Using essential oils for detox is an excellent all-natural way to stay healthy, create gorgeous skin, and rid your body of toxins.
You can incorporate the oils into your daily routine or complete a detox regimen for a short period of time to help your body repair and remove waste build-up. Whichever you prefer, I’ll show you which pure grade oils help your body’s elimination process. Pick the right detox method and oil for your needs – and you’ll be groovy.
Using essential oils in my daily detox routine helps me keep my energy up and immune system healthy. I’m excited to share with you how using essential oils to detox keeps me feeling my best.
Why Use Essential Oils to Detox?
Our bodies are designed to naturally protect from toxins in our environments. However, in today’s environment, we are constantly bombarded with more toxins than ever before.
The problem is that toxins come at us from all angles. Think about it: Our food contains pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, toxic heavy metals (think “healthy” fish!) and more.
Toxins are in the water we drink, shower with, and wash our dishes with. They are in our cosmetics, food storage products, and even the air. Now this isn’t to scare you, but instead to make you more aware that we can’t completely avoid toxins but we can take steps to reduce them. And with each small step forward, it will make a world of difference.
Now here is the important part. These toxins cause a wide range of crappy feelings. But here’s the good news, your crazy feelings and intense mood swings are probably not all your fault! There is something you can do about it. You should consider detoxing if you have:
- Mood swings
- Bad breath
- Low immunity
- Hormone imbalances
- Menstrual, menopausal, or fertility issues
- Skin problems
- Poor blood circulation
- Frequent infections
- Mucus build-up
Essential oils can help aid the detoxification process naturally, which is why many civilizations have used various detoxifying traditions like saunas and sweat lodges as well as plants and herbs since the beginning of time.
When your body is functioning properly, all of the organs eliminate toxins and you become healthier. Now, I’m not saying that using essential oils but not opting towards choosing healthy foods is still a detox. In order to detox properly with essential oils you need to be supporting it with a healthy diet. That means tons of fruits and vegetables, hydrating foods, and no processed foods.
People detox for a plethora of reasons: they want to lose weight, get clear skin, balance mood and hormones, and ease digestion. There are also many detox methods, so the route you choose may depend on why you want to detox as well as any concerns you hope to balance.
Because our bodies naturally eliminate toxins using multiple systems, you can use essential oils for detox when it comes to organs like:
- Digestive system
- Lymphatic system
- Respiratory system
The best detox oils will drive a detoxification response in the body, directly engaging with one of the elimination systems.
Many attempt strong detoxing methods like fasting and purging , while others opt for a more accessible route and spend a little time each day maintaining their health with essential oils.
The body eliminates waste every day through the largest organ: the skin. Opening up the skin and increasing how much you sweat can help release waste more efficiently. Topical application can include a warm bath, massage, lotion, or even a roll-on for emergency use with a detox essential oil rollerball.
Make sure to dilute the oils with a carrier safe for the skin, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, extra-virgin olive oil, etc.
One of my favorite ways to use essential oils to detox is internally. This means when I wake up in the morning I’ll mix a drop or two of citrus oil like lemon or lime essential oil with raw honey and add it to warm water. I also like to mix a drop or two of grapefruit with raw honey and add it to my hydroflask to keep my metabolism revved up throughout the day.
So now that we’re on the subject of ways to use essential oils for detox, let’s dive in a little deeper.
How to Use Essential Oils to Detox
Essential oils are a wonderful way to give your body instructions to help release toxins from fat cells, break them down, and flush ‘em out! Each oil can work differently. Others can stimulate efficient cell activity, clear bad gut bacteria, and restore immunity and healthy digestion. Including essential oils in your daily routine will help keep an overload of toxins at bay. Here are the top 3 ways to use them.
While this is the most controversial method, it is the most effective – when you have high-quality oils that is. Figure out what detox your body needs and then consume oils in a veggie capsule with a food grade oil like EVOO. 1-2 drops is all you will need.
By applying oils directly to your skin, you are telling your tissue and organs to release fat. Add a couple drops to a carrier oil and massage onto the area of focus for effective absorption. You can also apply oils to the bottom of your feet which will directly impact your lymphatic system and blood which is necessary for detox.
Aromatic application instantly addresses toxins and impacts the amygdala (emotional center of the brain). This is crucial for detoxing because all of those toxins have a major impact on our emotional state. Inhale directly out of the bottle or diffuse your favorite oils.
