A question we have been asked a lot lately is 'are there any natural remedies that can restore my sense of smell after COVID?'. To find an answer we have been digging into research to see what might work, how and when so that we can provide some suggestions.
Firstly, what causes a loss of smell? Well like most things COVID related we are still trying to find out the exact mechanisms, but researchers from Harvard University, found that the virus attacks cells that support the olfactory sensory neurons, which detect and transmit the sense of smell to the brain. In some people this loss of smell is temporary and lasts for a similar length of time to other symptoms of the virus, in other people however, it seems to go on for much longer.
So what can you do?
- Olfactory (smell) training.
Smell training involves repeat and deliberate sniffing of a set of odorants (lemon, rose, cloves, and eucalyptus) for 20 seconds each at least twice a day. Studies have demonstrated that this has been effective in improving the sense of smell after COVID. Medical papers and journals are citing olfactory training as a low cost treatment with negligible adverse effects. Be aware however that it appears that this smell training needs to be done consistently for at least 3 months.
Smell training can be conducted using essential oils. At Amaranth we stock the Absolute Aromas brand, each oil costs around £5 and they should last for the duration of the training.
A further study on post viral olfactory disfunction (not specific to COVID) tested the use of a ginkgo biloba extraction combined with glucocorticoids. This study concluded that the effect of the combination of extract of ginkgo biloba was better than the effect of the steroid alone. As far as we are aware, research has not been done on gingko in isolation so we cannot say whether it would help used in this way. Ginkgo is however a common herbal medicine which is most often suggested for cognitive function and blood flow. If you are interested in supplementing with ginkgo we would advise that you chat to one of the team so that we can advise further on form and dosage and always check with your GP so that they can assess against any medications or treatment.
To discuss this or any other natural approaches to health you can book a free health review with one of our team of registered nutritional therapists. Free Health Review – Amaranth (amaranth-wellbeing.com)
References available on request