Natural remedies increase the body's resistance to disease by improving its ability to fight infection. No single essential oil will heal a person, but many plants have immune-modulating properties. As with any natural healing modality, essential oils should not be solely relied upon in cases of serious illnesses-but they may be integrated into any therapeutic program.
Lavender, lemon, bergamot, thyme, chamomile, pine, sandalwood, myrrh and vetiver stimulate production of infection-fighting white corpuscles. The antiviral action of certain essential oils is one of their most valuable attributes-especially since allopathic medicine has little to offer. Essential oils with terpenoid compounds are very specific, notably the citruses and pine oils, as well as some oils in the phenol group. (See the "Chemistry" chapter.)
Building health is the best insurance against contracting illness. The following blend helps build the body's natural resistance.
Basic Immune Tonic Blend
3 drops lavender
3 drops tea tree
2 drops bergamot
2 drops ravensare
2 drops eucalyptus
10 drops Caulophyllum inophyllum
1 ounce carrier oil (calendula-infused)
Use as a body oil daily in the bath as part of a health-maintenance program, or to treat acute conditions such as cold or flu.
Herbal Adjuncts-"Adaptogens" are defined as safe, beneficial herbs that have a balancing and toning action. There is some controversy over which herbs fit the criteria, but there is little argument against the Panax ginsengs (Korean and American) or Siberian ginseng. The immune tonics echinacea, myrrh, calendula, garlic, wild indigo, astragalus, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, schizandra berries and ligusticum all build resistance.