Many readers and my Young Living members, who started diving into their essential oil starter kits, have been asking me about immune system support.
As we head into the fall and winter months, wellness is on the forefront of our minds more than ever. If you’ve ever felt like it’s one thing after the other with kids and family members getting sick during the colder seasons, I hear you.
This gets tiring, especially if you work a traditional job and end up using all your vacation time staying home with sick kids.
One reason that I love using essential oils is they help our bodies work they way they were designed to work. They are the “life blood” of plants and contain many powerful constituents to support a healthy immune system. This means you’re staying healthy on the front end, rather than constantly trying to get your body to a state of health.
Simply put, essential oils help you play offense instead of defense. It’s a much more empowering place to be.
Essential oils and immune system support.
Funny enough, when it comes to immune system support, essential oils are not the first thing I focus on for myself or when sharing with friends and family members. There are 4-5 other things you should consider FIRST before even worrying about using essential oils for immune support.
Related: 17 Most Powerful Essential Oils for Stress Relief
1. What are you eating?
Everything you put on and into your body contributes to or prevents disease. Take a closer look at the foods you are eating. Many of them likely contain large amounts of synthetic chemicals or GMOs. The more toxins and chemicals we put into our bodies, the more our immune system has to fight them on a daily basis. This can cause fatigue across your body systems.
There are several simple steps to start improving the quality of food you are eating:
- Eat as much organic as possible.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Think: meats, fruits, vegetables.
- If it’s in fancy packaging, take a close look at the ingredient list.
- Eliminate as much sugar as possible.
Here are some key things to avoid in order to reduce your toxin load:
- High fructose corn syrup at all costs.
- Partially Hydrogenated Oils
- Food Dyes, esp Red 40
- Monosodium glutamate (aka MSG, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein)
- Aspartame – artificial sweetener that increases the mobility of cancer cells.
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Many of the nutrients are lost in the processing. Instead, create simple meals from scratch at home. 100 Days of Real Food is a great website to help.
- Replace non-stick cookware, at high temps or when the coating becomes compromised, PFOA inside the non-stick coating is toxic to your health.
2. Let’s talk about gut health.
“‘All Disease Begins in The Gut.’ – Hippocrates. It’s common to overlook the health of our gastrointestinal system, even though it contains 10 times more health-determining bacteria than the rest of our body. Protecting us from infection, supporting our metabolism, and promoting healthy digestion and elimination.” (source)
Without realizing it, our digestive systems could use a little more support. With all the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis our gut can struggle to function properly.
The majority of the population has inadequate beneficial (good) bacteria, excessive damaging (bad) bacteria, and a lack of bacterial diversity.
This is for several reasons:
- Poor diet
- Chronic stress
- Exposure to environmental toxins
In addition to focusing on what you are eating, here are some other important ways to support a healthy gut:
- Take a daily probiotic. We take Life 9. (Supports healthy gut bacteria)
- Take digestive enzymes. We take Essentialzyme-4. (Helps to break down food and supports nutrient absorption.)
- Take a really high quality multivitamin that you know is bioavailable to your body (your body can absorb what is inside the vitamin)
- For kids, there are MightyVites and MightyZymes and MightyPro (probiotics). Highly recommend for keeping kids healthy.
3. Sleep is the building block for healthy bodies.
Getting enough sleep each night helps all your body systems rest, recover and function properly. Without proper sleep body systems get fatigued. It’s impossible for your immune system to function properly without enough sleep.
If you need more sleep support, you can read my post on essential oils for sleep here.
Essential oils are a great place to start for sleep support. I typically start with Lavender and Frankincense (these both come in the Young Living starter kit) in the diffuser or topically to the back of the neck right before sleep.
Cedarwood is an additional oil that I highly recommend because it supports the bodies natural production of melatonin (your sleepy hormone).
Each night before I head to bed now, I walk into my daughter’s room and put Cedarwood and Frankincense on her wrist or behind her earlobe – depending on which I can access easily without disrupting her sleep. She has a lot of fears at bedtime and these oils have helped ground her emotionally.
If you need additional support, I highly recommend Sleep Essence from Young Living or Immupro – which is specifically meant to help support both healthy sleep AND a healthy immune system.
4. Reduce your toxin load.
If your immune system is constantly fighting environmental toxins, it’s challenging for it to operate at peak performance. Everything from the lotions you put on your body to the candles you burn to the cleaners you use in your home – they are likely filled with toxins!
You can visit EWG.org to see where your products match up on their scales. Most are off the charts and contribute to hormone disruption and organ dysfunction. (Yes, crazy, right?! I didn’t know either and for years I slathered my body with toxic stuff).
Another app that you can check out is the ThinkDirty App. It’s a powerful way to take a closer look at the products you are using.
Here are some things to consider eliminating:
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate
- Propylene Glycol
- Tricolosan (hand sanitizers)
- Colors and pigments
- Spray-on Suncreens
- Chemicals in Sunscreen like Benzone
- Air fresheners (contain formaldehyde)
So all the above – food, gut health, sleep and toxin load – are important to look at when supporting a healthy immune system.
Essential oils are incredible for immune system support, but they need the other things in place so they can support you best. They are only part of the equation.
Essential oils for immune system support.
Now onto the actual essential oils we love using for immune system support. These are powerful tools to keep your body healthy from the start of the winter and fall seasons – and honestly all year round.
1. Thieves essential oil.
Of course, thieves, right?! This one is a no brainer. It comes inside the Young Living Starter Kit, which is how everyone gets started with YL (I’ve never had a single person regret doing this). You can diffuse this 24/7 in your home. It smells like fall AND your supports your immune system. #winning
This blend contains lemon, clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus, and it was specifically formulated for immune support. YL also just came out with a thieves roller bottle this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it already sold out. Rolling thieves up and down the spine is excellent for immune system support.
On top of being incredible for immune system support, oregano is also known to create feelings of security (hello emotions). This is a very “hot” oil if you apply it topically, which means you definitely want to blend it with a carrier oil (like olive oil or fractionated coconut oil).
You can also take oregano vitality as a dietary supplement, which is the most powerful way to take it in my opinion. Be sure to use a vegetable capsule.
Young Living also has a supplement called InnerDefense, and this oil is inside, among others.
This oil is very high in the very powerful constituent 1,8-Cineole (Eucalyptol). I’ll let you do your own research on the powers of that. According to folklore history, rosemary originally had white flowers; however, they turned red after the Virgin Mary laid her cloak on the bush. Since the time of ancient Greece (about 1,000 BC), rosemary was burned as incense.
In addition to immune support, rosemary can help improve mental fatigue and supports mental clarity and focus.
4. Clove, cinnamon bark and nutmeg.
Put this in your diffuser and add a little orange essential oil and you have a pumpkin spice immune support blend running all day long. #winningagain
Others to keep in mind are frankincense, lemon, ravintsara, and cumin. There are honestly so many, and I don’t want to overwhelm you. Everything listed above are great starting points for immune support.
One final thing to keep in mind is exercise. Everyday you want to make sure and open up your lungs and get them moving. This prevents bacteria from becoming stagnant inside your respiratory system and multiplying.
With kids especially, you want to make sure their lungs are opening up 2-3 times per day. If the kids aren’t getting outside, have them do some quick 5-10 minutes of jumping around to get their lungs opened up.
If you’ve been thinking about getting starting with essential oils, you can check out my monthly special here. I’m always running some sort of special to help new members feel comfortable and get the education they need to get started. Stay healthy!
Want more on essential oils?
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.
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