When it comes to our health, the immune system is definitely one of the most vital systems in our body. This is because a healthy and stable immune system helps to fight off potential illnesses and diseases, and strengthening it will help you bounce back to perfect health if you are struck down with an illness. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to keep your immune system as strong as you possibly can throughout the year. Now with that said, there are both effective and natural ways that can help to both boost and protect your immune system, most particularly adopting the use of essential oils.
With various factors affecting our immune systems, such as a poor diet, lack of sleep, and heightened stress levels, it would be advisable to adopt habits that can help to counteract the effects that the aforementioned issues may have on the immune system. With essential oils being rich in a variety of antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, they can help to stimulate the immune system well. So with that said, if you feel that your immune system needs a boost, try a few of the below essential oils.
5 Essential oils for immune support
1. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, as well as antiviral properties, so it’s definitely a great way to protect your immune system. Furthermore, placing it in a diffuser in your home can also help to fight any immune-harming germs floating around.
In fact, according to a study published in the Antiviral, tea tree was found to be significantly effective against influenza strains.
2. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil not only helps to support the immune system, but it also helps to fight off illness-causing organisms once they’re in your body.
In fact, research has found that bergamot oil encourages the production of more white blood cells, which is a great way to not only renew your immune system but can also help to protect you from any further illnesses.
Additionally, a separate study published in the American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, found that after just 10 minutes, a vapor diffusion of bergamot essential oil was effective enough to fight off the influenza virus.
3. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon is rich in immune-boosting properties, and the lemon essential oil is no different.
For one, the lemon essential oil is rich in d-limonene, and this compound helps to encourage the production of white blood cells (1).
Second, the lemon essential oil can also help to maintain the health of the lymphatic system, and this then has a beneficial effect on the immune system.
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Often used as a remedy for colds and flu, eucalyptus essential oil is one of the best forms of defense for your immune system.
For instance, research published in BMC Immunology found that eucalyptus oil improves the immune system by stimulating it on a cellular level by enhancing the activation of phagocytes – compounds that help to fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, as well as other foreign particles.
5. Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil contains compounds that not only help to strengthen the immune system, but also helps to fight off stomach illnesses and flu.
Research has not only found that oregano essential oil contains strong antioxidant properties, but it also found that oregano essential oil can inhibit viruses that cause some respiratory illnesses (2, 3).
Using essential oils
When it comes to using essential oils, it’s important to take heed of the following points;
- As essential oils are so highly concentrated, you should always dilute them with a carrier oil like jojoba oil before applying it to the skin.
- Opt for organic essential oils because they are free from pesticide residue.
- Never take essential oils orally.
- If you may react badly to essential oils, be sure to test them first by applying a tiny amount to your skin and waiting for a reaction.
- Stay away from essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering from conditions like epilepsy, or taking prescribed medication.
- Store essential oils away from sunlight and keep them from children’s as well as pets’ reach.
Yes, essential oils can help to boost the immune system, but there are other ways that you can fortify your immune system, especially in these times.
Garozzo, A., Timpanaro, R, Stivala, A., et al. (2011). Activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on Influenza virus A/PR/8: Study on the mechanism of action. Antiviral research. 89. 83-8. 10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.11.010.
Han, F., Ma, G. Q., Yang, M., et al. (2017). Chemical composition and antioxidant activities of essential oils from different parts of the oregano. Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B, 18(1), 79–84. https://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.B1600377
Pilau, M. R., Alves, S. H., Weiblen, R., Arenhart, S., Cueto, A. P., et al. (2011). Antiviral activity of the Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano) essential oil and its main compound carvacrol against human and animal viruses. Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 42(4), 1616–1624. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1517-838220110004000049
Serafino, A., Sinibaldi Vallebona, P., Andreola, F., Zonfrillo, M., et al. (2008). Stimulatory effect of Eucalyptus essential oil on innate cell-mediated immune response. BMC immunology, 9, 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2172-9-17
Shah, B. B., Baksi, R., Chaudagar, K. K., Nivsarkar, M., & Mehta, A. A. (2018). Anti-leukemic and anti-angiogenic effects of d-Limonene on K562-implanted C57BL/6 mice and the chick chorioallantoic membrane model. Animal models and experimental medicine, 1(4), 328–333. https://doi.org/10.1002/ame2.12039
Vimalanathan, S. (2014). Anti-influenza virus activity of essential oils and vapors. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products. 2. 47-53.