Natural Ways to Boost Immunity
Your immune system provides a powerful defence against germs and bacteria entering the body. But when our immune systems weaken, we can be vulnerable to disease and infection, so it’s important to take preventative steps to strengthen the immune systems function before this occurs. While a quick visit to the pharmacy will be sufficient, there are many studies that have shown natural remedies to be just as effective, and in some cases shown to work better than chemical based medications. There are many essential oils that carry an array of antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties; properties that work to boost your immune system naturally.
Clove Essential Oil
Clove oil contains higher antioxidant levels than many other essential oils. According to Bio Source Naturals, ‘Antioxidants offer powerful, effective protection for your body and cells against their oxidative stress, by blunting the damaging effects of free radicals’. Their study found that clove oil is the most powerful essential oil for their antioxidant capacity, and can thereby boost the immune system function. Alongside antioxidants, clove oil is an expectorant, with high levels of eugenol. Eugenol is a compound that carries anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. The high Eugenol content of cloves has been proven to fight against liver disease as well as against inflammation and cell death. Clove oil has also been proven to be as effective as other chemical based anti-fungal treatments, but provides a healthier, natural alternative. All in all, clove oil is one of our favourite natural secrets to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Blood Orange Essential Oil
Just like Clove oil, blood orange essential oil fights against the oxidative stress that depletes our immune systems. This is because Blood orange oil has strong anti-inflammatory effects, and contains high percentages of limonene. Blood orange oil can also be used to stimulate the lymphatic system, aiding in cleaning and detoxifying of the body. In doing so, blood orange essential oil can remove toxins from the body and give your immune system a natural boost.
Garlic Essential Oil
Garlic is another must-have essential oil this winter. Garlic essential oil has a special chemical compound called Allicin that has strong antibacterial, antiviral, decongestant and expectorant properties. That’s right, garlic essential oil has them all! Most commonly, garlic essential oil is used as a powerful defender against cold viruses. This will allow you to breath in the antioxidant powers of the garlic and clear your airways to relieve cold symptoms. Alongside this, garlic essential oil can combat many infections that our bodies are prone to when our immunity system is weakened. Interestingly, a 2018 study found that because of the anti-viral properties in garlic, the essential oil actually works better at killing bacteria than standard antibiotics do.
Ginger Essential Oil
Now of course we all know that ginger is the magic ingredient for a healthy immune system. Naturally, ginger essential oil is just as powerful, if not more, due to its high concentration. Ginger essential oil contains a special property called camphene, which is known to exhibit anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger essential oil also contains the chemical compound bisabolene, which can help fight against allergies. Most importantly for an immune boost, ginger essential oil can naturally treat respiratory problems. As an expectorant, it can effectively soothe the throat and get rid of mucus to improve breathing.
The best ways to use these essential oils:
There are many essential oils that can naturally improve your immune systems function, but these four are some of our favourites. There are two main methods of using these oils, topically and by diffusion. For a natural chest-rub, similar to the chemical based ‘Vicks’, blend a few drops of each essential oil with hemp oil, and rub on the chest area. Alternatively, a cold-killer combination of 1-2 a drop of ginger, 2-3 drops of clove and 4-5 drops of blood orange in a diffuser will give your immune system the natural boost it needs to stay healthy this winter.
By Andelain Joy