Detoxification is a natural and constant bodily process. We are continually eliminating excess toxins through our digestive, urinary, integumentary (skin), circulatory, respiratory, and lymphatic systems.
While we are designed to handle some toxins, our bodies can become overloaded when bombarded with too much processed food, drink, sugar, parasites, air, and water pollutants. This can lead to fatigue, constipation, gas, bad breath, low immunity, hormone imbalances, skin problems, poor circulation, mood swings, depression, and mucus build-up.
Essential oils derived from the likes of lemon, grapefruit and juniper can help relieve some of these symptoms by assisting the body in ridding itself of unwelcome toxins. When used in conjunction with a dietary and herbal detoxification, essential oils complement the holistic, natural cleaning process.
Entering the bloodstream through the pores of the skin, essential oils are carried to all parts of the body via the circulatory and lymphatic systems. They are chemically complex and their constituents have a direct effect on the body, mind, and spirit.
During a detoxification, aromatic essential oils can be used in a massage oil or in the bath.
Detoxing Aromatherapy Massage
Why not combine the relaxing, manual lymph drainage of a massage with the detoxifying properties of essential oils? Pure essential oils are very concentrated and most should be diluted in a carrier oil before being used on the skin.
Revitalising and Detoxifying Massage Oil:
- 4 drops grapefruit
- 4 drops juniper
- 4 drops cypress
- 6 drops laurel
- 30ml sunflower oil
Mix essential oils with sunflower oil in a 30ml bottle, gently shake to mix & your detox massage lotion is ready to use.
Toxic Build Up
Providing we are in good health and not already suffering from the effects of toxicity, our body transforms, neutralises or eliminates toxins very efficiently. Toxicity only begins to build up in our bodies when we take in more than our body can use or eliminate, or when we are run-down. Modern lifestyles mean that most of us do not take enough exercise, and in combination with stressful lifestyles and unhealthy diet this all contributes to lymphatic congestion and a build-up of toxins.
The lymphatic system consists of a network of tubes that drain excess liquid called ‘lymph’ from your body tissues into your bloodstream. The lymph then travels to lymph nodes where it is cleansed of toxins, bacteria and other waste products before re-entering the bloodstream. Symptoms caused by a build up of toxins include gastrointestinal conditions such as constipation and bloating, aches and pains, coughs, fatigue, headaches, catarrh, skin problems and a breakdown in the immune system.
Aromatherapy is such a tremendous aid to detoxifying because essential oils can assist lymphatic drainage which is vital for the efficient elimination of toxins. All of the essential oils listed in the sidebar help to cleanse the body by either accelerating lymph and tissue circulation, or by stimulating the circulatory system.
Detox, Exercise & Diet
The liver is the main organ responsible for detoxification in the body due to its many metabolic functions, although the kidneys play an important role as well. The colon is responsible for the elimination of toxins, and an effective cleansing treatment will need to tackle both of these body systems. The ideal detox treatment encourages the body to deal with toxins in a natural way, without putting the body under any strain.
Effective detox treatments include exercise, fasting, skin brushing, colonic irrigation and of course, aromatherapy using detoxifying and stimulating essential oils. In my experience, incorporating 2 or more of these methods into one detox routine produces the very best results – especially when one of them is aromatherapy.
If you are the energetic type then exercise is a great way to start your detox since it steps up the body’s metabolic rate. Just 15 minutes on a rebounder helps to stimulate the lymph nodes which drain the lymphatic system. Amazingly, during exercise the lymph can drain about 20mls of waste per minute, whereas at rest this figure falls to only 1-2mls per minute. Swimming, jogging, circuit training and even just brisk walking really help to increase your metabolic rate and boost your circulatory system.
A much less strenuous approach to detoxifying involves eating foods that help with the elimination of your toxic build-up. Cleansing foods include raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, juices and filtered water. Foods that you should avoid include meat, milk and yeast products, bread, refined sugar and carbohydrate products which cause an increase in the production of mucous. These foods must be avoided during your cleansing and revitalising program. Also cut down on all types of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, replacing them with herbal teas.
I know you’ve heard it all before, but the single most important and effective detoxifier of all is water, which should be taken during every type of detox program, and continued beyond. Ideally, during your detox routine you should drink up to 10 glasses of water a day to help the body flush out those nasty toxins.
For a really powerful detoxifying therapy, mix 2 drops of Juniper, 1 drop of Fennel, 1 drop of Grapefruit and 1 drop of Cypress into 10mls of carrier oil. For the very best results this should be massaged on to the back, abdomen and legs.
Ideally, you should try to have at least 2 massage treatments every week, and to achieve the maximum results you should also have a bath treatment using a different combination of essential oils on the other days.
Use some of the following oils to help remove built-up toxins from the system: angelica root, carrot seed, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, parsley.
Use some of the following oils to improve circulation: bay, black pepper, eucalyptus, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, violet leaf.
Use nutmeg and orange oils for sluggish digestion.
For a detoxifying massage, add 20 drops of essential oil to four teaspoons of a base oil, such as almond oil. Massage starting at the center of the body and moving toward the outside- for instance, start at the shoulder and move down the arm toward the hands and fingers. For best results, massage for at least 30 minutes.
For a detoxifying bath, add 10 drops of essential oil to a tub full of hot water. Soak for 30 minutes.