Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, but there will absolutely be NO additional cost to you. See our disclaimer for more information.
Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Lynn
It sure has been an interesting spring and summer, to say the least. If you are like me in the USA or elsewhere in the world, you have been shuttered at home and now are starting to go out using guidelines given – 6 ft apart and wearing a mask.
This COVID-19 has really thrown us out of the normal. The high-risk groups that officials have told us this virus seems to be affecting the most are the elderly and the immunocompromised. We know who the elderly are, but just what is immunocompromised and what essential oils can boost the immune system? Read on to find out.
Your immune system has two systems inside the main system that help us fight infections. These are the B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. These symptoms can be affected by diseases our body carries. For example; cancer, diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, lung disease, and certain other disorders. All of these diseases lessens the chance that our body can fight off infection. With that being said, people who aren’t in those groups are still getting infected, but it seems not so severe.
Also, I feel, one of the best things we can do to try to keep from getting infected with any kind of illness or virus, from COVID-19, to the Flu, to colds, is to keep our immune systems healthy and strong. We want to be able to fight off the germs when they start attacking our bodies. Important factors in doing that is to eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Along with those things, essential oils are another way to help build your immune system and fight off viruses.
HOW CAN ESSENTIAL OILS BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Essential oils contain many properties from antibacterial, antifungal to antiviral. These properties are what helps build your immune system. When we inhale or use essential oils topically, they can easily penetrate into our cells and bloodstream because they are naturally lipophillic, which means they are fat-friendly.
A study done in 2008 (Read it here) using lemon balm oil (another name for Melissa essential oil) against two types of herpes virus concluded that the oil, because it is able to penetrate the skin, might be suitable for topical treatment for this virus. Studies have also shown that viruses can be inactivated by essential oils (Read it here). Also, that whole, natural essential oils are 10-times more effective in inactivating viruses than the individual components of the oils (Read that Here).
IMMUNITY BOOSTING ESSENTIAL OILS
What’s the first thing most people do when they come down with a cold, the flu or other viruses? They go to the doctor and get an antibioticprescription. First of all, antibiotics are more for bacterial infections not viral infections. These antibiotics are harmful to our bodies because they kill the “good bacteria” in our gut flora, which throws off the fragile balance of the gut. Our gut flora supports immunity and proper indigestion.
In this article on Healthline.com, it explains what the antibiotics do to our gut system and other harm they do to the body. I would much rather use something thatis natural, then something artificially made. So, let’s take a look at some of my favorite things — essential oils. What oils can I use to help boost my immune system?
THYME ESSENTIAL OIL
Yes, this is the same thyme that we use in our cooking. But did you know that there are over 300 species of Thyme? Each specie produce their own unique varieties of essential oils called chemo types, which means they have different chemical types and characteristics. Three examples of Thyme oil are; Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, Thymus vularis ct. linalool, and Thymus zygis Loefl L.
The most popular chemo type of thyme is thyme ct. thymol. This is the one people refer to when they mention thyme essential oil. Thymus vulgaris is the most popular of the thyme oils. Thyme contains many antiviral constituents, which include thymol, camphor, borneol, carvacrol, terpinenes, pinenes, cymene, terpinenols, cineoles and citral.
Most viruses have a barrier around them, called glycoprotein envelope. Several studies have shown the thyme oil can interfere with this envelope and can block the virus from attaching to membrane cells, and it also keeps the virus from entering the cell. HERE is one such study.
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian evergreen tree known as melaleuca alternifolia. It is known more for its antifungal properties than any of it’s other properties. It also has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. Tea tree oil is added to a lot of products such as hand sanitizers and surface cleaning products.
The major constituent in tea tree is terpinen-4-ol (also known as T-4-ol). A good tea tree oil should have between 30% to 48% T-4-ol. Another major constituent is 1,8-cineole, which makes up to 15% of tea tree oil. There are other smaller amounts of constituents that make up the rest of the oil. All of these make tea tree oil a very powerful antiviral.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil may fight against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses (free virus). THIS tells you about some studies. Antiviral information is approximately 1/3 of the way down in this article.
Eucalyptus is best known for its support for the respiratory system. It is used in products such as cough drops, vapor rubs, healing ointments, and other various products. Eucalyptus helps open the airways for better breathing. It has mucus-thinning and anti-inflammatory properties and eliminates congestion, as well as being an antiviral.
There are many species of eucalyptus, with Eucalyptus globulus being the most widely used. The constituents that make up this specie beginning with the greatest amount is 1,8-cineole(eucalyptol), y-terpinene, a-pinene, aterpineol, and limonene. Eucalyptol can make up to 49% to 83% of the oil, and the remainder % divided between the other constituents.
There was A STUDY done in 2016 on mice that showed the 1,8-cineole in eucalyptus protected the mice from Flu infections. Hopefully more studies will be done to see how this constituent can fight against flu viruses in humans.
OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL
Oregano oil has powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is great for boosting the immune system and provides respiratory support. It helps to alleviate cough and expel phlegm. Because of the properties it has, it makes a great antibiotic. Antibiotics can cause some bad side effects and a lot of people become resistant to antibiotics.
None of that’s the case with this natural medicine. THIS STUDY shows oregano had a higher activity against Escherichia coli (the pathogen that causes U.T.I.’s) than a well-known prescription medicine.
