Essential Oils for Detox
One of the most important pillars of health is detoxification. Without clear detox pathways our bodies become burdened by the toxic overload of our day to day lives. Unless you live a very clean lifestyle, get enough sleep, have very little stress, have great digestion, and get outdoors regularly then you probably have some form of impaired detoxification.
The Types of Detox Pathways and the Best Essential Oils for Detox
There are many pathways of elimination in the body that help keep us healthy and clean. Some of them may be surprising but are no less important. In fact they may even be one of the most important detox pathways to clear up right away.
The Top 9 Elimination Pathways Are:
Having regular and healthy bowel movements 3-4 times a day is incredibly important for your overall health. 80% of your immune system is housed within and around the colon so an impaired digestive tract means more frequent colds and in the worst case scenario- could even lead to cancer. A lot of prescribed and OTC medications cause constipation or harm our intestinal flora making it more difficult to utilize nutrients and eliminate properly. A diet lacking lots of spring water and fresh fruits and vegetables also contributes to an unhealthy colon.
The Best Essential Oils for Colon Detox
• Anise– Stimulate bile to help you digest fats
• Cypress– Helps to promote good digestion and eliminate gas in the colon. Also helps excess water and toxicity from the body through the bowel
• A blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. This blend covers just about all the bases for good digestion and elimination
• Fennel– Helps stimulate the stomach before eating to ensure proper acid levels needed for digestion. Also helps with bloating
• Ginger– Helps prevent the fermentation of foods in the colon. Good for cramps
• Marjoram-Increases digestive enzymes and saliva. Increases appetite and eliminates gas and bloating. Relieves cramps, constipation, and diarrhea
• Patchouli– Reduces fluid retention and bloating
• Peppermint– Improves overall digestion. Calms digestive upset like cramping and bloating
• Wintergreen– Another oil that calms digestive upset. Also relieves cramps (this is a very strong oil. Dilute properly)
How to Use these Oils
Apply a roll on blend of any of these oils (3 drops of essential oil in carrier oil like fractionated coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, etc. You may need more dilution for wintergreen (try just one drop)) on the shins (right along the tibia bone), bottoms of the feet (the arch), and on the abdominal area over the large intestine. Do this before heavy meals or when discomfort is felt to help relieve symptoms.
You can also use the Parasympathetic Blend before eating to help prevent digestive distress related to stress.
This can be one of the most toxic elimination pathways because of its detrimental effects on the entire body. Not being able to move on or let go of past grievances can really wreak havoc on your system, especially the liver. According to Chinese Medicine, the liver is where you hold on to negative emotions like anger, jealousy, and hate. Refusing to let these emotions and toxic thoughts go creates the perfect snowball effect toward imbalance.
Some of the best ways to help you get through emotional detox is to find someone who lets you vent, taking it physically through exercise or through meditation and self-love practices. And of course, there are essential oils.
The Best Essential Oils for Emotional Detox
The essential oils below will help you release unwanted unprocessed emotions allowing you to let go and heal. Simply inhale them for 3 long breaths straight from the bottle, apply them over the heart (in a roll on- 44 drops essential oil in 44 drops carrier oil), or diffuse them into the air.
• Aggression– Bergamot, roman chamomile, lemon, rosemary, ylang ylang
• Anger- Jasmine, roman chamomile, palma rosa, rose, rosemary, ylang ylang
• Anxiety– Bergamot, geranium, lavender, orange, tangerine, lemon, neroli, vetiver, roman chamomile
• Disappointment– Bergamot, cypress, jasmine, orange, rose, frankincense
• Fear– Cedarwood, fennel, ginger, thyme, patchouli, sandalwood
• Grief– Bergamot, roman chamomile, jasmine, marjoram, rose, neroli
• Hysteria– Roman chamomile, lavender, orange, neroli, rose, tea tree
• Impatience– Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage, frankincense
• Indecision– Clary sage, basil, cypress, jasmine, patchouli, peppermint
• Jealousy– Jasmine, rose, geranium
• Loneliness– Marjoram, rose
• Nervousness– Roman chamomile, clary sage, coriander, frankincense, orange, neroli, vetiver, lemon
• Panic– Roman chamomile, clary sage, jasmine, geranium, lavender, neroli, ylang ylang, juniper
• Sadness– Jasmine, rose, geranium
• Shock– Lavender, neroli, rose, tea tree
• Stress– Lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, clary sage, geranium, lavender, neroli, melissa, petitgrain, rose, rose otto, rosemary, vetiver, ylang ylang
• Suspicion– Lavender, jasmine
One of the best herbs to help you along the way is holy basil. This herb is great because it allows you to deal with stress in the best way possible. I also recommend this tea for everyday relaxation.
