Essential Oils for Immunity

Immunity

When we talk about boosting our immunity, we often look to vitamins or supplements as a quick fix. But what about other natural remedies?

Essential oils are made from a variety of plants and have become increasingly popular for their health benefits. One of the many areas where these oils show promise is in the use of essential oils for immunity. 

In this article, we will explore what essential oils are, different methods of extracting them, and popular essential oils for immunity. We will also look at how to effectively incorporate them into your daily routine to get the most out of a bottle of essential oils for immunity.

Understanding Essential Oils

Essential oils are a highly concentrated bottle of the plant’s essence. It contains compounds that are responsible for the unique scent and therapeutic properties of the plant from which it is extracted. 

Essential oils are often made using different parts of the plant such as flowers, leaves, stems, bark and roots. The ways in which these oils are extracted from these plant parts vary from steam distillation, cold pressing to solvent extraction. 

Some methods of Essential Oil Processing

1. Steam Distillation

Steam distillation is the most common method of extracting essential oils and is said to have been invented by Avicenna in the 11th century. This process involves steam or hot water being passed through the plant material in a large container called a still, causing the oils in the plant cells to evaporate. The steam and essential oil vapour are then condensed and collected separately, and as oil and water do not mix, the essential oil floats to the top of the water. Buckley & Phillips Aromatics use this method for most of their essential oil production. 

2. Cold Press Extraction

This method is mainly used for citrus peel and fruit. The whole fruit or rinds of fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits are mechanically pressed to release the oils from its cells. The oil is then often separated in a centrifuge from the solid fruit particles that it contains. The final separated oil after this process is what makes up a bottle of essential oil.

3. Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction employs the use of a solvent, such as ethanol, to isolate the essential oils from the plant cells. This method is often used on fragile plant material, such as delicate flowers, which yield low levels of essential oils and cannot withstand the pressure and distress of other methods on this list. The solvent dissolves the oil, which is then separated from the solvent by evaporation. Sometimes non-volatile plant material such as waxes and pigments are also collected, but these are often removed.

Now that we understand how essential oils are made, let us look into the specific kinds that can boost immunity. 

Essential Oils for Immunity

Sweet Orange 

Sweet orange oil is known for its uplifting and energising aroma. It contains limonene, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants help reduce cell damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. As the accumulation of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which triggers inflammation and disease, it is thought that a good level of antioxidants is beneficial for the immune system. This is why many essential oils for immunity tend to include some blend of limonene abundant plants.  

Clove Bud 

Clove bud oil has traditionally been used for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It was also traditionally eaten to help with digestive problems like indigestion as well. Clove bud oil is known to be rich in antioxidants and contains a compound called eugenol. Eugenol is a compound with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that can aid in fighting off certain conditions. As the levels of eugenol in clove bud oil are quite high, it is thought to be a good natural solution for immunity boosting. 

Cinnamon Leaf

Cinnamon leaf oil is often associated with comforting properties because of its aroma. It contains cinnamaldehyde, which has shown antibacterial, anti-inflammatory effects and immune-modulating properties. Cinnamon leaf oil is also thought to be rich in antioxidants making it a pretty popular essential oil for immunity. 

Lemon 

Lemon oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its refreshing scent and uplifting properties. It also contains limonene, which, as mentioned earlier, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Lemon oil is also thought to boost your immunity system as a whole and fight respiratory conditions. It is also great for allergies and greatly benefits the lymphatic system.

Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus oil is often used for its respiratory benefits because of its cineol content which is known to clear nasal congestion. It also contains compounds like eucalyptol, which has shown antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. 

Rosemary

Rosemary oil is known for its refreshing scent and is often used to improve concentration. It also contains cineol, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary oil also boosts the immune system by stimulating internal antioxidant activity. Another additional benefit of rosemary oil is for the hair. Because it stimulates nerve growth and improves blood circulation, it is thought that adding rosemary oil to your hair care routine will help it grow.

Here are some essential oils for immunity that are particularly popular. You can either buy each oil individually or buy a blend, such as the Immunity Essential Oil blend from Buckley & Phillips Aromatics.

Using Essential Oils for Immunity

There are many ways you can use essential oils to boost your immunity. One is to use an ultrasonic diffuser or nebuliser that you leave on while you go about your day. Another method is to use an oil burner. 

Following this method, a bowl of hot water with a few drops of essential oil is particularly good if you have a congested nose. Simply fill a bowl with boiling hot water, then place a towel over your head and the bowl to trap the steam. Then simply lean over the bowl and inhale.

Other methods include topical application or in baths to allow the oils to seep into your skin. For topical application, you can dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil, and then apply the mixture to your skin as body care or for a massage. Applying essential oils directly to the skin without dilution can cause irritation as essential oils are a highly concentrated form of the plant’s essence. For baths, simply add a few drops to carrier oil or unscented bath gel and soak as desired.

Essential oils for immunity can be a particularly valuable natural solution for boosting and supporting immune health. When used and produced safely, essential oils can be really good at complimenting your healthy lifestyle.

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