Hola my esteemed Oliviarites… not working? Okay, we’ll just stick with lovely Olive Nation then. Now, would you say that we’ve talked a lot about all kinds of ailments, diseases and health conditions under the sun? But what exactly do all these health problems have in common?
Simple, they’re all connected to the immune system and only occur when germs, bacteria, viruses and other organisms pull a fast one past your immune system. Whether they completely take out your natural bodyguard or just slip past is a whole other issue.
So today, I decided to explore more on our immune systems and what its role in our bodies is. We’ll also look at some of the common disorders of the immune system that can really bring you down. But don’t be too scared, because as always, there’s plenty of different ways to both treat some of these disorders and bolster your system in the process. So are you ready for Olivia’s comprehensive guide to all you need to know about your immune system?
The name says it all; made up of numerous biological structures and processes, the immune system is a defense system that protects our bodies against illness and disease. This system is responsible for identifying a broad range of agents such as viruses, pathogens, parasites, worms, and others, and then distinguishing them from your own healthy tissue. After that, it proceeds to obliterate them. You could say that the immune system is literally an internal bodyguard with one simple mission – seek and kill all trespassers.
Still, pathogens and harmful microorganisms tend to evolve and adapt quickly in an effort to avoid detection and neutralization by your immune system. That’s why our bodies have multiple defense mechanisms that all work together to make one efficient system. These start all the way at the skin which is a surface barrier, to more complex cellular barriers such as leukocytes (white blood cells). For humans, our immune system is made up of
- Tonsils found on either side of the throat which help make antibodies for fighting off infections.
- Lymphatic fluid that transports nutrients and waste material throughout the bloodstream and body tissues and lymph nodes that filter the fluid to trap pathogens, viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies passing through.
- Thymus gland located in the upper chest that also helps make antibodies for warding off infections.
- Spleen that supports the system by assisting in recognition and elimination of bacteria and foreign substances.
- Bone Marrow that makes white blood cells which are key players when it comes to destroying all kinds of harmful microorganisms in the body.
But even though your immune system does a remarkable job of defending your body, it tends to fail once in a while. It could be something as simple as some germs getting past and giving you a cold, or something more serious like your own immune system turning against you. So before we look at how you can boost your defenses, let’s have a look see at some of the common disorders and problems of the immune system.
Disorders Of The Immune System
These tend to occur when either one or more of the components involved in the immune system are inactive. This significantly diminishes the body’s ability to respond to harmful organisms. Although aging is one of the causes, other accelerating factors could include alcoholism, drugs, obesity, malnutrition, genetic mutation among others. Other immunodeficiencies can be acquired such as Acquired Immunodeficiecny syndrome (AIDS), immune complex diseases such as viral hepatits, cancer of the immune system (leukemia) and cancer of the plasma cells (multiple myeloma).
This is an immune response where instead of attacking foreign bodies, the system starts damaging healthy body tissues. They are divided into four categories based on the primary mechanism involved. These are:
Type II Hypersensitivity – Typically, this type of disorder occurs when antibodies bind to your own antigens in the cells. This is also called antibody dependent hypersensitivity and marks your own cells for destruction and paves way for type III hypersensitivity.
Type III Hypersensitivity – Type III Hypersensitivity sets in after antibodies and antigens accumulate in the body as a result of inadequate clearance by the immune system. Once it advances, it causes an inflammatory response and attracts leukocytes which could cause serious damage.
Type IV Hypersensitivity – Also known as delayed type hypersensitivity, this one usually takes a few days to develop. This type is involved in a lot of autoimmune as well as infectious diseases.
The opposite of immunodeficiencies, overactive immune responses are on the other end of immunity dysfunction. In this case, the immune system fails to distinguish between both self and non-self attacks on the body.
Treating Immune Disorders
The treatment or approach to management for most of these immune disorders will largely depend on the specific condition. For instance, if you’re dealing with Type I Sensitivity, then avoiding the allergens or getting treated with antihistamines will work. However, some immunodeficiecies such as AIDS still don’t have a cure and will require lifelong management with medications.
In other cases, doctors can use immunosuppressive drugs to control some of these disorders in the event of excessive tissue damage. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to deal with inflammation in conjunction with cytotoxic drugs such as azathioprine or methotrxate. These drugs inhibit the immune response by killing dividing cells such as the T cells. And lastly, immunostimulation such as cancer immunotherapy is a medical way to stimulate your immune system to attack harmful cancerous cells.
An Introduction Of Essential Oils For The Immune System
With its ultra rich source of moisture, nutrients and heat, its no wonder that the human body is the ideal environment for numerous organisms. So with a barrage of enemies coming at you every single day, even your natural immune system needs a boost every once in a while. This is where Mother Nature’s miracle workers come in to save the day. Essential oils not only have the power to boost your immune system, but also keep the environment clean and unwelcoming for pathogens, bacteria, germs, viruses and other microorganisms. As always, there’s thousands of these wonder working essential oils. But as always, I chose only most best and most effective immunostimulants to keep you healthy and strong.
