When Our Immune System Fails: What is the Next Step?

In our last article, “Our Immune System, the Key to Healthy Living”, we talked about the army within us.  How this defense system is working 24/7 but it can’t do this on its own.  We need to take a very active role in maintaining its efficacy.  Download is available below.

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In our last article, “Our Immune System, the Key to Healthy Living”, we talked about the army within us.  How this defense system is working 24/7 but it can’t do this on its own.  We need to take a very active role in maintaining its efficacy.

We are being Attacked!

Before we go more into how to maintain our immunity, let’s look at what will make our system fail.  We have external man-made influences; toxins, carcinogens and stress but also microbes; viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.  There are also harmless microbes that are beneficial to us as well, so it’s important that we find the balance.

The traditional naturopathic approach to wellness is, if the host’s system is well, the external germs cannot and do not attack healthy tissue.  Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress, negative attitudes and other lifestyle problems, combined, place a heavy strain on the body’s functional abilities.  The result is an unhealthy body that can’t defend on its own.

Essential oils can play an important role in our lifestyle routine.  They have immune supporting properties, like; antimicrobial, antiviral and immunostimulants. The antimicrobial and antiviral action works directly against micro-organisms, the immune-stimulant action boosts the body’s own defenses, the depurative actions eliminate accumulated waste and toxins that foster the environment that microbes breed on and essential oils respect the protective flora of the harmless microbes.

Antimicrobial Essential Oils

There have been many studies on how essential oils work in this manner, but it boils down to damaging the biological membrane and smothering them.  They inhibit the ATP formation and inhibit oxygen uptake. The top oils for this are;

  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) – One of the strongest antimicrobial essential oils.  Effective against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. Never use on skin neat.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct thymol) – Has been shown effective against a host of bacteria, including MRSA and staphylococcus.  This oil should always be diluted.
  • Oregano (Origanum vulare) – Helps to protect from many strains of bacteria, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus and salmonella.  Boosts production of white blood cells.
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – Helps prevents infection in cuts, wounds, burns, boils, insect bites and stings.

The list is certainly not complete.  Here is a list of other oils that are anti-microbial;
Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Bergamot, Lemongrass, Clove, Basil, Rosemary, Patchouli, Sage, Lime and Grapefruit.

Antiviral Essential Oils

Antibiotics have played an important part in modern medicine against bacterial infections, but anti-viral drugs have not lived up to the same expectations.  More and more research are being done to show evidence that essential oils can play an active healing part of viral infections.  Because of the rapid action of the essential oils on the pathogen and the powerful stimulating effect on our immune system, essential oils have shown to be successful. 

Top 8 Antiviral essential oils are;

  •          Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct thymol)
  •          Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  •          Niaouli (Melaleuca Viridiflora)
  •          Oregano (Origanum vulare)
  •          Bay (Pimenta racemosa)
  •          Melissa (Melissa officinalis) also known as lemon balm
  •          Juniperberry (Juniperus communis)
  •          Ravensara (Ravensara aromatic)

Immunostimulants

Immunostimulants boosts the body’s own defenses.  Essential Oils that help boost the immune system also have other properties that are beneficial to the immune system.  These oils would be used as a preventative, used in inhalers, diffusing or dermal absorption with a carrier.

  •          Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) - An uplifting essential oil which strengthens the immune system.
  •          Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora) - Uplifting and an immunostimulants.
  •          Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct bornyl) - Encourages the work of clearing excretory ducts and organs. Strengthens natural immunity
  •          Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) - The cineole content of Eucalyptus stimulates the immune system and reduces the inflammatory reaction

 

As you can see there are a lot of the same oils that show up on the same lists above.  Isn’t that nice and easy?  No matter what oils that you use from this article, you will be building, enhancing, protecting, nourishing, and restoring your immune system.

However, don’t forget that essential oils are not the cure all, it’s a balancing act and you need to take an active role in making sure your body is healthy by eating right, reducing your stress levels, getting enough sleep and living and thinking positively.

References:
virtualmedicalcenter.com
Battaglia, S.  The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy; Third Edition The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2017
Tisserand R. Young R.  Essential Oil Safety, second edition.  Churchill Livingstone, UK, 2013
Sheppard-Hanger S. The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual.  Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, USA, 2000
Caddy R. Essential Oils in Colour.  Amberwood Publishing, UK, 2005
Lawless J. The encyclopedia of Essential Oils.  Element Books Limited, GB, 1992
Caddy R. the Essential Blending Guide.  Amberwood Publishing, UK, 2007
Weaver W.W. Sauer’s Herbal Cures.  Routledge, UK, 2001
World Wide Web Encyclopedia Britannica. USA, 2014
Photos attribution – iStock Photos
LabAroma.com
AromaWeb.com
Safety Considerations:
        Do not take essential oils internally.
        Do not apply to eyes, sensitive areas or mucous membranes.
        Do not apply undiluted to skin (for directions on proper dilution refer to an aromatherapy text).
        The information on this website is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
        Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not use essential oils without first consulting a healthcare provider.
        The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA.
        You should not use this information for treating a health problem or disease or to make a self-diagnosis.
        Contact your Health Care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem.
Information and statements regarding Kelley products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition or disease.  All information, content and product descriptions contained within this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute advice given by a pharmacist, physician, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information for treating a health problem or disease or to make a self-diagnosis.  Contact your Health Care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem.
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    When Our Immune System Fails: What is the Next Step?

    When Our Immune System Fails: What is the Next Step?

    In our last article, “Our Immune System, the Key to Healthy Living”, we talked about the army within us.  How this defense system is working 24/7 but it can’t do this on its own.  We need to take a very active role in maintaining its efficacy.  Download is available below.

    Write your review

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    When Our Immune System Fails

    When Our Immune System Fails: What is the Next Step?

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