As the weather cools and we head into cold and flu season, it is a good time to review what we can do for ourselves and our families to keep healthy. Aromatherapy offers many solutions to boost our immune systems to help us fight off any respiratory and gastric illnesses looking for a place to land during the fall and winter months. Using aromatherapy to boost the immune system can be a strong addition to your other methods of staying healthy during cold and flu season.
Here are a few essential oils and ways to use them that can be helpful to support the immune system and relieve symptoms of illness.
Eucalyptus (globulus or radiata) Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is getting popular again after being found to be quite effective at relieving symptoms for older children and adults with coughs and colds due to sinus congestion, sore throat, and nasal congestion. It is a popular ingredient in many over the counter products offered for respiratory and sinus relief, as well as relief for muscle soreness and joint pain. This powerful healing oil is great diffused or added to a carrier oil and applied topically to the chest and neck for respiratory congestion.
You can also add eucalyptus to a spray bottle of water, shake well, and use as a spray throughout your room or area for an instant pick-me-up during those times when allergies cause sinuses to become congested. Just make sure if using it in a spray that you shake it really well with every use to ensure the oil distributes evenly.
In general, eucalyptus is a wonderful oil to have on hand because it can be used for so many different things and is a real workhorse when it comes to fighting infections and illness. While it is an effective decongestant and expectorant, this oil should not be used on pets or children under 10 years of age, so do note that especially before you use it as a spray. It should also be avoided or used cautiously if you have asthma or seizures.
Ever heard of cajeput oil? This oil comes from the cajeput tree, an evergreen native to Australia. It has many uses, including reducing pain when applied topically, treating acne, bronchitis, colds/flu, common cold sores, coughs (including chronic coughs), insect bites, respiratory inflammation, toothaches, muscle sores, fevers, and rashes.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be combined with eucalyptus oil to make a very effective natural remedy you can use to help relieve congestion, nasal stuffiness, and muscle aches.
While not as well known as its counterparts, tea tree or eucalyptus, this oil is just as powerful in the fight against illness, irritation of the throat and bronchial passages, inflammation of mucous membranes, and upper respiratory infections such as coughs, laryngitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
It’s a little safer to use as it won’t irritate your pets but you still want to apply caution when it comes to young kids. Always dilute cajeput oil before using it on the skin. This makes it much safer and can help you avoid discomfort or burning sensations.
Mix cajeput oil with coconut oil and eucalyptus oil for a fantastic immune-boosting massage blend before bedtime to relieve congestion and relax your body.
Fir Needle Oil
Fir Needle oil is derived from the fir tree and has a very crisp, woodsy scent.
It is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, decongestant. It can be used for colds and flu symptoms such as fever, chills, respiratory infections such as bronchitis and sinus infection due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which also make it helpful in relieving pain.
This oil can be diffused or applied topically with carrier oils or salves to help your immune system fight bacterial and viral infections that lead to congestion in the lungs.
It is also a very calming oil that is often used to purify the air through distillation.
You’ll be pleased to learn that this oil can be used on young children 2+ and is safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding, of course on advice from your medical professional. It is not pet safe.
How to Use Aromatherapy To Boost Your Immune System
October’s Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box is focused on immune support. It contains the three oils mentioned above, plus a blend called Digest. Digest is a blend of Aniseed, Bergamot, German Chamomile, and Sweet Orange oils. Digest is perfect for those time when your digestive system is unhappy. But the oils it contains are also supportive of immune health.
Aniseed oil has a distinctive smell that is reminiscent of both licorice and tarragon. It’s great for the respiratory system as it acts as an expectorant, decongestant, and stimulant which helps clear phlegm from your respiratory tract while also clearing bacteria in your lungs.
Bergamot oil has a citrus scent that is pleasantly refreshing. It is helpful in clearing up skin conditions, colds and flu, depression, fatigue, muscle stiffness/spasms/cramps due to its calming properties.
German chamomile oil promotes relaxation while relieving insomnia and anxiety which makes it wonderful for treating stress-related respiratory issues. This oil helps fight bacterial infections with its cleansing properties while helping to prevent the formation of harmful free radicals in the body.
Overall this blend is perfect for diffusing when you are looking for something soothing to help boost the immune system while relaxing both mind and body.
Outside of simply diffusing the oils or creating a misting spray as mentioned above, these oils can be used in a variety of ways to support your immune system and relieve symptoms of colds and flu. In the Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box for October, you will find recipes to create your own multipurpose cleaning spray, stomach soother roll-on, cooling massage oil, a Clear the Air diffuser blend, menthol shower steamers, and a menthol chest rub.
These are all wonderful ways to use your oils to create soothing products that can be used to keep you feeling your best this season.
Not only will the oils help you fight off illness, but they make your home smell incredibly comforting and inviting which is wonderful for lifting your mood while supporting your immune system. This is the perfect way to use natural oils instead of inviting more chemicals into your home.
As an added bonus, using the code: MARCYFREE when trying the Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box, you will receive a $40 gift certificate to use toward your next box or in their store. You’ll also receive the Big Bonus Box, filled with carrier oils, bottles, and beeswax to help you make more recipes. The Big Bonus Box is sent absolutely free with your first box and every six months thereafter.
Here’s another recipe I love to use when I’m suffering from congestion:
Aromatherapy Steam Blend (for age 10 and up)
10 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus or radiata)
10 drops Fir Needle (Abies siberica)
10 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
This undiluted blend of oils will be your “stock bottle.” Use 1 drop of the blend in a bowl of steaming water. Place a towel over your head and the bowl, close your eyes and breathe deeply until the steam dissipates.
Never use essential oils undiluted, in the eyes or mucus membranes. Do not ingest unless working with a qualified practitioner. Keep essential oils away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier oil).
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.