Five Reasons Why Essential Oils Are My Favorite Wellness Tool for Natural Immune Support
To me, essential oils are the most powerful natural tool to support immunity. This is for many reasons.
1. Essential oils are selective, yet far-reaching.
Due to the presence of their many compounds, essential oils have multiple actions to wipe out pesky invasions of critters. This complexity makes essential oils able to search and out and destroy in a in a gentle, yet powerful way. Furthermore, some are selective while others address more than one “kind” of infectious agent at a time (fungal, viral, bacteria, etc.) (source, source, source.) For this reason, they have been researched for their ability to deal with organisms found to be resistant to antibiotics and studied for their synergy with these medications and in combination blends. (source, source).
2. Essential oils protect our bodies from harm as they promote health.
As essential oils are protecting our body from pathogens causing havoc to the body, they also support and strengthen it. There is wonderful research on how these secondary metabolites interact positively with the main hubs of our body’s immune response (the gut and respiratory system) during the cold season.
Many are familiar with the side effects and warnings of antibiotics, especially since the explosion of research on our microbiome continues to progress at an unprecedented pace! From long-term immune complications to metabolic dysregulation, the concerns of overusing antibiotics are well-founded. (source, source, source, source) The sobering and humble lesson we have learned is that we must peacefully co-exist with our “little friends”, while also not allowing invasion of ‘bag bug” overgrowth. (source)
Unlike the synthetic “anti”-meds, essential oils won’t wipe out the microbes in our body that are beneficial. Specifically, essential oils can modulate our microbiome by ridding it of the deleterious overgrowth of unwanted microbes while preserving the good bugs that powerfully impact our overall wellness in a variety of ways.
3. They have wide-spread “side benefits!”
Rather than “side effects”, essential oils have “side benefits!” As mentioned, they have a variety of wellness effects due to their many constituents. In just one drop, the dance of molecules has powerful and simultaneous psychological, psychological, and biochemical impact.
Below is more information on the multi-dimensional, awe-inspiring influence of essential oils on our body:
- The Complexity of Essential Oils & the Mind-Body
- Individualized Effects & Epigenetic Actions
For example, as one is supporting their respiratory system with fennel oil, at the same time they are also supporting their gut, hormones, mood, and more!
Let’s not overlook the power of the mind-body connection and essential oils’ emotional balancing abilities. This is far-reaching, from nurturing behavior, to modulating hormones, to improving relationships!
4. They address triggers and underlying causative factors as the body heals.
In my blog series on autoimmunity, I discussed the balancing aspect of essential oils. They can be used to address the causative factors and triggers as the body heals from this, or any imbalance, including:
- Modulating the Stress Response
- Microbe-inhibiting while Microbiome Loving
- Relieving Environmental Burdens
- Dietary Enhancement
- Direct Immune Modulation
- Easing Discomfort of Symptoms
5. When needed, they can be aimed more specifically at a system requiring extra TLC.
My database, which you can access here, provides hundreds of examples of this.
I’ve covered several articles in the past regarding essential oils and immune support, including:
- Why Can Essential Oils Do So Darn Much and How Do Essential Oils Promote Wellness?
- Immune Health
- Respiratory & Allergies
- Respiratory & Immune Health
- Lyme Disease
- Allergic Responses & Skin Sensitization
- Moving Beyond the Bug in Chronic Lyme
Some of My Favorite Oils for “Falling into Health” in Autumn
Now I’ll discuss with you some of my current favorites for supporting our immune system as we move into the season of colds and stuffy noses. These specific essential oils are powerful and tasty ways to spice up our kitchen with warmth and inviting scents. (If interested, you can learn more about cooking with essential oils here.)
Single Essential Oils
1. Cinnamon oil- This essential oil is well- known for its ability to keep critters at bay and modulate our health in many pleasant ways. This includes keeping our oral and gut microbiome happy.
Usage Tips: Cinnamon oil is a wonderful flavoring for some of our favorite fall dishes and beverages. Add a drop of cinnamon oil to hot cocoa and pumpkin lattes to support whole body harmony while sipping on tasty drinks. I also love to combine cinnamon with orange and nutmeg oil in the diffuser for an amazing smell of October.
2. Tea tree essential oil- During the cooler months, tea tree is a go-to to essential oil have one hand. It was also found to support to a healthy oral microbiome, when combined with basil oil and clove oil in a mouth rinse. (source) This is important, because our mouths are connected to connected to systemic wellness in surprising ways.
3. The Power of Palo Santo
It contains neuro-supporting sesquiterpenes and limonene to benefit immunity and digestive wellness. It has microbe balancing power. It is a welcome companion to sacred oils
The Power of Synergy: The Dynamic Duos
1. Oregano and thyme oils win top contenders for bug control.
Synergy is a good thing, and with oils, often “two is better than one.” Similar to frankincense and myrrh, oregano and thyme are also a dynamic duo. They are perfect to keep our guts up to par as we cook some tasty comfort foods for upcoming holiday gatherings.
As I previously wrote in my blog on essential oils for digestion, these two “buddy oils” equal more than their sum when added together. (source) For example, one study showed their combination mitigated the effect of inflammatory colitis in rodents. Furthermore, thyme oil’s antioxidant properties (source) can protect our cells as these oils inhibit the harmful shields (biofilms) created by microorganisms that make resistant bugs so hard to beat! (source)
2. Peppermint and Lavender Oil Beat Our Brain Fog and Nervous Tension
Peppermint essential oil is perfect mint oil for keeping our immune, energy, and digestive systems in tip-top shape.
For better focus in the morning diffuse peppermint oil. In the evening, change the diffuser and calm your nervous system with lavender oil.
Staying focused and relaxed is especially important during the stress-inducing, immune-trumping weather and holiday rush that is coming very soon.
Yummy Tip: Combine peppermint and lavender in your hot cocoa for a scent-sational holiday treat.
Blending Up Digestive Health
Finally, I love to use spice and herbal combination blends to promote my gut-immune health and keep my belly and body happy through the fall.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
What are your favorite fall and immunity supporting essential oils?
Share your experience and discoveries in the comments below!
Click here to access September 2018 Holistic and Integrative Medicine Top Reads.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.