Aromatherapy and the Immune System
The immune system is our body’s line of defence, the boundaries instilled which protect us from dis-ease, physical and emotional imbalance.
A nourishing diet, healthy lifestyle with consistent exercise is key to supporting the immune system.
On top of that, aromatherapy can be complementary to your health practice.
Essential oils can protect, balance, strengthen and support the immune system through physical and psychological intervention. Aromatherapy can clear pathogens in the air, promote healthy respiration, stimulate or balance the immune system, all while easing anxiety and stress, which can greatly influence our immunity.
Essential Oils for the Immune System
- Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger’s warming and fiery properties make it useful for enhancing immune function through its anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory actions (Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al., 2013). This is particularly useful for those with suppressed immune systems, ones that are in need of stimulation and heat.
Ginger supports cardiovascular and digestive function, which in hand strengthens the immune system. Its warming properties make ginger a potent companion to imbalances that usually arise in the slower, cooler months of Fall and Winter.
Dilute ginger essential oil in your diffuser blends, facial steams, bath soaks, body balms and oils for best results.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus has long been used for the treatment of respiratory illnesses, from coughs to colds, bronchitis and other respiratory infections (Sandner, Georg et al., 2020).
Eucalyptus essential oil is known to have immunomodulatory effects. This means that it works to bring homeostasis in the immune system, rather than suppressing or stimulating, eucalyptus helps to balance immune function.
Harness eucalyptus essential oil for all things respiratory aid- whether it is spring allergies, a winter cold, or stuffy nose. Eucalyptus’ refreshing aroma will help clear the pathways of respiration, in hand supporting your health and immunity.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree is a prised plant for its strong antimicrobial (Sandner, Georg et al., 2020), anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties (Ramage, Gordon et al., 2012).
Tea tree functions to bring balance to the immune system by suppressing inflammatory cytokine response (Sandner, Georg et al., 2020).
Diffuse tea tree essential oil to clear out pathogens in the air-space, incorporate tea tree into your respiratory aid blends, baths and facial steams. You can also use tea tree in your DIY home cleaners to combat microbes and bacterias on table surfaces.
- Clove bud Essential Oil
Clove bud essential oil is another potent ally for immune function. Clove contains the active compound known as eugenol, which exhibits strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant and pain-relieving properties (Ramage, Gordon et al., 2012).
Blend clove essential oil with any of the essential oils mentioned in this blog-post for a synergistic aromatherapy blend for balancing and strengthening the immune system.
- Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is a relaxing and fragrant aroma known to support respiratory and immune function through its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, stress relieving properties (Cardia, Gabriel Fernando Esteves et al., 2018).
It is particularly useful for cases of allergies, asthma, respiratory congestion, and sickness that arises out of stress.
Blend lavender essential oil with eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, clove, tea tree or other immune balancing essential oils for best results.
Recipes for Immune Function
DIY Facial Steam
This facial steam will help bring balance to an over-active immune system, clearing respiratory congestion and relaxing the mind from anxiety and stress.
- a pot of warm water
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil
In a pot of warm water (but not too warm that it burns your skin), dilute the essential oils and grab a towel.
Wrap the towel around your head and the bowl, and steam for 5-10 minutes.
Once you’ve finished, splash droplets of cold water on your face.
Stimulating Bath Soak
This stimulating bath soak is great for the days when fatigue and tiredness sweep over, especially during the seasons of Fall and Winter.
This blend will stimulate the immune system by promoting circulation and lymphatic flow. You will surely feel energised and refreshed right after!
- 1 cup Epsom or sea salt
- 1 tbsp carrier oil of choice (ie. jojoba, sweet almond, grapeseed oil)
- 3 drops ginger essential oil
- 3 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops cypress essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
Pour the ingredients into a warm bath, and soak for as long as needed.
DIY Diffuser Blend: No Germs No More!
Diffuse this blend throughout your home-space to clear the pathogens within the air, uplift the feeling of your home all while supporting your immune function.
- 1 drop tea tree essential oil
- 2 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil