Many essential oils have a remarkable ability to both support the immune system and increase one’s rate of healing. Some of these same essential oils are also powerful antiseptics. One way these oils fight infection is to stimulate the production of white corpuscles, which are part of the body’s immune defense. Still other essential oils encourage new cell growth to promote faster healing. As an extra bonus, the regenerative properties of these essential oils improve the condition and tone of the skin. All can be used in conjunction with herbal remedies designed to improve immunity. Relaxation achieved through a massage or bath lowers stress, improves sleep, and thus stimulates the immune system. (For more information, see the article on Aromatherapy Stress Relief for additional treatments that can be part of your immune therapy.)
One important way to assist your immune system is a lymphatic massage that uses essential oils. Lymph nodes are located around the body, particularly in the throat, groin, breasts, and under the arms. They are like filtering centers for cleansing the blood. The lymphatic system moves cellular fluid through the system, cleansing the body of waste produced by the body’s metabolic functions. Lemon, rosemary, and grapefruit are especially good at stimulating movement and supporting the cleansing action. A lymphatic massage involves deep strokes that work from the extremities toward the heart. You can even do this on yourself. Rub the oil up your arms to the lymph nodes in your armpits. From the center of your chest, rub again toward the armpit, and then down your neck. Massage your legs from your feet up to the groin.
Essential oils for the immune system: bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, myrrh, rosemary, tea tree, thyme