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Episode 214: Supporting a Healthy Immune System and the Oils Inside Balance

In this episode we sit down with Alex DaBell, Director of Nutraceutical Development and Innovation, to discuss what you can do to support your immune system. He'll talk about some lifestyle changes you can make, what you can do around the house, as well as some of his favorite doTERRA products, like Pink Pepper and On Guard, to take internally to help support a healthy immune system. Plus, we'll take a look at the incredible essential oils inside the doTERRA Balance blend.

This episode is sponsored by MetaPWR System, learn more about how you can get a free, exclusive copy of the doTERRA MetaPWR: The 3-Step System for Metabolic Health audiobook by purchasing a the MetaPWR System.


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doTERRA: As you race toward the end of the year, supporting your immune system is more important than ever. Today we'll learn some steps you can take to support a healthy immune system every day. Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. Today’s episode is brought to you by the MetaPWR System. Designed to help you live your most powerful life, this three-step system will be a game-changer in your daily routine as you embark on your journey to supporting a healthy metabolism.

Right now, as a podcast exclusive if you buy the MetaPWR System and enter the promo code PODCAST at checkout, we’ll send you an exclusive audiobook, doTERRA MetaPWR: The 3-Step System for Metabolic Health. Check out the link in our episode description or visit to learn more. Open to US orders only. Today we're excited to talk to Alex DaBell, Director of Nutraceutical Development and Innovation, about how to support your immune system. Plus, we'll take a look at the oils inside of our Balance blend.

Alex, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Alex DaBell: You bet. Happy to join you.

doTERRA: We are so excited to have you. And I want to jump right in with my first question of how does my metabolic health affect my immune system?

Metabolic Health and Your Immune System

Alex: And this is a great question. You know, when we think about metabolic health, usually we're thinking like the calories that we consume and the calories that we burn. But metabolic health is is much broader than that. And actually, it really relates to how our cells are functioning. So, the energy that our cells are consuming and generating and then the proteins and enzymes that those cells are synthesizing.

So, then the question becomes how does this metabolic process influence the immune system? Well, the immune system is our body's primary defense against our external environment. So, we think of like pathogens or organisms that can harm us, and this immune system, of course, includes like our skin for the external protection, but it also includes internal protection.

So, these are immune cells, are T-cells, antibodies, macrophages, and other types of cells. So, if we have poor metabolic health, then our body is really less efficient at creating and then supporting these immune cells that are so important to neutralizing all of the immune threats that we unfortunately encounter on a daily basis.

doTERRA: I mean, like you said, it's so fascinating to see how all of this is connected because it's not just about the calories we burn, it’s about how it affects every single piece of our body in the way it functions. I love getting kind of that behind-the-scenes look at the way our body functions.

Alex: Yeah, it's all connected. That's right.

doTERRA: Right. Now, we don't want to make it seem like you don't have control over, you know, how your body reacts to things, because we definitely can make some changes. So first, what are some lifestyle changes I can make to help support my immune system?

Lifestyle Changes

Alex: Yeah, I love what this kind of communicates, that we do have control. There are things that we can do to influence how we respond. And so, some of these behaviors that we choose to support our health and wellness and including our immune system. I think of choices like exercising, managing stress, getting enough sleep. And of course, our lifestyle also includes our diet, and supporting our immune systems relies heavily on our diet.

But a couple of the most important categories I think we can take care of to support our immune system include managing stress and getting adequate sleep. And there's a few ways that people approach this. But some people, for example, will get exercise to really help manage stress and then, you know, nurturing relationships and taking time out of your day to recreate and do fun things. These are all important steps that we can take.

And when it comes to our sleep, there really is no adequate replacement for getting enough sleep. You just have to prioritize getting that sleep that your body needs to recharge and then be ready to fight of the immune threats that you are going to encounter.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And so, beyond kind of our lifestyle changes in our everyday, what can we do around the house to help eliminate some of those environmental threats and stop them in their tracks?

Alex: Yeah, I love that word you mentioned, environmental. Right? These are the things that are all around us, and most of the immune threats that we deal with are originating outside our bodies. But there are ways that we can help, and this gives us really the best chance to have a nice, robust defensive immune response when we need it. So, things that we can do.

This includes cleaning our environment and we can do this in a couple of ways, right? We touch multiple surfaces all the time and so we can clean those services, we can clean our hands.

And then also we're breathing all day long. So, providing those best chances to support from the surfaces that we're touching, the air that we breathe, these become entry points to our body. And so, we want to we want to keep them as clean as possible.

doTERRA: Yes, I love all of that. So, we've covered lifestyle changes, we've covered how to adjust our environment to eliminate those environmental threats. What products can I take internally to help support my immune system?

