Essential Oils for Immune Support

This is the third post in our series covering doTERRA’s ten most popular essential oils. These oils have been bundled into kits to make it easier to get started with. Checkout this previous post for more information on these essential oils and how to order them today.

Essential oils can help you achieve a wide variety of health goals. These include: relieving tension, improving sleep quality, improving energy throughout the day, easing digestion, improving respiration, providing immune support, supporting aching muscles and promoting healthy joint function.  This post will focus on two single oils and an oil blend that have powerful impacts on improving immune function.  We will cover their ingredients, uses and the science behind them.

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Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil)

You might know it as Tea Tree oil, the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia  tree are generally known for their protective capacity. The primary chemical component is terpinen-4-ol, which has been shown to help promote immune function. Beyond supporting our bodies systems, the oil of the melaleuca tree is able to protect against diverse, serious threats while leaving our natural defenses strong.  The therapeutic potential for these therapies is being unlocked by head to head trials against other treatment options and in clinical settings.

You can diffuse it to clear the air and support respiratory health.  It can also be diluted with water for use internally to support gastrointestinal health.

Apply it topically (with dilution or as a cream) to help keep the skin clean by reducing the appearance of blemishes, or applied to fingernails and toenails after showering to purify and keep nails looking healthy.

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 Oregano

The oil of oregano has powerful properties. Its primary chemical component is carvacrol and, like melaleuca, it is known for its protective capacity, against serious and very serious threats. Oregano oil usage is supported aromatically, topically and internally for cleansing the gut.

There is also great evidence that oil of oregano can improve the digestive tract, especially when paired with thyme oil).  Finally, oregano can support healthy weight loss and stimulate the immune system.

It is great for the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant and supports healthy liver function.

NOTE: Oregano is a “hot oil” in that it requires dilution before use in order to avoid discomfort. Use 1-2 drops followed by addition of carrier oil for topical application.  For more information on the dilution of essential oils, check out this video by Dr. David Hill.

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On Guard (Protective Blend)

The doTERRA On Guard is an effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support. It is composed of a blend of oils renowned for their immune support Orange (even in animals, and helps protect against serious threats), Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and has a delightful flavor (cloves make me think of apple pie). As a blend, it has a strong protective effect.

It can be used topically, aromatically and internally and it’s protective benefits make it a key ingredient in cleaning products. Add to water for an effective all-purpose cleaner for surfaces.

The next time you can feel that tickle in the back of your throat, you can just take a couple drops with water or use it topically before bedtime to support your immune system especially in the winter months.

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Like what you see?

If you like these three oils and the research backing their benefits, we have seven more that come bundled together in enrollment kits. For details on those kits check out this post.

In addition to melaleuca, oregano and On Guard for boosting the immune system, we have the starter trio: lemon lavender and peppermint, Deep Blue, Breathe and Digestzen oil blends that help with physical discomfort and improving athletic performance and frankincense, one of the most versatile essential oils.

If you would like to connect with us, please join our facebook group which focuses on having an uplifting conversation about essential oil usage.

Full Disclaimer

I love science and I love modern medicine. I demand data to back up the way I approach health.

I fundamentally agree that bench experiments (in vitro) are no substitute for animal studies (in vivo) and those should lead to clinical studies (on people). My goal here isn’t to say in any way that these oils will cure any disease. There are a lot of habits that people have adopted when they get sick which are based on science that hasn’t stood the test of time, or never had it there to begin with.

The science of essential oils is still in its infancy. It is cool, it is exciting and I am convinced that it will be the next big thing to disrupt healthcare and solve many of our health problem at a fraction of the cost.

As antibiotics become less effective, essential oils are an excellent tool to support our immune system and help our bodies fight off infection. Here is a great article in The Atlantic that goes into more detail on this subject. This vision of essential oils in healthcare was instrumental in me getting involved with doTERRA. For more details on that, checkout this previous post.

References:

