Strengthening the immune system means increasing the action of some of its functions that can protect us more effectively from external attacks by pathogenic organisms but also from cells that can show a malignant degeneration. Several plants and spices have proven to be able to support the immune system, some examples are echinacea, garlic and Uncaria tomentosa. However, there are also essential oils able to act by supporting the immune system and putting it in the best conditions to defend the body, as emerges from a study published in the journal Molecules by a Hungarian team (Peterfalvi et al, Dec 2019). Let's try to understand better.
Stress and depression may affect the immune system, by weakening it. A mixture of citrus essential oils, including lemon, orange and bergamot, diffused throughout the room has managed not only to counteract depression and sadness but also to restore immune function, including the activity of NK cells, which are cells of the immune system responsible to recognize tumors and viruses (Komori et al, Neuroimmunomodulation, 1995).
Massages performed with a lotion prepared with sweet almond oil and 2% lavender essential oil, scientific name Lavandula angustifolia, has shown to be able to strengthen the immune response. Moreover, a massage prepared with sweet almond oil and lavender, cypress and marjoram essential oils and performed for 30 minutes has reduced anxiety and stress and has benefited the immune system by increasing the presence, in particular, of two types of white blood cells, the CD8+ and CD16+ lymphocytes (Kuriyama et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2005). These lymphocytes are able to recognize cells infected with tumors but also with bacteria.
Even a massage performed for about 45 minutes with coconut oil and ginger essential oil has shown to reduce the sense of fatigue, stress and pain if present. In addition to this, this massage has also proven beneficial for the immune system by increasing the presence of lymphocytes, that are cells of the immune system (Khiewkhern et al, Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2013).