11 Essential oils you can use when you have an autoimmune disease
What is an autoimmune disease?
Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or overactivity of the immune system. In cases of the immune system overactivity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.
In other words, your body fights itself and the natural functions that occur daily. Yikes, no wonder it’s such a significant concern! If you go online, you will find a huge list (more than I ever knew) of autoimmune diseases.
Frankly, I was shocked. I did recognize some of the disorders on the list but had no idea they were autoimmune disorders.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Gluten, dairy or soy intolerances
- Atopic dermatitis just to name a few.
Why do you need to be concerned when using essential oils while having an autoimmune disease?
You want to make sure that you are not further inflaming or boosting immune function since auto-immune diseases are the immune system attacking your body. You don’t want to double your body’s effort in attacking itself!
First of all, here are the Essential Oils you may consider avoiding:
Actually, any essential oil that is listed as an immunostimulant should be avoided or used only occasionally in low doses.
Now, if you have an auto-immune disease, the very 1st thing you need to do before using Essential Oils is to go see a physician or specialist.
Additionally, here are some low impact steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease:
- Check for hidden infections — yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc. — with the help of a doctor, & treat them, using oils and herbal remedies I will list below
- Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try to follow an elimination diet (designed to eliminate most food allergens)
- Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do.
- Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity
- Fix your gut especially with any history of irritable bowel syndrome
- Exercise regularly — it’s a natural anti-inflammatory
- Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response.
Only after you have done some steps of the list above you can start thinking about Essential Oils.
Does this mean you have to avoid those essential oils forever?
Here are a few links that may help explain why using herbs or essential oils to “boost” immune function can be counterproductive when dealing with autoimmune disorders.
Additionally, before you start using any essential oils or medicine, you need to strengthen your immune system:
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- don’t smoke.
- eat a diet high in fruits & vegetables.
- exercise regularly.
- maintain a healthy weight.
- only drink alcohol in moderation.
- get adequate sleep.
- avoid infection by washing your hands frequently
- cook meats thoroughly.
- minimize stress.
Frankly, if you do all the strategies above, you’ll see a huge improvement in your health.
You need to understand that Essential Oils don’t do miracles!
While essential oils are extremely useful, they are not the perfect solution for every situation. Sometimes using a hydrosol or an herbal preparation are both necessary and safer!
Again, my advice is that before you start using a new Essential Oil, always consult with a Naturopathic Physician, Certified Aromatherapist or other qualified health professional.
Take your time
OK, you have done most of the steps above and now you are decided to use Essential Oils.
Warning: keep in mind that marketing is a powerful tool. Before you make any decison, check out sources other than a company websites or salespersons.
There are many books, websites and other information you can find that are not linked to any particular company. Learn more about the concern you want to address and ask professionals who will consult with you before beginning any new regimen.
So can you still use essential oils?
Definitively, the answer is yes.
That is a challenge, as many essential oils can stimulate the immune response to varying degrees. Here is a limited list of essential oils that you can consider using with no (or very little) boost to the immune system.
Cinnamon Leaf essential oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic for many years. It is very therapeutic and if used in the right dilution, can be an effective essential oil for acne, chronic pain, and inflammation. Combine Cinnamon Leaf and Clove Bud at 0.6% dilution in your favorite carrier oil to help with chronic pain. Cinnamon is especially effective when it comes to treating the pain and discomfort associated with conditions like colitis and Crohn’s disease. Cinnamon Leaf is also a great oil to ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Diffuse in the air to help combat a sickness.
Citronella essential oil to help combat cold and flu, diffuse into the air equal parts of Citronella and Cinnamon Leaf. Add to your favorite carrier oil to help with perspiration. Add 1 drop of Citronella and 2 drops of Tea Tree to 1 Tablespoon of Coconut oil to use on fungal skin infections.
