Can essential oils really make a difference when treating sickness?
The short answer is, yes!
Essential oils and carrier oils are potent herbs and plants that can have powerful medicinal effects on the body. You can think of essential oils as concentrated herbs in a bottle. Just a few drops is enough to make a dramatic difference! These oils have played such an important part in my family’s health journey that I dove deeper into learning about them and became a Master Herbalist and Master Aromatherapist. I have seen them be game-changers in many of my clients’ healing journeys!
Important note: Not all essential oils are created equal! Cheap essential oils often have added toxic chemicals and/or don’t have a clean extraction process. The main brand I trust is Primavera because I know their extraction and distillation processes are extremely clean and their oils are very high quality. Trust me, it is worth it to get the good oils – using cheap oils can cause more harm than help. (If you wish to use the Primavera brand of the oils in this article, you can use the coupon code amberbodilyhealth to receive a 10% discount.)
Important note 2: This should not be the only way you boost your immune system or treat sickness. Essential oils are a powerful tool, but they are meant to be used in conjunction with other remedies or tools for treating and/or preventing illness. For more complete tips on how to boost your immune system naturally, see this article. For more natural remedies to treat sickness (including the flu), see this article.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways for many different purposes. Here are the best ones for preventing and treating viruses and sickness, and how to use them for the most effect.
Sandalwood essential oil* has a warm, woody, exotic aroma that is grounding and calming. This oil helps increase circulation and lymphatic flow, which helps move bacteria and viruses out of the body. Antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, sandalwood is fabulous for protection against viruses and sickness. Sandalwood helps alleviate headaches, respiratory tract infections, and congestion and mucus.
Sandalwood essential oil can also be used to help treat:
- Sore throat
Ravintsara essential oil* smells fresh and is wonderful for cleansing the air of bacteria when diffused. This oil has strong antiviral, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, making it powerful for preventing and fighting any infections, bacteria, and viruses. Ravensara is known for boosting the immune system and for fighting sickness. Ravintsara is also useful for relieving pain, so you can combine with a carrier oil (see more below) and massage topically onto any area of the body that is aching or painful. Anti-inflammatory, revitalizing and energizing, and fatigue-fighting, ravintsara essential oil can help soothe nerves and ease depression. Ravintsara stimulates lymphatic flow, an important component of a healthy immune system.
Ravintsara essential oil can also be used to help treat:
Note: Use ravensara essential oil with caution during pregnancy.
Melissa (Lemon balm)
Melissa essential oil* comes from lemon balm plant’s leaves and flowers and has a sweet, citrusy aroma. Melissa is beneficial for cooling (helpful for fevers), reducing inflammation, and has antiviral, antibiotic, and detoxifying properties – all of which support the immune system. This oil can also lessen anxiety and stress, relieve headaches, and heal cold sores. Melissa is also wonderful for stimulating the lymphatic system.
Melissa essential oil can also be used to help treat:
Thyme essential oil* has a spicy aroma and is known for boosting the immune system. Thyme also helps relieve mental fatigue and stress, alleviates headaches, aids respiratory conditions, and helps ease insomnia. Strong antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties make thyme essential oil a strong ally when preventing or fighting viruses and bacteria. This oil helps stimulate lymphatic drainage, which removes the body’s toxic waste – an important function when one is sick. Thyme is powerful yet very gentle for children.
Thyme essential oil can also be used to help treat:
- Staph infections
Note: Thyme essential oil should be avoided for those who are prone to seizures.
Yarrow essential oil* is one of my all-time favorite essential oils (read more about why in this article). Aside from its amazing wound-healing properties, yarrow is amazing for the immune system. Yarrow fights fever and infection, and loosens congestion and mucus. Highly anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial, yarrow also releases poison and chemicals from the organs and systems in the body. Yarrow renews our cells, as well as builds blood, bone, and tissues.
