If you've ever breathed eucalyptus oil-infused steam when you've had a cold, or sprayed lavender around a room to create a calm environment, you're familiar with the principles of aromatherapy.
A natural, non-invasive treatment, aromatherapy has been in use for at least 6,000 years, rooted in ancient civilizations found in India, China, and Egypt.1
As colder weather approaches, this is a good time to support your immune system with natural methods. So today, we bring you four fragrant essential oils to boost your immune system and much more.
How Aromatherapy Helps Boost Immunity
In modern times, aromatherapy has gained popularity for its therapeutic, cosmetic, and fragrant uses.2
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils extracted from plants to enhance well being. As a complementary therapy, aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with other holistic healing modalities to increase immunity, relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood and alertness, and reduce physical symptoms such as eczema-induced itching.3
A cautionary note for those with pets: while aromatherapy is generally considered safe for humans — several essential oils have even been approved as food additives, and fall in the GRAS category: “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — essential oils can be dangerous for animals.
In the same way that flu shots have been shown to depress the immune system, thus weakening the body's response to the flu virus, aromatherapy oils, while a boon for people, can be toxic to pets — especially cats, whose systems cannot process the constituents of the oils.
Be sure to use aromatherapy away from your pets, and check with your veterinarian before using any tick and flea treatment containing essential oils on your fur friends.4
Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of plant oils for improving health and aiding relaxation, is natural and non-invasive for humans, but may be dangerous for pets. Use with care if you share your home with animal companions.
The Fab Four For Well-Being
Just as the Beatles became a household name because their music held universal appeal, these four aromatherapy oils – lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemon – are a timeless “fab four” that will help to keep you and your bones healthy. Be sure to have these essential oils on hand so they'll be available when you need them.
Providing both antibacterial and antifungal properties, lavender oil is well documented for its benefit in treating colds and flu, headaches, burns, abrasions, and everyday stress. One of the best essential oils for eliminating infections, lavender is an excellent aromatherapy oil to have in your winter toolkit to keep your immune system strong.5
Renowned for its calming effect on the central nervous system, lavender is a popular essential oil used in massage, in herbal teas, as a hydrosol (a distillate floral water that is much less concentrated than the pure essential oil), in eye pillows (small sachets placed over the eyes to help induce sleep), and in facial cleansers, toners and moisturizing serums.
Finally, you can use lavender oil to keep your home smelling fresh. Commercial air fresheners contain acidifying chemicals, which damage your bones. But it's easy to make your own lavender air freshener that will ensure your home and its inhabitants remain healthy and serene.
Lavender is a versatile essential oil with strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that can be used to relieve colds and flu, headaches, and stress. It can also keep your home environment delicately scented, and beautify your skin in numerous bone-healthy ways.
2. Tea Tree
You may recognize tea tree oil by its distinctive scent, which permeates a room and tends to remain in the air for quite awhile after use. This essential oil, often referred to by the first part of its botanical name, melaleuca, has myriad beneficial properties: anti-inflammatory, antiviral, insecticidal, and an immune stimulant.6
Tea tree oil has been used to heal herpes, abscesses, acne, cold sores, burns, insect bites and dandruff.7 It's a powerhouse for illnesses such as colds, flu and chickenpox. It is also an excellent complementary treatment for serious respiratory conditions including tuberculosis, bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough.8
Tea tree is a frequent ingredient in personal care products. However, many store-bought consumer products contain chemical toxins. An easy solution for Savers? Make your own bone-healthy, antibacterial, antifungal mouthwash and hand sanitizers that use tea tree oil, and skip the toxins.
You can also make your own refreshing facial cleansing wipes — and shaving cream — using tea tree and other essential oils that will protect your bones and overall health with an effective natural alternative to chemicals.
Tea tree oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, all around immune stimulant, effective against a wide range of ailments, from colds and flu to more serious respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. You can make your own bone-smart personal care products that use tea tree oil and are chemical-free.
Eucalyptus is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and antibacterial aromatherapy oil that boosts immunity and, like tea tree oil, is powerfully effective against measles, flu, colds and chickenpox.9
Throat infections, coughs, bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory problems surrender to eucalyptus, as do skin problems such as wounds, cuts, burns, herpes, and insect bites.10
Anyone who has ever held a towel over their head while breathing in steam infused with a few drops of eucalyptus knows the power of this essential oil to relieve congestion. A drop or two of eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or humidifier will open your nasal passages and restore your ability to breathe freely, a welcome immune boost in the winter months.
Researchers have even proved the efficacy of eucalyptus essential oil for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as muscle aches and pains.11
Eucalyptus helps you breathe more freely, making it an excellent essential oil to add to steam inhalations, diffusers, and humidifiers. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties also make eucalyptus the go-to aromatherapy choice for more severe upper respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. It's even been shown effective for arthritis and herpes.
In aromatherapy, lemon oil's antiseptic, astringent and detoxifying properties help boost immunity while counteracting acidity. Because lemon is a powerful detoxifying fruit, lemon essential oil can help cleanse your blood. Add one drop of lemon oil to a teaspoon of honey and coconut oil for a quick detox. By ridding the body of toxic buildup, you will help strengthen your immune system.
