Becki O’Brien has a Certificate of Aromatherapy, specializing in Essential Oils and their uses.
There are many ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, getting better sleep, exercising, taking a multivitamin… These are all important ways to ensure your body has the rest and nutrients it needs to face each day and conquer your to-do lists. And then, there are essential oils to boost immunity!
Essential Oils are small, portable, and versatile. Because they’re good for the whole family, they’re the perfect tool to add to your wellness toolkit. Not to mention, they come with amazing scents you can customize to your immediate needs!
But, how do you know which essential oils to choose? And which essential oils are good for immune system health? Here at The Healthy Place, we carry a number of immune-boosting essential oils that will help keep the whole family feeling their best.
In this article, we’ll be giving an overview of our favorite essential oils for immunity and how to use essential oils for immune defense. Whether it’s cold-weather season, allergy season, or you’re just looking for a well-rounded wellness boost, get ready to face each day with more confidence in your immune defenses, so you can stay on your feet doing what you love!
Need your hands free? We’ve got you!
Check out our related video at the end of this article!
Immune Boosting Essential Oils
The use of essential oils can be tracked all the way back to a time where there were pharaohs instead of presidents and pyramids instead of skyscrapers. This form of timeless, alternative medicine from plant extracts has carried wellness benefits to humankind across the ages.
From citrusy zests to earthy florals, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to boosting your immune system with essential oils! And, the best part? When used correctly, they’re completely safe and effective.*
Here are some of the best essential oils for immune system health:
If there ever was a timeless herb, thyme is it! As you know, this classic herb is a staple in kitchens everywhere, enhancing the flavor of meats, stews, and vegetable dishes. But, did you know that thyme was also used in the middle ages to give courage and strength during times of battle? It’s true!
Although a cold, cough, or flu may not require medieval armor, anyone who’s been through enough winter seasons knows that a nasty bug can feel like a battle in its own way! The next time you find yourself down for the count, allow Plant Therapy Organic Thyme Essential Oil to bring you back to your feet.
Thyme Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Anti-bacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant*
- Supports a robust immune system and boosts circulation*
- Clears respiratory congestion*
- Thyme is one of the best essential oils for colds, flu, or coughs.*
Sourced from the fruit peel of the citrusy lemon plant, lemon essential oil has been an asset to Ayurvedic medicine for many years, and — lucky us — now we can share in its traditional uses. Lemon’s bright aroma will add cheer to your household, and its natural plant compounds will send your immune system the message to up defenses.
Lemon Essential Oil is another essential oil for immunity that is terrific at helping you ward off common illnesses and great at helping you snap out of them. Down with a cough or mucus-y phlegm? Lemon joins thyme in the ranks for Nature’s Best Weapons Against Respiratory Discomforts.
Lemon Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties*
- Stimulates immune defenses*
- Helps clear up mucus and wet coughs*
Like many other essential oils, peppermint essential oil is versatile and can be used in a wide variety of ways. It soothes digestion, quiets coughs, and offers a sharp, energizing aroma. At the same time, it provides relaxing effects. Peppermint is popular in sports lotions as it provides natural cooling relief to sore muscles.
For the immune system, peppermint essential oil helps keep fevers away and gives you energy when you need a pick-me-up. Great for sinus or tension headaches too!
Peppermint Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and antioxidant*
- Helps regulate the immune system*
- Relieves congestion*
With the winter holiday comes many traditions, including delicious cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove-scented baked goods! But also, cold weather can bring along with it some not-so-sweet immune system threats. Go ahead and place a few drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil into your diffuser when you’re relaxing around the home.
Doing so will help clear your air and keep winter threats like viruses and bacteria at bay so you can enjoy the holiday season without any sniffling, sneezing, or runny noses — the perfect holiday essential oils for immunity! Clove Bud can be used to clean surfaces — just add a few drops to your favorite seasonal scented cleaner.
Clove Bud Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties*
- Helps prevent cold-weather threats*
- Stimulates mental clarity and energy*
Is poor sleep getting you down? Or rather — keeping you up? Lavender Essential Oil is a wonderful oil that promotes the rest and relaxation we all need, especially when we’re stressed or when our immune systems are in need of some repair.
If you’re finding it difficult to get comfortable due to swelling or discomfort, lavender is your ally. Consider combining lavender and a carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba oil and massage it into your skin. For your diffuser, add a touch of lemon, eucalyptus, and oregano essential oils for added immune system benefits. Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil is safe for kids too!
- Antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant*
- Promotes relaxation*
- Soothes occasional headaches*
Steam distilled from the resin of the Boswellia tree, Frankincense Serrata is a centuries-old essential oil referenced in the Bible and often used in Ayurvedic medicine. Nicknamed “Heaven’s Gift,” Frankincense has been used to help people suffering from all manner of lung-related ailments.
Frankincense is loved by many for its skin-healing benefits, its ability to soothe menstrual or joint discomfort, and more. Diffusing it in your home will help shoo harmful microbes away, and its sweet, earthy scent will leave you feeling grounded and calm.
Frankincense Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects*
- Strengthens immune system defenses*
- Eliminates germs and microbes from the air*
One of the world’s best-known essential oils for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, tea tree essential oil is one you definitely don’t want to be without. It has many uses, including promoting clear, healthy skin, and is a fantastic way to get rid of germs before they can do any damage! You can diffuse it on its own or add it to other essential oils for sensational immune system support.
Fun fact — traditionally, tea tree leaves were crushed by native Aborigines to treat colds and coughs. Cool, right?
Tea Tree Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Anti-microbial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial*
- Jump starts the immune system into action*
- Helps the body naturally fight off infection*
Remember your mom rubbing a thick balm over your chest when you were sick as a kid? Yep, that memorable smell is eucalyptus. Like tea tree, this Australian native plant’s leaves have been used for hundreds of years to silence coughs and relieve uncomfortable pressure caused by mucus.
Eucalyptus offers powerful support for easy, clear breathing and is one of the best essential oils to diffuse for flu or colds.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Anti-microbial, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties*
- Promotes clear breathing*
- Helps relieve cold or flu-like symptoms*
Rosemary could be considered the brother of eucalyptus. Both contain cineol, a powerful plant compound that works as a natural decongestant. The next time you have anything from a mild cough to a gnarly wheeze, you can use it to help break up your mucus and find relief for your respiratory system!
And together? Eucalyptus and rosemary are a perfect pairing to help you fight off those pesky cold-weather coughs!
Rosemary Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Antibacterial, anti-microbial, antioxidant properties*
- Supports natural relief from inflammation*
- Breaks up congestion and mucus*
Another common kitchen herb that boasts more uses than flavoring your food! Oregano shares many of the qualities found in peppermint. Both are great for achy joints and muscles and act as powerful congestion-busters. Diffuse Oregano Essential Oil when you have a lingering cough or cold or to help prevent one from starting. It also serves as a great household cleaner that eliminates germs and bacteria!
Oregano Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal*
- Promotes immune system health*
- Helps prevent infection*
Originally used most in skincare and perfumes, thanks to its floral rose-like scent, palmarosa has been studied for its impressive antiviral activity. It can help stimulate your body to fight off infections that afflict the throat and lungs. It’s an essential to have in your survival kit against seasonal colds and the flu!
- Antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal*
- Boost immune function*
- Encourages positivity*
Immune Aid from Plant Therapy includes a host of essential oils for flu prevention, so you’re less likely to have to call in sick! It features many of the above-mentioned immune-boosting essential oils, plus Sweet Orange, all in one, compact-sized bottle. The combination of these therapeutic oils offers the perfect boost for your immune system, helping to protect you wherever you go.
Has the ‘thing’ that’s going around already come to you? Immune Aid will help keep your immune response strong, so you can recover more quickly and get back to doing all the things you love.
Immune Aid Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Blend of essential oils for immune system support*
- Helps promote a speedy recovery from seasonal illness*
- Uplifts and energizes*
Kids Essential Oils for Immunity
The last in our lineup of essential oils for immune support are a couple of immune-boosting essential oils from Plant Therapy’s KidSafe line. Formulated by parents for parents, these are exclusive synergy blends that are safe and effective for kids ages 2-10.
Like Immune Aid, Immune-Boom is a synergistic blend of immune-boosting power. It’s nature’s secret weapon to keeping your kid (and the whole family) healthy! Featuring a delicious scent with a hint of tang, this immune-boosting powerhouse contains lemon, palmarosa, dill weed, petitgrain, copaiba, and frankincense essential oils.
Each individual oil works to protect your child’s immune system when diffused or applied topically. Additionally, they help stimulate immune activity when needed so that the cold and flu symptoms don’t linger for long.
Immune-Boom KidsSafe Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Fortifies the immune system*
- Boosts the immune response to illness*
- Purifies the air*
This mighty blend is as powerful as it sounds! Germ Destroyer is an effective, potent blend of immune-boosting essential oils, including hemlock, sweet marjoram, lavender, rosalina, and lemon.
The essential oils in this blend work to promote a strong immune system, comfort cold, cough, and flu symptoms when they do appear. You can apply it topically to your child’s chest, diffuse it, or even use it as a household cleaner to destroy germs on surfaces. Great for the whole family!
