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Open AccessReview

Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System

1
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Medical School, University of Pecs, Ifjusag utja 13., 7624 Pecs, Hungary
2
Neurobiology of Stress Research Group, Szentagothai Research Centre, University of Pecs, Ifjusag utja 20., 7624 Pecs, Hungary
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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School, University of Pecs, Szigeti ut 12., 7624 Pecs, Hungary
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Department of Immunology and Biotechnology, Medical School, University of Pecs, Szigeti ut 12., 7624 Pecs, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4530; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244530
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 7 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
The augmenting acceptance and application of herbal medicine in prevention and treatment of diseases also involve the use of plant essential oils (EOs) through different routes of administration (aromatherapy). Scientific data supporting the efficacy of certain herbal products are continuously growing; however, the cumulative evidence is not always sufficient. The anti-inflammatory properties of EOs have been investigated more extensively and also reviewed in different settings, but so far, our review is the first to summarize the immune-supporting properties of EOs. Our aim here is to synthesize the currently available data on the immune function enhancing effects of EOs. An online search was conducted in the PubMed database, which was terminated at the end of July 2019. Other articles were found in the reference lists of the preselected papers. Studies that applied whole EOs with known components, or single EO constituents under in vitro or in vivo laboratory conditions, or in human studies, and de facto measured parameters related to immune function as outcome measures were included. Two specific fields, EO dietary supplementation for livestock and fish, and forest bathing are also explored. Some EOs, particularly eucalyptus and ginger, seem to have immune function enhancing properties in multiple studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential oils; herbal medicine; immune system; immune functions; immune enhancement; dietary supplementation; forest bathing; eucalyptus; ginger essential oils; herbal medicine; immune system; immune functions; immune enhancement; dietary supplementation; forest bathing; eucalyptus; ginger
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Peterfalvi, A.; Miko, E.; Nagy, T.; Reger, B.; Simon, D.; Miseta, A.; Czéh, B.; Szereday, L. Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System. Molecules 2019, 24, 4530.

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