With COVID continuing to surge across the country and the change of season bringing colder weather, our immune systems are working overtime. Throw in the new challenges of working from home, financial worries, and months of anxiety-inducing election news cycles, and you have the ultimate recipe of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion!
Now more than ever before, we are reaching for simple remedies and at-home self-care practices to keep ourselves, our families, and those we love balanced, healthy, and happy.
If you?re looking to enhance your personal wellness routine, essential oils are the perfect place to start. You can add these plant-derived oils to your ?stay healthy arsenal? to bolster your immune system and protect against the flu and other seasonal illnesses.
Why are essential oils such powerful allies?
Did you know plants actually generate essential oils to fortify their own immune systems? Once created within the plant, the oils guard against pathogens like microbes, fungus, and bacteria. Since plants and humans are composed of the same chemical compounds, like oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, our bodies can easily recognize and absorb these oils, benefiting from their many immune-boosting properties.
Many essential oils share these immune-supportive properties:
- Antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-infectious
- Immune detoxifying and balancing
- Respiratory support
- Decongestants (reduce swelling in nasal passageways)
- Expectorant (help us cough)
- Mucolytic (thins mucus)
How can we use Essential Oils to fortify our immunity?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, from adding them into beauty products to diffusing them into the air. When it comes to fortifying the immune system and guarding against illness, I have found that there are 3 applications that are most effective:
- Scalp massage oil
- Chest and neck salve
Essential oils dissolve easily into vegetable oils, also known as carrier oils. This means that when applied to our skin, they have a better chance of absorbing into our bodies, connecting with our blood vessels, and affecting physiological change. My favorite carrier oils are Jojoba Oil and Sunflower Oil.
Research reveals that essential oils absorb even more quickly in areas with lots of hair follicles, so the scalp is a great place to rub them in for rapid travel into the body.
A simple blend would be 6 to 8 drops of an essential oil such as Eucalyptus globulus to 1 TBSP of carrier oil. And once the oil is well massaged in, I usually slip on a wool hat and rest.
Chest and Neck Salve
This application is basically creating your very own ?Vic?s Vapor Rub? using a carrier oil, beeswax, and a selection of essential oils known to support breathing and strengthen immunity. For a 1-ounce salve, I recommend adding a total of about 30 drops of essential oils, such as Tea Tree, Rosemary and Eucalyptus globulus. You can be more generous with the amount of oils you rub into the chest and neck, while it?s best to start with less on the more sensitive area of the scalp.
A diffuser is a really easy way to instantly experience the immune supportive effects of essential oils? Whether you are using a cool mist sonic vibration model, or a nebulizing diffuser, the diffused essential oils can help combat airborne microbes, as well as support the upper respiratory tract.??
The size of your diffuser as well as the size of the room will determine how many drops of oil you use with each defusing session. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated space and have the diffuser on a timer, so you don?t overwhelm your lungs or sense of smell.
Essential oils can definitely play an important role in keeping us healthy and resilient, but remember they are only one part of what it means to be truly healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Other important rhythms include good nutrition, getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water, regular exercise, and finding ways to reduce stress!
Want to learn more holistic steps for protecting your immune system?
Try learning more about aromatherapy! Click here to learn more about my signature aromatherapy program: Aromatherapy in Action!