Essential Oils and the Immune System

Posted: June 21, 2011 by Cristina Proano-Carrion


Aromatherapy and the Immune System

Given 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 has 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 four ways:
(1)  By virtue of their antibacterial and antiviral properties, essential oils can directly attack and destroy harmful microorganisms in your body.  [1]
(2)  By inhibiting micro-organisms [1]
(3) By preventing the spread of infections [1]
(4)  By alleviating stress and controlling the hormones secreted by the adrenal system

Which Essential Oils Help Strengthen My Immune System?

How Do I Use Essential Oils for Immune Support?

You can use these oils in a variety of ways:
As a massage oil:  Immune Support Body Oil: Try this to rebalance your immune system:. 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.
Rub 1 teaspoon of Adrenal Support Body Oil on the middle and lower back. The essential oils in this body oil can help regenerate fatigued adrenal glands. This body oil energizes and motivates; it can be a great tonic for the adrenal glands.
In the bath or shower: You can keep a cloth soaked in with 6 drops of Immune Support Essential Oil under your faucet or showerhead, and breathe in the vapor while you bathe.  

If you prefer baths, mix  5  drops of Frankincense and 5 drops of Bergamot with 1 tablespoon of any cold-pressed vegetable oil and add it to the bathwater.  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 use 15 drops of Citrus Delight. It disinfects the air and can boost immunity through inhalation.

References:
[1] Davis P. Aromatherapy: An A-Z. The C.W. Daniel Company Limited. Great Britain, 1988: Natural Home Health Care Using Essential Oils
[2] Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV (2006) Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 19(1): 50-62 available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16418522  
[3] Schnaubelt K. Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Art Press, Canada, 1995
[4] Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Hodder and Stoughton, UK, 1996 
[5] Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The International Center of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003

© 2011, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC – aromatherapy blog
This information is based on the 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.
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