The importance of the immune system can’t be overstated. It protects the body from a wide variety of potentially harmful things, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins.
But the efficacy of our immune system can wax and wane throughout our life. To make sure that it keeps us protected, we need to do our part to take care of it. This is precisely what products that claim to offer immune-boosting support attempt to do.
You don’t need to buy expensive, chemical-laden supplements to boost your immune system. Instead, give herbs or essential oils a try. Each can provide you with an all-natural version of the immune support that you’ve been looking for.
Keep reading to learn more about what herbs and essential oils can do for your immune system. Or, if you’re ready to begin shopping for them now, these products will get you started:
- Mighty Immunity Kit for everything you need to boost your immune system with essential oils
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil for a refreshing way to support your immune system
- Tea Tree Essential Oil for an all-natural way to boost your immune function
What are herbs, exactly?
Technically-speaking, herbs are defined as plants that have fragrant or aromatic properties. They’re most commonly used to flavor food and to provide natural scents to fragrances.
Herbs also have been used as a healing tool for centuries. They enable people to benefit from the naturally-occurring healing properties that are present in various plants.
How do herbs differ from essential oils?
Herbs and essential oils are commonly thought of as basically the same thing. But that’s not entirely accurate. This can be confusing given that you might see essential oil versions of certain herbs.
The difference is thus: herbs can be the entire plant or just a section of it, such as its root, flower, stem, or leaves. Essential oils provide a distilled version of a particular plant, capturing its essence.
Think about it this way. Apples contain vitamin C. When we realized vitamin C was good for us, we began to extract just that portion of the apple so we could benefit from vitamin C even without eating any apples. Herbs are the apple. Essential oils are the vitamin C.
How do herbs help your immune system?
Using herbs for medicinal use is a type of naturopathic medicine. Practitioners who follow this view believe that the body is capable of maintaining and restoring its health. It may just sometimes need some support to do so.
Herbs are one of the ways that a naturopathic doctor might help one of their patients boost their immune system. Certain herbs can act as catalysts, causing the body to work a bit harder at maintaining the integrity of your immune system.
This can be helpful for people who would like to improve their immune system but who don’t want to take any harsh chemical substances to do so.
Do they work fast?
The answer to this question depends on which herb you’re talking about. Some herbs, such as kava, are absorbed into the body extremely quickly. You’ll be able to feel the effects of these within 10 to 20 minutes of taking them.
Other herbs take longer to start working. For example, tonic herbs support our long-term health and may not begin actively making a difference in your life for up to 1 to 3 months after taking them.
There’s also a difference between when an herb begins working and when you notice the effects of its help. Some herbs will begin helping you almost immediately, but may not feel what they’re doing for some time.
The 7 Best Herbs for Immune Support
Elderberry is a do-it-all herbal superstar. It’s got antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. That makes it the perfect all-natural herb for boosting your immune system.
Echinacea works to stimulate the immune system’s production of the cells that stave off infection. A recent study found that it could be most impactful on individuals with low levels of immune functioning
Chamomile can do wonders for helping your immune system become more active. It also makes a delicious tea, so it’ll be easy for you to access its full benefits.
Researchers have discovered that honey activates the immune system’s response to an infection. This means that it prevents the proliferation of harmful cells, thereby stopping viruses in their tracks.
Astragalus is a prominent herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies have found that the root will not only regulate your body’s immune response but may also boost its resistance to infection.
Ginger is a super versatile herb that can both soothe an upset stomach and boost your immune system. It features antimicrobial, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be accessed by putting ginger in your food, tea, or in any number of other ways.
Garlic is not only delicious, but it’ll also toughen up your immune system. It does so by boosting the efficacy of your white blood cells. Just make sure to brush your teeth after using it!
How to Use Herbs for Your Immune System
There are many different ways for you to access the healing benefits of herbs. The best way to do so will vary depending on which of these herbs you plan on trying.
For example, brewing a cup of herbal tea is an excellent way to access the immune-supporting benefits of some herbs. Ginger and chamomile can be blended to make an excellent cup of tea.
You wouldn’t want to brew a tea out of some of these other herbs. Garlic, for example, might not make the best drink. But it does make an excellent addition to just about any type of food you might prepare. Add it to stir fry or pasta sauce to get some immune system support from your next meal.
Can essential oils also help your immune system?
Yes! Multiple studies have found that essential oils can do wonders for your immune system. Certain types of essential oil will have more of an impact on this part of your health than others. Here’s an overview of the ones that you should try:
Eucalyptus essential oil is best used when you first notice an infection. It’s rich in a substance called cineole, which is a powerful immune stimulant. Eucalyptus essential oil works by enhancing the gamma- and beta-globulins in your system.
Tea tree essential oil is another highly-effective essential oil for your immune system. It’s full of germicidal properties and is commonly used to help treat colds, fevers, cases of flu, and other types of infections.
Bergamot essential oil provides a bright, citrusy scent with a spicy floral edge. Its main purpose is to relax the body and balance the nervous system. Bergamot makes an excellent addition to immune-boosting concoctions for precisely this reason.
How do you use essential oils to boost immune function?
Essential oils are similar to herbs in that they can be used in many different ways. The most common way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is through aromatherapy. This is typically done with a diffuser, which will automatically disperse the essential oils that you put into it through the air.
That’s certainly not the only way to enjoy essential oils. You can also add single oils or blends to rollerballs. These are perfect for travelers or people who constantly on the go.
To use one, fill most of it up with a carrier oil. Then, add a few drops of your essential oils and mix them gently. Once you’ve done that, you can begin applying the mixture directly to your skin via the rollerball. You’ll get the best results if you apply the mixture to pulse points, such as your temples and wrists.
Which is better: essential oils or herbs?
If you’re trying to decide whether to use essential oils or herbs, there’s no right or wrong answer. Both are capable of providing you with the immune system support that you’re looking for when used correctly.
That being said, essential oils do offer a more concentrated version of the immune-boosting benefits that you want. You can buy a few bottles of essential oils and have all that you need for quite some time. You may need to continuously repurchase fresh herbs if you plan on going that route.
Essential oils are also very easy to make DIY projects out of. Check out our Wellness Maker Beauty Kit if you’re interested in this.
Where can I buy essential oils for immune support?
If you’re in the market for essential oils, check out the shop at Nourished Essentials. We have a large selection of essential oils that can provide you with the health and wellness benefits that you’re looking for.
We’ve also made it super easy to start using essential oils for your immune system. Check out our Mighty Immunity Kit. It includes the top four oils for the immune system as well as an inhaler and a car vent diffuser. After purchasing it, you’ll be able to access to healing benefits of essential oils no matter where you go.