Using essential oils for detox is really more about living a “detoxed life” than it is going through a rigorous protocol. Nonetheless, there is still a time and a place for a traditional detox where you use essential oils in an attempt to purge your body of toxins.
This concept makes for a long discussion (and hence this super long post) for two reasons; firstly, because an essential oil detox is such a popular topic right now and there’s a lot of confusion out there about what it really is. Secondly, toxic overload is becoming an epidemic in our culture and we need to be made aware of the risks and how to prevent and treat them accordingly.
My recommendation is that you bookmark this page for reference. There are a ton of resources in this report for you and your family and, after I walk you through this important topic, I offer some easy-to-implement tips on how to use essential oils to detox safely and effectively.
Now, let’s get to work…
Table of Contents:
- Toxins and the Body
- Sources of Toxic Exposure
- Emotional Detoxification
- Detecting Toxin Accumulation
- How to Tell if You’re “Toxic”
- Symptoms of Heavy Metal Exposure
- Diseases Linked to Toxicity
- Resources for Exposure Testing
- 10 Essential Oils for Detox
- Essential Oil Sourcing Considerations
- Tips on Doing an Essential Oil Detox
- Special Note About Reactions
Toxins and the Body
Technically-speaking, a toxin can be defined as any foreign substance that can cause a disease, and it important to keep this in mind because we are being bombarded by them all day long. Unless you live in an antiseptic bubble, you literally cannot avoid toxins. Thankfully, God has gifted our bodies with an effective system to ward off much of the harm, but we must do our part.
First off, there are two important things to know about the body’s ability to handle toxin exposure:
- Your body was designed by God to remove toxins.
- If your body cannot handle the load, the toxins are likely to settle in – not just circulate.
In a healthy body where the immune and detoxification systems are functioning at full capacity, most experts agree that normal toxic exposures are eliminated. “But what’s normal?” This is the question that has raised eyebrows because our environment is becoming increasingly toxic and the human body can only handle so much junk. Just think about the pollutants in the air, your water, your food, and even “toxic thoughts.” It can literally overwhelm the healthiest person on the planet!
Unfortunately, human civilization has created an environment where our bodies are not able to remove all the toxins we are exposed to and that’s really the problem. Thankfully, there are things that we can do to enhance our natural detoxification system, and there are even strategies we can implement to keep it from being so overworked in the first place! This two-pronged approach of minimizing exposure in the first place, and then helping our body process what we are exposed to, will help improve overall health.
Sources of Toxic Exposure
It is irrefutable that our world is getting more toxic by the minute, but we don’t have to escape Earth and move to Mars to stay healthy! Remember, your body can handle the basic, everyday toxins that you’re confronted with. The problem is when we take unnecessary pharmaceuticals, eat genetically modified and pesticide-ridden foods and use conventional body products. By doing this, you are basically cooking a chemical soup that is running havoc in your body!
The regular sources of toxins you will encounter – household cleaners, off-gassing furniture, insulation, beauty products, etc. – can easily be avoided by making your own or purchasing healthier alternatives. An essential oil detox (like I outline at the end of this article) can be especially helpful to reduce these risks. Heavy metals, on the other hand, are a much bigger issue, being both harder to remove and harder to avoid.
The list of toxins in our environment today seems almost endless. Here are just a few:
- Air pollution
- Cigarette smoke (1st, 2nd or 3rd hand)
- Computers, electronics
- Cosmetic additives (e.g., phthalates)
- Dental amalgams
- Electromagnetic Fields/Frequency
- Farm-raised fish
- Food additives
- Genetically modified food
- Industrial complexes
- Light bulbs
- Medicine/medical procedures
- Medical apparatus
- “Off-gassing” from carpets, fabrics and furniture
- Older homes
- Non-organic food
- Paint: VOCs, old lead paint
- Pesticide & herbicide residue
- Plastic and Plasticizers
- Water: city and well
- Water piping
And the list goes on…
In spite of major improvements in federal regulations and the removal of lead from paint and common household items, many older homes are often still contaminated. If you live near manufacturing plants or agricultural fields, you can be subject to added risks. Moving to a safer environment and into a non-toxic home usually isn’t an option for people, so try to be aware of the risks you are exposed to and take action as necessary.
