4 Aromatherapy Recipes to Boost Your Immune System

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With colder climates creeping, it’s the perfect time to explore new ways to boost your immune system against the common cold, flu, and other respiratory ailments.

While there are many products on the market that address these issues, aromatherapy offers a natural way to soothe and protect yourself.

Aromatherapy is an incredible healing art and science, supporting and enhancing immunity and mind-body wellness. At the core of aromatherapy are essential oils, which are extracted from different parts of plants and abundant in healing properties.

Various essential oils support the immune system by soothing the nervous system and reducing stress. Use the following essential oils and recipes to help enhance your immunity and strengthen your respiratory system for the season.

Essential Oils That Boost Immunity

Tea tree oil

Purpose:

  • Enhancing your immune system

Properties:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-viral
  • Decongestant
  • Expectorant

Frankincense (C02 extract)

Purpose:

  • Enhancing the immune system
  • Supporting excess Vata
  • Relieving anxiety (produces sedative effect)
  • May reduce feelings of grief and sadness

Properties

  • Expectorant
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-tussive

Eucalyptus Globulus

Purpose

  • Fighting colds, flu, coughs, and bronchitis
  • Supporting excess Kapha
  • Reducing mucous
  • Reducing lethargy

Properties

  • Expectorant
  • Decongestant
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-tussive

Note: Avoid use of Eucalyptus globulus and peppermint for children.

Scots Pine

Purpose

  • Expanding the breath
  • Opening up the lungs
  • Supporting excess Kapha

Properties

  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-microbial
  • Expectorant
  • Decongestant

Helichrysum (AKA “Immortelle”)

Purpose

  • Fighting sinus infection, ear infection, bronchitis, and lung congestion
  • May reduce feelings of grief and sadness

Properties

  • Decongestant

Rosemary

Purpose

  • Fighting colds, sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis
  • Expands and deepens the breath

Properties

  • Expectorant

There are many ways to reap the benefits of essential oils. Follow these four recipes to get the most out of them.

Direct Bottle Inhalation for Colds

Putting essential oils directly in a bottle allows for easy storage and travel. You can take them wherever you go. This undiluted blend is great for congestion relief.

Ingredients:

  • 6 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 4 drops of helichrysum essential oil

Directions: In a 10 ml, dark cobalt or amber essential oil glass bottle, combine the two oils. Waft bottle under nose, inhaling deeply three to four times daily, as needed. Gently shake bottle before inhaling to synergize.

Purifying Room Mist Spray

Use essential oils to create a room spray that can help turn any environment into a place of healing.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces pure water
  • 10 drops cinnamon leaf oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus globulus

Directions: Gently swirl essential oils in a 4 oz. PET hard plastic mist spray bottle to synergize, add pure water. Shake before spraying in room to purify the air. Not for dermal use, avoid contact with eyes.

Direct Palm Inhalation

Direct Inhalation is one of the safest methods of using essential oils and can be very effective.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 drops of any essential oil

Directions: Add essential oil to a tissue, place tissue in palm of hands, and inhale deeply two to three times through the nose. Do this twice daily.

Steam Inhalation

For a different experience, try using steam to inhale essential oils. This can be a great practice for cold days.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 drops of any essential oil
  • 2 cups steaming hot water

Directions: Add essential oil to steaming hot water in a basin. Cover your head with a towel and place your head above the basin. Breathe through your nose from a comfortable distance, exhaling through your mouth. Keep your eyes closed.

Keep in Mind

When using essential oils, keep the following in mind:

  • Low concentrations of essential oils should be used with children, elderly, and pregnant women (less than 2 percent).
  • Use essential oils in a well-ventilated area and keep concentrated oils away from children and pets.
  • Keep bottles tightly closed to prevent evaporation and oxidation.
  • Before using essential oils, test your body’s reaction on a small patch of skin.
  • If you are pregnant or under care for a medical condition, consult with your doctor before using essential oils.
  • Never ingest oils and never use undiluted oils on the skin.

Remember that aromatherapy can greatly benefit your health, but is not a cure for ailments. It’s a complementary treatment used to help alleviate symptoms.

Aromatherapy is not meant to replace a diagnosis or treatment by a physician.

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*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program. 

 

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About the Author
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Angela Peterson

Aromatherapist
Angela Peterson is an Aromatherapy Advocate and aromatherapist in Los Angeles. She is a member of The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), which promotes aromatherapy as the art of using the healing essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. You can learn more about Angela at http://flowermixology.com . Angela studied at The School for Aromatic Studies, one of the founding schools for aromatherapy education in North America. Angela holds certificates in Mind-Body Connection Meditation and Holistic and Integrative Health.Read more