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Essential Oils for Autoimmunity

By Jodi Cohen

A woman in a purple sweater looking stressed or in discomfort, with one hand on her forehead and the other on her neck.

If you or any of your loved ones are currently struggling with a chronic health condition, it could be connected to poor gut health and immune system imbalances that often lead to autoimmune conditions. There are Essential Oils for autoimmunity that can help you.


Essential Oils for Autoimmunity

Fortunately, topically applied essential oils can help to mitigate and heal the underlying imbalances that contribute to auto immunity, allowing you to heal from or avoid the issue altogether.


What is an Autoimmune Disease?

An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, begins to attack its own healthy cells and tissues, often causing prolonged systemic inflammation and subsequent tissue destruction.  Common autoimmune disorders include:

  • Thyroid disorders, like Hashimotos
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Celiac disease



Early Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease

Auto Immune conditions often present as a result of chronic system inflammation and high stress over long periods of time. Early symptoms of potential auto immunity can include:

  • Unexplained fatigue during the day
  • Mysterious Pain, or any other vague inflammatory symptoms
  • Weight gain, or a spare tire around the middle
  • Unexplained Anxiety or Depression
  • Mood and energy swings
  • Brain fog, lack of concentration
  • Food allergies/Food Intolerances
  • Reliance on stimulants like caffeine
  • Cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Pimples, rashes, dry skin and other skin issues
  • Frequently under the weather
  • Nutrient deficiencies

Returning the body to balance at the first sign of these symptoms can help mitigate or avoid an auto immune reaction.


Support Autoimmune Diseases with Essential Oils

There are many underlying factors that can contribute to an autoimmune condition, including poor diet, food intolerances and chronic inflammation in the gut, chronic and prolonged stress, high levels of toxins or infections coupled with poor detoxification.  Addressing these root causes may help to stop or reverse the disease and associated symptoms.

Topically applied Essential Oils may help support the treatment of autoimmune disorders, by both balancing the organs under stress and circumventing an inflamed gut which is often unable to properly assimilate healing nutrients.


Essential Oils for the Gut

A healthy gut is the key to a healthy immune system because more than 80% of your immune system lives in the gut.   The gut is designed to be selectively permeable, allowing it to both assimilate nutrients from food and keep bacteria, pathogens, and undigested food out of the blood stream.  This intestinal permeability is maintained by tight junctions in the lining of the intestinal wall.

Unfortunately, stressors like diet, toxins, medications, infections, and emotional and physical stress can cause these tight junctions to break apart, leading to intestinal inflammation, known as leaky gut, where toxins, pathogens and undigested food particles can leak into the bloodstream and trigger an immune response and the systemic inflammation that often leads to autoimmunity.

At the same time, damage to the intestinal lining impairs the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate vital nutrients like healthy fats that help the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamins A, E, D and K.  Even when taken in supplemental form, the full benefit of fat-soluble nutrients will not be realized until the gut is healed.

To help heal the gut, consider Vibrant Blue Oils Gut Repair Kit™, including Parasympathetic® to help induce the healing parasympathetic rest and digest state, Intestinal Mucosa™ to help repair the gut lining and Anti Inflammatory™ which may help reduce gut inflammation.  Lavender™, Frankincense™, and Tea Tree™ oils are also known for their Anti-Inflammatory properties.


Essential Oils for Stress

Physical, emotional or mental stress can often be the tipping point that triggers autoimmune disease.  The stress hormone cortisol down regulates the immune system and can damage the gut.  As part of a vicious cycle, gut inflammation can also trigger a stress response as any stress that inflames the digestive tract causes our body to produce increased levels of cortisol that in turn further revs up inflammation, suppresses our immune response and triggers a catabolic/breakdown state in our body that can lead to fatigue, depression, loss of sex drive, allergies, and illness.

To make matters worse, the digestive system effectively shuts down during a stress response.  Blood is routed away from the digestive organs toward the limbs to allow you to effectively flee from a predator, in essence shutting down the digestive system.   In this vulnerable state when the digestive system is suppressed or shut down, and the immune system is also suppressed, harmful bacteria are able to multiply unchecked. The digestive system is temporarily unable to fight off bad bacteria by producing enough good bacteria to combat them, which can lead to imbalances in your gut flora.

What’s more, a shortage of good bacteria and an excess of yeast or bad bacteria can actually cause you to experience more stress because 95% of the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in the gut, and this production is slowed when you’re battling yeast overgrowth, a parasite, or other gut problems.

Our bodies are designed to manage short bursts of acute stress, where the short-term inflammatory response temporarily boosts your immune system, giving the body the energy to support an immune response. Unfortunately, the chronic stress state that most of us live in does not allow us to drop into the Parasympathetic “rest and digest” state where the body can rest, recover and repair.

As a result, your body continuously cycles through periods of high inflammation, which can damage the gut lining, and a suppressed immune system. If this high level of inflammation continues over time, it can trigger an autoimmune response.

To help support the body in its stress response, consider the Parasympathetic® blend or Stress Support Kit™, including Adrenal® blend to balance the adrenals, Hypothalamus™ to help reset the stress response at its root in the brain and Circadian Rhythm® to support optimal sleep cycles.  You might also consider Emotion Balance blends to help address the root cause of stress.



One key trigger in auto immunity is high levels of toxins that can include everything from heavy metals to toxic chemicals in our food, air, home and water.

If your detoxification abilities are over taxed, toxins are not eliminated and can recirculate through the body affecting the body’s ability to function and presenting like symptoms such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, allergies, asthma, joint pain, skin problems, headaches or the inability to concentrate.  Inadequate detoxification can also contribute to the onset of degenerative diseases, including auto immune conditions.

The liver and gall bladder are key organs of detoxification and their ability to eliminate harmful substances is critical to our body’s ability to heal.  The liver serves as the primary filter for all waste products in the body.  But if the body has to handle too many toxins, the filter becomes overwhelmed, clogged and unable to discard these toxic compounds fast enough further stimulating an already overtaxed immune system.  An over-stimulated immune system then produces excessive inflammatory chemicals and antibodies, which attack the body’s own tissues/cells.

Autoimmune conditions can also compromise liver function as an impaired gut compromises our ability to digest, absorb and assimilate protein which then results deficiencies in amino acids that are critical for Phase II detoxification.

Amino acids are also vital for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Low levels if amino acids result in low levels of neurotransmitters which directly effects how we think and feel.

To help support optimal detoxification, consider the Detox Support Kit™ which includes oils to support the organs of digestion including Liver™, Gall Bladder™ and Parasympathetic®.  Other oils that may help support optimal detoxification are Lymph™ to help move waste out of the extra cellular lymphatic fluid, Liver Support™ to support the negative emotions associated with the liver.  You might also consider Healing Baths to help support optimal detoxification.



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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.