Mercury usually tops the list of heavy metal exposure and dental amalgams are often thought of first. Industrial production is also a common source of heavy metal toxicity and, since switching jobs isn’t usually feasible, men particularly should consider their work environment as a potential source of health conditions like infertility. (1)
According to a 2002 study, the potential toxins in our food are vast:
“…toxic compounds find their way into food during manufacture, storage, or transportation. These include largely the industrial contaminants, persistent organic pollutants (POP), pesticides, heavy metals, and toxins of fungal and bacterial origin….Migration of compounds from packaging materials into packaged food like contamination with lead from solder in certain metal cans is well known.” (2)
While you may want nothing less than to eat clean and safe foods, our culture has made it increasingly difficult to do so. Toxic exposure will certainly happen. The question is whether or not our bodies are prepared to take the hit, and how long it will take to recover when it does.
And we must not forgot about toxic emotions!
I find it rather surprising that no one seems to talk about emotional detoxification more. Both positive and negative emotional are important and part of being human, but when we can’t manage them properly we can find ourselves in a downward spiral fast. This can have a serious impact on every aspect of our lives – especially our health!
Taking regular emotional detox breaks will help you handle your emotions with ease and cleanse your entire system so that you can reach your full potential and enjoy the abundant life. This is how my daughter Bella and I like to do it. We invite you along the journey with us…
While detoxing your emotions is important, it’s easier said than done. I have put together 11 steps to emotional cleansing that will give you a good starting point for setting out on your emotional detoxing journey. I have ordered these steps by which I find most important. If you tackle each one at a time, you’ll be well on your way to living the abundant life!
Detecting Toxin Accumulation
The key to understanding toxicity is to recognize that we are more concerned with gradual micro-accumulation over the course of many years and not the acute exposure someone might experience near a spill-site or something. Subsequently, monitoring toxic overload isn’t as simple as detecting values in blood plasma. Same with urine. When doctors do urine or blood samples, they are only seeing a minute snap-shot of your health.
If you decide to pursue testing for heavy metal accumulation, be sure that the practitioner has a good understanding of toxic exposure and accumulation. Health care providers need to consider stored toxins and conduct a series of tests that go well beyond the standard blood draw.
Additionally, identifying risk factors and sign and symptoms can help you to form a starting point for further decision-making.
How to Tell if You’re “Toxic”
Unfortunately, there is no “toxic overload” test out there that is proof-positive and irrefutable. This poses a huge issue for people with unexplained symptoms and, as detox specialist Dr. BJ Hardick points out the focus should be on risk factors. “How many risk factors you have,” Dr. Hardick says, “Plus the severity of exposure in any given category, and the amount of time you’ve been exposed in that manner all play a part in severity. Additionally, heavy metals tend to pose a more imminent danger than our run-of-the-mill daily toxins, for lack of a better term for distinction.”
So, what do you do? You will want to gage your personal toxic exposure based off the risk factors that we’ve seen above.
- Do you live in an old home, smoke cigarettes and eat McDonald’s every day? High Risk!
- Do you drink unfiltered tap water and take a baby aspirin every day for heart disease “prevention?” High Risk!
- Do you work in a manufacturing plant, cook with Teflon-coated pans and live under the power lines? High Risk!
Next, if you are not certain of the severity of your exposure, consider general signs and symptoms alongside general risk factors. For instance, a chronic toxic exposure may be indicated by such symptoms as:
- Constipation and digestive issues
- Erratic mood issues and mental disturbances
- Unexplained pain and soreness
Of course, these can indicate a number of concerns, but the key here is “unexplained.” You should have a good reason for virtually every unpleasant sign and symptom you experience. If you don’t know the root cause – especially if you’ve been evaluated by a medical doctor – chronic toxic exposure may be the culprit.