The gallbladder is responsible for storing, releasing, and concentrating bile, a fluid produced in the liver that helps our body break down fat as well as carry toxins and old hormones out of the body. When our bile becomes too viscous it disrupts this essential flow and elimination process. This can be caused by a very low-fat diet, too much toxicity in the body, estrogen dominance, or chronic stress. The gallbladder is also another organ that holds onto negative emotions like resentment, anger, bitterness, and hate.
The most common symptoms of an impaired gallbladder include:
• Chronically dry skin, hair, and nails
• Green or floating stools and diarrhea- signs of poor fat breakdown
• Headache above the eyes
• Heartburn, gas, and bloating after eating
• Pain between the shoulder blades
• Pain in the mid to upper abdomen
The Best Essential Oils for Gallbladder Detox
These oils can be applied topically as a roll-on over the gallbladder (right side below the ribs) or deeply inhale for 3 breaths before meals. My favorite blend includes german chamomile, roman chamomile, and frankincense– 2 drops of essential oil in carrier oil. You can also get the Gallbladder blend here if you don’t want to make your own.
• Black Cumin– Helps dissolve gallbladder stones. A great digestive aid
• Cypress– Soothes emotional trauma and calms anger
• Frankincense– Helps with emotional release and balance
• German Chamomile– Stimulates the gallbladder and improves bile flow
• Lemon– Helps dissolve gallstones
• Nutmeg– prevents and dissolves gallstones
• Roman chamomile– One of the deepest detoxifying oils. It helps relieve toxicity in the digestive tract and nervous tension
• Rosewood– Supports nervous depression and helps you release negative energy
• Yarrow– Encourages the flow of bile out of the gallbladder
I also recommend taking herbal bitters before every meal to help stimulate healthy bile release. I love this brand.
This type of toxicity is usually caused by other organs getting backed up or an overabundance of negative emotions. Typically hormonal imbalance stems from a poor lifestyle like having chronic stress, eating unhealthy foods, or not getting enough sleep. When this happens our colon becomes sluggish and our liver becomes burdened with the toxic overload. A burdened liver leads to recirculated hormones which become dominant. This often causes acne, a poor attitude, dry hair and nails, low libido, weight gain, and of course, toxicity in the body. If your skin breaks out a lot then this may be an area of concern.
Some healthy lifestyle changes to aid hormonal detox include:
• Eating broccoli sprouts daily
• Eat one raw carrot a day (learn why here)
• Juicing daily or several times a week (using mostly vegetables)
• Take turmeric and milk thistle to help your liver filter out excess hormones
• Eat healthy foods with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
• Stress less
• Sleep more
The Best Essential Oils for Hormonal Detox
These oils are best used right over the liver (right side below the breast) or on either side of the throat. I like to use them 2-3 times per day as needed but especially in the mornings. Choose freely from the list below to suit your needs.
• Basil– An amazing nerve tonic that helps the body deal with emotional and physical stress
• Frankincense– Helps lower cortisol levels by reducing inflammation
• Geranium– Stimulates lymphatic drainage to help the body release toxins
• Holy basil– Reduces stress including stress-induced insomnia
• Sage– Activates the adrenal cortex and lowers stress
• Ylang ylang– Soothes the nervous system and balances the mood
You can also get the Hormone Balance Blend here.
