We’ve been hearing a lot from our communities about immunity boosting recently. We keep getting asked about essential oils, so we thought we’d put together a quick guide to what essential oils are, how to boost your immune system, and how to use them.
What are essential oils?
The definition of essential oils is incredibly broad. Essential oils are natural oils that are typically obtained through distillation. They generally have the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. Using science talk – an essential oil is a “concentrated hydrophobic liquid” containing chemical compounds from plants. These compounds are what give plants their smells, protect them from hazardous environmental conditions, assist with pollination, and more.
Humans have found essential oils to have important functions and benefits. They’re often used in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, food and drink flavorings, incense, and cleaning products. The production of essential oils dates back to Ibn al-Baitar in the 1200’s.
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How can Essential Oils Boost Immunity?
Recently, essential oils have become popular again through the idea of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds to create healing effects. Relaxation is one of the most common useful effects that can be induced through Aromatherapy. Some devotees claim that essential oils can help support and reduce the burden on immune systems from feeling run down, under stress and caring for those that are unwell. There is not sufficient medical evidence that essential oils can effectively treat any medical condition. However, some essential oils have antiseptic properties to some degree and many essential oils are especially good at preventing the spread of bacteria, fungus and viruses. Additionally, some essential oils can help to stimulate the immune system by increasing blood and lymph circulation and generally supporting the different body systems. Please note that improper use of essential oils may cause allergic reactions and other issues.
Some Immunity Boosters We Like
Tea Tree Oil
Perhaps one of the most well known essential oils. Tea tree is a multi-purpose oil that’s well known for its immune-boosting properties. Many believe that it is effective at fighting harmful pathogens and preventing different kinds of viruses and bacteria from entering your body.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is an essential oil that many find helpful for respiratory illness. We’ve found that it is excellent at clearing the sinuses and ‘foggy head’. Some have found that it is useful in treating bacterial and fungal infections and has mild anti-viral properties.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon is an immune stimulant with a high vitamin content. Some claim that it stimulates the production of white blood cells so that your body can combat diseases. It also improves blood circulation all throughout the body. Historically, lemon has also been useful in treating influenza viruses, E. coli and some Staphylococcus (Staph) strains and to fight off infectious diseases such as fever and typhoid. It can also be used as a scent that helps relieve nausea.
Herbs and Hemp
Echinacea has been shown as an immune-strengthening agent to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It’s a popular herbal supplement that’s available in many commercial products. Such as teas, supplements, and liquids.
Hemp has been used for health and nutritional purposes for thousands of years. It’s been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost the immune system, promote relaxation, and improve sleep. One of our favorite brands is Woven Earth.
Whole Healthy Foods
Consider adding more citrus fruits to your diet like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes. These will add more vitamin C to your body to help build up your immune system. Your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C and it’s thought to increase the production of white blood cells that are key to fighting infections.
Some studies do indicate that supplements may strengthen your body’s immune system generally. A multivitamin might be the easiest way to go. If you’d like to get specific – look at supplementing Vitamin C and Zinc to reduce the duration of colds, Vitamin D to prevent deficiency which can lead to illness and Elderberry at reducing the symptoms of viral upper respiratory infections.
However you stay healthy we hope we have helped clarify and inspire new ways to boost your immune system and feel better already.