We’re now merely days from Christmas, and it is especially important to keep our immune systems in tip-top shape as we run around doing a flurry of activities and visiting people. In addition to more holiday errands, many of us also live where it is cold outside, which means more time in sealed-up homes and less time outside collecting Vitamin D from the sun’s limited winter rays.
It’s really no surprise that sickness seems to spread like wildfire this time of year. So what can we do?
Proper diet, sleep and personal hygiene practices all play crucial roles in supporting our immune systems. But we also can employ the help of essential oils – nature’s immune system supporters.
We can use these powerful plant compounds to not just treat ourselves when we come down with a bug, but to also help protect our immune systems proactively. Studies have shown that certain essential oils can keep our bodies healthy and help us to remain much more resistant to those disease-causing germs in the first place.
Here’s some of the best essential oils for the job:
Clove. Clove oil exhibits antibacterial, antiviral and strong antiseptic properties. Clove oil also works to stimulate the immune system.
Lemon. Lemon oil has antiseptic properties and supports a healthy immune system. This essential oil also is great for purifying the air, and is useful in cleaning applications.
Cinnamon bark. Cinnamon bark oil exhibits antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and is also an immune system stimulant.
Eucalyptus. This oil also is known for its antibacterial, anti-infectious and antiviral properties, and also works as an expectorant and supports the health of the respiratory system.
Rosemary cineol. Rosemary is antiseptic and anti-infectious, and it also helps to ward off the flu, colds and viruses. Rosemary cineol essential oil also works great as an expectorant and exhibits high antioxidant properties.
When these five essential oils above are blended together and used regularly, they provide excellent immune system support during the holiday season, as well as throughout the rest of the year. Therapeutic-grade, commercially prepared blends of these five oils are available on the market from several essential oil companies.
Suggested Essential Oils for Specific Immune-Supporting Purposes
Suggested Oils for Supporting the Immune System Against the Flu:
Peppermint, rosemary, myrtle, eucalyptus, clove, copaiba, goldenrod, ginger, Idaho tansy (apply to bottoms of the feet), lavender, ledum, onycha (benzoin), orange, oregano, pine, sage, lavender, thyme and tsuga.
Suggested Oils for Supporting the Immune System Against the Common Cold:
Thyme, lemon, cedarwood, oregano, rosemary, rose and sandalwood.
Other Suggested Immune System-Supporting Oils:
Frankincense, geranium, clary sage, bergamot, pine, myrrh (with oregano), cypress, jasmine (for bacteria), juniper, fennel, lemongrass, melaleuca (viral), peppermint, ravintsara, rosemary (with myrrh for oral infection), spruce, basil, rosewood, patchouli, cassia, davana, elemi, eucalyptus, hyssop, marjoram, petitgrain, Roman chamomile, spearmint, spikenard, tarragon, sage lavender, copaiba, spearmint, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, fir, peppermint, mountain savory, lotus, cumin, tangerine, nutmeg, pink pepper and myrrh.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are four methods for using essential oils. They can be: 1) used aromatically (such as through an oil diffuser) in your home, office or car; 2) applied topically; 3) taken internally; or, 4) added to homemade cleaning products to help clean surfaces and to reduce the chance of spreading an infection around.
Some Words of Caution:
Some oils require dilution before applying to the body or prior to being taken internally, and only certain oils are recommended for internal use.
Be aware that only therapeutic-grade essential oils are recommended for internal use, and should only be used with the guidance of a qualified health practitioner. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are best for all applications, as lower quality oils may contain chemicals and solvents that can be harmful to your health. Lower quality oils also are likely to not be as effective as therapeutic grade oils in achieving your health and wellness goals.
Be sure to consult with a health practitioner to determine if essential oils are right for you and for your personal health condition(s). Not all essential oils are right for everyone, and those with serious health conditions should work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the best solutions for their needs.
What essential oils would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below: