Do you have the reflex to treat yourself with plant-based products and essential oils when you have a cold? Be careful, these natural products may present an allergic risk, warns UFC-Que Choisir. Information confirmed by Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
Common in winter, colds are mild, but nevertheless very annoying. We may therefore be tempted to treat ourselves using various remedies such as essential oils or herbal products. But be careful, although natural, these products are not without risk.
What products are being singled out by the consumer association?
Inhaled solutions, sprays or even sticks to reduce nasal congestion… Many products, available in pharmacies, contain terpenes, natural compounds found in thyme, camphor, menthol or even eucalyptus. Compounds thatexposed to risks, particularly allergies. and “convulsive seizures” underlines the consumer association. These compounds are also not recommended for people with asthma or epilepsy, pregnant women and children under 6 years old.
Problem: they have not demonstrated their effectiveness, which the UFC Que Choisir considers to be “weak at best, based on traditional usage and not on solid evaluations“. “The feeling of decongestion“related to these products”is only a fleeting sensation, linked to the strong scent of these oils“, according to the association.
A cold heals spontaneously, without the need for treatment
In addition to these products, vasoconstrictor drugs are also not recommended by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). They are likely to cause strokes and heart attacks. Instead of using all of these products, the health authority advises using salt water nose washes.
Information confirmed by Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director. “Essential oils have contraindications, particularly for people with allergies and children; they should not come into direct contact with the skin and kept out of the reach of young people. note l’expert. “ABefore resorting to it, it is preferable to seek medical advice..
“To decongest the nose, it is preferable to use physiological serum or products based on sea water“ advises Gérald Kierzek, before recalling that colds heal spontaneously in ten days, on average.