The 6 Best Essential Oils for Boosting Immunity: Benefits, Descriptions, and Applications

At the risk of sounding cliche, prevention is the key to never being in a position where you’d need curing. However, we are all guilty at times of not consciously implementing measures to protect our family from diseases. We understand. With so many things to mind, we can sometimes forget to be attentive to problems that we should constantly be keeping in check. This is especially true when those problems are beyond our senses and have yet to manifest in occurrences that we can see and feel.

You should know, however, that the time to build up your immunity against common illnesses is before you catch anything, not when you first notice the symptoms. With that in mind, we’d like to tell you all about the following six essential oils and the role they can play in strengthening your defenses against bacterial and viral infections.

Maintaining a healthy immune system is rule number 1 in keeping sicknesses at bay. Photo Source: Pixabay

 

What is great about using essential oils to boost immunity is that they can do so much more. Essential oils can protect you from bacteria and viruses while filling your house with their fragrance, soothing your skin as a rub, or being used in a facial steam treatment for your face.

These all-natural ingredients are your creative, convenient, and effective means of protecting your home from diseases. By developing a habit of using essential oils, you wouldn't have to feel guilty about being a negligent caregiver to your family. This is true for many who have discovered the wonders of using essential oils, and you can experience it too! You can get Aroma Foundry's 100% pure essential oils right here. We have hand-picked our six best essential oils for immune defense. Get this collection by clicking below!

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Essential Oils for Boosting Immunity

Tea tree essential oil is considered an immune system stimulant. Photo Source: John Tann, flickr

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Having antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, tea tree essential oil can effectively act as your first line of defense against many common pathogens. Unlike most essential oils that share these properties, tea tree can actually be considered as an immune system stimulant rather than simply a support. And if it’s diffused regularly in your home or office spaces, it can also serve as an air disinfectant, killing many types of sickness-causing germs floating around. If employed as a surface cleaner, you can expect the same benefit.

These amazing effects have been substantiated. When tested for possible effects on many virus strains, tea tree essential oil has been found to be significantly effective against influenza strains. Of course, its uses aren’t limited to just air and surfaces. Regular inhalation of its scent can also give the human body the same defensive effects. Even topical application can work just as well. If one or two diluted drops are rubbed in your pulse points, tea tree essential oil could serve as a shield against viruses and bacteria that you can carry with you as you go about your day.

Learn more about tea tree essential oil.

The ability of bergamot to alleviate stress and anxiety can contribute to a healthy immune system. Photo Source: Pixabay

2. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil can be characterized more as an immune system support rather than a stimulant, but that doesn’t make it any less effective in helping you fight illness-causing organisms before they can even land. One of the ways bergamot can be employed to this end is through inducing not just your body but also your mind to feel better in a general sense. As a highly effective mood booster, bergamot essential oil can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, which are just some factors that could cause your immune system to take a nosedive.

It’s a fact, after all, that when you’re not feeling your best emotionally, it could translate physically. Some examples include an inability to get effective rest when you need it, a shortened or lengthened sleeping time with limited renewing quality, and a reduced appetite that lowers your body’s chances for getting the proper nutrition it needs to defend itself against invaders. All of these can be addressed in one fell swoop if you first work on regulating the emotional issues that are causing them, which is where bergamot essential oil can shine.

That’s not all it’s good for, though. Bergamot also has a reputation not just for helping keep the body from getting sick but also for helping it recover from illnesses. When it gets into the system either through the skin or through the lungs, bergamot essential oil can encourage the production of more white blood cells, which is extremely necessary if the body is to have its immune system in good working order, either to renew itself or to keep the sickness from recurring.

As a cherry on top of this already-attractive cake, a study has found that vapor diffusion of bergamot essential oil was highly effective in fighting the influenza virus after only ten minutes of exposure. If used in this manner with eucalyptus essential oil (which also had the same result) as well as with the others mentioned in this article, bergamot essential oil could prove to be an especially fine net that no virus could pass through.

Learn more about bergamot essential oil.

In addition to its woodsy aroma, fir essential oil also possesses antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Photo Source: Pixabay

3. Fir Essential Oil

Here’s another essential oil that has more than one use when it comes to helping you ward against illnesses. First, fir essential oil can be used as a surface and air disinfectant, killing germs before they have the chance to breed and spread. Second, it is another immune system stimulant, boosting your body’s defenses to help keep you from catching cold or flu bugs. Third, if it’s far too late for immunity boosters and you’re already feeling the first symptoms of sickness, fir essential oil can also be employed to help you stop it on its tracks and facilitate a speedier recovery.

In fact, it’s so good at doing this that we’ve also included fir in our essential oils 6-pack for cold symptoms. If you think that that’s more along the lines of what you need right now, please feel free to check it out.