Alex’s Favorite doTERRA Products for Immune Support

Alex: Yeah, it's a good question. You know, what can we do? We have this dilemma. So, you know, fortunately we do have a few products for internal use that support the immune system. And the one that, you know, comes to mind off the bat is just our On Guard product line. You know, the name On Guard. It speaks to the benefits of those products, the positioning of that product line as a defensive offering that's really priming our immune system.

But, before I speak a little bit about the On Guard product line, I want to touch on the foundation that we should be laying for our overall health and wellness. And this, of course, includes our immune system, right?

doTERRA: Mm hmm.

Alex: So, we get the most advantage when we are preparing our bodies to respond to the immune threats that they will inevitably encounter. So, this is where I mentioned that the diet and proper nutrition comes in. And this is, of course, where our Lifelong Vitality comes in.

So, a couple of notes on our Microplex VMZ, which is part of Lifelong Vitality. In Microplex VMZ, we have vital micronutrients. These are vitamins and minerals and they support our body's creation of the immune cells that we mentioned earlier, right? So, some of those micronutrients like vitamin C, and vitamin C has an incredible antioxidant capacity, and this becomes important when when we're fighting an immune response because free radicals are being generated.

And then we also think of like vitamin D, and it's a messenger molecule that supports the immune system in the ability to create antibodies. And then on the minerals side, we have elemental minerals such as Zinc. This is a cofactor in the creation of immune cells. So, each one of these immune-centric nutrients included in Lifelong Vitality are helping our bodies to establish what I think of as this immune baseline.

And so, from that baseline, of course, we're adding all of our On Guard product offering, which supports our immune system's ability to mount an appropriate immune response both inside and outside of our body.

doTERRA: I love that perspective of taking it back a step further and creating that foundation because it matters so much more than I think we expect it to. Making sure that we are supporting our body as much as we can before we ever get to a point where our immune system needs a little bit of extra support.

Alex: That's right. Yeah, it's not just about responding and reacting. We want to be proactive and do what we can ahead of time.

doTERRA: Yes. Now, before we end, we've talked about supplements and products, obviously On Guard is a huge one. But what about just essential oils? What are your favorite essential oils to take with you on the go during times when maybe environmental threats are a little bit higher?

Alex: Yeah, so you mentioned, and you reiterated there, the the On Guard and the role that it plays. And of course, I love all of our On Guard products. They're so helpful in traveling or out and about in the community. It's so good to have that extra support that I need internally and then on the surfaces that I'm come in contact with. But like you mentioned, the essential oils are such an integral part of our lifestyle and the choices there. So, I love to take Pink Pepper, I love using Pink Pepper.

I also I love our Wild Orange product and really any of the citrus. I love limonene so much and it's so like uplifting to me. So a couple that come to mind for me to use on the go Pink Pepper and then Wild Orange.

doTERRA: And those are wonderful, and they don't taste bad either, which is nice.

Alex: Yeah

doTERRA: It's easy enough to just add them to water or to a gel cap and just take those and you've got that support with you wherever you are.

Alex: That's right.

doTERRA: Alex, thank you so much for being with us today. We always love having you on and getting a little bit more science in our lives. We really appreciate it.

Alex: Oh, it's my pleasure to join you. Thanks.

doTERRA Balance

doTERRA's Grounding Blend, appropriately named doTERRA of Balance, offers a tranquil aroma, suggesting harmony to the mind and body. An incredible blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile and Osmanthus, this oil will bring you the grounding you need.

Today, we're going to talk about some internal historical uses for some of these plants. But we want to remind you that not all of these oils and blends are for internal use and should only be used aromatically or topically.

Any internal benefits discussed for the individual oils in the blend are not applicable to aromatic or topical use. Also, various plant parts such as the leaves, bark, flower, stem, fruit peel, bud, resin, etc. were often used for many different practices and benefits throughout history. These historical uses are mentioned here to offer insight as we explore the history of oils and plants. As such, these ancient uses are solely for informational purposes and are not being advocated or recommended by doTERRA. Proceed at your own risk with such uses.


First, we have spruce, a tree that has been prized for thousands of years, in fact, deep in the mountains of western Sweden scientists have found a Norway spruce that has, by reproducing through layering, reached an age of over 9,500 years and is claimed to be the world's oldest known living tree.

The spruce has also been used heavily in natural wellness practices and survival situations. Spruce needles can be directly ingested or boiled into a tea. Also, water is stored in a spruce as needles providing an alternative means of hydration.

