Aromatic Detection

Passing The Smell Test

New research indicates the ability to smell coconut oil and peppermint may be critical in detecting the virus.

By John Salak –

There are usually dangers lurking about when something doesn’t smell right. Now, danger also may be at hand when something doesn’t smell at all, according to research out of India and Tennessee.

Healthline.com reports that as many as 60 percent of cold and flu sufferers traditionally suffer some loss of smell and taste, which might be related to having upper respiratory issues and general congestion. Ongoing research, however, also indicates that the rapid loss of smell and taste is usually a symptom of being infected with Covid-19.

Indian researchers have taken this insight even further by discovering people who are unable to identify the smell of peppermint or coconut oil compared to other unique aromas, such as garlic, fennel or cardamon, are either already infected or are at greater risk of contracting this virus.

In fact, this study concluded that among its at-risk participants, almost 25 percent couldn’t identify peppermint, while 21 percent missed coconut oil.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center noted earlier that up to 80 percent of Covid-19 patients report some loss of taste and smell, although the center was quick to note that these factors alone do not indicate someone has the virus.

“One possibility is that people with upper respiratory infections often have congestion, drainage and other nasal symptoms that can block odor’s ability to reach the smell nerve, which sits at the top of the nasal cavity. But we believe the primary cause, particularly for people with extended or permanent loss of smell function, is that the virus causes an inflammatory reaction inside the nose that can lead to a loss of the olfactory, or smell, neurons,” explained Dr. Justin Turner, associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and medical director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Smell and Taste Center.

Whatever the reason, not being able to smell properly stinks.

 

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