With many clinical studies blowing a fanfare for essential oils, you might be wondering which are the best essential oils to boost the immune system!
So in my helpful article, we will discover together how many of your favorite oils are perfect to kickstart a sluggish immune system.
I’ve put together a list of 15 of the best oils to support your immune system and some of my favorite blends. Power boosting diffuser blends, rubs, and bath blends to keep your immune system in tip-top condition.
Let’s start with the mini takeaway first before we head into more detail.
The best oils to boost the immune system are Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemon, Thyme, Clove, Lavender, Oregano, Peppermint, Tea tree and are most well documented. Oils such as Rosemary, Peppermint, Niaouli, Camphor, Frankincense, Ginger, and Cedarwood are also packed full of immune-boosting antioxidants
Essential oils can help support the immune system in many ways. By fortifying it or simply eliminating bacteria and viral infections.
Most essential oils contain antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties to some degree, but some essential oils work better.
Depending on their individual characteristics, essential oils can:
- Help to combat viruses
- Reduce cold and flu symptoms
- Purify the air to stop the spread of germs
- Bring comfort during illness.
So let’s explore my list of let’s start with one of the most well-known oils for keeping colds and flu at bay, eucalyptus oil.
According to scientific studies, it has a long history of medicinal use in the treatment of cough, cold, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
This is why eucalyptus oil makes the list of the best essential oils to boost the immune system
Eucalyptus essential oil uses enzymes to stop infections from spreading.
This is mainly due to its immune-boosting compounds of oxides and monoterpenes.
Monoterpenes help to support the respiratory system and are responsible for many of the antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties in essential oils.
According to scientific studies, thyme has long been used in traditional medicine as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic agent, mainly in the treatment of the upper respiratory system.
Recent studies Have uncovered that thymol could be used in controlling carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacterial infections.
These extremely official-sounding illnesses are commonly known as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and some infections caused by wounds.
This particular study’s findings helped to develop herbal drugs for replacing antibiotics.
Clove essential oil has analgesic and antimicrobial properties that help with pain relief while also clearing up respiratory infection symptoms.
We all remember a bottle of clove oil in our mom’s medicine kit! It’s long been used in the treatment of toothache and for other kinds of inflammation.
The essential oils act as powerful antibacterial agents to improve the overall health of the body.
Clove oil and cells
Clove essential oil targets the stem cells of the immune system which aids in cell regeneration.
Clove essential oil enhances white blood cell function and works as a natural antibiotic.
Clove essential oil also has analgesic properties to relieve pain associated with infections.
Lavender oil is well known for its relaxing qualities and promoting a restful night.
It calms the body and relaxes the mind, encouraging your body to sleep restfully.
Sleep has a profound effect on your immune system and allows your body to recover and restore.
Without quality sleep, your immune defenses will be compromised.
Lavender can be applied neat from the bottle and are:
Along with its well-researched ability to reduce stress, lavender oil is one of the best oils to boost the immune system.
For more information on mixing Lavender oil and Tea tree’ for their immune-boosting power and more, check out my other helpful article.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has long been used over centuries to treat symptoms of colds and flu and to reduce inflammation.
it’s, for this reason, Tea tree Oil has made my list of the best essential oils to boost the immune system.
Along with the many anecdotal reports of how tea tree oil can help keep your immune system healthy and high performing, many clinical studies now back it up.
One of the main compounds in tea tree, terpinen-4-ol is where its main inflammatory assistance comes from.
Aborigines of northern New South Wales crushed the leaves of “tea trees” and inhaled them to treat coughs and colds or were sprinkled on wounds.
Tea tree is perfect to use in a diffuser, to clean and sterilize work surfaces and floors and even a few drops popped onto a handkerchief to keep bacteria and other nasties at bay.
Lemon essential oil is a wonderful detoxifier. Detoxing helps rid your body of toxins that will hinder your immune system.
We all know the power of lemons, which is why lemon oil is one of the best oils to boost the immune system.
Lemon oil is made of 68 percent d-limonene, and Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a power-packed natural antioxidant that improves the immune system and has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that support a healthy circulatory system.
In recent studies, it’s been uncovered that limonel ( one of the main active compounds in lemon essential oil) was found to significantly reduce ACE2 protein levels.
ACE2 inhibition is one of the chief ways to protect against viruses entering the body.
The results suggest that lemon essential oils and their derivative compounds are valuable natural antiviral agents that may contribute to the prevention of the invasion of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 into the human body.
Put a few drops into an iced glass of water each morning to reap the benefits of this amazing oil.
