If you’re not already, you should be using essential oils for immune system protection.
The immune system of your body is the ultimate insurance for good health.
Because immune system function is so important (for like…everything), we use essential oils for our immune system year round.
Some people wait to use boost immune system function for when it’s cold and flu season. And don’t get me wrong, we definitely need the extra support then, but there are plenty of other times immune support can be useful as well:
1- During Travel
This is a time when you’re exposed to airborne pathogens and toxins at a much higher level. We always layer on essential oils to keep illness away.
2- Around Lots of People
This is mostly for our kids. Kids are walking germ fests. They want to touch everything and then put their hands in their mouth.
Whether we’re dropping off at the church nursery or they’re heading to Montessori school, our kids get essential oils regularly.
3- In Times of High Stress
Fight or flight stress that our ancestors experienced was actually a “good” kind of stress that helped them survive. The challenge in the 21st century is that stress has become a chronic thing that’s experienced on a regular basis instead of in short burst like our ancestors experienced.
This chronic kind of stress can lower immune system function causing “low-grade chronic inflammation, and suppressing numbers, trafficking and function of immunoprotective cells.” (1)
If you’re dealing with this kind of stress you need a good dose of relaxation and you most definitely need some immune boosting essential oils.
Why You Should Use Essential Oils for Immune System Protection
The answer is simple. Essential oils are antiviral and antibacterial in nature.
Just a few drops of essential oil are enough to battle and destroy bad microorganisms inside the body, in the air and even on surfaces.
Essential oils can stimulate the organs in the immune system, increase production of immunity-enhancing cells and stimulate the lymphatic system to sweep away toxins.
Oh- and when they’re sourced properly they are one of the best natural remedies that you can find. I highly recommend them for boosting the immune system and for overall health and wellness.
Here are our top 4 essential oils for immune system support. We use these in our home on a regular basis:
1- OnGuard Essential Oil – The Protective Blend
This proprietary blend of essential oil is known as the protective blend. With aromas of orange, clove and cinnamon it’s like the “smell of fall” in a bottle.
OnGuard is our go-to essential oil when we need protection from pathogens.
This is an oil that we use proactively – so, just before traveling or dropping the kids off at school we’ll apply this oil to the back of the neck to access the nervous system.
The oils in this blend, such as Wild Orange, act as antioxidant support and boost the immune system to protect against environmental threats. It also has a very energizing aroma, so it’s one of our favorite essential oils for immune system support.
I even add drops of this to my DIY kitchen counter spray and it leaves the kitchen smelling fresh and clean without using a bunch of harsh chemicals.
Erica’s Favorite Ways to Use OnGuard
To purify the air and protect against environmental pathogens, diffuse 4 to 6 drops of Onguard. Do this while working, playing with your kids, tackling a project, watching a movie – whenever! You’ll love the energizing aroma as well.
Before traveling I’ll inhale in the palm of my hands just before heading into the airport. I also apply it to the back of my neck or the bottoms of my feet in the morning before I head out the door to catch my flight.
Why apply to the bottoms of the feet? Your feet are porous and this makes for a great entry point to use essential oils for immune system protection.
To do this, choose a carrier oil of your choice. I like coconut oil or almond oil. Add half a teaspoon of carrier oil to the palm of one hand.
Add 2 drops of OnGuard and lightly rub your palms together to mix the oils. Apply to the soles of your feet for full body benefits.
2- Frankincense Essential Oil – The Immune Boosting “King”
There’s a joke in the essential oil community – when in doubt, use Frankincense. This oil works by promoting cell regeneration.
This is a big deal, since cells are the most basic form of life and everything pertaining to wellness hinges on the health of your cells.
I love Frankincense for this reason and it’s one of the best essential oils for immune system protection.
And, of course like most every essential oil it has a wide variety of uses so we also like to use it to promote feelings of calm and relaxation and even for skincare and anti-aging.
This is an oil that we use both proactively (to protect against catching a bug) and retroactively (to get over a cold or bug).
Erica’s Favorite Ways to Use Frankincense
To boost your immune system, apply Frankincense to the bottoms of your feet (see method above).
To promote soothing feelings of calm and relaxation and to support cellular health add one to 2 drops of Frankincense to the palm of one hand. Rub your palms together. Cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply several times. Use 1 drop of Lavender and 1 drop of Frankincense for a different (and very pleasant) blend.
You can also make an immune boosting tea. Add 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil to a cup. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the cup. Add stevia or raw honey to sweeten. It’s critical that you only ingest pure, therapeutic grade essential oils where you know the source.
3- Melaleuca aka Tea Tree Essential Oil
Most people think that melaleuca is only used for skin problems, but it’s one of the most powerful essential oils for immune system protection.
It’s very versatile in it’s use and is beneficial for fighting harmful microbes.
