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Essential oils are quickly regaining their reputation for their antiviral and antibacterial properties. This is wonderful news for when you are ill, but what about staying healthy to begin with? Several essential oils are thought to stimulate the immune system and we will look at which oils can play a role in maintaining good health.
The immune system is complex, and to describe all its aspects is beyond the scope of this article. Most of us remember from biology class however, that the immune system recognizes foreign bodies and deploys ways of eradicating that foreign invader. Examples include production of antibodies, or engulfing the bacteria (phagocytosis). Many of the cells involved in the immune system are types of white blood cells. The essential oils that are thought to boost the immune system do so primarily by stimulating the production of white blood cells.
A secondary way in which essential oils might support a healthy immune system is by reducing stress. Increased stress can lead to less resistance against disease. By using essential oils with relaxing effects one can indirectly boost the body’s natural defenses.
In researching this article, I looked at several sources and compiled a list of the most frequently cited essential oils used for strengthening the immune system.
The three most popular oils for stimulating the immune system:
Also said to stimulate the immune system:
You can blend two or three of any of these oils and use them in your diffuser to assist your body in building a strong immune system. A good choice would be Lemon and Tea Tree. If you are under stress, alternate with a blend of Geranium and Lavender. As always, make sure these oils are safe for you—check for any precautions against conditions you may have. We profile several of these oils on our site including safety precautions. Diffusing one of these two blends daily may assist you in developing a stronger resistance to getting sick. If you do become ill, or have been exposed to someone who is sick, check out the article Antibacterial and antiviral effects of essential oils for ideas on which oils could help your body fight off invading germs.
If you have a favorite blend for promoting immunity, please share in the comments below. I would love to hear about it.