You do not need to be stranded on a deserted island to be in the survival mode. In fact, the human body is fighting for survival at every moment.
Did you know that our immune system kills spontaneous blood cancer cells every day? Yep, you may not be aware of it, but your body is fighting off harmful pathogens at the very moment.
The human immune system is a refined defense mechanism that we have yet to completely understand. The best way to ensure your short-term and long-term survival is not by buying a new survival kit but by building up your immunity that you rely on every day.
Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and regular exercising are just a few life choices that will help you build up your strength. You can take your body prepping to whole other level by using essential oils. Keep on reading to find out how essential oils can increase your chances of survival.
How to Increase Your Chances of Survival with Essential Oils
If you are often feeling under the weather that may be a sign that your immune defense has fallen weak. Getting a cold once a year is considered normal, however falling ill whenever the weather gets a tad bit colder is a clear sign that your immune system needs a boost.
The immune system is comprised of many biological processes and structures. The best way to go about securing your survival would be by improving every aspect of your immune system.
First, let’s take a look at some of the things that make us more susceptible to getting cold or flu.
- Chronic stress: Cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland, plays an important role in regulating your immune system. High levels of cortisol weaken the immune system and suppress neutrophil (white blood cell) function. On contrary, low levels of cortisol lead to overactive immune system and chronic inflammation.
- Eating highly processed foods and refined sugar: A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating 100g of carbohydrate from fructose, glucose, sucrose etc. significantly reduced the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria for at least 5 hours.
- Lack of sleep: Sleep deprivation has been linked to the weakened immune system. Studies show that when we are sleep deprived the number of T cells reduce. T cells detect foreign elements known as antigens. Lack of sleep can increase your risks of getting cold and prolong wound healing. Our cell tissue gowns and repair during sleep.
Now let’s take a look at the ways you can improve your immunity using essential oils:
1. Reduce Chronic Stress And Anxiety
As we have mentioned, the human body needs a certain level of stress hormone to maintain a healthy immune function; however, overproduction of cortisol can weaken your immunity over time.
You should try keeping your cortisol levels in checks, especially if you have a highly stressful job or you are exposed to other stressors on daily basis. An easy way to secure your short-term and long-term survival is by inhaling calming essential oils.
- Lavender essential oil: It has been shown to reduce work-related stress among nurses at just 3% concentration.
- Bergamot essential oil: A study published in the Phototherapy Research determined that 15-minute inhalation of bergamot essential oil induces positive feelings. The findings of another study also show that bergamot aromatherapy significantly lowers levels of saliva cortisol.
Other essential oils that reduce stress are lemongrass, clary sage, ylang-ylang, orange, chamomile, and frankincense to name a few. You do not have to use just one essential oil to achieve the desired results. Try making your own stress-relief blends.
A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that inhaling a blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram and neroli essential oils in 20:15:10:2 ratio lead to decrease in stress hormone and blood pressure.
2. Balance Your Hormones
Balanced hormones are the key to the healthy immune system. Cortisol is not the only hormone that you should keep in check. Here are other hormones that greatly influence your ability to protect yourself against pathogens.
- Thyroid Hormones: Studies have found that people with appropriate levels of thyroid hormones have more active natural killer cells. NK cells are responsible for killing viral-infected cells and detecting cancer formation.
- Estrogen: Heightened production of estrogen can reduce thyroid function and reduce the thymus gland in size. These changes greatly affect our immune system. In contrast, low estrogen levels also decrease the activity of cells that are essential for a proper immune response (NK cell, T helper cells, and B lymphocyte). Postmenopausal women often face health decline due to estrogen depletion.
- Progesterone: Optimal progesterone levels ensure proper NK cell and T-cell activity. Low progesterone levels have been associated with some autoimmune diseases. The autoimmune disease develops when your immune system starts attacking healthy body cells.
- Testosterone: Low testosterone levels can make your immune system overactive which can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. In contrast, high levels of testosterone increase corticosterone levels, which lead to suppression of immune activity.
This information may be overwhelming, but if anything, it proves how important hormonal balance really is.
Note: The best way to go about treating hormonal imbalance is with the help of your doctor. Blood test results will precisely determine which hormones are causing you trouble. A proper diagnosis will determine your treatment. You can always try using correct essential oils alongside your prescribed treatment.
Here are 3 essential oils that may help improve your hormonal balance:
- Clary sage essential oil: A 2014 study researched the effects of clary sage oil on postmenopausal women and discovered that clary sage oil can lower cortisol levels by 36% and thyroid stimulating hormone levels (THS). It is also believed that clary sage essential oil helps balance estrogen levels in the body.