The Best Essential Oil for Your Detox Needs
Different oils work best for certain areas of the body. Let’s dive into the best essential oils for certain organs and why you might want to use them!
The liver is an incredible organ. It works hard for you to remove and filter toxins from your system. Because it filters the blood and eliminates harmful substances from the circulation it’s our job to keep it healthy so that it works at optimal function. So why not give it some extra love and support with essential oils? The best essential oils for liver healing include:
- Juniper berry
- Roman Chamomile
- DoTerra detoxification blend
Too much fat in the liver can make the upper part of your stomach feel full and cause major health issues. Fatty liver disease can come about from heavy alcohol use, eating too much fat, vinegars and processed foods and even having too many toxic heavy metals in your body. You can use essential oils to help heal a fatty liver such as:
- Rosemary: Cleanses the blood, flushes toxins from the liver, and aids digestion to help the liver work more efficiently overall.
- Ginger: Studies show supplementing with ginger essential oil can reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (4).
- Grapefruit: incredible detoxifier of liver, fat, and gallbladder.
- Fennel: The antiseptic properties protect the liver from some toxins, keeping them from taking hold of the organ.
- Lemon: A natural diuretic that stimulates vitamin K production, lemon essential oil helps the liver function efficiently and flushes out excess fluid.
- Rose geranium: Although not effective alone, rose geranium does aid in the elimination of fluids from the liver.
The kidneys also help filter toxins from the blood. Pine, juniper berry, rosemary, and fennel aid the digestive system and kidneys, helping the body excrete toxins through urine.
The kidneys are effective at breaking down waste, but you can use essential oil to purify blood and help the organ function at its best:
- Grapefruit: Stimulates circulation throughout the body and eliminates toxins that build up over time.
- Lemon: Cleanses the body, encourages white blood cells and helps to fight off toxins.
- Juniper: Helps the body expunge toxins in the blood and organs.
- Peppermint: Fights off infections and detoxifies the body’s respiratory and digestive systems.
Using castor oil as your carrier may further aid blood circulation, according to some studies (6).
The lymphatic system is also known as the skin. It’s responsible for around 1% of the daily detoxification in your body, mainly by opening the pores and removing toxins from your cells. The toxins are excreted through sweat, and movement is vital for detoxing the skin.
Perhaps the best way to boost circulation in the lymph system is to walk for no less than half an hour. Then, brush your skin from top to bottom using a sugar or salt scrub and soak in a warm bath. Add a couple drops of a detoxifying essential oil to your bubble bath, sugar scrub, or bath salts and soak until the scrub fully dissolves.
The best essential oils to detox the skin include:
- Tea Tree
- Juniper berry
- Clary sage
Think about it this way: everything we eat goes through our digestive system. That means that all of those toxins sprayed on our foods/used to grow our food is now in our digestive system….wreaking havoc.
The best oils for gut toxicity include:
- Black pepper
- Roman chamomile
- Wild orange
- DoTerra detoxification blend and digestion blend
Oils can also aid weight loss by curbing cravings and helping your body burn more fat. You can diffuse, ingest, or apply the oils topically.
The Best Essential oils for weight loss:
- Lemon: If you have intestinal parasites causing your weight gain, lemon may help. It also aids various digestive issues, balances the metabolism, and increases energy. Inhale the oil before eating or add a drop to your morning tea.
- Grapefruit: Prevents water retention and bloating while dissolving fat. Add a drop of the oil to your morning tea to flush toxins and burn fat before breakfast.
- Bergamot: Using bergamot to suppress stress eating and stress-related weight gain can work better than lavender thanks to the sedative properties (3). Inhale from the bottle when you feel stressed or add a drop to a teaspoon of honey in any drink.
- Sandalwood: Another powerful stress eating suppressor, sandalwood works much like bergamot. Add a drop to a teaspoon of honey or four ounces of coconut milk.
- Ginger: Supports digestion and nutrient absorption, aiding weight loss and reducing pain and inflammation.
Fasting can stimulate detox or weight loss. If you do try fasting, even intermittently, oils can reduce the negative symptoms you may feel. Essential oils for fasting include:
- Thyme: Supports the immune system to keep you healthy during your fast.
- Basil: Boosts your focus and drive during brain fog that results from fasting.
- Cinnamon: Promotes fullness after eating and helps break down sugar in your body for energy. Combine the oil with honey and warm water before breakfast or at bedtime to suppress your appetite.