Yarrow essential oil can also be used to help treat:
- Respiratory conditions
How To Use Essential Oils For Treating and Preventing Sickness
All of these oils can be diffused to clean the air and travel into the body through the airways. This is my favorite diffuser because it works so much more effectively than a water-based diffuser. Diffusing is a wonderful way to use essential oils for preventing sickness, and also to assist the immune system when dealing with an illness or condition.
Yarrow is the one of a few oils I would not recommend diffusing, as it is more effective when used topically. You will also get more “bang for your buck” when applied directly to the body versus diffusing in the air.
When applying essential oils topically, it is best to use a carrier oil. Only in certain situations should an oil be directly put onto the skin.
Carrier oils are also derived from plants and herbs and are used to “carry” essential oils into the body. Once you put an essential oil into a carrier oil, the carrier oil becomes infused with the essential oil and magnifies its properties. The essential oil has a certain vibration and healing property, and the carrier oil holds this. A rule of thumb is: less is better, more is not. It is my recommendation never to have more than 7 drops of essential oils on your body a day. (In some acute situations and issues, I have recommended more for that specific person’s needs.)
An amazing carrier oil to help boost the immune system and help fight sickness is St. John’s Wort oil.* This carrier oil deadens pain, is anti-inflammatory, soothes depression and anxiety, and calms the nervous system. Another useful carrier oil for fighting sickness is Sallow Thorn oil*, which fights illness, infection, and boosts immunity. Calendula oil* is also a powerful carrier oil for opening up the “chimneys” of the body (meaning, the main ways the body can get rid of pathogens: perspiration, respiration, urination, and defecation). This helps the sickness move out of the body faster.
To use oils topically to fight illness, you can combine 1-2 drops of the essential oil into a small amount of carrier oil (½ a teaspoon or less, depending on the size of the area you are massaging). Massage the oils onto the spine, upper chest, and/or the bottoms of the feet. These areas are the best areas for oils to get to work fighting sickness. To fight a fever, massaging into the chest and heels of the feet is particularly helpful.
Massaging oils onto the spine is always good, because the oils go into the spinal fluid and out into the body through the spinal nerves. These nerves affect the entire body – so this can be a quick way to bring relief besides directly on the area.
Pro Tip: When using essential oils to treat a virus, you can use an essential oil every hour and alternate them to hit the virus hard and confuse it. For example, combined with a carrier oil, you could use ravensara at 11:00. Use thyme at 12:00. Use sandalwood at 1:00, and so on, alternating through them. This doesn’t allow the virus to adapt to the oil’s capabilities and also uses the nuances of each oil to fight the virus.
EPSOM SALT BATH
When fighting sickness, an epsom salt bath helps detox out the virus and bacteria, moves the lymphatic system, and helps replenish the body’s depleted mineral stores used to fight the illness. Adding a few drops of an essential oil to the epsom salt before dumping it into the water creates a powerful healing bath. Here’s more on the benefits of an epsom salt bath.
Use this ratio for a full bath:
- 2 cups pure epsom salt (no fragrances)
- ½ cup pure baking soda
Cut these amounts in half for a bath for young children.
Empowerment From A Tiny Bottle
These seemingly innocuous oils are incredibly powerful for your health when you understand how to use them. When I began to learn more and more about their uses, I loved knowing how to take care of my family’s ailments without running to the doctor or to the pharmacy. I feel comforted knowing that these plant-based remedies are safe for my children and aren’t adding any more chemicals to their bodies (because I made sure to get a clean, high quality brand). It is my hope that this knowledge and these oils will bless your family’s health whenever there is a need!
Here are more resources for your immune system:
- How To Get a Rock-Solid Immune System: 9 All-Natural Ways To Fight Disease
- How To Fight Coronavirus By Cleaning Your Lymph
- The Best Supplements You Need Now: A Guide To Better Health
- 5 Best Immune-Boosting Foods on the Planet
- Letter To All Mamas
- Why Everyone Is Talking About Elderberry Syrup & What You Need To Know
- Sick & Tired of the Flu? How To Stop It FAST
*You can use my coupon code amberbodilyhealth to receive a 10% discount at checkout.
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