Most modern people don’t often hear of essential oil from fir mentioned in this regard, but it has a long history with many old cultures that have used not just the oil but the tree’s various parts as medicine for their various ailments. Its needle-like leaves, for instance, are surprisingly high in vitamin C, and these have been traditionally made into tea.

Similar to tea tree and to many other essential oils, fir essential oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that all serve to help the body fight off all sorts of infections. If used preventatively, it can potentially stop infection from spreading throughout the body.

Please note that fir essential oil is one of those not recommended for regular and/or long-term use as its high toxicity may accumulate and affect the body’s organs. It is not dangerous if used sparingly, and it is best employed as a sometime booster when flu season is coming, or as an air and surface disinfectant when someone in the house is already down with something, in order to keep the infection from spreading.

Learn more about fir essential oil.

Lemon fruit is well known for its immunity-enhancing abilities. Its essential oil offers the same helpful qualities. Photo Source: Pixabay

4. Lemon Essential Oil

Now, what is a list of immunity-boosting essential oils without lemon in it? Would such a list even exist? It is common knowledge that lemon fruit has noteworthy immunity-boosting properties. Its essential oil would, of course, be no different. Like several other citrus essential oils, lemon essential oil is high in d-limonene content, which is a crucial compound for the promotion of white blood cell production among many other immunity-related things.

Science has been doing its part to see whether or not essential oils can really be beneficial to human beings’ overall health—not just of the body but also of the mind. Thus far, the studies have been giving us hopeful results, and most of these can be taken as mere confirmation of what essential oils users have already known, not just for the last few decades but for the last few millennia. To this end, lemon has been hailed as possibly the most powerful essential oil when it comes to fighting all sorts of microbes. Whether it’s before these microbes enter your system or after, lemon essential oil can be relied upon to help you defend against them.

And similar to another citrus essential oil on this list, lemon can also serve as a mood stabilizer which could possibly lead to an improved functioning of the body’s various systems. Better quality of rest and sleep along with a healthier appetite may just prove to be enough to boost your immune system up, but lemon essential oil’s other properties would be on hand in the off chance that it isn’t.

Learn more about lemon essential oil.

In the subtropical regions where they originally grew, people have used lemongrass to cure ailments such as fever. Photo Source: Obsidian Soul, Wikimedia Commons

5. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is another all-in-one wonder that can be used for air and surface disinfecting, immunity boosting, and sickness busting. It doesn’t share lemon’s name for nothing—it also contains a significant amount of limonene as one of its major components. And it doesn’t just have properties that can protect against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, it is also a well-known fever remedy used in traditional medicines of the countries where lemongrass grows in abundance.

Its role in improving the immune system involves helping the body absorb nutrients more efficiently, as one of its main functions is in improving the digestive system. See, it’s sometimes not enough to observe proper diet in order to protect against common and not-so-common illnesses, you also have to make sure your body is working optimally such that it can break down food and effectively disseminate its components throughout the body. We need to make sure that whatever we ingest can be converted into compounds we can benefit from.

Finally, in the same study that tested much essential oil’s potency against viruses, lemongrass essential oil’s vapor diffusion was found to be effective at eliminating influenza virus after thirty minutes of exposure. This along with its capacity to protect the nervous system from various modern-day pollutants may serve to protect the body from many harmful elements that can bring its defenses down.

Learn more about lemongrass essential oil.

The effectiveness of eucalyptus essential oil in assisting with respiratory conditions is attributed in part to its immunity-boosting ability. Photo Source: Pixabay

6. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Of course, this list won’t be at all complete without mentioning eucalyptus essential oil. It is more commonly employed as a remedy after colds or flu has already set in, but our theme here is prevention, and eucalyptus essential oil may also be employed to that end just as effectively. The best part is, if you’re looking for a convenient essential oil package that includes not just potential immunity boosters but also cold and flu remedies, this one might prove to be all that you’ll need. To be fair, though, the same could be said of our essential oil 6-packs for cold symptoms and for microbial infections, but that’s because essential oils are just godsends in general.

Eucalyptus essential oil’s applications for helping treat cold and flu symptoms are wide and well-known. Commonly found as one of the main ingredients in over-the-counter drugs and remedies, it could among other things help decongest the chest and clogged sinuses, expel stubborn mucus, and relieve the various aches and pains involved with the said illnesses.

As a preventative measure, meanwhile, eucalyptus essential oil can help improve the immune system’s function by promoting “innate cell-mediated immune response,” according to this study. In simple terms, we could take this to mean that eucalyptus oil stimulates the immune system on the cellular level. In particular, it induces the activation of “phagocytes,” which are the body’s main attackers when harmful invaders get in. The more of these soldiers we have, the better our body’s chances of not getting sick even if we do get infected.

