Essential Oils are found in plant material (flowers, leaves, bark etc) and help to form the plant’s own immunity and defence against microbes, bacteria, fungus, insects, and anything else that will attack the plant. They are highly potent, and give the plant fragrance.
If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils.
Essential oils have been used throughout history for their medicinal and aromatic qualities. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold. Grave robbers would steal away the essential oils from tombs.
In modern times, the powerful healing properties of essential oils were rediscovered in 1937 by a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who healed a badly burnt hand with pure lavender oil. A French contemporary, Dr. Jean Valnet, used therapeutic-grade essential oils to successfully treat injured soldiers during World War II. Dr. Valnet went on to become a world leader in the development of aromatherapy practices.
The modern use of essential oils has continued to grow rapidly as health scientists and medical practitioners continue to research and validate the numerous health and wellness benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oils.
Chemical Make Up of Essential Oils
The power and unique identity of essential oils is found in the chemical compounds that form the essential oils.
Terpenes are the key components, and these terpenes are further identified as Hemiterpenes, Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes, Diterpenes, Sesterterpenes, and so on. Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes, and Diterpenes form the majority of essential oils and are distributed in more than 2000 species.
Within these subgroups are all sorts of organic chemicals such as “Limonene”, which is a Monoterpene. When combined with the Human immune system, these chemicals can have a powerful and positive effect.
The Immune System
The immune system is responsible for resisting disease.
Human immunity can be divided into two basic types: ‘Mobile Immunity’ (cellular) and ‘Fixed Immunity’ (Epithelial).
Fixed immunity is our body’s first line of defence and response. It is the protective barrier between our internal body and our external environment. It includes the Skin, Gastrointestinal tract and the mucous membrane.
Mobile immunity can be divided into specific (acquired) and non-specific (innate) response:
Specific immune response develops only after exposure to inducing agents such as microbes, toxins, or other foreign substances. Its duties include the making of memory cells and antibodies. Non-specific immune response is present from birth and consists of external barriers plus internal cellular and chemical defenses.
White blood cells (B and T Cells) play a very important role in our immune response. B-cells produce different types of antibodies e.g. IgG and IgM (Immunoglubulin G and M).
Research has shown that essential oils have similar activities as immunoglobulins; they enhances the whole body immunity, act as an extension of the immune system, and they offer increased immunity by:
- Killing Pathogens,
- Increasing White Blood Cell Activity, and
- Increasing Cellular Tolerance.
Terpenes are present in all essential oils and have the ability to destroy germs and pathogens.
Linalool is the primary compound in lavender and this increases the efficiency of white blood cells by increasing the amount of nitric oxide produced by macrophage (a type of white blood cell) by about 150%.
Citrus oils enhance the ability of the body to produce Gluathione (Our body’s master Antioxidant).
The effect of Phenol (a compound found in essentials oils e.g. Oregano) is comparable to the effect of IgM (initial contact of pathogen) in our body and Alcohol can produce actions similar to IgG.
Therefore, when we consume essential oils we are increasing or producing similar effects as that of IgM and IgG.
Finally, I wish to mention the importance of the Gastrointestinal tract in the immune system: The GT provides our body with important defence against pathogens and toxins and covers about 70% of immunity in our body!!
The stomach has a very low pH making it very acidic to kill pathogenic organisms before they enter the intestine. The small intestine plays host to friendly micro-organisms call microflora which helps with:
- Immunity response
- Digestion of food nutrients
- Prevent growth of harmful pathogens
- Manufacture vitamins B, A, D, K and Amino Acids e.g. Arginine and Glutamine (fuel for digestion)
dōTERRA have all the essential oils needed to help you boost your immune system and keep it at optimum levels. Chief among them is a blend of essential oils called “On Guard”, which contains Cinnamon, Clove, Wild Orange, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus. On Guard has been found to be up to 90% effective in treating the influenza virus. We will talk more about On Guard in a separate post.
In addition to the essential oils, dōTERRA have created other products to help you give your body all that it needs.
There is PB Assist+ which is a formula of pre-biotic fiber and six strains of active friendly pro-biotic microorganisms, that delivers 5 BILLION colony forming units to your gut. Helping to support the 70% immunity.
There is GX Assist which is a combination of essential oils and caprylic acid to help support a healthy digestive tract by creating an unfriendly environment for pathogens.
And there is the Lifelong Vitality Pack which is an incredibly powerful source of essential oils, vitamins, minerals, omega oils and more! There are all sorts of benefits on offer with this product, but to name a few, it supports healthy digestion, metabolism, immune function, and promotes healthy skin.
If you would like to obtain any of the products listed above, please go to www.essentialoils.im/shop. Select your location from the drop down box, and access the main menu to view the products.