8 Best Essential Oils For The Immune System
1. Thieves Essential Oil
Here’s an amazing oil that smells like Christmas in a bottle and is at the top of the food chain when it comes to boosting the immune system. But did you actually know that the name was inspired by the legend of a couple of thieves who used a combination of rosemary, clove, and other EOs to use while robbing the dead of their valuables. In this case however, the oils give out an extra, unforeseen benefit. It’s no wonder the thieves never got ill while working in horrid conditions. Thieves oil possesses unrivalled antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, immunostimulant and an entire array of other properties that all work together to make your system stronger.
2. Lemon Essential Oils
One major aspect of remaining healthy is by not overworking your immune system in the first place. To do this, you need to maintain a clean and germ free environment. Lemon EO may smell intoxicatingly inviting, but this tiny and bitter fruit gives out one of the most potent compounds for hundreds of cleaning recipes. It boasts of bactericide, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties and the all important detoxification. Thanks to the strong smell, lemon EO freshens the air in and kills any bad odors that attract disease carrying pests. And if you’re feeling down, lemon oil has been proven to uplift and enhance moods and alleviate stress.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
Here’s another incredibly versatile substance that is already being used for hundreds of medical research already. If you can find those Eucalyptus essential oil varieties that are rich in cineole, then you’ve got yourself the immune boost of the century. That’s because cinelole stimulates the immune system by creating an enhancing effect on antibodies. But that’s not all! Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiseptic properties, eucalyptus actually reduces some inflammatory reactions that could trigger the immune system to go overkill. This oil seems to have it all. It also boasts of a strong germicide that is absolutely brutal to germs, dust mites, allergens and other pathogens.
4. Peppermint Oil
Another major aspect of maintaining a strong and normal immune system is by making sure the body is well fed. This includes not just eating the right food, but making sure that your body is making the most of what you’re eating. This is where peppermint EO comes in as one of the most regarded when it comes to supporting normal digestion. For those Oliviarites already familiar with the mint, then you don’t need me to tell you how many uses there are for it.
With its refreshingly potent mint scent, robust antibacterial and antifungal properties, peppermint essential oil is more than a perfect immunostimulant. But check this out: peppermint is one of the few EOs that resist particularly deadly bacteria strains like Staph infection, E Coli, Salmonella among others that could pose a risk to your already susceptible immune system.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Extracted from the medicinally gifted Australian Melaleuca tree, Tea Tree essential oil also boasts of an endless list of applications. Thanks to Tea Tree’s arsenal of antifungal, antiseptic, insecticide, antibacterial, and antivral properties, it’s the only essential oil that can give lemon EO a run for its money. Only difference is that tea tree will actually kill and eliminate bacteria, germs and pathogens that are already inside your body.
And like the best of them, Tea Tree oil stands out thanks to a very distinct scent with an almost medicinal quality to it. For those who don’t know, tree oil comes highly recommended for stimulating the immune system and for treating several respiratory conditions like allergies, sinusitis, asthma and even whooping cough. So if it’s hay fever season and you feel like you’re coming down with something, grab some Tea Tree and hunker down.
6. Ginger EO
Bet you didn’t think ginger would make it into this list, did you. Well, with its unmatched anti-inflammatory, detoxing, analgesic, antibacterial, and warming properties, why wouldn’t it? All these make it the ideal oil to maintain a healthy lifestyle – both in the kitchen and otherwise. Since Ginger has already proven to be a cure for a broad range of gastrointestinal issues, it should come as no surprise that using it will help keep your immune system fueled up and lymphatic nodes and fluid working properly.
7. Bergamot EO
In case you didn’t know the immune system also relies heavily on the state of your central nervous system. Have a nervous system that is in disarray and it’s only a matter of time until something in the system goes wrong. Whether it’s the liver, spleen, lymphatic system or even respiratory, something will be affected. Lucky for you, I’ve got the perfect oil for almost all the cohesive systems in your body. Used well, Bergamot EO should helps recharge the central nervous system with new energy which in turn helps maintain and enhance the immune system.
8. Frankincense EO
And last but not in the very least, we’ve got Frankincense EO that is an incredibly talented, all round, constitutional immune booster. But how exactly does it stimulate the immune system? Simple, unlike most EOs, Frankincense doesn’t just stimulate the immune system – it modulates the entire thing by helping the body create more white blood cells to help combat whatever threat that may be facing your body. At the same time, Frankincense EO acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory and sedative oil that helps ease aches and discomfort when topically applied.
