Making Use of the AntiViral Aromatherapy Oils Part 1

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by Harriet Bliss
The body of scientific evidence regarding the potency of plant medicines against a great variety of viruses is growing. And with the concern of viral illness in the headlines, now is the time to investigate all the ways you can protect your health and the health of your family. Essential oils from many plant families have now been demonstrated to have antiviral properties in laboratory research across the globe. More and more people are turning to the vast healing potential of these plant medicines, realizing the great potency they have, along with the balance of our natural environment that is supported through their use. These essential oils are readily available at health food stores — though the most consistent high grade therapeutic quality may be from internet sources. Using essential oils for immune system support is a tried-and-true application of these powerful natural medicines. In fact, most medical aromatherapists consider the most important use of essential oils in medical applications will be for the prevention and treatment of infectious illness (see Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt’s ‘Medical Aromatherapy’).

The Data Is In: Immunostimulants and Direct Anti-Viral Action of Essential Oils

For the treatment and prevention of infectious illness, essential oils are used for two purposes: the general strengthening of the immune system and the direct eradication of viruses. A great many peer-reviewed research papers have been produced showing the efficacy of essential oils for both purposes. Using the database of the National Institute of Health (www.pubmed.gov) one can review the data by searching for terms such as ‘essential oil virus’ (currently producing 93 results) or ‘essential oil immune’ (producing 143 results) and the like. Essential oils have been shown to actually increase the power of lymphocytes (the immune system’s troops, so to speak), making them better able to eliminate foreign invaders in the body (viruses, bacteria, and the like). Oils can also increase the speed at which the immune system produces antibodies to eliminate an infection.

The direct eradication of viruses is also a feature many essential oils display, in addition to their immune-stimulating effects. This makes complete sense to practitioners of plant medicine, as plants themselves also must defend from viral infections. While the transmission methods these viruses use are different, their primary structure is not all that different from viruses infecting mammals. Essential oils have been shown to destroy the SARS virus, and prevent the cell-to-cell transmission of the Herpes Simplex variants. These same oils should also be effective at eradicating other ‘pandemic’ viruses we’re facing today. And not only do these oils eradicate viruses, but also demonstrate protective effects such that cells acquire resistance to viral penetration. For these effects, essential oils can be used topically (diluted in ‘base’ or ‘carrier’ oils) or even better, they can be dispersed in the air in your home or office by a nebulizing diffuser (we’ll explain this more toward the end of this article).

Choosing the Right Oils for the Strongest Immunity

For these applications, essential oils can be characterized by the desired effect. Certain oils are considered especially effective as immunostimulants — when looking for any sort of support of the immune system, it is always crucial to take into account the vitality of one’s overall health. Obviously a person in poor health, or even in a very poor emotional state, will be more susceptible to infection than those in tip-top health. Those individuals reporting lower levels of stress will also have the best immune system function. In this regard, Frankincense essential oil, particularly Boswellia carteri species produced by carbon dioxide extraction, is considered one of the most highly effective oils. Other oils to consider to bolster one’s overall vitality (with a stronger immune system as a result) are Bergamot (highly regarded as an anti-depressant), Rosemary (for assisting detoxification, thereby lessening the load on the immune system), and Lavender (an anti-stress agent, as well as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial). These oils can be used via any classic aromatherapy method — topical massage on the feet surprisingly may be the most effective, as the feet are highly receptive both energetically and biochemically to essential oils. Diffusing these oils, again singly or in combination in a nebulizing diffuser (which makes a fine, easily evaporated mist of the oils in the air) is a simple way of protecting your entire household (the directly anti-vial oils can be used in this way as well).

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