It has also been used in cuisine and manufacturing in Finland. Young spruce buds are sometimes used as a spice or boiled with sugar to create spruce bud syrup. Spruce is the standard material used in sound boards for many musical instruments, including guitars, mandolins, cellos, violins and the soundboard at the heart of a piano. And the heartwood used for this purpose is often referred to as tone wood.

Native Americans in North America use the thin, pliable roots of some species of spruce for weaving baskets and for sewing together pieces of birch bark for canoes. With all of its many uses, it's no wonder the spruce is so valued.

Ho Wood

Next is Ho Wood. Known as cinnamomum camphora linalooliferum, it is an evergreen tree and part of the Lauraceae family, which includes other plants like cinnamon, cassia, ravintsara, and even the avocado.

Native to China, Japan and Taiwan, with a spreading canopy made of glossy, bright green aromatic leaves. Ho Wood trees have been prized throughout history. The pale wood of the tree is naturally insect resistant, and its long lasting aroma and delicate texture have made it useful in construction and cabinet making. It's also been used for wood carvings in temples and shrines throughout history. Ho Wood comes from the bark, leaves, and berries of the tree and has been known for its amazing ability to blend well with other oils.

It brings a delightful woody sent to the Balance blend.


Next, we have frankincense. The English word for frankincense derives from the old French expression franc encens, meaning high quality incense with the word franc, an old English meaning noble or pure.

The Boswellia trees from which the frankincense resin is gathered, are considered unusual because they have the amazing ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that they sometimes grow out of solid rock.

Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 6,000 years. Its use was characteristic in religious rights throughout Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean from the earliest antiquity. The Babylonians and Assyrians would burn frankincense in religious ceremonies.

The Egyptians placed it in the body cavities in the mummification process. In fact, the ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians using them in incense, perfume, and salves. Frankincense is also used in traditional Persian wellness practices.

The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts of the resins, which they burned as incense used during cremations and prescribed heavily in their traditional wellness practices. Frankincense is used to this day in many Christian churches, including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Catholic churches.

Christian and Islamic Abrahamic faiths have all used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants, initiates, as well as members entering into new phases of their spiritual lives.

Blue Tansy

And then we have the floral notes in Balance. First is blue tansy. Blue tansy is actually derived from a yellow flower, but it gets its name from its deep indigo blue color. And the thing responsible for this color is a chemical compound called chamazulene.

The very interesting thing about chamazulene is that it's a result of the steam distillation process. In short, chamazulene occurs when the natural elements in the tansy plant react to the hot water vapor.

Tansy has been used in history for embalming and funeral practices. It was packed into coffins, wrapped in funeral winding sheets, and tansy wreaths were sometimes placed on the dead. Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard University, was buried wearing a tansy wreath in a coffin packed with tansy. When the cemetery was moved in 1846, the tansy had maintained its shape and fragrance, helping to identify the president's remains. Now its beautiful floral fragrance plays an important role in the Balance blend.

Blue Chamomile

Our next floral note is blue chamomile. Blue chamomile is also known as German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile, or scented mayweed. The flowers contain a blue essential oil that give them their characteristic smell and interesting properties. Just like blue tansy, the blue characteristic of the oil is an attribute of the chamazulene it contains and explains why the plant is known as blue chamomile.

The Latin name of blue chamomile is Matricaria chamomilla. In Latin, one of the meanings of matrix is womb. The Matricaria was given to the genus, most likely because of the plant's use in the traditional wellness practices of women. Blue chamomile is native to Europe, North Africa, and some parts of Asia and is closely related to the Roman chamomile. Chamomile has been well known throughout Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Its popularity grew through the Middle Ages when it became highly valued in traditional wellness practices. Far past the Middle Ages, chamomile is one of the most popular wellness herbs in Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures.


Finally, we have Osmanthus. Historical records show that osmanthus has been cultivated in China for more than 2,500 years, where it has beautiful symbolism and meaning. The blossoming of the sweet osmanthus is closely associated with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and osmanthus wine is a traditional choice for the reunion wine drunk with one's family.

Chinese mythology held that sweet osmanthus grows on the moon and was endlessly cut by Wu Gang. Some versions held that he was forced to cut it every 1000 years, lest its luxuriant growth overshadow the moon itself. Others that he was obliged to cut it constantly, only to see it regrow an equal amount every day.

To this day, osmanthus symbolizes true love, faithfulness, fertility and peace, which is why it's often used in wedding bouquets and floral design. In Chinese culture, the flowers are used in weddings or given as a gift from a bride to her new family representing peace. And in the language of flowers, osmanthus flowers carry the meaning of good fortune, prosperity and nobility.

All of these oils come together to create the Balance grounding blend. It is a powerful blend that we know you and your family will love.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today. And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

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