Essential oils can help us stay healthy and for those times that we get get sick, they can help us get better faster. Our immune system is what keeps us from getting sick from every germ, virus or bacteria that comes along. Factors like stress, fatigue, and poor diet can lower our immune system's ability to fight off invaders. We can support our immune system through the use of essential oils. The use of essential oils while we are healthy will help prevent illness in the first place. For those times when something does get passed our defenses, essential oils can shorten our recovery time.
Immune System Support
Without our immune systems, we would get sick from every germ we encountered. For our immune systems to work at their best, we need to have a healthy diet, low stress level, and get plenty of sleep. This can be a pretty tall order to fill in this day and age. Essential oils can help make up the difference when we are not eating right, under a lot of stress, and tired.
Essential oils can provide the body with the vitamins its not getting from our poor diet. These vitamins help the immune system fight off any microbes and pathogens that are trying to infect our bodies. Because essential oils are a natural “enemy” of these invaders, pathogens and microbes have not been shown to be able to develop a resistance to them. Essential oils can also help reduce stress. One way is through aromatherapy. Not only are you inhaling the essential oils into your body, the right combinations of scents can have a calming effect and reduce stress levels. Using the right essential oils, like chamomile in tea, can help us wind down from a hard day and get to sleep, which helps reduce both stress and fatigue.
Shortening Recovery Time
At some point, some microbe is going to get passed even the healthiest of immune systems. When this does happen, it is possible to shorten our recovery time through the use of essential oils. To this end essential oils cane being ingested, inhaled, or applied topically.
Ingestion: Essential oils can be put in teas not only help fight the causes of the cold or flu, but can also relieve symptoms like congestion or a sore throat. There are also supplements that can be taken that contain essential oils.
Inhalation: Essential oils can be added to an air diffuser, humidifier, or hot bath, which puts them in the air you are breathing. Add 5 – 10 drops of one or more essential oils to a air diffuser or humidifier and the room will become rich with microbe fighting essential oils that you will breathe in with every breath. Adding up to 10 drops to a hot bath will enrich the steam from the bath with essential oils. Both the steam and the oils can help loosen congestion as well. An added benefit of putting essential oils in the air is that they can remove any microbes from the air, which means you are not having to fight off new infection in addition to recovering from the current one.
Topically: Essential oils diluted in a lotion or carrier oil such as grape seed or apricot and rubbed on the chest can help ease congestion. They can also be added to a hot or cold compression applied to the chest can also help. The best oils for easing congestion are ginger, myrrh, and sandalwood.
Which Essential Oils to Use
Always dilute essential oils before use.
Bay Laurel: This oil can be diluted and applied directly to the lymph nodes, which will support the immune system's fight against the infection. It can also be used in a shower where the steam will open pores and allow the skin to absorb it more effectively. A drop added to tea can also soothe a sore throat.
Cinnamon: This is a hot oil, which will heat up when it comes in contact with your skin. It supports a healthy digestive system, which in turn helps our bodies fight off infection. It should be applied to the feet or added to a diffuser and inhaled.
Eucalyptus: This oil can be mixed with lotion or a carrier oil and applied to the chest, neck, and shoulders to help ease breathing. Added to a diffuser or humidifier can ease congestion and help the body cleanse itself.
Lemon: Adding lemon oil to water, only a drop or two is needed, is a great way to boost the immune system. It should not be applied to the skin as it is photosensitive.
Oregano: This oil, which will heat up on contact with skin, is best applied to the bottoms of the feet or the back and shoulders. The heat and tingling can help ease some of the discomfort from symptoms.
Peppermint: This is a very versatile oil, it can be ingested in tea, applied to the skin, or inhaled. Peppermint helps ease congestion and can aid the respiratory system. It can also be added to a diffuser or humidifier to help open airways and ease the discomfort of some cold or flu symptoms.