This organ is the most notorious for holding onto bad energy. Every negative emotion you feel gets stuck in the liver if not released properly through good lifestyle changes. Over time these emotional blocks cause the liver to become sluggish as it holds onto traumatic experiences, anger, fear, and frustration.
An overburdened liver can come from a number of things other than negative emotions like poor diet, not enough sleep, chronic stress, lack of meaningful daily movement other than exercise, and the overuse of medications. All of these things can increase to the toxic burden on the liver. The best way to support your liver is simple: eat healthily, stay hydrated, stress less, get moving, and get meaningful sleep. My top herbs for gentle liver detox will help you along the way.
Two of my favorites are:
• Milk thistle
• Turmeric (with black pepper)
The Best Essential Oils for Liver Detox
These oils can be applied right over the liver (right side beneath the breast) 2-3 times per day for best results. One of my favorite methods is to use them in a castor oil pack. To do this just add 3 drops of your custom blend to 1 tsp of castor oil and rub it over the liver. Apply a piece of flannel over the oil and cover with plastic wrap (you can wrap this around the entire torso if desired) and apply a heating pad for 20-30 minutes. Do this 1-2 times a week as needed for deep detox.
• A blend of helichrysum, ledum, and celery seed to help promote a healthy liver
• A blend of helichrysum, geranium, roman chamomile, fennel, rosemary, and blue tansy. These oils together help balance and rejuvenate the liver by helping you detox physically and emotionally.
• Cypress– Relieves liver congestion
• Fennel– Has a tonic effect on the liver
• German chamomile– Stimulates the liver to release toxins
• Helichrysum– Helps regenerate the liver
• Juniper– Helps detox the liver
• Lemon– Helps eliminate liver congestion
• Peppermint– Increases healthy bile flow from the liver
• Rosemary– Cleanses the blood and helps the liver flush toxins
• Thyme– Another great liver decongestant
You can also check out my article on how to detox the liver using essential oils here.
Our lymphatic system is one of our body’s first lines of defense against sickness and disease. The lymphatic system contains lymph nodes throughout the body in the neck, chest, underarms, abdomen, and groin. Unlike our cardiovascular system, it doesn’t have a way to circulate throughout the body so we must move around daily in order to help our lymph drain. If the lymphatic system becomes stagnant it’s really easy for excess toxins to accumulate. It is common for the lymph to begin draining its toxic overload into the mucus membranes and is the cause of every form of illness ending in “itis”.
The most common sign of lymphatic stagnation are:
• Brain fog
• Cold hands and feet
• Dry itchy skin
• Puffy eyes
• Sinus congestion or a stuffy head
• Stiffness in the morning
• Swollen breasts during each menstrual cycle
• Water retention
Some of the best lifestyle changes to make to help increase lymphatic flow and drainage include:
• Dry brushing- I like this brush
• Lymphatic deep breathing through the diaphragm
• Lymphatic massage
• Near-infrared sauna
• Rebounding- I like this one
• Yin yoga
Try doing one of these daily to help your body detox on a cellular level. I personally love using the dry brushing technique as it’s simple and makes your skin so soft!
The Best Essential Oils for Lymphatic Detox
I love these oil choices because they are easy for everyone to get. Apply them to the sides of the throat and under the arms for best results. I love making my own deodorant using these oils for an easy no-brainer application I can use daily. You can also make a simple roll on with 44 drops of any of the essential oils below in 44 drops of carrier oil like sweet almond, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba…etc. You can also add the NON-citrus oils (due to photosensitivity) to your favorite all natural body lotion.
• Ginger– A warming oil that helps stimulate circulation
• Grapefruit – Stimulates lymph drainage
• Lemon– Stimulates lymph drainage
• Orange– Stimulates lymph drainage
• Peppermint– Increases circulation and lymph node drainage
• Rosemary– Increases circulation and lymph node drainage
• Spearmint– Increases circulation and lymph node drainage and blood circulation
You can also read my how to detox the lymphatic system using essential oils here.
