You possibly might have heard a doctor tell you or someone you know that your body's immunity is weakened and needs to be boosted. When your immunity is weak, it opens a gateway for all sorts of diseases and illnesses to sneak in and wreak havoc in your body. Therefore it's very important to maintain a strong immunity.
In this article we'll be taking a closer look at the immune system, the role your immune system plays in protecting your body from diseases, how you can enhance your immunity naturally with essential oils, essential oils that can support your immune system and how to effectively use these essential oils to improve your immunity.
You don't have to swallow pills to keep your immune system boosted. Read on to discover the amazing ways you can naturally boost your immunity using essential oils.
What is the immune system?
Your immune system refers to the network of cells and organs that act together to help your body fight infections. The main job of the immune system is to fight harmful substances and germs that enter into your body. This is how it works - when harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, cancer cells, etc enter your body, your immune system gets alerted to the presence of this unwanted foreign substance. Your immune system responds by identifying the type of risk the substance poses and then form a plan on how to attack the invading substance. Your immune system relates back to how your body destroyed such substances previously to combat any current intruder.
For an individual with a strong immune system, the immune system efficiently and successfully destroys any harmful substance that gets into the body. Such a person can be said to have a high immunity.
However, if your immune system is weak, your immunity will be low. Consequently, your body may find it difficult to fight infectious and disease-causing germs. What this means is that you will be susceptible to several infections, and will also take longer time to recover from any illness compared to someone whose immunity is strong.
How do you know if your immune system is weak?
By now you might be wondering if there is any way to know if your immune system is weak. One of the most common signs that your immunity is low is that you will always be down with one infection or the other. This is simply because your immune system is weak or compromised, and your body has become susceptible to any infection that is strolling by.
Other signs that you might have a low immunity include;
Taking longer time to recover from illnesses
Always feeling tired
Catching cold faster than other people around you.
Taking longer before your wounds heal
Frequently experiencing problems with your digestive system.
Easily getting stressed
Causes of weakened immune system
Biologically, the immune system gets weaker as an individual gets older. From sixty years of age the human immune system begins to undergo some degenerative changes. Hence its ability to protect the body against infections and support wound healing begin to diminish.
Another thing that may affect your immune system is suffering from an autoimmune disease like diabetes, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
Other factors such as chronic stress, unhealthy lifestyle, and emotional trauma could make your immune system work less effectively.
How to boost your immune system naturally
You can ensure your immune system functions optimally by making some lifestyle changes such as eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising your body regularly, minimising stress, staying away from alcohol, smoking and hard drugs, getting enough sleep daily, and maintaining a healthy weight.
A decades-long, tested and trusted way to boost your immunity naturally is through use of essential oils. Natural remedies with essential oils for immunity are common in many traditional medicinal practices around the world.
Essential oils and Immunity
Essential oils are concentrated oil obtained from plants. These oils consist of many active chemical compounds and most of them have great pharmacological properties. This is obviously the reason for their popular use in aromatherapy.
Some essential oils specially have immunomodulatory effects - that is to say they have the ability to adjust how your immune system functions. For several decades now, essential oils have been used in aromatherapy practices around the globe to fight infections and improve the body's ability to withstand diseases. In this modern time, scientific research has gone ahead to prove that some essential oils are really potent immune-boosters.
There are several essential oils that have the amazing potentials of supporting a weakened immune system. While some of these immune-boosting essential oils work by stimulating parts of your immune system, some others facilitate the immune system response to invading substances, and many others enhance the activities of certain immune cells involved in maintaining your body's immunity.
Understanding how essential oils support immune system
Immune-boosting properties of essential oils obtained from some plants have been investigated on many levels. Findings from such studies demonstrate that essential oils support immunity in a good number of ways.
One of the common ways essential oils strengthen the immune system is by relieving stress. Stress suppresses your immune system thereby causing your immunity to drop low. Some essential oils are highly effective at decreasing stress. They prevent stress from affecting your immune system, and so help to keep your immune system functioning properly.
Similarly, some essential oils have been shown to have the ability to actively stimulate the immune system's response to foreign substances. They can facilitate the release of certain hormones and chemicals involved in modulating your immune response.
In addition, some essential oils with known antimicrobial properties do their regular work of fighting microbes, and thus boost your body's immunity to diseases.