Learn more about eucalyptus essential oil.

You can see a whole range of pure and all-natural essential oils from this collection.

Precautions

The amount of recommended drops for single use can vary across different types of essential oils. The age of the intended user is a factor as well, along with the manner you wish to apply it. Children and elderly people would need a lower dosage, and it is generally inadvisable to ingest essential oils, though it’s been known to be done in small amounts. But there’s a lot of accompanying dangers to this, so please check the recommended dosage for specific essential oils and the proper ways to use it by speaking to a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.

Always dilute essential oils before applying them topically. Again, the recommended number of drops would vary per essential oil, but the standard for essential oils produced through the steam distillation method is one drop per one milliliter of carrier agent. Examples of effective and skin-friendly carrier agents include fractionated coconut oil, virgin or extra virgin olive oil, and other vegetable oils in general.

If you’re using a citrus essential oil that was made using the cold pressing method, you would generally need less than a drop to get an effect compared with steam-distilled essential oils. But because they are highly concentrated, potent, and acidic, greater caution would often need to be observed in their use. For instance, because they are photosensitive, exposure to sunlight after topical application is not recommended for at least twelve hours for the gentler citruses, and that length of time needs to be extended to twenty-four hours if more potent citruses like lime are used.

Wearing face masks can help protect the body from pathogens and viruses that enter through the respiratory tract. Photo Source: Pixabay

But whether it’s cold-pressed or steam-distilled, always perform a patch test before any extensive skin application in order to check for allergic reactions or any other adverse effects. If there’s any irritation, either increase the essential oil’s dilution or stop using it topically altogether.

Please take extra note of whether a specific oil may be used long-term or only periodically, as some might prove toxic under prolonged exposure. For instance, the use of fir essential oil is recommended only for up to two weeks at a time. When diffusing essential oils, please also note that the recommended maximum length per session is one hour. Overexposure to essential oils may lead to effects such as headaches, nausea, and possibly emotional disturbances.

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering from conditions like epilepsy, or taking prescribed medication, please refrain from using essential oils as they commonly have one or more properties that may be harmful to your circumstances. Always consult your health provider’s advice before anything else.

Store essential oils away from sunlight and keep them from children’s and pets’ reach. Majority of essential oils are not recommended for use in very young children, and some have been known to be harmful to animals. Avoid ingesting large amounts as essential oils can be toxic, and keep away from the eyes and other mucous membranes. In case of contact, flush with water, but if a large amount of undiluted essential oil spills on the skin, use carrier agents and not water to thin it out and clear it away.

How to Use Essential Oils to Boost Immunity

Harmful micro-organisms are what causes many sicknesses such as colds and flu. Photo Source: Pixabay

Whew! Despite how daunting those precautions we just covered may appear, their mention and observation are necessary for your safety as well as for those you wish to share these six essential oils’ immunity-boosting bounties, which you can also purchase all-in-one from Aroma Foundry. In this section, we’ll list the ways you could use these oils, divided by their possible uses as air and surface disinfectants and as stimulant and support for your body’s immunity.

1. As air and surface disinfectant

Diffusing

In a majority of cases, even as simple a method as diffusion can prove enough to clear your air and your surfaces from bacteria and viruses that cause sickness. Simply add a few drops of any given essential oil in your diffuser and run it for an hour. You can choose to run it for longer than that, provided no one else would be in the room. For this purpose, the essential oils from tea tree, bergamot, or eucalyptus come highly recommended, but they may also be blended together and/or with lemongrass essential oil and lemon essential oil for maximum germ-killing effect. Fir essential oil may also be used as a potent preventive measure when cold and flu season is about to roll in, but not regularly, as was mentioned.

When blending amounts for more than one use, it should be done in a thick and airtight light-filtering glass container to protect its volatile contents from degradation from both the air and the sun. Citrus essential oils are also known to be acidic and may eat their way to plastic or ordinary glass containers, rendering the essential oils unsafe for further use.

All-purpose sprayer

When used as a sprayer, essential oils may work both as an air sanitizer and a general deodorizer, as well as an all-around surface disinfectant. To make one of your own, you’ll need:

Instructions:

    1. Blend the essential oils in a glass bottle until they’re evenly combined.
    2. Add the blend to the bottle of combined alcohol and water, screw the cap tight, and shake well before every use.
    3. Spray the solution on any space or surface that needs freshening and/or disinfecting.

Note: Other essential oils like fir, bergamot, and lemongrass may also be added (be sure to adjust the number of drops appropriately) and/or substituted.

