As I’ve discussed in previous posts, my immune system is shot. Between a poorly functioning gut and then chemo on top of it, my body’s natural defenses are extremely limited. So, when “the nasties” are floating around, I’m doing everything I can to provide myself with daily immune system support — and keep the rest of my family healthy, too!
With school getting back in session and the holidays just around the corner (can you even believe that?!), many of you are looking for ways to support your immune systems, as well. So, here are my top 5 daily immune system support recipes to get you stocked up and ready for whatever nasties may threaten you and yours.
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As always, I am not a health professional, and I do not play one on the internet. I am simply a mom sharing her best tips and tricks for supporting her family’s health and wellness. Always talk with your doctor before beginning a new wellness routine — bonus points if you can find a holistic practitioner or Functional Medicine doctor near you! View my complete terms & conditions here.
By the way, have you snagged your copy of the Herb & Essential Oil Super Bundle yet? If not, go get it NOW! I have yet to find another LIBRARY of completely brand-neutral essential oil education materials of THIS quality for THIS price. (Hint: it’s less than $50 for over $800 worth of eBooks, eCourses, & more!)
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So, hurry up and click over to snag your bundle before it’s gone! This post will still be here when you get back. 😊
Got your bundle? Okay, let’s dive in to these daily immune system support recipes!
Sneak Peek: These recipes and MORE will be in my upcoming eBook about essential oil usage for beginners. I can’t wait for you to see it! Stay tuned for more sneak peeks and the latest on the eBook launch. 😃
Here are my top 5 recipes for daily immune system support:
1) OnGuard Foaming Hand Soap
As I mentioned in this post about my top 10 DIY essential oil recipes for the body, adding OnGuard to our unbelievably simple hand soap gives us an extra layer of protection as we wash those nasties down the drain.
Not only am I getting this extra support, my husband and daughter are, too! The moment we walk in the door, we all go wash our hands to ensure we’re not spreading nasties around the house as we touch door knobs and light switches. (I might be a slight germaphobe at this point… 😬)
You can get the full recipe in this post, though it’s a stretch to call it a “recipe.” It’s so easy my 4-year-old can make it (with supervision)! 😜
2) Bath Salts
One of the ways we help our daughter’s immune system stay strong is with her nightly bath salts. Not only does she get a boost of magnesium to help her sleep, she also gets a tiny dose of protective and calming oils and trace minerals as she splashes and plays in the water.
We can definitely tell a difference when we forget to add these salts! She doesn’t fall asleep quite as easily, and bedtime tends to be more of an ordeal. We LOVE our bath salts!
- 3 c. epsom salts
- 1/4 c. Real Salt (NOT plain table salt!)
- 8 drops OnGuard
- 8 drops Vetiver
- 8 drops Lavender
- coconut oil (or other bath oil)
- Add salts to 1-quart glass jar, then add EOs.
- Shake, shake, shake until you can see the Real Salt is well distributed throughout the epsom salts. (Your EOs will be, too — it’s just easier to see the Real Salt!)
- Stir 1/4 c. bath salts into warm tub water and soak or splash for 20-30 minutes. Adults could use up to one full cup of salts, if desired.
- To prevent sensitization, include 1T coconut oil or other preferred bath oil to water. Be careful: It DOES make the tub slick!
Bonus tip: If your tap water is unfiltered and chlorinated, you can add 1/4 c. baking soda to the mix to help neutralize it.
3) After-Bath Moisturizer
Another great way to support the whole family’s immune systems and promote restful sleep is with this after-bath moisturizer. It protects the skin from drying out — particularly helpful if you or your child have sensitive skin, but need to bathe daily — and gives us that tiny boost from the EOs.
Ah… Beautiful, beautiful sleep… 😴
- Melt coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Add EOs and stir well to combine. (I use a large craft stick to stir the coconut oil as it’s melting, as well as to stir in the EOs. Super easy clean-up — just throw it away!)
- Apply liberally to skin, paying special attention to the bottoms of the feet and down the spine.
4) Bedtime Foot Massage
This blend is my favorite for bedtime. Currently, I use OnGuard and Frankincense for immune support, but I may start adding or rotating with Serenity or Vetiver to help me calm down and go to sleep a little easier. (My anxiety has been messing with me lately, and I could use a little extra support there. I’ll keep you posted if I find a blend that really helps with that particular issue!)
- 12 drops OnGuard
- 12 drops Frankincense
- Top off with Fractionated Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or whatever liquid moisturizer you like on your feet!)
- Combine ingredients in 4oz. glass, dropper-top bottle.
- Massage 1-2 droppers full of oil blend onto bottoms of feet just before bed.
- Cover with socks to avoid making your floors slick & getting your sheets icky. (Yes, we sleep like old people over here. 😜)
5) Overnight Diffusers
We keep diffusers by every bed in our house — plus another in the living room. We LOVE our diffusers! Our bodies do their biggest repair work while we sleep, so diffusing overnight helps support our bodies as they do their jobs.
Each of us has a different blend we prefer — and our preferences change depending on what we’re dealing with at that point in time, but one thing is constant: OnGuard! I switch up most of our EOs, but OnGuard is a nightly MUST.
Just add 4-10 drops of your preferred EOs to the water in your diffuser right before bed. For littles, I only use 4-5 drops of EOs. For adults, we use up to 10 drops. If you have a large enough tank on your diffuser, it may be able to run all night! Mine lasts generally until about 5 or 6am, which is good enough for me.
- 1-2 drops OnGuard (for immune support)
- 1-2 drops Breathe (for respiratory support)
- 1-2 drops Serenity (to promote restful sleep)
- 1-2 drops Seasonal Savior blend (for seasonal issues — Grab the recipe with my FREE Home Health Arsenal recipe cards here!)
- 1-2 drops DigestZen (for sinus and respiratory support)
- 1-2 drops Frankincense (as a booster for any other oils you’re using or extra immune support)
A Quick Note on Safety
While I do believe we need daily immune system support, when it comes to essential oils, it’s important to take some extra precautions.
Actually, EOs shouldn’t even be our primary source of immune support! Our EOs are fantastic, but even the best EOs can’t make up for a poor diet! Check out my post on Nourishing the Body During and After Chemo for more natural ways to provide daily immune system support.
You’ll notice the dilutions in all the above recipes are extremely low — typically less than 1%. Since we use these oils EVERY DAY, it’s important to keep the dilutions low to avoid sensitization and to make sure our oils are always effective when we need them.
Sensitization simply means our bodies start reacting adversely to one or more essential oils due to overuse or improper dilution. While there doesn’t seem to be any major consensus as to what dilution levels are safe for acute usage, most experts recommend dilutions less than 1-2% for daily use. I try to stick with 1% or less for adults, and definitely less than 1% for littles.
I don’t ever want there to be a time I need these oils and can’t use them!
You can learn more about sensitization and EO safety here:
- Sensitization – What Is It and How to Reduce the Risk – from Aromatherapy United
- What is Sensitization? – from Plant Therapy
- Safety – from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
- Herb & Essential Oil Super Bundle – from Ultimate Bundles (available for a limited time — with an entire category of resources devoted to essential oils safety. Grab your copy while you can!)
Frequency & Rest
Another way to reduce the chances of sensitization with your favorite EOs is to give your body a break from them. Some experts say to use an oil for two weeks, and then give your body two weeks to rest from it. Others say 10 days on, 1-2 days off is enough.
The bottom line seems to be that we need to give our bodies a chance to rest periodically and not use the same oils every single day.
Now, as I said at the beginning of this post, we use OnGuard daily for immune support. I do keep the dilutions extremely low, so I don’t worry too badly about it. But the more research I do, the more I think this period of rest is important.
I’m constantly learning more about how to use my EOs safely and effectively, so I’ll keep you posted on how our usage changes as we go! 😊
If giving your body a chance to rest is important to you, here are some suggestions:
- Substitute Wild Orange for OnGuard in your hand soap every other refill.
- Use plain epsom salts in your bath 1-2 nights a week — or skip them entirely.
- Use plain coconut oil or olive oil as an after-bath moisturizer most of the time and only use the recipe above if you know you’ll have a hard time sleeping or have been exposed to some sort of nastiness recently. (If you’re using a gentle castile or goat milk soap, you may not even need a moisturizer ever day!)
- Rotate the oils you put in your overnight diffuser instead of combining them.
- Boost your Vitamin C intake with elderberry syrup and other whole food nutrition on days you are resting from EO usage!
What are some other methods you use to provide daily immune system support for your family?