In light of current concerns over coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and an overall recent increase in exposure to harmful viruses, ‘superbug’ bacteria and parasites, there is no better time to focus our attention on tried and true preventative lifestyle activities to boost our immune system. With a robust immune system, we are much better equipped to overwhelm and repel any exposure to these potentially harmful influences.
In this regard, we can all agree about the amazing immune-boosting benefits of certain essential oils.
Studies involving essential oils such as bergamot, eucalyptus, geranium, cinnamon, lemongrass and thyme demonstrated all of them to be extremely effective against influenza virus after only 10-30 minutes of exposure.
While cinnamon possessed the most potent anti-influenza activity in both liquid and vapour form, all of the studies concluded that the vapourised form of essential oils displayed the most prominent and effective antiviral and antimicrobial effects. In this regard, Eucalyptus displayed the most significant activity against influenza virus after only 10 minutes, while the other essential oils showed activity after 30 minutes. Additionally, the essential oil vapours studied displayed no measurable adverse effect on lung epithelial cells.
An Australian study demonstrated that vapourised tea tree oil was also very effective as an antiviral for airborne influenza virus. The study found tea tree oil was able to achieve complete virus inactivation and concluded that tea tree oil in a mist spray may also be used on a filter surface (such as a face mask or air conditioning filter) to achieve optimal antiviral activity.
Herbal Antibiotics: plant medicine has an important role to play in protecting against and treating ‘superbugs’.
As the United States Center of Disease Control has made clear, antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest global health threats facing humanity now and in the future to come. Our reliance on antibiotics and the overuse as a result has not led to a healthier population but rather to widespread antibiotic resistance and a breakdown of the human immune system. A return to a more simple immune system building approach, using herbal antibiotics and botanicals, is perhaps the most timely and responsible measure we can take in order to safeguard our health and of the generations yet to come.
Lesley Braun and Marc Cohen Herbs & Natural Supplements - An evidence based guide
Vimalanathan S et al. Anti-influenza virus activity of essential oils and vapors. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products. 2014;2(1):47-53.
Pyankov QV et al. Inactivation of airborne influenza virus by tea tree and eucalyptus oils. Aerosol Science and Technology. 2012;46:1295-1302. doi: 10.1080/02786826.2012.708948
2013 CDC Annual Report: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/ar-threats-2013-508.pdf
The Antibiotic Alternative: The Natural Guide to Fighting Infection and Maintaining a Healthy Immune System by Cindy L. A.Jones