Everyone knows that the skin is our largest organ and it’s easy to notice changes in its elasticity, dryness, color, and clarity. Here’s the thing, if you’re using healthy skincare your skin itself doesn’t need to be detoxed. When we exhibit symptoms on the surface like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, rashes, and other reactions, it’s telling us something is wrong on the inside. Pinpointing what that is exactly is the hard part since it can correlate with any of the 9 detox pathways I’ve discussed in this article.
My best advice is to look at your lifestyle choices. Diet, sleep, emotions, physical activity…they all have an effect on our health. Get up and get moving if you sit at a desk all day. Find ways to release pent-up emotions in a healthy way. Make sure you’re going number 2 at least once per day. Have a care for your liver. All these things are intimately intertwined. One imbalance leads to another and another.
Our skin gives us a clear look at imbalances on the inside. Your next step it to determine what it means by looking at the 8 other elimination pathways I discuss in this article.
Even though the spleen is technically part of the lymphatic system it is still an important organ to focus on. The spleen is responsible for filtering blood in much the same way as the lymph nodes filter lymph fluid. When there are pathogens in the blood, the lymphocytes in the spleen try to destroy them. Macrophages (large specialized cells that clean up debris and foreign bodies) then go in and clean up what’s left. Just like the liver, the spleen removes old and damaged cells from the blood and helps fight off infection.
The most common signs of an impaired spleen include:
• Easy bleeding
• Feelings of fullness, discomfort, or pain in the upper left abdomen
• Frequent infections
• Unable to eat large meals
• Weight loss
When the spleen becomes unable to do its job well, it becomes enlarged and shuts in a large number of blood cells and platelets. We need platelets to scab over a wound which is why people with spleen toxicity have trouble staunching a bleeding cut.
Some of the best essential oils to use for the spleen are warming and stimulate circulation like:
Apply these oils as a roll-on blend (1 drop of essential oil in carrier oil) and apply it over the spleen (left side under the breast). Another great oil to consider is lavender as well as vanilla for their ability to calm tension, nervous stress, and worry- three main emotions that get trapped in the spleen. Addressing both emotional and physical detox for the spleen is the best way to release toxicity. I’ve really been liking this spleen blend by Vibrant Blue Oils.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that help our body filter blood and remove water-soluble waste. They also regulate the fluids in the body, our blood pressure by maintaining salt and water ratios, and our body’s PH by filtering or retaining electrolytes and minerals. They control the volume, composition, and pressure of all fluids down to a cellular level. The blood flows through the kidneys at high pressure and gets toxins filtered out of it. The kidneys are also known to hold onto fear and paranoia type emotions as well.
Signs that indicate the need for a kidney detox include:
• Changes in blood pressure
• Changes in heart rate
• Enzymes are present in the urine
• Excess protein in the urine
• Imbalanced electrolyte levels
• Imbalanced salt levels
• Muscle cramps
The best ways to keep your kidneys healthy are:
• Eat healthily
• Stay hydrated (but don’t overdo it)
• Exercise regularly
• Don’t overdo OTC pain medications- I really like this natural pain reliever
The Best Essential Oils for Kidney Detox
These essential oils should be applied over the kidneys (one inch up and out from the belly button), the back of the neck, or near the outside of the earlobes on the neck. These oils are best for emotional detox for the kidneys which will help them work more optimally.
• Cedarwood– Helps with focus
• Fir needle– Grounding. Reduces tension and stress
• Frankincense– Relieves nervous tension and stress-related conditions. Increases oxygen
• Pine– relieves nervous exhaustion and fatigue
• Spruce– Mentally grounding. Eases anxiety and depression
• Ylang ylang– Calms the mind and relieves mental fatigue and anxiety
Don’t want to make your own? Get the Kidney Support blend here.
What have been your best essential oils for detox?
Just getting started? Check out these articles below:
Beginners Guide to Essential Oils- Part 1
How to Use Essential Oils
Where to Start with Essential Oils
Essential Oils and the “Detox” Theory
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