Lemons are highly alkalizing, igniting your metabolism and digestion. Drinking warm water with the juice of a fresh lemon upon awakening is an excellent way to start your day and maintain good health. If you prefer a cool drink, homemade lemonade is another excellent bone builder.
Lemon oil is also an expectant mother's friend. In a controlled clinical study, researchers found lemon aromatherapy relieved nausea and first-stage labor pain.12
And, of course, when it comes to beauty, this alkalizing Foundation Food belongs in every Saver's kitchen. And make sure you also have some lemon essential oil handy!
Lemon essential oil is a winner for helping to calm and detoxify your entire body, as well as relieving the nausea and pain of first trimester pregnancy. This alkalizing Foundation Food is so versatile, it belongs in every Saver's kitchen.
How To Use Essential Oils
There are a number of ways to use essential oils, depending on the type of oil and your purpose in using it. Here are five ways to use essential oils to help build immunity and stave off colds and the flu:
- Steam inhalation. This is the method your grandmother may have used to clear congestion. Boil a medium-size pot of water on the stove, add a few drops of essential oil, cover your head with a towel, and breathe deeply. Be careful here, obviously. You may wish to remove the water from the stove and pour it into a bowl. Eucalyptus or tea tree oil each work wonderfully to clear blocked nasal passages; lavender is a good choice if the illness has kept you from sleeping well. Bonus: steam is a natural beauty treatment for your skin.
- Diffuser. For a powerful immune boost, diffuse the oil around the room, especially if it's a bedroom where someone is recovering from a cold or flu. You can purchase a diffuser at many natural food stores. Adding a few drops of essential oil to a room humidifier will have the same effect — in fact, some humidifiers even include a compartment for essential oils. This method works best with eucalyptus oil (for clearing sinuses) as well as lavender (for creating a calm, healing environment).
- Spray bottle. To cleanse an area of germs, add 20 drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle, fill the bottle with filtered water, and use as a disinfectant to clean the sick room and freshen the air throughout the house. If you're using tea tree oil, which has a very pungent aroma, you may wish to add fewer drops so the smell doesn't overwhelm the person who's getting well.
- Bath. Use a few drops of lavender in your bath water. You can also mixed the oil with Epsom salts to help the oil dissolve evenly. This healing bath will help draw toxins out of your pores, and is so relaxing you might fall asleep as soon as you're toweled off and back in your bedroom.
- Therapeutic massage. For a healing massage, add a few drops of lavender oil to a neutral-smelling carrier oil such as sweet almond oil, olive oil, or avocado oil (you can use up to 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil, depending on the strength of aromatherapy desired). Feel your muscles release toxins as the massage therapist releases the cold virus from your body.
Consider combining oils for an even greater benefit. Lavender and eucalyptus, for example, can simultaneously clear up cold symptoms and relax you enough to sleep well.
You can use essential oils in many ways to help build immunity and prevent colds and the flu. These include steam inhalation, diffusing oil throughout the room, using diluted essential oils as a spray to clean the house, in your bath water, and as part of a therapeutic massage. You can also combine oils to maximize their benefit.
The Aroma Of Health
Essential oils are a natural, non-toxic, time-honored way to keep your immunity strong and clear myriad health conditions, from colds to canker sores, abscesses to asthma. Experiment with the oils and methods of use to find what works best for you. Keep your immunity strong this winter with lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon oils.
And as we’re approaching flu season in the Northern Hemisphere, remember to not fall for the Medical Establishment’s propaganda on the flu shot.
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1 L. Manniche. Sacred luxuries: fragrance, aromatherapy and cosmetics in ancient Egypt.Cornell University Press, New York (1999). Web. http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100788210
2 E.R. Esposito, M.V. Bystrek, J.S. Klein. “An elective course in aromatherapy science.” Am J Pharm Educ, 78 (4) (2014), p. 79. Web.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4028588
3 A. Krishna, R. Tiwari, S. Kumar. “Aromatherapy-an alternative health care through essential oils.” J Med Aromat Plant Sci, 22 (2000), pp. 798-804. Web. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20013071731
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6 K.A. Hammer, C.F. Carson, T.V. Riley. “Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil.” J Appl Microbiol, 95 (2003), pp. 853-860. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12969301
7 C.F. Carson, D.W. Smith, G.J. Lampacher, T.V. Riley. “Use of deception to achieve double-blinding in a clinical trial of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis.” Contemp Clin Trials, 29 (1) (2008), pp. 9-12. Web. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949813000082
8 K.J. Koh, A.L. Pearce, G. Marshman, J.J. Finlay-Jones, P.H. Hart. “Tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation.” Br J Dermatol, 147 (2002), pp. 1212-1217. Web. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033
9 W.E. Hillis. “Polyphenols in the leaves of eucalyptus: a chemotaxonomic survey-II.: the sections renantheroideae and renantherae.” Phytochemistry, 6 (1967), pp. 259-274. Web. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942200827727
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11 S. Aazza, B. Lyoussi, C. Megías, I. Cortés-Giraldo, J. Vioque, A.C. Figueiredo, et al. “Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities of Moroccan commercial essential oils.” Nat Prod Commun, 9 (4) (2014), pp. 587-594. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24868891
12 P. Yavari Kia, F. Safajou, M. Shahnazi, H. Nazemiyeh. “The effect of lemon inhalation aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial.” Iran Red Crescent Med J, 16 (3) (2014), p. e14360. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005434/