Clary Sage essential oil is the perfect hormone balancing oil to help ease symptoms caused by women’s issues. Clary sage essential oil is effective for treating autoimmune disease thanks to this oil’s balancing properties. Use to treat PMS, hot flashes, depression, anxiety and insomnia. For menstrual pain, combine Clary Sage with Geranium, Marjoram and Carrot Seed. Research suggests that for some people, Clary Sage essential oil is more effective anti-stress oil than Lavender. Add to your favorite carrier oil and use as a daily moisturizer or diffuse into the air for its mood-enhancing properties
Cypress essential oil can be used to ease breathing and may be helpful for people with asthma. Use to relieve tight muscles, rheumatism and the swelling and pain of varicose veins. It is also useful as a deodorant. For this, add equal parts of Cypress, Sandalwood, and Lavender to your favorite carrier. Diffuse Cypress into the air to help ease breathing.
Traditionally used for its warming action, Ginger essential oil aids digestion, stimulates blood flow and helps relieve nausea, muscular or menstrual pain. Add 2 drops Ginger essential oil with 2 drops Coriander to 2 tablespoons of bubble bath along with a 1⁄2 cup Epsom salt and run into a warm bath to help relieve lethargy, nausea, colds, and sickness. When added to a carrier oil or lotion, it can help with joint pain, muscle aches, poor circulation and to disperse bruises. Use in a 2% – 5% dilution for topical use.
For autoimmune diseases affecting the skin, blend 20 drops of ginger essential oil into 100ml of jojoba carrier oil. For skin conditions, always opt for jojoba as your carrier oil. It is the closest to our skin’s own natural oils which means it won’t cause additional irritation when applied to the skin.
The therapeutic properties of Geranium Bourbon essential oil include the being used as an astringent, hemostatic, diuretic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, tonic, antibiotic, anti-spasmodic and as an anti-infectious agent. This uplifting oil has a great all-over balancing effect, and this extends to the skin, where it helps to create a balance between oily and dry skin. Use Geranium Bourbon to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of inner peace.
When diluted into the air Juniper oil can be used for the treatment of addictions, nervous tension, over-indulgence of food and to stimulate the nervous system and bolster the spirit. Add 2-4 drops diluted in a tablespoon of bubble bath to a warm bath to help with arthritis, cellulite, nervous tension, cystitis, pain in passing urine, gout, swollen joints, liver problems, muscle fatigue and overweight.
Laurel Leaf essential oil has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties and can be used to treat scars, acne pimples, boils and scabies. Use as a tonic to the hair to aid with dandruff and stimulate hair growth. Laurel Leaf Oil has strong effects on the nervous system. Its anti-spasmodic and analgesic properties making it mildly narcotic. Along with its sedative properties, it is used for neuritis, depression, anxiety, fear, and psychosis. Its stimulating and warming properties produce fire and warmth in one’s emotions, bringing awareness, courage, and confidence.
For acne, dermatitis, and eczema, add a few drops to a carrier oil or lotion and apply directly to affected area. Use Patchouli as a deodorant or antiperspirant by adding 2-3 drops to a carrier oil and dabbing your underarms. Diffuse Patchouli essential oil into the air to help alleviate anxiety. For athletes foot or fungal infection, add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply to infected area.
Cajeput essential oil has long been used for sore throats and it’s antiviral action makes it a great option for cold sores. Use Cajeput to help with pain such as muscle stiffness, muscle cramping, and menstruation. Diffuse Cajeput essential oil to help relieve the symptoms from the flu or cold. It is also great to add to a bath or massage oil to help with aches and pains. For relief from an insect bite or skin ailment, add a small amount to your favorite carrier oil and apply twice a day.
Roman or German Chamomile
– Chamomile Roman essential oil is much known to help with insomnia. Use to ease aches and pains in muscles and joints. It is a relaxing oil and is great to help with stress. Diffuse Chamomile Roman essential oil into the air to help with stress, migraines, and depression. Add 1-3 drops each of Chamomile Roman and Chamomile German and 1 drop of Peppermint into a bath or favorite carrier oil to assist muscle aches or arthritis. Chamomile German (Blue) essential oil has calming properties. In research involving teenagers with ADHD, German Chamomile oil had a therapeutic effect. All evidence shows that this essential oil reduces stress. Chamomile German is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and can assist with nasal allergies, cuts, wounds and muscles, tendon and ligament pain. It is one of my favorite oils to dilute in bubble bath and add to a warm relaxing bath. Add equal amounts of German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, and Peppermint to your favorite carrier oil and gently massage to ease muscle or joint pain.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with a physician.
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