5 Essential Oil Recipes For The Immune System
Recipe 1: Quick EO Immune Boosting Shot
- 1 drop Bergamot EO
- 1 drop Lemon EO
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Half teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
- Small pinch Himalayan Sea salt (pink)
- Cup of filtered water
This here immune boosting shot is meant to help you get through even the worst seasons without falling ill. But if you already feel a little under the weather, guzzling this blend early could help you avoid getting sick altogether. Bergamot is a great headliner because it addresses almost all the cohesive systems in your body. Used well, Bergamot EO should helps recharge the central nervous system with new energy which in turn helps maintain and enhance the immune system.
See, Bergamot EO contains coumarin that has actually been proven to stimulate white blood cell values in cancer patients. So if you can get a bit of Bergamot in your system early enough, you should be able to beat most attacks. To make use of this shot, start by adding the honey and unrefined coconut oil in an empty glass. Add in the pumpkin pie spice right after pinching in a small amount of Himalayan sea salt. Next, drip in the essential oils and filtered water and stir thoroughly. Drink it all immediately – one of these shots every week should be fine.
Recipe 2: EO Room Purifying Mist Spray
- 15 drops Lemon EO
- 10 drops Cinnamon EO
- 8 drops Oregano EO
- 8-Ounce Glass Spray Bottle + filtered water
As explained above, maintaining a clean and germ free environment is a major aspect of remaining healthy. That’s why I chose Lemon EO as the start of the blend since it gives out one of the most potent compounds for hundreds of cleaning recipes. It boasts of bactericide, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, properties, and the all important detoxification. This makes lemon EO a must have if you’re looking to keep the old immune system working efficiently.
And thanks to the strong smell, lemon EO freshens the air in and kills any bad odors that attract disease carrying pests. The cinnamon and Oregano combine well with lemon to create quite the disinfectant. To use this recipe, start by dripping all the above oils in the mist spray bottle and then add in the filtered water. Shake well and then spray to all the rooms in your home or office. This should eliminate any germ and pathogens in the area just waiting to make you their host.
Recipe 3: Buddha Palm Inhalation Blend
- 3-4 drops Thieves EO
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just find a way to bring a neat immune booster with you everywhere you go? This especially applies to people with allergies or people who are travelling off to distant places and want to remain healthy for the entire trip. Well, what if I told you that there was a way. And all you need is thieves oil. See, instead of carrying around five bottles of cinnamon, cloves, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus EOs, all of these oils have been harnessed and combined into one incredibly effective blend called thieves oil.
Not only does it smell like Christmas in a bottle, but it’s also at the top of the food chain when it comes to boosting the immune system. Thieves oil possesses unrivalled antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, immunostimulant and an entire array of other properties that all work together to make your system stronger. To make the most of this recipe, put about 3 or 4 drops of thieves EO in a hankerchief or rub them on the palm of your hands and inhale deeply several times. Do this once in the morning and once at night for maximum effect.
Recipe 4: Immune Support Hot Bath
- 12 drops Frankincense EO
- 6 drops Eucalyptus EO
- 8 drops Peppermint EO
- 10 Ginger EO
- Epsom Salts
Whether you’re just looking to relax or boost your immune system from the head to your toes, a hot bath is definitely one of my favorite ways to do it. It’s also a great way to get the maximum medical benefits from oils such as Frankincense. In this blend, I just had to start Frankincense for its all round, constitutional immune boosting characteristics. Frankincense doesn’t just stimulate the immune system – it modulates the entire thing by helping the body create more white blood cells to help combat whatever threat that may be facing your body.
Likewise, Eucalyptus is rich in cineole, which stimulates the immune system by creating an enhancing effect on antibodies. With its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiseptic properties, eucalyptus actually reduces some inflammatory reactions that could trigger the immune system to go overkill. To start off, begin by dripping all the oils in a running bath and don’t forget the Epsom salts. Once everything is mixed in, take a nice, long soak at the end of the day.
Recipe 5: EO Diffuser Blend for Immune Support
- 2 drops Tea Tree EO
- 2 drops Peppermint EO
- 1 drop Lemon EO
- 1 drop Oregano EO
- 1 drop Thieves oil
I’ve said it time and time again and I won’t stop now – there’s no better, convenient, more effective way to get essential oils in your body than by diffusing them into the air. And this final blend for immune support might be the only recipe you ever need in your life. Tea tree plays a vital role here thanks to its arsenal of antifungal, antiseptic, insecticide, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Tea tree will actually kill and eliminate bacteria, germs and pathogens that are already inside your body and it also comes highly recommended for stimulating the immune system. And being one of the few EOs that resist particularly deadly bacteria strains that could pose a risk to your already susceptible immune system, it’s only natural that peppermint gets in too. Just drip all the EOs in your diffuser and diffuse normally.
There you have it readers; this wraps up yet another highly informative segment on everything you need to know to maintain a strong immune system. Now that you have a better understanding of how your immune system works, keeping it healthy and in peak working condition should be much easier. Just remember to eat well; get enough sleep and keep stress as far away as possible and you’ll be just fine.