The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms. Photo Source: Pixabay

2. As immune system stimulant and support

Diffusion

Diffusion of any and all of the six essential oils for boosting immunity can serve to protect you round the clock against common pathogens, and perhaps even not-so-common ones.

To maximize this effect, blend your choice of these six (or, as we mentioned, all of them during critical times of the year) in a UV-filtering glass bottle, the number of drops depending on the size of the bottle you’re using. You may add an equal number of drops for each essential oil, or adjust depending on which specific effect you want more of. For example, if you want an ever-dependable mood-lifting effect while you load up on your microbe-fighting soldiers, use more of bergamot or lemon essential oil.

Just remember that blending cold-pressed citrus essential oils with steam distilled ones would require you to also adjust how you measure the drops from the resulting blend. Remember that a little goes a long way with the former kind, so if they’re in your blend, use it a bit more sparingly. You should also check if the diffuser you’re using is equipped to handle the citruses’ acidity as some have been known to cause damage.

Topical application

For topical use, nearly everything said in the previous subsection applies, except that the oils, whether on their own or blended with the others, would also need to be mixed with an appropriate amount of carrier agent. Skin-friendly oils like coconut, olive, or jojoba could work very well to this end, but note once again that if you’re using cold-pressed citruses, more dilution would be required and sun-exposure for twelve to twenty-four hours must be avoided if it’s used on a large area of skin.

Store your resulting blend in a sturdy and airtight glass bottle so it would keep for longer. For a handy way to carry it around and use it whenever it’s needed, you can also try storing it in a glass roller bottle like this one. Apply your immunity-boosting blend in your pulse points or in the soles of your feet for quicker absorption.

Steam inhalation

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, bacterial and viral infections get the better of us and we find ourselves dealing with the first signs of a cold or the flu before we know it. If this happens to you, you don’t have to panic. Simply employ a first aid treatment like steam inhalation to help get rid of the infection before it can get any more foothold.

To do this, boil at least two cups of water, transfer it in a bowl, and add one to three drops of eucalyptus essential oil, fir essential oil, or a blend that contains both. Lean over the steaming bowl and use a towel to cover your head and shoulders, making sure the bowl is covered as well. Inhale deeply and exhale through your mouth for ten minutes. Close your eyes if you find them stinging, and breathe in fresh outside air periodically if the heat gets to be too much. Perform this two to three times a day until your symptoms abate.

Strong immunity means less risk of catching sicknesses from interacting with other people. Photo Source: Pixabay

Check out our special pack containing all the essential oils mentioned here in Our Shop.

Summary

Aroma Foundry Immune Defense Collection

When it comes to guarding yourself, your loved ones, and the people you interact with on a daily basis against sickness-causing microbes, going out of your way is often necessary. As with many other things, if you can do it now, why wait for later when it might be too late? It’s up to you to decide if the methods we shared that uses six powerful immunity-boosting essential oils could be worth the cost and the effort to implement them, but know that doing even that much could potentially save you more time, money, and trouble in the long run.

Aroma Foundry has made it at least a little easier on the pocket by bundling all six in a convenient pack of 100% pure and all-natural immunity-boosting essential oils that can be delivered to your doorstep. After that, the rest would be up to you.

Bibliography

  1. "Antibacterial & Antiviral Effects of Essential Oils." Diffuser Essentials. https://www.diffuseressentials.com/antibacterial-antiviral-effects-of-essential-oils-2/.
  2. "Aromatherapy for Immune System Health: Essential Oils For Staying Well." The Energy Healing Site. https://www.the-energy-healing-site.com/aromatherapy-for-immune-system-health.html.
  3. "Enhance Your Immune System with Essential Oil Therapy." Essential Oil Therapy. https://elizabethvanburen.com/recipes-treatments/enhance-your-immune-system-with-essential-oil-therapy/.
  4. Garozzo, A., R. Timpanaro, B. Bisignano, P. M. Furneri, G. Bisignano, and A. Castro. "In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil." Letters in Applied Microbiology. December 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19843207.
  5. Serafino, Annalucia, Paola Sinibaldi Vallebona, Federica Andreola, Manuela Zonfrillo, Luana Mercuri, Memmo Federici, Guido Rasi, Enrico Garaci, and Pasquale Pierimarchi. "Stimulatory Effect of Eucalyptus Essential Oil on Innate Cell-mediated Immune Response." BMC Immunology. 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374764/.
  6. UpNature. "Top 30 Incredible Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits and Uses." UpNature. https://www.up-nature.com/blogs/news/top-30-lemongrass-essential-oil-benefits-and-uses.
  7. Vimalanathan, Selvarani, and James Hudson. Anti-influenza Virus Activity of Essential Oils and Vapors. PDF. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, 2014.
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