Next, if you suspect to be affected by excessive toxic burden, the first level of testing is generally blood work, which simply measures the level of certain toxins circulating in the blood. Hair sample evaluations might also be tested. Some providers prefer to utilize a provoked urine test, which is when a chelating agent is introduced to and trigger toxins to be released into the urine to give you an idea of the metals dormant in the body. The use of chelating agents is controversial, and it’s important to note that there are valid arguments on either side. More on chelation and the role an essential oil detox plays below…
Unfortunately in our society, everyone is likely have some level of metals in these tests, and the important thing to note is that this is a “big picture situation.” Risk factors and symptoms will not determine when and how to detox, nor will blood or urine tests. However, each piece of the puzzle should come together to indicate the course of action.
Symptoms of Heavy Metal Exposure
Heavy metal exposure is a big deal and can be deadly. The Environmental Protection Agency notes the following range of symptoms for lead poisoning alone (3):
- Behavior and learning problems
- Cardiovascular – hypertension
- Decreased kidney function
- Hearing problems
- Lowered IQ
- Reproductive problems (men and women)
- Seizures, coma and death (if ingested)
- Stunted growth
Signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning vary based on the type and level of exposure (4):
- Alterations in nerve response
- Disturbances in sensations
- Emotional changes (excessive shyness, irritability, mood swings, nervousness)
- Headaches and migraines
- Hearing impairment
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Memory loss
- Mental disturbances
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Neuromuscular changes (muscle atrophy, twitching and weakness)
- Neuropathy – “pins and needles” feelings in the hands, feet, and around the mouth
- Poor performance on tests of mental function
- Skin rashes and dermatitis
- Speech impairment
These concerns must be taken seriously if heavy metal toxic exposure is suspected.
Diseases Linked to Toxicity
There are two primary kinds of reactions to toxins: acute and cumulative. When you come into contact with heavy amounts of a toxin, such as spilling pesticides onto your skin, you’ll likely suffer acute (immediate) effects. When you’re exposed to low-levels over a long period of time, such as eating produce sprayed with pesticides, the side effects may take some time to develop.
The list of diseases linked to toxicity is not intended to be conclusive, by any means. This is just a snap-shot of what the literature says…
Cases of allergies and asthma have skyrocketed in recent years. Current data places the amount of Americans with nasal allergies alone in the 50 million range! (5) Note, this huge number does not include asthma, food allergies, topical sensitivities, and more.
Why is this so? I tend to agree with the scientists who reviewed this topic in 2014 when they successfully drew connections between environmental toxins and allergic disease. With a noted 100,000+ new chemicals used in consumer products in recent years, it’s no wonder that our bodies are struggling to keep up with the toxic burden. As researchers have described,
“The development of the immune system, particularly in the prenatal period, has far-reaching consequences for health during early childhood, and throughout adult life… Exposure to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals can result in dramatic changes in cytokine production, the activity of the immune system, the overall Th1 and Th2 balance, and in mediators of type 1 hypersensitivity mediators, such as IgE.” (6)
In other words, the pollutants and chemicals that we were exposed to as children and that our children are continually bombarded with has culminated in a plague of allergic disease!
Another plague of our era is cancer, which many experts believe is not only more prevalent now, but in some cases may be entirely new to recent generations. This is not hard to fathom as a 2008 study noted only 5-10% of cancers are attributable to genetic conditions, while the rest are preventable through lifestyle changes. (7) Diet, stress, tobacco use and pollutants are all named as primary factors to cases of cancer.
The connection between allergic disorders and cancer is a dampened immune system. Able to keep us from getting sick and staving off chronic inflammatory conditions, immune system function is invaluable. Unfortunately, toxins throw that balance off quite easily.
We see this most clearly with autoimmune disorders triggered in occupations that expose workers to high levels of toxins. Case in point, silica dust, which is strongly connected with autoimmune problems like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, while pesticide and solvent exposure is linked to their own conditions. (8)
Not surprisingly, while chemical toxins bombard the immune system and appear to cause immune disorders, heavy metals carry significant immunotoxic capabilities as well. (9) One research study actually compared individuals with autoimmune thyroiditis before and after the mercury filling removal and noticed a marked improvement in health for “about 70% of patients!” (10)
We know that each body system is closely intertwined with the others, however, the immune, endocrine (hormonal), and immune systems are especially linked not only in function, but also in effects from toxic metals and chemicals. As Dr. Hardick notes out, “In addition to classification as immunotoxins, heavy metals are neurotoxins, and accumulation can lead to disruptions in mental health.”