- Peppermint: Excellent for suppressing food cravings and reducing the appetite, helping with weight loss and an overall feeling of well-being. However, don’t use it in a bath or directly on your mucous membranes. Diffuse a few drops before meals (2).
Even if you complete daily liver support, there are heavy metals and other harmful toxins that can accumulate inside the body. Care for yourself by limiting your exposure and removing the metals from your system routinely.
The best essential oils for detoxing heavy metals include:
- Cilantro: Binds to the metals inside your body and removes them using the natural digestive process.
- Chlorella: Absorbs heavy metals to help move them from the body.
Research shows combining cilantro and chlorella essential oils in a tincture is effective at removing 70 to 90% of lead, mercury, and aluminum (5).
Other wonderfully supportive oils are arborvitae, black pepper, clove, coriander, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, helichrysum, juniper berry, rosemary, thyme, doterra cleaning blend and detoxification blend.
The Best Detox Essential Oil Recipes
These are some of my favorite recipes from DoTerra that I put my own little twist on. You can do the same for your specific detox goals!
Foot Soak Detox
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- ⅓ cup Himalyan sea salt
- ⅓ cup of Bentonite Clay
- 3-4 drops of 1 or more of selected oils
Mix dry ingredients and add to a large mason jar. When ready for a foot soak, put ¼ cup of dry ingredients in the bathtub and mix in oils. Add with warm/hot water to where your feet are completely covered.
A Full-Body Detox Blend
This blend detoxifies your entire body through the skin and even reduces cellulite. Massage the following ingredients together and apply them to your body using firm strokes from top to bottom to boost your lymphatic circulation:
- 4 drops juniper berry
- 4 drops pink grapefruit
- 2 drops angelica
- 20 ml of a carrier like fractionated coconut oil
You may also want to use a cellulite roller to target problem areas. Reduce the essential oils drop to include only 1 to 3 drops for a full-body treatment on kids.
A Detox Massage Oil
For this recipe, you have many options. The best oils to choose from include tangerine, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, juniper berry, and cypress. You can also use carrier oils like almond, grape seed, sesame, or hemp.
Add 3-4 drops of 1 or 2 oils with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of carrier oil in a glass bottle. Massage the blend into your skin, focusing on the areas that most urgently need to detox.
Switch up the recipe every couple of weeks for the best results.
Sugar Scrub Recipe
Mix the following oils and honey with sugar:
- 2 cups of fair-trade evaporated cane sugar
- 3 teaspoons raw honey
- Up to 20 drops of essential oil
- 3-6 tablespoons of carrier oil, like castor, grapeseed, or almond oil
Wet your body before applying the sugar scrub. Stand in the bathtub, rubbing the mixture in circles towards the heart. Soak in the tub for 20 minutes or longer with hot water and bath salts to increase the detoxification and relaxation effects.
You can also use Dead Sea salt instead of sugar. And remember, you’re not using the entire scrub recipe so place it in a mason jar with a lid for storage.
With any detoxification process, you’ll also want to drink plenty of water. Liquids like water and herbal teas help keep the urine clear or barely yellow in color, which helps you know that your kidneys are safe. Eating plenty of greens and fermented foods each day also helps.
- Johnson, Scott. (2014). Skin Reactions to Essential Oils. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-5qUyq7CZM
- Reed, J.A., Almeida, J., Wershing, B., and Raudenbush, B. (2008). Effects of peppermint scent on appetite control and caloric intake. Elsivier. Volume 51, Issue 2, Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666308003358
- Dr. Edward F. (2012). The Weight Loss Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil. Global Healing Centre. Retrieved from: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/weight-loss-benefits-bergamot-essential-oil/
- Lai, Y.S., et al. (2016). Ginger Essential Oil Amerliorates Hepatic Injury and Lipid Accumulation in High Fat Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26900108
- A Comprehensive Integrative Medical Approach to Mercury Detoxification and Functional Rehabilitation. Retrieved from: https://www.nihadc.com/library/detox-for-life-class-2-addit-resources/53-3-pdf-comprehensive-im-approach-to-mercury-detox-and-functional-rehabilitation/file.html?accept_license=1
- Levy, Jillian. (2019). Castor Oil Benefits for Skin, Constipation, and More. Retrieved from: https://draxe.com/nutrition/castor-oil/