7 Top essential oils for boosting immune system
As mentioned earlier, there are many essential oils with immune-boosting properties. Here is our selection of the seven most effective essential oils for better immune health.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil enhances the intruder-destroying ability of immune cells. Moreover, it possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and so offers both excellent immune support and protection. Eucalyptus oil as a potent antimicrobial enhances the germs-scavenging function of your immune cells.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is most popular for its stress-relieving properties. It reduces stress, and this protects your immune system. Studies show lavender essential oil lowers the release of cytokines responsible for inflammation, destroys harmful microorganisms, and boosts the activities of some immune cells. It also enhances some markers of your body's immune function.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is very effective at reducing inflammation and boosting weakened immune systems. It also has strong antimicrobial properties.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is a well-known stress reliever. It improves your mood and relaxes your mind. This promotes your immune functions and boosts your immunity high as well. Lemon essential oil increases release of immune cells. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial functions which makes it perfect for strengthening your immunity naturally.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is highly rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to mop up and destroy free radicals in your body. Rosemary oil also effectively counters stress and fatigue. These make rosemary essential oil a great immune-boosting essential oil.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil promotes production of white blood cells which help your body fight infections. This citrus essential oil is also effective in reducing stress and uplifting your mood. It also has antimicrobial properties. All of these make bergamot essential oil great for enhancing immunity naturally.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is a powerful natural immune-booster. It possesses properties that enhance, protect, and stimulate the immune system. Frankincense oil destroys harmful microbes in the body, counters inflammation, relieves stress, counters the effects of ageing, and reduces feelings of anxiety.
How to use essential oils to strengthen your immune system
Having established the ways essential oils help to improve immunity in the body, let's take a look at the practical ways of enhancing immunity naturally with essential oils.
It's recommended that you experiment with the different methods we listed below and choose the method that works best for you.
Also, always remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and are not to be used directly on the skin without first diluting in a carrier oil. Dilution ratio should be 3 - 6 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoonful of a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil
Massage with essential oil
Massage your body with the recommended essential oils for promoting immune health. Massage a few drops of diluted essential oil onto your pulse points including your temples, chest, neck and wrists. Apply daily for best results.
Add essential oils to your bath
This method allows the active constituents of the immune-enhancing essential oils to seep into your body through your skin.
Dilute about 4-6 drops of essential oil with 2 teaspoons of carrier oil before adding to your warm bath. Soak yourself in the bath and relax there for 10-15 minutes.
Steam inhalation is a great method of boosting your immunity with essential oils. There are two ways you can inhale immune-boosting essential oils through this method.
You can add 5-7 drops of your essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water, throw a towel over your head, lean forward over the bowl and inhale the oil steam for 5-8 minutes. (Make sure to keep your eyes closed to avoid any eye irritation.)
Alternatively, add about 5-7 drops of diluted essential oil into your warm bath, close the doors and windows, soak in the bath and deeply breathe in the steam for about 15 minutes.
Make inhaling essential oil steam a daily routine to build back your immunity faster.
Diffusing your essential oils is the best and easiest way to enjoy all of its immunity-boosting benefits. This method also helps to keep your space free of germs.
You can drop 2-3 drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and inhale. Just be careful not to let the powerful undiluted oil come in contact with your bare skin.
Inhaling with a Diffuser
A diffuser offers a more convenient way to inhale essential oil through diffusion. Diffusers can be used whether at home, work or in your car. Most diffusers are simple and easy to use.
A diffuser is a device that is used to release breathable particles of essential oils into the atmosphere. Diffusers break the essential oil down into tiny molecules and then disperse them into the air for easy inhalation. Using a diffuser to inhale your eucalyptus essential oil is very beneficial as it delivers the oil particles straight to your airways in just the right concentration, thus providing a continuous stream of precious eucalyptus particles for you to breathe in and keep your immunity high.
To inhale your immune-boosting essential oils with a diffuser, add about 4-6 drops of essential oil into 100 ml of water or 8-12 drops to 200 ml of water, depending on the capacity of your diffuser. Your diffuser will continuously release essential particles that will keep your immunity elevated all day.
It's a great idea to diffuse your immune booster essential oils just before you hop into bed at night, and inhale your oil while asleep.
Check out our array of durable and sleek diffusers to make your life easy and stress-free. Just push a button and you'll be enveloped in a soothing mist of essential oils to keep your immunity boosted high all the time.
Essential Oil Spray
In a spray bottle, mix 15-20 drops of essential oil with 500ml of distilled water. Spray on your pillows, beddings, etc for easy inhalation.
Best essential oil blends for immune health
Here is one of our favourite essential oils blends for boosting immunity.
3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops of lemon essential oil
2 drops of rosemary essential oil
Diffuse and inhale or use the steam inhalation method.
Make sure you purchase your essential oils from trusted sources only, as there are many questionable concoctions out there being passed off as essential oils. Our essential oils are natural, uncontaminated, and free of impurities.
Remember that essential oils are never to be ingested at any time.