Germ Destroyer KidsSafe Essential Oil for an Immune Boost:
- Offers immune system support*
- Relieves congestion and coughing*
- Promotes respiratory health*
Lemon, lavender, tea tree, chamomile, and palmarosa are great single-blend essential oils for immunity that are safe for kids as well.
Quiet Cough or Sniffle Stopper are more options to consider to help support kids through cold and cough symptoms. You can add these kid-safe blends to a personal inhaler. Diffusing is great too!
Essential Oils to Diffuse for Colds and Flu
Wondering about a line-up? Here are the best essential oils to diffuse for colds and flu. Most of these are suggested because, in addition to boosting the immune system, they also help ease congestion, calm coughs, and relieve discomfort. Combine these oils however you like best for your own personalized immune-boosting essential oil blend!
Here are some essential oil diffuser recipes for immune system health you can try at home:
- Lavender (4 drops), Eucalyptus (2 drops), Tea Tree (1 drop)
- Lavender (2 drops), Eucalyptus (2 drops), Lemon (2 drops), Oregano (1 drop)
- Eucalyptus (2 drops), Rosemary (2 drops), Peppermint (2 drops), Cypress (1 drop), Lemon (1 drop)
- Clove Bud (2 drops), Lemon (2 drops), Cinnamon Bark (1 drop), Eucalyptus (1 drop), Rosemary (1 drop)
- Frankincense (2 drops), Clove Bud (2 drops), Cinnamon Bark (2 drops), Lavender (2 drops)
How Do You Use Essential Oils for Immune System Health?
When it comes to using essential oils, you’ve got a handful of different options. Here are our recommendations:
How to Use Essential Oils for Colds, Flu, or Coughs:
- Diffuse it: Diffuse 3-4 drops in your favorite diffuser.
- Inhale the essential oil through your nose or mouth straight from the bottle or apply a few drops to a cotton ball or handkerchief.
- Topically: Dilute 1 drop of essential oil per 10 drops of a carrier oil and apply it to your skin. Focus on applying it to the soles of your feet, wrists, neck, spine, or area of discomfort.
- Steam: Add a few drops of tea tree, thyme, eucalyptus, peppermint, or oregano essential oil into a bowl of boiling water and breathe in the steam.*
- Warm Compress: Place a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of warm water and dilute it with a bit of liquid soap. Soak the mixture up with an absorbent pad or towel and place over your chest or throat.
- Sweat Bath: Sweating is a form of detox and detoxing is a way to heal! Fill up a bath with hot water and add some diluted essential oils (3-12 drops with a carrier oil). For best results, stay in the bath for 20 minutes. Make sure you are well hydrated!
Note, the following oils may cause irritation to the skin and may not be safe to use in the bath:
- Clove Bud
- Cinnamon Bark
When using any essential oil on the skin, it’s best to do a skin patch test. Apply a small amount of the diluted essential oil onto your skin and cover it with a bandage. Watch it for up to 48 hours to see if any reactions occur. If you experience irritation, that means you could be allergic to the plant compounds of that particular essential oil.
Take precautions when using any essential oils to boost immunity for the first time and be sure to keep them away from children.
Essential Oils to Steam Inhale for Colds and Flu
Add a few drops of essential oil to a steam bath a few times a day while you’re under the weather. These essential oils will help your sinuses release congestion and aid in easing any swelling:
Looking for a blend specifically designed to clear your breathing? Respir Aid is synergy blend we like to recommend when you’re looking for some breathing support. It contains pine, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, spruce, cypress, and marjoram. You can steam-inhale it or diffuse it.
Choose Your Essential Oils to Boost Immunity
Do you have an idea of what oils you want to try out now? There are so many to choose from, and many offer overlapping benefits. You really can’t go wrong! If you have questions about which essential oils are good for immune system health, take a look at our Live Chat feature.
Essential Oils are an easy, low-cost way to enhance your health — in more ways than one! All of the essential oils listed above have many other benefits beyond immune support.
And, did we mention you can get them with free shipping? So, have fun shopping! Your immune system will thank you as well as the immune systems of those around you!
Looking for even more flu prevention this year? Check out our Flu Bundles for Kids and Adults — they’re curated sets of immune-and-gut-strengthening supplements designed to protect you from the stomach flu!
Cautions: Do not use essential oils undiluted on the skin. Some essential oils are not safe for children ages 10 and younger. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, consult your doctor before use. We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils.
Please Be Advised: The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that Essential Oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion.
Urge to cough is significantly abolished by nasal thymol application: https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/42/Suppl_57/P1594
Efficacy of cineole in patients suffering from acute bronchitis: a placebo-controlled double-blind trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3842692/Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20359267/#:~:text=Eucalyptus%20oil%20(EO)%20and%20its,and%20fungi%20(including%20Candida).
Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839398