Or to keep your workspace or bedroom free from nasties try this immune-boosting diffuser blend.
Lemon oil immune booster diffuser blend
- 5 drops lemon
- 5 drops geranium
- 5 drops eucalyptus
Add to 100mL of water and run for an hour in your home office or bedroom to keep the air pure with a spa-like aroma!
Geranium essential oil contains antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-fungal compounds.
So by adding geranium oil to your essential oil immune-boosting kit you can harness its powerful benefits.
Geranium essential oil is:
which means it has most definitely earned its place in my list of 20 essential oils to boost the immune system!
In recent research from 2020, it’s been uncovered that one of the main components in geranium oil ( geraniol) can help prevent viruses from entering cells.
Geranium oil stimulates and cleans the lymphatic system, which in humans and other invertebrates is part of the immune system.
It’s also clinically used for treating a wealth of other diseases according to health experts
For 30 of my favorite ways to use Geranium oil! including its powerful immune-boosting properties, pop over to my other helpful article.
Some essential oils can be used to thin mucous so that a blocked nose can breathe through it more easily.
Along with many other properties, peppermint is one of the best oils to ease congestion.
Menthol crystals and other menthol products are obtained from peppermint oil, sometimes called peppermint camphor.
Peppermint essential oil helps to reduce symptoms like:
Peppermint essential oil also has analgesic properties which can help relieve symptoms of pain associated with the flu or common cold.
Peppermint oil is perfectly dropped in the base of a shower to help clear blocked airways and give a boost to the immune system.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know Where To Apply Oils for the Immune System.
One of my favorite ways to use peppermint oil is in this clearing and immune-boosting diffuser blend. It helps keep the air purified to stop cold and flu bugs from spreading and helps ease congestion.
Immune boosting diffuser blend
- 5 drops peppermint oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil
- 2 drops lemon oil
Add 100mL water in a diffuser and run on a timer for an hour before bed.
For more help on using diffusers check out my other helpful article.
Rosemary oil has a pleasing botanical scent and mixes beautifully with clove and lavender to create immune-boosting recipes.
Rosemary oil is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
It’s high percentage of 1,8-cineole, has an anti-inflammatory effect on congestion and can help you breathe more easily especially when combined with eucalyptus and peppermint oil.
Its delicate botanical scent also lowers cortisol levels which in turn, is one of the best oils to boost the immune system.
Mountain air blend
This blend supports building a sluggish immune system if you are suffering from colds, flu or viruses and helps you breathe more easily.
This blend is best when diffused in an old-fashioned way! In a bowl of hot water with a towel resting over your head to really benefit from close inhalation.
- 5 drops rosemary
- 4 drops peppermint
- 3 drops eucalyptus
Add 200mL of hot water, a towel over your head and the bowl to inhale the vapors.
After you have inhaled deeply for around 5 minutes then pour into your diffuser using a jug and set your diffuser timer for an hour before bed.
For more Immune Boosting Diffuser Recipes, pop by my latest blog to keep your home smelling gorgeous, clear congestion, fight infection and support vitality.
Oregano is well known for giving its heady herbal fragrance into Italian foods, but it’s also packed full of antioxidants and powerful compounds to boost immunity and wellness.
It’s both naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial.
This botanical and fresh-smelling oil has power-packed compounds called phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids, to boost the immune system.
It contains thymol which is one of the most important compounds in essential oils to support and encourage a healthy immune system.
Its high rosmarinic acid levels contribute to the fact it has between 3 and 30 times the antioxidant power of other herbs and oils such as thyme and marjoram.
Budding aromatherapists can use oregano to create my favorite immune-boosting essential oil.
This is one of the first oils I ever made! It has a wealth of benefits and smells gorgeous! feel free to reduce drops in some oils and increase in the ones you favor more. This basic blend, however, is perfectly balanced to support immune systems, fight infection and also ease congestion.
Immune boost oil blend
I use a 10mL amber bottle which gives around 200 drops.
- Oregano 60 drops
- Lemon 30 drops
- Eucalyptus 40 drops
- Rosemary 25 drops
- Peppermint 20 drops
- Lavender 3 drops
- Cloves 3 drops
Using a pipette add each oil to the bottle. Mix well.