  • Bagg, J., Jackson, M. S., Petrina Sweeney, M., Ramage, G., & Davies, A. N. (2018). Susceptibility to Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil of yeasts isolated from the mouths of patients with advanced cancer. Oral Oncology, 42(5), 487–492. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2005.10.002
  • Boire, N., Zhang, S., Khuvis, J., Lee, R., Rivers, J., Crandall, P., … Parrish, N. (2016). Potent Inhibition of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Causative Agent of White-Nose Syndrome in Bats, by Cold-Pressed, Terpeneless, Valencia Orange Oil. PloS One, 11(2), e0148473. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148473
  • Brady, A., Loughlin, R., Gilpin, D., Kearney, P., & Tunney, M. (2006). In vitro activity of tea-tree oil against clinical skin isolates of meticillin-resistant and -sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci growing planktonically and as biofilms. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 55(10), 1375–1380. Retrieved from http://jmm.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.46558-0
  • Bukovska, A., Cikos, S., Juhas, S., Il’kova, G., Rehak, P., & Koppel, J. (2007). Effects of a combination of thyme and oregano essential oils on TNBS-induced colitis in mice. Mediators of Inflammation, 2007, 23296. http://doi.org/10.1155/2007/23296
  • Cho, S., Choi, Y., Park, S., & Park, T. (2012). Carvacrol prevents diet-induced obesity by modulating gene expressions involved in adipogenesis and inflammation in mice fed with high-fat diet. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 23(2), 192–201. http://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.11.016
  • Crandall, P. G., Ricke, S. C., O’Bryan, C. A., & Parrish, N. M. (2012). In vitro effects of citrus oils against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and non-tuberculous Mycobacteria of clinical importance. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part. B, Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes, 47(7), 736–741. http://doi.org/10.1080/03601234.2012.669331
  • de Santana Souza, M. T., Teixeira, D. F., de Oliveira, J. P., Oliveira, A. S., Quintans-Junior, L. J., Correa, C. B., & Camargo, E. A. (2017). Protective effect of carvacrol on acetic acid-induced colitis. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, 96, 313–319. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2017.10.017
  • Ferrini, A. M., Mannoni, V., Aureli, P., Salvatore, G., Piccirillp, E., Ceddia, T., … Oliva, B. (2006). Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil Possesses Potent Anti-Staphylococcal Activity Extended to Strains Resistant to Antibiotics. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 19(3), 539–544. http://doi.org/10.1177/039463200601900309
  • Hammer, K. A., Carson, C. F., & Riley, T. V. (1996). Susceptibility of transient and commensal skin flora to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil). American Journal of Infection Control, 24(3), 186–189.
  • Han, X., & Parker, T. L. (2017). Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts. Pharmaceutical Biology, 55(1), 1619–1622. http://doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017.1314513
  • Han, X., & Parker, T. L. (2017). Antiinflammatory Activity of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Bark Essential Oil  in a Human Skin Disease Model. Phytotherapy Research : PTR, 31(7), 1034–1038. http://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5822
  • Hart, P. H., Brand, C., Carson, C. F., Riley, T. V, Prager, R. H., & Finlay-Jones, J. J. (2000). Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil), suppresses inflammatory mediator production by activated human monocytes. Inflammation Research, 49(11), 619–626. http://doi.org/10.1007/s000110050639
  • Lee, J.-H., Kim, Y.-G., & Lee, J. (2017). Carvacrol-rich oregano oil and thymol-rich thyme red oil inhibit biofilm formation and the virulence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 123(6), 1420–1428. http://doi.org/10.1111/jam.13602
  • Li, X., Duan, S., Chu, C., Xu, J., Zeng, G., Lam, A. K.-Y., … Jiang, L. (2013). Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate Inhibits in Vitro Entry of Influenza Virus into Host Cells. Molecules, 18(8), 9550–9566. http://doi.org/10.3390/molecules18089550
  • Manohar, V., Ingram, C., Gray, J., Talpur, N. A., Echard, B. W., Bagchi, D., & Preuss, H. G. (2001). Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 228(1–2), 111–117.
  • Muthaiyan, A., Martin, E. M., Natesan, S., Crandall, P. G., Wilkinson, B. J., & Ricke, S. C. (2012). Antimicrobial effect and mode of action of terpeneless cold-pressed Valencia orange essential oil on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 112(5), 1020–1033. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05270.x
  • Nostro, A., Blanco, A. R., Cannatelli, M. A., Enea, V., Flamini, G., Morelli, I., … Alonzo, V. (2004). Susceptibility of methicillin-resistant staphylococci to oregano essential oil, carvacrol and thymol. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 230(2), 191–195. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1097(03)00890-5
  • Preuss, H. G., Echard, B., Enig, M., Brook, I., & Elliott, T. B. (2005). Minimum inhibitory concentrations of herbal essential oils and monolaurin for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 272(1–2), 29–34.
  • Quatrin, P. M., Verdi, C. M., de Souza, M. E., de Godoi, S. N., Klein, B., Gundel, A., … Santos, R. C. V. (2017). Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of nanoemulsions containing Eucalyptus globulus oil against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida spp. Microbial Pathogenesis, 112, 230–242. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2017.09.062
  • Rasooli, I., Shayegh, S., Taghizadeh, M., & Astaneh, S. D. A. (2008). Phytotherapeutic prevention of dental biofilm formation. Phytotherapy Research, 22(9), 1162–1167. http://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2387
  • Walter, B. M., & Bilkei, G. (2004). Immunostimulatory effect of dietary oregano etheric oils on lymphocytes from growth-retarded, low-weight growing-finishing pigs and productivity. Tijdschrift Voor Diergeneeskunde, 129(6), 178–181.
  • Wu, S., Patel, K. B., Booth, L. J., Metcalf, J. P., Lin, H.-K., & Wu, W. (2010). Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection: An in vitro study in MDCK cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-10-69

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