The major constituent found in oregano oil is carvacrol, which makes the oil antimicrobial, antiviral and an antioxidant. To make it even more powerful it also has p-cymene, and y-terpinene. HERE’S A STUDY showing the antiviral activity of oregano oil and it’s component, carvacol, against several viruses.
MELISSA ESSENTIAL OIL
Now here is an essential oil that is not talked about too much in popularity. It’s also known as lemon balm essential oil. Melissa essential oil is found in several countries, including, Algeria, Serbia, Cuba, Egypt, and Brazil. The constituents of the oil are the same no matter where it comes from, but the amounts of each constituent varies. Because of it’s antiviral and antimicrobial properties, Melissa oil is known for its ability to treat the herpes virus that causes cold sores. READ HERE. There are 3 main constituents that make up lemon balm oil. Geranial is the highest in most of them, followed by neral, and then citronellal. Then there are several other minor components that, along with the major components, work together to create a strong antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiviral treatment to fight viruses and bacteria, SHOWN HERE.
There are several other essential oils that are good for boosting the immune system. They would include lemon essential oil, peppermint essential oil, rosemary essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, and clove essential oil.
HOW TO USE IMMUNE BOOSTING ESSENTIAL OILS
There are several ways you can use oils to get your immune system built up to protect you from getting sick. They can be used topically, through inhalation, and for cleaning. You can try any or all of these. The following are a few essential oil recipes to try out.
Add to a diffuser, 2 drops each of eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, cinnamon and wild orange essential oils and diffuse 20-30 minutes, several times during the day. Also, try this blend: 3 drops lavender oil, 2 drops eucalyptus oil, 2 drops rosemary oil, 2 drops niaouli oil, and 1 drop oregano oil. You can also experiment and use different immunity oils in the diffuser. See my article on how to blend essential oils, then make your own blend using some of the immunity oils listed. This article refers to how much of each oil to use.
Here is another blend for the diffuser: After adding water to the diffuser, add 1 drop each of lemon, oregano, thyme, rosemary and ginger essential oils. Set the timer on the diffuser and let it go. You can experiment by adding more of some oils than others, but essential oils are very concentrated so start with less and then add a little more, but don’t make it to overpowering.
Sometimes, it’s good just to sniff the oils directly and that is when you could use a personal inhaler. These blends can also be used in an inhaler when you can’t use the diffuser or you need an extra boost. An inhaler has a wick to drop the oils on and it goes inside a small container with a lid. Take the lid off, take a sniff and put the lid back on. It’s very convenient to use and carry with you. It will fit right in your pocket or handbag.
Another way to use oils for immunity is to put a blend in a roll-on bottle and fill the bottle with a carrier oil then roll it on the bottom of the foot and/or the back of the neck. Using the blend mentioned above, add two drops each to the roll-on bottle and fill the bottle with a carrier oil (See my post on Carrier oils Here), then roll it on. That’s it! Easy to use!
Also to help with immunity, you can make your own hand soap, hand sanitizer and wipes. I have really been using a lot of these over the past months. It was nice because when they ran out at the store, I just made my own. Here are the recipes for those:
- 1/3 cup 190 proof Everclear/ethanol or 99% isopropyl alcohol
- 1/8 cup Aloe Vera Jelly
- 43 drops Defender, Germ Fighter, or Germ Destroyer (I use Germ
Fighter. These are pre-blended essential oils you can find Here.)
Mix the essential oils in the Everclear/ethanol and slowly add the Aloe. You need to mix it really well. If you have an immersion blender, you can use that. After it’s blended really good, pour it into your container and use as you need it. I use a 4 oz. Spray bottle (Find it cheap HERE), or you can use some of THESE.
- 1 paper towel roll
- 1 large glass or plastic jar with lid (I use a plastic coffee container)
- ¼ cup distilled water
- ¾ cup 190 proof grain alcohol
- 40 drops tea tree essential oil
- Cut paper towel roll with a sharp knife, the height of the container you’re using. Slide the cardboard tube out of the paper towel roll.
- Push the cut paper towel roll into container, squeezing it to fit.
- Mix the alcohol, water and tea tree oil in a bowl and stir well.
- Pour the mixture over the paper towel roll in the container. See the paper towel absorb the liquid.
- When all the paper towels look wet, stop pouring. If the bottom of the paper towels look dry, just mix up more and add until it looks like the bottom of the towels are soaked.
- Put the lid on the container and let it soak for approximately 10 minutes, then they are ready to use by pulling the first paper towel out from the middle of the roll. You can clean a variety of surfaces with these wipes from grocery cart handles to counter tops at home.
Foaming Hand Soap
I really love this recipe. The germ fighter blend in this has eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, and lemon essential oils that all help build your immunity.
- ½ cup Castile Soap
- 1 tsp Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 20-30 drops Germ Fighter
- 1 cup purified or distilled water
- 1 foaming pump soap bottle
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the foaming pump bottle. Shake the bottle, pump it, and wash. That’s it!
MY FINAL WORDS
The first 9 months of this year have been absolutely crazy. Life has been turned upside down and everyone is concerned about their health. There are things you can do to build your immune system. One of those things is to use essential oils to help you avoid catching anything, and if you do catch something they may lessen the severity. The whole idea is to build up your immune system and oils may help with that. Now you know what essential oils boost the immune system.
I’ve found oils to be a great help to myself and my family. Try using essential oils and see if they will help you. It’s worth a shot. What have you got to lose? If you try them, please leave me a comment and let me know how you like them. If you have any questions, leave it in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
As always, thanks for reading! Stay well, and stay safe