- Thyme essential oil: The 1998 research suggests that thyme has progesterone balancing ability. Thyme essential oil is believed to help the body produce progesterone. Thyme herb contains naturally occurring phytoestrogens and phytoprogestins which have been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Rose essential oil: Rose essential oil is a natural aphrodisiac. Research has confirmed that rose essential oil boosts libido, sperm count, and testosterone production. A 2012 study also found that rose oil protects testosterone levels from the harmful effects of formaldehyde inhalation.
Note: These essential oils are not a substitute for the treatment provided by your doctor. Use essential oils that strongly influence the hormonal system with caution.
3. Secure Your Sleep
Are you having trouble sleeping? If so, remember you are not alone. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million adults living in the U.S. have a sleep disorder.
You should never throw in the towel when it comes to your sleep. Establishing a healthy sleeping pattern will ensure your day-to-day survival. Keep in mind that a healthy body is the greatest tool you can have.
Sleep and immune system depend on each other. During slumber, your body has a chance to restore, repair and release some of the most essential hormones like growth hormone. Sleep will ensure your survival by helping you heal cuts and wounds on your skin faster.
Here are some of the best sleep-inducing essential oils you can use in the comfort of your home or in survival scenarios:
- Lavender essential oil: A pleasantly floral scent of lavender has calming effects on the human body. Lavender reduces stress and promotes sleep. A 2015 study concluded that lavender aromatherapy can improve sleep quality in postpartum women.
- Roman chamomile essential oil: Chamomile is well-known for its calming effects. According to the research, roman chamomile aroma has sedative effects which induce calmness in people.
Feel free to use ylang-ylang, valerian, neroli, cedarwood, and frankincense in your aromatherapy blends for sleep as well.
A 2013 study used a blend of lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli in 6:2:0.5 ratio on patients in the intensive care unit. The results showed that aromatherapy significantly reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality in participants.
4. Help Your Body Heal Wounds Quicker
Skin is a natural defense barrier that protects us from constant environmental threats. Whenever you injure your dermis you expose your body and immune system to germs. Bacterial infections can prolong the healing process or even cause serious life-threatening complications. The easiest way to secure your survival is by preventing infections in the first place. Essential oils offer powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can be of great use even in survival situations.
Here are a couple of essential oils that you can use topically on your injured skin:
- Tea tree essential oil: The research suggests that the antiseptic activity of tea tree oil can be partly attributed to the oil’s ability to activate white blood cells. These cells protect us from infectious diseases.
- Lavender essential oil: According to the research, lavender oil promotes healing by inducing collagen synthetics and formation of granulation tissue (a new connective tissue).
- Calendula essential oil: Modern research has proven the common knowledge that calendula based ointments accelerate healing. It is thought that the calendula plant extract facilitates healing by increasing collagen synthesis, improving local blood circulation, and activating other mechanisms necessary for renewal.
For more information on how to heal wounds with essential oils read our “5 Best Essential Oils for Healing Wounds and Scrapes” article.
5. Use Essential Oils During Flu Season
When our immune system is weak we are more susceptible to getting cold or flu. If you have been feeling under the weather lately, your immune system is probably not strong enough to fight viruses in the air. It is important that you prep your body for colder months since common cold viruses thrive in cooler temperatures.
It is highly recommended that you use essential oils during flu season. Antiviral and antibacterial essential oils will help you prevent and treat respiratory infections. Aromatherapy will help you relieve congestion and open up your airways. Vaporized essential oil will also help you disinfect the air.
It is recommended that you add at least one essential oil for respiratory health to your survival kit as well. These essential oils can help you increase your chances of survival in cold outdoor conditions:
- Eucalyptus essential oil: Inhalation of pure eucalyptus aroma stimulates the immune system and provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects to the body. These come in handy when treating a number of respiratory illnesses from common cold, bronchitis to asthma.
- Thyme essential oil: A 2011 study tested thyme oil on 120 strains of bacteria, some obtained from the patients with respiratory tract infections. Thyme oil was effective against all strains of bacteria even those resistant against antibiotics.
- Peppermint essential oil: Strong minty aroma of peppermint can help you relieve congestion and open up the airways for better breathing. Peppermint essential oil has strong antiviral, antimicrobial, analgesic and antioxidant qualities that can help you preserve your respiratory health.
Try prepping your seasonal blends in advance with the help of our guide. You can also draw inspiration from the 2011 study that used a mix of eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano, and rosemary essential oils on patients with upper respiratory tract infections.
6. Disinfect Your Home With Essential Oils
Personal hygiene impacts our health greatly. Overexposure to germs can make you sick more often. Showering, washing your hands, keeping your nails clean and brushing your teeth will help you keep bacteria at bay. You can elevate your hygiene routine with antimicrobial essential oils. Add them to your body lotions, hand creams, and other skincare products.