This immune-boosting oil recipe can be used:
- In a running bath or shower: Mix 5 drops with 100mL of carrier oil such as jojoba or almond and add to your bath. Sprinkle 5 drops on the bottom of your shower tray and let the water run for around 5 minutes before getting in
- Diffuser blend: 10 drops added to 200mL of water in a diffuser. Set your diffuser to run for an hour before bed
- Inhalation: Simple inhalation over a bowl of hot water with a towel. Add 8 drops to 200mL hot water in a bowl and inhale for around 5 minutes
- Add to a clean tissue: A few drops on a tissue or clean handkerchief
For 14 ways Frankincense oil benefits your immune system check out my other helpful article.
This medicinal smelling essential oil is obtained from the bark of a cinnamon tree and I find it smells fairly similar to eucalyptus.
With its purification compounds, it’s not surprising to discover that camphor was used extensively in medieval times to keep deadly germs at bay during the Plague according to scientific studies
In the same study, it was uncovered that camphor significantly reduced cough frequency by 33% in clinical trials.
It has an impressive catalog of uses over the centuries including:
- As a fragrance in cosmetics
- Commonly used in household cleaners,
- Flavouring in food
- Contained in many over-the counter analgesics to treat muscle aches and pains.
It’s worth knowing it’s a very potent oil and should always be used sparingly, not directly inhaled or used for infants or if pregnant.
If you’d like more information on how and why essential oils are such powerhouses for the immune system, head over to Essential Oils to Boost The Immune System, How, and Why
It’s worth knowing it’s a very potent oil and should always be used sparingly, not directly inhaled or used for infants or if pregnant.
This oil has a penetrating, pleasant, sweet, fresh aroma with similar nuances to Eucalyptus.
As one of the best oils to support the immune system, I love to blend it with:
How And Why Essential Oils Boost The Immune System is another helpful article I’ve written to help you in your quest for essential oil immune power! So don’t forget to check it out!
In the meantime, here’s another of my favorite Niaouli oil blends to uplift and improve your immune system.
I often use the simplest of diffusers with this fresh-smelling oil by adding 5 drops of Niaouli and 4 drops of Rosemary to a paper handkerchief or tissue and pop in my bag.
It’s perfect to inhale during your day to help clear your airways and clear congestion.
Or add 5 drops to the shower tray and let the hot water run for a few minutes before getting in for a spa-like experience.
We are all aware of ginger as a remedy for coughs and colds and many of us have enjoyed comforting ginger and lemon hot drinks.
So It’s not surprising that ginger oil gives a real boost when you are feeling under the weather or to balance out a sluggish immune system.
According to some of the clinical research around ginger oil, The active compounds in ginger such as:
Can prevent inflammation, various cancers and also prevent bad cells from multiplying.
These powerful compounds in ginger oil act as immune system modulators.
Ginger immune boosting balm
For an immune-boosting balm, mix 1 tablespoon coconut oil or jojoba oil and 5 drops of ginger essential oil and rub onto your feet or the back of your neck.
Ginger warmer bath oil blend
- 5 drops ginger
- 3 drops bergamot or sweet orange oil
- 2 tablespoon of almond or olive oil ( cold pressed is best)
Mix well in a clean saucer or jar and add to a warm running bath
Known as ‘The King of Essential Oils’ it’s hardly surprising to discover this powerful oil makes my top 20 best essential oils to boost the immune system.
When your body feels run down it often starts an inflammatory response.
In clinical trials, frankincense is said to Significantly affect the signalling pathways which are relevant to inflammation and tissue remodelling.
Frankincense is confirmed as a powerful immunity-aid due to its ability to destroy pathogens such as:
- Some cancers
Its antiseptic properties can also kill germs and reduce inflammation in the mouth, which may prevent toothache, cavities, and mouth sores, which are often a symptom of a low functioning immune system.
Another study from 2012 uncovered that a specific compound in frankincense oil, called AKBA, has the ability to kill cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy.
This is one of my favourite blends to help with congestion and support a healthy immune system.
For more ways, Frankincense can boost the immune system, check out my other helpful article.
Frankincense easy breathe diffuser blend
- 3 drops Frankincense
- 2 drops Eucalyptus
- 1 drop Rosemary
- 1 drop Peppermint
- 1 drop Cedarwood
Add all the oils to 100mL of water and set your diffuser for an hour for the best benefits.
So there it is! My curated list of the best essential oils to boost the immune system!
Every day, our bodies are exposed to environmental stress and other toxins that can really put a strain on our immune system.
If the immune system is compromised, this can lead to illness or possibly even more serious health issues.
By combining your essential oil kit with plenty of sleep, exercise and reducing stress you can support your immune system and keep your body healthy and full of vitality.
This content has been checked and verified by a medical professional or aromatherapist The article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.