It’s common to come down with a cold/ the flu as the season changes from fall to winter. Did you know that the drop in temperature actually permits a different group of viruses to flourish? Unfortunately, it also creates conditions that help germs survive and thrive.
It makes you want to shut out the cold and protect yourself indoors right? But indoors you’re actually exposed to more germs! They love to live on doorknobs, keyboards, sink faucets, toilet handles, countertops, and a slew of other items. Combine all of that with a weak immune system, and the body has a hard time fighting off illness.
To avoid getting sick, the most commonsense advice is to eat healthy, stay hydrated, get 6-8 hours of sleep at night, and wash your hands well and often. But there is another, easy way to boost your immune system and help protect the body from viruses and bacteria.
Add essential oils to your wellness toolkit!
Before we dive into which essential oils are best for supporting the immune system, let’s define what an essential oil is and a few different ways you can use them.
Essentials Oils and How to Use Them
Essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils in plants. The oils are obtained by distillation (most commonly by water or steam), where many parts of the plant including plant roots, leaves, stems, flowers and bark are being used. The oil has the fragrance and properties of the plant, including the smell, as well as the plant’s healing properties.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their therapeutic and healing benefits. If you haven’t added them to you natural medicine cabinet yet, the time is now.
Here are a few simple ways to incorporate essential oils into your daily life.
Home Diffuser: One of the easiest ways to attain the benefits of essential oils is to use diffuse them throughout your home. Diffusers are relatively inexpensive can help with relaxation, reducing congestion and inflammation and keep illnesses away.
Inhalation: Another simple technique is to place 1 or 2 drops in your palms cup your face and take a few rounds of deep inhales and exhales. When you inhale or breath in essential oils, they head straight to the lungs and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. *Note that some essential oils may cause skin irritation. Do your research before applying directly to the skin.
Massage Therapy: The skin is the largest organ of the body, and some essential oils constituents can permeate the layers of the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream.They are absorbed more slowly when added to lotions or carrier oils but you’ll still reep the benefits. Take 1-2 drops of your preferred essential oil, mix it with coconut oil and work on areas of tension like feet, neck and shoulders.
Natural Cleaning Products: Instead of reaching for that bottle of Clorox, add a purifying essential oil to water and use it to clean surfaces around the house (and leave your rooms smelling pretty!)
8 Essential Oils to Support a Healthy Immune System
Each essential oil has their own unique therapeutic benefits. Listed below are a few of the top oils that support the immune system by fighting off viruses, soothing the nervous system, and reducing stress.
Eucalyptus: Does your breathing feel constricted? Reach for Eucalyptus! This essential oil is known for its ability to support upper respiratory health and promote clearer breathing. Eucalyptus also stimulates your antibodies to help fight infection and studies show it’s effective in easing tension. As we already mentioned, tension and stress weaken the immune system, so keep Eucalyptus close to promote feelings of relaxation.
Application: Add a few drops to a soothing bath, add 1-2 drops into your palm, cup over your face and inhale a few times, or add to moisturizer and apply to skin.
Melaeuca (Tea Tree): Known as the oil with limitless applications, tea tree is notorious for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s antiviral properties also helps to cure viral infections like the common cold and influenza. Get ahead of the curb by using it to boost immunity before you begin feeling sick.
Application: Remove the germs in your household by using tea tree oil as a cleaner. Combine tea tree oil with lemon, water and distilled white vinegar to create your own natural antimicrobial household cleaner. Or, add a few drops to a pot of water and heat until it begins steaming. Drape a towel over your head and take take breaths for a few minutes to help alleviate inflammation and open airways.
Frankincense: The “King of Oils” is here to save the day. Frankincense supports healthy cellular function, reduces pain and inflammation and promotes feelings of relaxation. All things you want when battling an illness. Research has shown that the antiseptic and disinfectant oil has immune-boosting abilities that can help combat bacteria and viruses, and it’s an antiseptic and disinfectant that has the ability to eliminate flu and cold germs.
Application: Diffuse in the house, add 1-2 drops to the palm of your hand and inhale several times, or apply to the bottom of the feet with a carrier oil to promote feelings of relaxation.
Rosemary: Rosemary oil helps with detoxification and encourages the cleansing of the lymphatic system, which is responsibility for cleansing out cells and clearing the body of waste. Rosemary also works as a potent stress reliever. Stress, as we know, is one of the main culprits of poor immunity. So if you’re feeling or anxious or fatigued, break out the Rosemary and try to restore a relaxed state of mind.
Application: Add a few drops of oil with a carrier oil and give yourself a lymphatic massage or add a few drops to a relaxing bath.
Cinnamon: It smells good, tastes good, and it’s good for you! Cinnamon oil is more potent than the dried spice and has additional unique compounds. The health benefits can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and astringent properties. These work together to support healthy metabolic function and maintain a healthy immune system. Stimulating the immune system with cinnamon oil will get you one step ahead of the cold or virus, or might help you recover faster if you’ve already caught something.
Applications: Add 2–3 drops in a spray bottle for an effective cleaning spray add 1 drop in tea or hot water to soothe an achy throat, or simply diffuse around the home.
**If you decide to purchase from doTERRA, I LOVE their proprietary On Guard blend which features; Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.
Essential oils provide a natural and effective alternative for immune support. Help protect your body from seasonal threats by adding the oils listed above to your medicine cabinet and let me know if you have any other favorites that you use to boost immunity!