The oil is antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, expectorant, balsamic, fungicide and insecticide in nature. It’s unique in its ability to shield against different types of bad bacteria and pathogens.
We’ll use Melaleuca in our household kitchen spray and bathroom cleaner. And I love to use it in this rollerball blend. You know how you feel when you’re about to come down with a cold? Next time that happens, whip up this rollerball recipe and apply to the back of the neck and soles of the feet throughout the day.
Erica’s Favorite Way to Use Melaleuca
Credit to Eat.Pray.Oils for her awesome rollerball recipe found here.
You really can’t have a discussion about essential oils for immune system support without talking about Oregano.
Oregano is known to have existed for more than 2,500 years. The “five-anti properties” of this oil – antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-parasite and antioxidant – make it effective against many environmental threats and harmful microbes.
Use caution when using Oregano because of its potency. This is a very “hot” oil – meaning that it’s highly sensitizing to the skin and body. Always heavily dilute when you use this oil.
Here’s a few benefits of Oregano:
-Supports healthy immune system function
-Very powerful against environmental threats – use it when you need to bring out “the big dogs”
-Helps to ease discomfort from a sore throat
-Rich in powerful antioxidants
-Cleansing and purifying to the body
Erica’s Favorite Ways to Use Oregano
To promote a healthy immune system, apply Oregano essential oil to the bottoms of your feet. For application methods check out the OnGuard section above.
To kick bad bacteria in the butt (and as a natural alternative to antibiotics) you can use Oregano internally. This is not the kind of oil that you can just take internally under the tongue. To take Oregano internally, you’ll want to use it with a veggie capsule. This is the kind that I recommend using.
You can add 1 to 2 drops of Oregano to the capsule along with a carrier oil – I like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil inside of capsules. I take the capsule with food and just do one a day. Keep in mind, with Oregano you’ll need to cycle off after 2 weeks of use to give the body a break. This is a strategy that I reserve for when I want to get over a nasty cold. I don’t do this daily or for prevention.
For sore throat relief, I dilute a drop of Oregano in about half a teaspoon of carrier oil like coconut oil. I apply the mixture to my throat (on my neck, not internally). It really helps to ease the scratchy/soreness that comes with a sore throat. I apply as needed throughout the day and make sure to wash hands thoroughly after use.
Methods of Using Essential Oils for Immune System Support
Who doesn’t love a massage? Massages promote relaxation and can stimulate the lymphatic system to remove toxins and impurities from the body.
The human body is a bunch of complex systems, in which the mind, body and emotions are all connected. Massage promotes happiness, relieves pain and stress and boosts the immune system too.
Specifically, adding Frankincense and Lavender to your massage will give that added immune system support.
But keep in mind that OnGuard, the protective blend, and Oregano are not good choices as massage oils.
Oregano is a highly sensitizing essential oil and OnGuard contains some oils such as cinnamon and clove that can be sensitive to the skin, too.
With a massage, you’ll want to dilute using a carrier oil so that you can stretch the essential oils over a broad surface area.
For carrier oils, my 2 favorites are Almond Oil and Coconut Oil. Almond Oil is rich in Vitamin E so it’s nourishing to the skin. I love having that benefit for each topical application.
When using coconut oil, you have 2 options. You can use Fractionated Coconut Oil which is liquid at room temperature (like almond oil) or you can use regular coconut oil (the kind you cook with) which is solid at room temperature.
Fractionated coconut oil blends well with essential oils and absorbs easily into the skin. This is one of the reasons why it’s a very popular carrier oil. There are a few downsides though. Because it’s liquid at room temp it can get messy.
The other downside to fractionated coconut oil is that it does not contain lauric acid, but extra virgin coconut oil does. Lauric acid is one of the biggest reasons why extra virgin coconut oil has so many benefits. You’ll be giving up those perks if you choose fractionated coconut oil.
One of my favorite places to be at the end of the day is in a hot bath full of aromatic essential oils. This a great way to relax and get the benefits of immune boosting essential oils like Frankincense.
For a very large soaking tub, I use 10 to 15 drops of essential oil. But you don’t just want to drop the essential oils straight into the water. There’s a method to it.
When I start running the bath, I’ll unscrew the cap on the bubble bath. This is one of my favorite brands. I add the drops of essential oil to the bottle cap and then pour the bubble bath into the bottle cap. Then pour the contents of the cap under the running faucet.
I do it this way so that the essential oils disperse evenly into the bath.
This method is as simple as it gets. Add one to two drops to the palm of one hand. Rub your palms together to warm up the oil and then cup your hands over your nose. Inhale deeply several times.
You can also add 4 to 6 drops of essential oil to a diffuser and turn it on while you’re going about your day. I like to diffuse while I’m working, playing with my kids, relaxing before bed and even sleeping!
Hopefully, these methods have given you some ideas on how you can use essential oils to naturally boost your immune system.
What are your favorite essential oils for immune system support? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!