Aromatherapy and the Immune SystemGiven its rich source of nutrients, moisture, and heat, the human body is an ideal environment for many other organisms – primarily microbes – to thrive in. However, nature has provided our bodies with a natural arrangement of cells, organs, and sub-systems whose job is to protect you. These are collectively called the immune system.
Where is the Immune System Located?The Immune System is located throughout your body, particularly your blood, your lymphatic system, and your colon. In your blood, cells generated by the bone marrow wrap themselves around microbes to kill them, and lymph circulates to kill foreign agents as it goes along. Additionally, your colon contains millions of “good” bacteria that combat other microorganisms that are harmful to your body.
Can Stress Impair My Immune System?Definitely! Whether physical or psychological, stress adversely affects your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands work overtime, which have a detrimental effect on other systems that keep destructive microorganisms at bay.
How Do I Strengthen My Immune System?Strategies that help improve your immune system are effective when they take into account factors such as stress reduction, supporting good intestinal bacteria, and promoting better blood and lymph quality. A particularly effective strategy is the use of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils through various mediums towards bettering your overall health.
“Make your immune cells “sing and dance” every day that God gives you to live.” Dr. Daniel Pénoël
How Does Aromatherapy Work for My Immune System?Aromatherapy works in three ways: (1) By virtue of their antibacterial and antiviral properties, essential oils can directly attack and destroy harmful microorganisms in your body. (2) By directly stimulating the organs of your immune system in a twofold manner: improving the production of their various immunity-boosting cells and encouraging lymph to flush out toxins. (3) By alleviating stress and controlling the hormones secreted by the adrenal system. Which Essential Oils Help Strengthen My Immune System?
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), and Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora) oils are antibacterial and fungicidal. At the same time, they stimulate the immune system.
- Pine (Pinus silvestris), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Black Spruce (Picea mariana), and Geranium (Pelargoneum graveolens) oils are antimicrobial as well, but have the added function of stimulating the adrenal glands and the spleen, promoting the flushing of toxins.
How Do I Use Essential Oils for Immune Support?You can use these oils in a variety of ways: As a massage oil: Try this to rebalance your immune system: to 4 fl.oz. of Carrier oil, add 20 drops each of Lemon (Citrus limonum), Frankincense, and Palo Santo (bursera graveolens) essential oils, and give it a good shake. Rub an amount between your palms to warm the oil, and spread it over your arms, legs, and abdomen. Best to do it after the shower. In the bath or shower: You can keep a cloth soaked in essential oil under your faucet or shower head, and breathe in the vapor while you bathe. Stimulate your lymphatic system by rubbing your skin with a washcloth to which you have added 4 drops of Ravensara or Black Spruce. If you prefer baths, mix 5 drops of Lavender essential oil and 5 drops of Lemon essential oil and add it to the bath water. Relax, and feel the restoring properties of these essential oils work all over your body. Using an aromatherapy diffuser: Apart from being good for your immune system, it can lend a lovely fragrance to the entire room. For mood enhancement and upliftment. It disinfects the air and can boost immunity through inhalation. Fill bowl with water, add 5-15 drops of essential oil, light candle and enjoy. Reference: Natural Home Health Care Using Essential Oils by Dr. Daniel Pénoël
© 2011, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC – aromatherapy blog
This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.