plastic, leading to a leak in the bottle. To preserve the consistency of essential oils, it is highly recommended that companies package them in small brown or blue glass bottles.

Conclusion

Although there are not many studies showing the outstanding effectiveness of essential oils in the treatment of HIV, it also helps stabilize patients’ spirits and support disease resistance. In addition, we need to be careful in choosing products based on the criteria we shared above for a better treatment result.

Living With HIV/AIDS: Nutrition and Food Safety Guideline

Because HIV can directly destroy one’s immune system, it’s crucial to pay attention to good nutrition and food safety to maintain a healthy life. A balanced diet will also help people who are living with HIV to feel better.

What To Know About Food Safety?

To ensure food safety and prevent illness, knowing how to choose, prepare, and store food properly is of utmost importance. Here are some food safety guidelines to keep the germs at bay:

  • Make sure that everything is clean. Wipe the counter, wash the utensils and hands before and after preparing food.
  • Wash all vegetables and fresh fruits with clean or saltwater.
  • Cook all the meals (meat, fish, poultry) well done. It’s highly recommended to use a meat thermometer.
  • Keep leftovers in the refrigerator below 40° Fahrenheit. It’s always better to have vacuum sealers for food storage at home.
  • Heat the food to over 140° Fahrenheit and completely reheat the leftovers before eating.
  • Use boiled water for drinking and cooking to reduce the risk of water-borne illness.
  • Do not eat anything raw (raw eggs, raw seafood, raw meats).
  • Always check the expiration dates on the packaging. Throw away anything that is past those dates or has been stored long ago.
  • Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave instead of at room temperature.
  • Clean all utensils, knives, and cutting boards (especially ones that touch raw meat) with soap and hot water after each use and before using them again.
  • Tap water can be contaminated with germs, so always check the public water supply’s quality or drink bottled water.

Fruit and vegetables have to be washed thoroughly before cooking.

Why Do Nutrition And Food Safety Matter In Responding To HIV?

Nutrition and food safety is an important factor at all stages of HIV. Food insecurity and malnutrition can accelerate HIV-related diseases and sabotage the patient’s response to antiretroviral treatment.

Nutrition And HIV/AIDS

Balanced nutrition plays an important role in maintaining well-being and long-term life, regardless of living with HIV/AIDS. Nutrition care and HIV are strongly related to each other because it helps people to maintain weight, stay healthy, and feel better overall.

On the other hand, HIV and malnutrition combine to weaken one’s immune system, make them sensitive to infections, and disrupt treatment progress. A person with HIV can be more at risk of malnutrition due to the following reasons.

Reduce Food Consumption

Malnutrition can increase fatigue and make people with HIV lose their appetite and have difficulty eating.

There are several reasons for a person to cut down their food intake. They may be suffering from infections or side effects from medical treatments. Depression from dealing with HIV can also make people lose their appetite.

Poor Absorption

HIV/AIDS affects the patient body’s ability to consume food. It may lead to poor absorption of nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, etc.

It is the most frequent cause of diarrhea, which is very common with HIV infection. Poor absorption can directly damage the proper functioning of the immune system.

Change In Metabolism

The fact remains that certain antiretroviral drugs and HIV itself can impede our metabolism.

Poor absorption can make individuals unable to digest properly, which leads to weight loss, growth floundering, and decreased physical activities. It also makes one’s body can’t adopt nutrients correctly.

Changes in metabolism can cause dramatic weight loss.

Infections And Illnesses

Untreated HIV infection can make individuals sensitive to any infection and illness. It leads to an increase in energy needs, greater nutrient requirements, and body malfunction.

People with chronic illness may also experience loss of appetite, resulting in dramatic weight loss and reduce food consumption. The most common symptoms of illnesses caused by HIV infections are fever, anorexia, diarrhea, anemia, thrush, and frequent vomiting.

Impact Of Food Safety On HIV

Food safety and HIV/AIDS are intricately linked to each other. HIV infection can hasten the decline of one’s immune system through food safety in many ways.

Food that is not handled or processed properly can negatively impact the overall nutritional and health status of those living with HIV/AIDS.

Since food and water can contain germs that cause severe illnesses, paying attention to food safety is the priority for HIV patients.

Due to the weaker immune system as a consequence of HIV/AIDS, foodborne illnesses become more serious and last longer.

How To Maintain Good Nutrition For People Living With HIV

There aren’t any special diets or particular foods that will directly boost one’s immune system. But there are a few ways to help people with HIV maintain good nutrition and keep their immunity up.

Eat Vegetables And Fruit Every Day

Vegetables and fruits take an important part in maintaining a healthy and well-balanced meal. The vitamins and minerals within them help people with HIV/AIDS keep the body functioning and fight infection.

Fruit and vegetable consumption leads to better body functioning.

Eat Staple Foods And Legumes Every Day If Possible

For a healthy diet, staple foods should take up the largest part of one’s meal. Staple foods include cereals, starchy food, and starchy fruits.

Meanwhile, legumes provide proteins one’s body needed to develop and build up strong muscle. Legume food group contains peas, nuts, beans, and lentils.

Add Protein And Calories To The Diet

The best way to boost one’s immune system is by adding protein and calories to the daily meals. Foods that contain many proteins are meats, fish, beans, and dairy products.

To increase one’s daily intake of calories, it’s advisable to add extra fat and carbohydrates to each meal.

Both starches and simple sugars can be considered carbohydrates, while fats are different kinds of cream, cheese, avocados, and olives.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Every person, on average, needs to drink at least two liters of water per day; this number can vary based on one’s age and body weight.

Anyone affected by HIV needs to drink even more to replace the water lost when suffering from sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

The recommended amount of daily water consumption is two liters.

Conclusion

Good nutrition is important for everyone’s health, especially those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. It can help maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.

Knowing about food safety and having a rational diet will strengthen one’s immune system, boost energy, mood, and daily productivity. Eating well is also to prolong a healthy life for those who are living with HIV.