How to Use Essential Oils to Boost Your Immune System

I DON’T WANT TO GET SICK (pleads everyone this time of year)!!! 
Natural remedies for immune supportThis post (and it's companion) will show you the natural remedies you need to stay healthy until Spring!

November is here! We are now well into Fall and hurtling quickly toward winter. 

With the cooling weather has arrived various forms of seasonal “ick.” You know what I’m talking about… sniffling, sneezing, constantly reaching for tissues, fatigue, chills, body aches, or simply feeling like you’ve been run over by a bus. People in my workplace have been falling like flies over the past couple of weeks! 

As far as I can help it, I want to avoid feeling like that! And sick husbands or children are no fun either! We had a good run last year… I didn’t get sick at all and my daughter came down with one short-lived cough. Hoping for a repeat performance this year!
Wondering what tricks I’ve got up my sleeve to keep our immune systems strong and well protected? Read on! I’m sharing some of my best secrets! 

To reach and maintain good health, we must (1) minimize exposure to elements that may harm our immune system and (2) take proactive, consistent measures to enhance our body’s ability to protect itself. By developing a daily, consistent routine, we can keep our families healthy during all seasons the of the year.

Yes, sometimes *ick* does break through the defenses, despite best efforts. But when it does, you’d better believe I’m ready to do battle and wipe it out quickly! Thankfully, nature provides all the remedies we need to avoid illness and shorten the duration when we do pick one up.

In this post, I’m giving you the low down on how to harness the power of essential oils to support your immune system. Jump over here for the non-essential oil natural remedies we rely on in our house for staying healthy all year long. There were too many to discuss all in one place!   


Essential oils are amazing when it comes to powering through sickness and supporting overall immunity. Their use involves two strategies: prevention and response. Prevention means adding healthy habits to your daily routine. Practice these habits regularly, as oils are most effective when used frequently in small amounts, rather than irregularly in large doses.

There are MANY essential oils that can combat *ick* and support overall health at the same time. But that doesn’t mean you need a huge collection. There are several “powerhouse oils” that you can do so many things with! Have a handful of these on hand and you’ll be set! 

Arborvitae essential oil benefits
  • protects against environmental and seasonal threats
  • powerful cleansing and purifying agent
  • purifies the air
  • blends well with Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Siberian Fir

Cardamom essential oil benefits
  • profoundly affects the respiratory system due to its high 1,8-cineole content, which promotes clean airways, clear breathing, and overall respiratory health
  • helps alleviate feelings of stomach discomfort 
  • blends well with Clove, Lavender, and Peppermint

Clove essential oil benefits 
  • one of the most antioxidant-rich substances
  • powerful cleansing and purifying agent
  • supports cardiovascular health 
  • combines well with Cinnamon, Copaiba, Rosemary, and Wild Orange

Copaiba essential oil benefits
  • supports the health of the immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems
  • powerful antioxidant
  • blends well with Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Siberian Fir, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang

Eucalyptus essential oil benefits
  • supports overall respiratory health; breaks up congestion and reduces lung inflammation – perfect for saunas, hot showers, in facial steams, and cupped over the face
  • supports healthy immune system function. Inhalation stimulates the immune system (has an enhancing effect on beta and gamma-globulins (antibodies)) and keeps illnesses away.
  • antimicrobial action purifies and cleanses
  • blends well with Cardamom, Peppermint, and Rosemary

Frankincense essential oil benefits
  • helps build and maintain a healthy immune system through its boosting impact on white blood cells
  • promotes cellular health
  • blends well with Blue Tansy, Copaiba, Lavender, Myrrh, and Wild Orange

Lemon Essential oil benefits
  • lymph tonic; moves cellular waste out of the body during illness
  • assists with respiratory discomfort relieves congestion and mucus
  • blends well with Basil, Manuka, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Siberian Fir

Meleleuca essential oil benefits
  • promotes healthy immune function
  • protects against environmental and seasonal threats
  • helps purify and freshen the air
  • cleanses cuts and abrasions
  • combines well with Cypress, Lavender, Siberian Fir, and Thyme

Oregano essential oil benefits
  • offers powerful antioxidants (from carvacrol and thymol) and cleansing properties
  • most commonly used for immune support 
  • carvacrol also supports the respiratory system
  • a super strong essential oil... a little goes a LONG way! Be sure to dilute heavily if using on the skin. 
  • blends well with Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, and Thyme

Peppermint essential oil benefits
  • Supports the respiratory system; helps promote feelings of clear airways and easy breathing. 
  • blends well with Basil, Coriander, Grapefruit, Lemon, Spearmint, Tangerine, and Wild Orange

Pink pepper essential oil benefits
  • supports healthy immune and respiratory systems, while relaxing the nervous system
  • may also help the body maintain healthy cellular function and overall cellular health
  • add to homemade chai tea
  • blends well with Cardamom, Clove, Grapefruit, Green Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, and Vetiver

Siberian Fir essential oil benefits
  • supports clear breathing and respiratory function
  • blends well with Arborvitae, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cypress, Douglass Fir, Marjoram, Lemon, and Lime

Wild Orange essential oil benefits
  • stimulating and purifying qualities support healthy immune system function
  • powerful cleanser and purifying agent
  • blends well with Cinnamon, Lavender, Neroli, Peppermint, and Siberian Fir

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On Guard (protective blend)
  • supports healthy immune and respiratory function
  • protects against environmental threats
  • supports the body’s natural antioxidant defenses
  • promotes healthy circulation
  • blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary

Breathe (respiratory blend)
  • maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing
  • promotes a restful night’s sleep
  • helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats
  • blend of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara


Steaming is the best way to cut off a cold before it sets in. Try doing several steams a day for a few days until all signs of the cold are gone. These are some of the best choices for steaming: Eucalyptus, 
Melaleuca, Siberian Fir, or Breathe.

