Spring inspires many of us to hit the “refresh” button, whether it’s by losing weight, getting more sleep, or faithfully practicing yoga. Discover how essential oils for detox can help you realize these health goals—and also enrich your life in ways you may not have imagined.
Incorporating aromatherapy into your detox plans lets you tap into the therapeutic cleansing properties of essential oils, banish the blues with uplifting scents, and awaken from the winter doldrums. The following essential oils and blends can not only lead to better health, but also offer the pleasure of scent.
Detoxifying Essential Oils
- Take a deep breath of essential oil of Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and let its menthol aroma open airways and revive a sleepy head. As a natural antioxidant, peppermint will help detoxify your liver and strengthen the GI system. Peppermint tea is valued as a digestive, so switch your afternoon coffee for a minty cup to continue the detoxifying benefits of your morning blend.
- Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis) is an antibacterial powerhouse. With its crisp, clarifying scent, juniper is often mixed with eucalyptus to scent spa saunas and steam rooms, and to help purify the air and cleanse the lungs. Juniper also contains constituents that act as diuretics,
helping flush excess water from the kidneys and toxins from the skin.
- The bright tartness of lemon enlivens many beverages, and it’s this astringent property that makes essential oil of Lemon (Citrus limon) the perfect choice for wringing out excess water weight. Lemon’s detoxifying elements also reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system. Squeeze a few drops of fresh juice into each glass of water to boost daily hydration.
- Like lemon, Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a tangy citrus that helps expel unwanted toxins and combats microbes in the body that can cause bloating, aiding in weight loss. (Remember the Grapefruit Diet?)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an ancient herb sacred to many Native Americans, who for centuries have used it to cleanse, or smudge, their homes from negative energy. The essential oil is often used in natural medicine to dissolve fat cells and battle hard-to-fight cellulite. This essential oil is very strong — just the smallest of doses is effective, and the herbal scent will offer a grounding element to an evening detox blend.
- A licorice-like aroma signals the presence of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), an essential oil that, like sage, fights fat and cellulite. You may recognize fennel as an ingredient in teas formulated for weight loss, as the herb can boost the metabolism and suppress the appetite. It is an antispasmodic, and acts on the digestive tract to quell nausea; as a diuretic, fennel helps reduce water retention. In short, it’s great for your gut!
Did you know?
Sage is a lovely addition to aromatherapy blends for women, as it mimics the estrogen that naturally balances emotions. That alone makes it a great bad mood buster.
The Right Combinations
For each of the following blends, add essential oils to a 2-ounce glass bottle with 2 ounces of grapeseed or other base oil; swirl to blend. Massage these blends in a circular motion on your stomach, or add a capful to warm bath water for an aromatic soak. (Prefer a post-shower or bath body mist? Use distilled water with a capful of vegetable glycerin in a spray bottle.)
- 6 drops Peppermint
- 16 drops Juniper
- 18 drops Lemon
- 10 drops Fennel
- 18 drops Grapefruit
- 10 drops Sage
Note: If you are pregnant or on medication, check with your physician prior to using essential oils. Conduct a skin patch test prior to use. Although these blends contain a small percentage of essential oils, they may interact with some medicines. Do not ingest the oils.