Essential Oils as Immune System Boosters: Here's What Research Says
Lately, there has been quite a bit of buzz around essential oils — some even touting them as the best immune boosters. Especially with the current situation, everyone is looking for these purported essential oils benefits — which are basically ways to build immunity and stay healthy.
We already know that some of the best means to maintain and improve your immunity are eating well, sleeping on time, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
But can plant-based oils help with headaches, sore throats, or the common cold? Before we get into the details of whether essential oils really work, the various essential oils benefits, and how to use them, first let’s understand what essential oils are.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are pure, concentrated natural oils that are extracted from plants. They basically contain the essence of a plant. Essential oils are extracted from plants using either steam distillation, cold-press, or extraction methods. They can be derived from different parts of the plant - fruit, leaves, peels, blossom, cones, bark, wood, stem, or resin.
Overall, the whole process requires just water, heat, and pressure and absolutely no chemical solvents nor toxic ingredients, hence what you get in the end is unadulterated natural oil.
Aromatherapy using Essential Oils
Aromatherapy, sometimes also called essential oil therapy, is a natural and holistic healing treatment based on the use of essential oils to promote health and immunity. The aroma from essential oils is used medicinally to work towards improving not just our health but also the mind, body, and spirit.
Although recently aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine, it has been used and practised for centuries. Science and research show that essential oils have molecules, which when inhaled through aromatherapy travels from the olfactory nerves to the brain and has a special impact on the amygdala – the human brain’s emotional centre.
Apart from inhaling, essential oils can also be easily absorbed by the skin. That’s why aromatherapy is used in massages and skin care treatments as well. They are especially beneficial in relaxing those muscles and rejuvenating the skin. Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy through products such as candles, diffusers, inhalers, body oils, lotions, clay masks, and more.
Essential Oils for Immune Support – Medical Research
Recently, there have been trials about the effects of essential oils on immunity. One of the trials at Johns Hopkins shows promising lab results. It found that the use of certain essential oils can help kill a type of bacteria called Lyme much better than antibiotics.
That’s actually great news for people who are looking for more natural ways of healing rather than bombarding their bodies with heavy antibiotics every time. But if you think that this already makes them the best immune booster, we may have to wait a little bit more. The human clinical trials had mixed results — nonetheless, this is a step forward towards using essential oils for immunity.
There have been positive results in some studies that were conducted to determine the possible essential oils benefits. It showed essential oils can alleviate conditions like:
- Low appetite
While there may not be definitive results to prove the various essential oils benefits, particularly as immunity boosters, the trials show that they can be beneficial. In particular, this 2014 study noted antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and other essential oil characteristics that could have practical medicinal uses.
So, while much has yet to be proven whether they are really the best immune booster, we cannot rule out the fact that essential oils can help us build our immunity the natural way. They may not be the ultimate cure but can help get rid of viruses and bacteria in the environment and our body. Simply put, they can bring down the severity of attacks of falling ill and help prevent it from happening again.
Essential Oils Benefits for Immunity
The quality of essential oils varies greatly in the market. Manufacturers even dilute pure essential oils with fragrance oils to make them cheaper and more saleable. When buying essential oils, always look for 100% pure essential oils from trusted brands.
While all essential oils have microbial properties, all of them differ in the properties they contain. So, it's important to know which essential oil needs to be used for which condition before going out and buying them.
For example, oregano oil helps fight against the common cold, flu, and other respiratory illness, lemon oil acts as an immune stimulant and helps fight against E. coli and influenza viruses, while lavender oil can help you calm, relax and get a good night’s sleep.
When used correctly they have numerous essential oils benefits — it’s just a matter of figuring out how you want to use them. Either use them in aromatherapy candles, as roll-ons, add them to carrier oils, in a diffuser, or simply add them to your bathtub. Even a tiny amount of these potent oils go a long way because they are 100% pure and unadulterated.
If you are also looking for natural ways to boost your immunity, then we do definitely suggest giving essential oils a try!