DIRECTIONS: For adults, add 1 or 2 drops of a respiratory clearing essential oil to a bowl of steaming water, placing your head with closed eyes over the bowl and draping a towel over your head to trap in the steam. Inhale deeply for several minutes. Use 3 to 4 times a day for 3 days.

When your throat tickles or feels scratchy or you've been exposed to *ick,* add 1 drop of Melaleuca to 1 Tablespoon of filtered water. Swish throughout mouth and gargle for 1 minute 2 – 3 times a day. Spit the water out. Could also use Clove (has a numbing effect), Lime, or Cardamom for this same purpose. After gargling, apply Cardamom or Sandalwood to throat and back of neck. 

Scientific study demonstrates that diffusion of essential oils can cleanse the air, providing added protection when the seasonal threats are high. I daily diffuse essential oils, as they contain powerful cleansing properties that not only purify the air we breathe, but deliver positive effects on the immune system (and our emotions!). Here are some basic blends to get you started! I reserve some of the more invigorating essential oils, such as Peppermint and Rosemary, for daytime use and focus on calming oils at night. 

Diffuser Blends to Support and Boost Your Immune System

PROTECTIVE ROOM SPRAYS (to cleanse the air)

Room sprays are great if you don’t have a diffuser or just want a quick clearing of the air. Use the immune-supportive oils of your choice. Here are some recipes to get you started! 


Daily Protective Practice: Mix one drop of On Guard, Arborvitae, or Copaiba with carrier oil and apply along your spine and to the bottoms of your feet.

For Congestion: Add Siberian Fir, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Cardamom, Pink Pepper, Arborvitae, Copaiba, Magnolia, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Lavender, or Breathe to a carrier oil, lotion, or cream and rub on your chest, bridge of nose, back of neck, or back. Magnolia, Cardamom, and Eucalyptus is a fantastic combination.

For Coughs
  • Apply Cypress or Cedarwood to chest and forehead. Inhale from cupped hands. 
  • Apply Cypress over lungs followed by hot compress.
  • Make a rub: Combine 2 oz coconut oil, 12 drops Eucalyptus, and 12 drops Peppermint. Apply ¼ tsp to chest of those 7 years of age or older. Cut the drops of essential oil in half for younger children. 
  • Suck on On Guard throat drops.
  • Make ginger syrup (also good for nausea): Combine 2 T raw honey and 4 drops Ginger. Take 1 tsp 2 – 3 times/day for adults and ½ tsp for children ages 5 – 12. 
  • Make cough syrup: Gently heat 1 ¼ cups herbal tea for coughs (such as Yogi Throat Comfort or Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat) and ¾ cup raw honey in a double boiler. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and add 80 total drops of essential oil (for example, 35 drops Rosemary ct cineol + 35 drops Eucalyptus globulus (Fennel for children) + 10 drops Peppermint (Spearmint for children). Take 1 tsp 2 – 3 times/day for adults and ½ tsp for children ages 5 – 12. 

For Aches or Chills: Apply Pink Pepper along your spine.

To Reduce Nausea: Diffuse Lemon and Ginger. Apply Ginger or Peppermint to the abdomen with a carrier oil. 

To Stimulate Lymph Drainage When Under the Weather: Apply 2 drops of lemon diluted with carrier oil to back of neck. Don’t expose your neck to direct sunlight or UV rays for at least 12 hours!

Frequently touched surfaces, such as door knobs, keyboards, cell phones, and grocery carts can be even more treacherous during certain times of the year. Cleaning these surfaces often is an important part of minimizing exposure to harmful particles. 

Essential oils, when combined with other vinegar, castile soap, or other natural cleaners, are a highly effective way to sanitize surfaces while preventing exposure to toxins. Click over to this post to get my favorite recipes!

Making your own cleaning products is fast, easy, and cost effective. If you’re up for it, some of the most powerful essential oils for cleaning are Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Melaleuca, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cloves, Cinnamon, Arborvitae, Purify (cleansing blend), or On Guard (protective blend).

Not into DIY? On Guard sanitizing spray makes it easy to clean hands and surfaces when you're out and about. 

If you're interested in trying essential oils -- for immune support or otherwise -- but feel overwhelmed or confused by which oils to start with or how to use them, let a certified aromatherapist be your guide (that's me!). 

  • Feel free to email me at I’m happy to answer your questions!
  • Want to talk on the phone? No problem! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute chat!

I'll get you headed in the right direction for you and your family! 

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