It had been a year since Lynn Gilbert had been able to enjoy a meal or the scent of flowers. She suffered from long COVID, or long-term effects after a COVID-19 infection. Worried those joys were gone forever, she was thrilled to discover an easy fix … right under her nose!
Lynn Gilbert’s Long COVID Story
“Let me know if this tastes okay,” Lynn Gilbert told her daughter as she placed dinner on the table. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, 63-year-old had lost her sense of taste and smell when she contracted COVID-19 last summer, and never regained them once she’d recovered. She no longer enjoyed her favorite foods, had trouble cooking for her family, and was also left with a constant metallic taste in her mouth.
With her doctor unable to help, Lynn searched online and tried all kinds of suggestions — from drinking homemade elixirs to eating lots of garlic. But nothing had worked. Then, a few months ago, Lynn attended a tennis competition and met Mark Theno, the founder of Bioesse, a company that produces essential oil inhalation patches.
Inhaling essential oils had been one of the remedies Lynn had tried. She’d had high hopes because the potent oils are commonly used in olfactory retraining — a therapy to help rebuild the connection between the nose and the brain to recover the sense of smell after infections or nasal surgery.
Lynn had learned that just like exercising a muscle, practicing smelling can strengthen the olfactory system, and she tried inhaling the oils three times a day. But she hadn’t experienced much of a change. Mark explained that aromatherapy patches improved the way oils are inhaled, allowing for slow, steady diffusion. He had some hemp-ginger and peppermint patches with him, and he offered them to Lynn. Why not try it? she reasoned.
The Miraculous Remedy
The next day, Lynn applied a patch at the base of her neck, where it would be near her nose and not under clothing that could prevent the oil from diffusing. Sadly, she still smelled nothing. She decided to try another patch the next day, and this time, as the day wore on, she started to smell the oils. With the third patch the following day, the aroma was even stronger. Just as remarkable, the metallic taste in her mouth faded and food became more flavorful.
Excited, Lynn ordered patches (Buy from Bioesse Tech, $40 for 10) and began wearing one regularly. Now, as long as she does, she can smell and taste normally. (Other brands sell them as well; Google “aromatherapy inhalation patches.”)
Lynn is grateful she found a way to benefit from essential oil aromatherapy, and she is hopeful that in time, it will restore her senses for good and she will no longer need to wear a patch.
“It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy meals and smell flowers again. I feared that those days were gone forever,” admits Lynn. “And it’s such an easy fix. I couldn’t be happier!”
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.