You can use disinfecting essential oils around the house as well. They are great cleaning products as they kill a number of harmful bacteria and viruses that thrive in bathrooms and in kitchens. Use homemade essential oil cleaning fluid to clean your bathtub, kitchen counter, and other hard surfaces.
A bottle of antibacterial essential oil can help you stay clean and presentable even in the survival situations. You can use aromatic plant extracts to quickly freshen your laundry and disinfect your medical equipment or cooking utensil once they have come in contact with raw meat to prevent E. coli cross-contamination.
Try maintaining a certain level of cleanliness even in extreme condition with these essential oils:
- Thyme essential oil: Packed with powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, thyme essential oil is strong enough to kill salmonella.
- Oregano essential oil: Oil obtained from oregano herb has a chemical makeup potent enough to inhibit the growth of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium found in hot tubs, pools, and other places exposed to moisture.
- Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus oil successfully fights bacteria that cause tuberculosis, drug-resistant bacteria that cause staph infections, different viruses, and fungi, including Candida. These antimicrobial properties can be attributed to its active component called 1,8-cineole.
You can prep your homemade cleaning product using supplies that you have lying around the house. You can find easy recipes in our “8 Essential Oils for Disinfecting and Cleaning” article.
Aromatherapy Diffuser Blends for Immune System
1. For Immunity
Blend 1: 2 drops of geranium, 3 drops of rosemary, and 5 drops of lavender
Blend 2: 2 drops of oregano, 4 drops of grapefruit, and 4 drops of lemon
Blend 3: 1 drop of cinnamon bark, 1 drop of german chamomile, 4 drops of ginger, and 4 drops of frankincense
2. For Stress Relief
Blend 1: 5 drops of lavender, 3 drops of vetiver, and 2 drops of ylang-ylang
Blend 2: 3 drops of each frankincense, lavender, and bergamot
Blend 3: 1 drop of geranium, 1 drop of clary sage, 2 drops of wild orange, and 2 drops of lavender
3. For Sleep
Blend 1: 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of cedarwood
Blend 2: 2 drops of each lavender, roman chamomile, and marjoram
Blend 3: 2 drops of frankincense, 3 drops of vetiver, and 3 drops of lavender
4. For Cold And Flu
Blend 1: 2 drops of each eucalyptus, rosemary, oregano, and peppermint
Blend 2: 2 drops of peppermint, 4 drops of eucalyptus, and 5 drops of frankincense
Blend 3: 4 drops each tea tree, lemon, and lavender
Essential Oils for Immune System
- Essential oil blend made of clove bud, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, orange, lemon, mandarin, oregano, thyme, rosemary, ginger root, and eucalyptus citriodora.
- GC/MS test results are available upon request on the official website.
- Has a cinnamon, herbal, citrusy aroma.
- Suitable for external use only. Diffuse of use topically.
- Helps support healthy function of the immune system.
- USDA certified organic lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia).
- GC/MS tested essential oil. Lab results are available upon request on the official website.
- Steam distilled from organically-grown lavender.
- Has a pleasant floral and herby aroma.
- Suitable for external use only.
- Can be used on sunburned skin, for muscle-relaxing massages, inducing calmness and sleep, and much more.
- USDA Certified organic eucalyptus globulus essential oil (Eucalyptus x globulus).
- GC/MS test results for organic eucalyptus essential oil are available on the official website.
- Steam distilled from organically-grown eucalyptus leaves.
- Has a herbaceous aroma with soft woody undertones.
- Suitable for external use only.
- Can be used for supporting respiratory health, relieving muscle-aches, stimulating mental focus, healthy circulation, and much more.
A healthy immune system is the best protective tool you can have, better than the knife or machete. You should prep and boost your immune system for seasonal threats and extreme conditions. Self-evident things such as reducing stress and getting enough sleep can significantly improve your natural defense mechanism. If these lifestyle changes are easier said than done, then you should not shy away from using essential oils. Essential oils and their medicinal properties will help you restore and repair your body for optimal resistance.
Essential oils will work in your favor only when used correctly, so take a look at these last safety tips:
- Essential oils are not a substitute for hormone treatment provided by your medical specialist. You should use hormone-balancing essential oil with caution.
- Always dilute essential oils before topical application. 2% dilution is sufficient for adults. Add 2 drops of essential oil per every teaspoon (5 ml) of carrier oil.
- Do a skin patch test first to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to the essential oils.
- It is recommended not to apply essential oils on fresh wounds. It is safer to use essential oils once the wound has started healing.
- Never ingest essential oils.
- Use essential oils with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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