How Essential Oils + Herbs Support the Immune System

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How Essential Oils + Herbs Support the Immune System
Heading into cold and flu season (not to mention the elephant in the room that rhymes with rovid) has us focusing on ways to strengthen and boost our immune systems.  Essential oils and herbs complement traditional medicine and help your body to become more resilient and effective at fighting bugs and illness.

Stress and Illness

Stress has a direct impact on our immune system. The stress response suppresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. It is crucial to keep the nervous system calm to help our immune system work better. Reach for your favourite supportive blends such as Balancing, Comfort, Orange You Glad or Time Out to encourage calm and comfort. Regular exercise and taking time to rest and recharge daily are also important ways to help manage the stresses of daily life. 

Herbal Supports

Herb-based teas and elixirs contribute to immune health. The anti-inflammatory properties of the Marshmallow root in our Breathe Tea is wonderful for irritation of the throat and lungs. Elderberries have been shown to be effective when used to prevent or shorten the duration of colds and flus. Our Elderberry Elixir features the immune boosting properties of lemon, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. All you need is water and honey (or maple syrup) to sweeten it up, and you can make a fresh batch of Elderberry Elixir for the whole family.

Powerhouse Essential Oils

There are many essential oils that benefit our bodies and help keep us healthy. Here are a few that we are big fans of:

  • Rosalina, from the Tea Tree family, is great for kids.
  • Eucalyptus is a go-to for opening airways. We use Eucalyptus radiata instead of Eucalyptus globulus as it is gentle and, when used in the right dillution, is safe for kids under 5. 
  • Frankincense (Amy's boyfriend Frank) is incredible for the immune system as it calms the nervous system, opens breathing passageways, and is gentle and safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Rosemary is a great oil to start your day and Marjoram is helpful to use at bedtime. Both oils open airways and Rosemary helps stimulate the brain while Marjoram is a good choice when feeling overwhelmed.

Essential oils are made up of aromatic organic compounds that have therapeutic properties. Phenols are powerful antiseptics and are excellent stimulants for the immune system. Essential oils high in phenols include Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum), Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllata) and Aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum). Caution: Keep in mind that these can be skin irritants so these are best to use in a diffuser and in small amounts. 

Not only are single oils amazing for immunity, but they are most effective from a therapeutic perspective when blended together as they enhance the benefits of each other. Get the synergistic benefits of all three powerhouse oils in our popular Chai Diffuser Blend.

Can Essential Oils Help If I Do Get Sick?

In addition to supporting your immune system, The Blending Bar's Breathe products help to alleviate symptoms of respiratory issues. The Breathe blends include decongestant and expectorant oils, to help clear your airways and rid your chest of mucus and phlegm. Many cough and cold products suppress coughs, however coughing is good as it gets the phlegm out of your body (better out than in, we say!).

We recommend using a combination of products that work together in different ways. The Breathe Trio includes 3 products that are formulated to be used together:

  • The Breathe Roll On allows the essential oils to absorb in topically through skin and into the bloodstream. It is applied under the jawline to get into the lympathic and circulatory system, and lasts for 6-8 hours.
  • The Breathe Diffuser Blend provides passive inhalation and also cleans the air. We recommend 1-6 drops to be diffused for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • The Breathe Inhaler works through acute inhalation, going straight to the brain and bloodstream.

While essential oils are excellent to help strengthen the immune system and alleviate symptoms, please make sure to see a doctor when you are unwell. Essential oils complement the whole way of caring for ourselves, working with traditional therapies and medicines to keep our bodies well.

If you have any questions on the information above, we would love to hear from you. Please reach out to Amy and Lydia at info@theblendingbar.ca.

References:

Harvard Health Publishing

West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy

 

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  • Amy Reedman
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