In a survey of 2,000 participants, exposures to lead within “safe” levels were associated with higher occurrence of depression and mental health concerns. (11) In children, both mercury and lead are known to impair cognitive function and intelligence. (12, 13)
Metals are not the only concern. In an extensive study published in in 2012, the effects of a long-term buildup of pesticide exposure is as follows:
“…impaired memory and concentration, disorientation, severe depression, irritability, confusion, headache, speech difficulties, delayed reaction times, nightmares, sleepwalking, and drowsiness or insomnia.” (14)
More and more of our culture’s major health concerns are connected with toxic exposure, and it seems like we are only scratching the surface to understanding the true ramifications of our actions in industrial societies.
Mercury and lead receive most of the attention, but there are other metals of concern for hormone conditions. Arsenic comes to mind, especially for metabolic concerns. In fact, researchers content that arsenic can actually contribute to the onset of type II diabetes! In 2002, this was documented in the journal Toxicology Letters:
“In Sweden, case-control analyses of death records of copper smelters and glass workers revealed a trend of increasing diabetes mellitus with increasing arsenic exposure from inhalation. In Bangladesh, prevalence of diabetes mellitus among arsenic-exposed subjects with keratosis was about five times higher than unexposed subjects.” (15)
Verified five years later, individuals living next to hazardous waste sites were found to be five times more likely to be hospitalized for diabetic related complications than those living elsewhere. (15)
Other hormonal disturbance due to toxic exposure include the estrogenic effects of bisphenol A (BPA), as well as concerns with organochlorines – chlorine substances classified as pollutants, which are used in pesticides and other chemical treatments. Organochlorines have been known to cause hormonal effects on both fertility and sexual development. (16)
True Heavy Metal Poisoning
Arsenic, cadmium, lead, are mercury are all highly available across all the world and are associated with significant adverse health risks, with lead and mercury being the most concerning and prevalent. (17) If you believe that you or a loved one have been exposed to high levels of metals through direct ingestion, water contamination, etc., you should contact your health care provider immediately.
Resources for Exposure Testing
Not an exhaustive list, these resources provided by Dr. Hardick can help ensure that your and your family are safe.
- EPA Indoor Air Quality resource: http://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq
- Regional Indoor Air Quality contact information: http://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/find-regional-and-state-indoor-air-quality-contact-information
- As Dr. Hardick claims, “Testing the water, air, and general environment in your home for prominent environmental toxins is important, but these tests won’t necessarily find pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, or all toxins. Ultimately, assuming that you have some toxin level and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly is important, then testing your body is the next step if you suspect heavy accumulation.
- A qualified healthcare professional who specializes in detoxification can execute such a test, typically looking for markers of physiological responses to accumulation or for direct indications of the actual toxins themselves.”
- Approved in-home lead testing: http://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-test-kits
- Approved in-home radon testing: http://www.epa.gov/radon/find-radon-test-kit-or-measurement-and-mitigation-professional
- Approved Testing Sources: https://www.epa.gov/radon
- Consumer Confidence Reports: http://www.epa.gov/ccr
- Home Testing Overview: http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/2005_09_14_faq_fs_homewatertesting.pdf
10 Essential Oils for Detox
Doing an essential oil detox can be a great way to clear the junk out of your system, but you should know that detoxing is a way of life, and definitely not a one-time thing. This is where an essential oil detox makes all the difference in the world:
- Daily Inhalation – Inhaling antioxidant-rich essential oils can help fight free radical toxicity at the cellular level!
- DIY Topical Application – Making your own body care products will protect the skin microbiome, promote cellular detoxification and will prevent toxins that would otherwise have been in the conventional products that you were using.
- Safe (Occasional) Internal Use – The jury is still out on whether ingesting essential oils can chelate heavy metals, but safe internal use may help for a short period of time if it’s diluted or taken in a capsule.
What’s your reason for wanting to do an essential oil detox?
It’s important to keep in mind that detoxing is a lifestyle, it’s just not something that we do once or twice a year. Literally everything we eat or drink, everything we put on our skin and every particle that we breathe in will either help naturally detoxify our bodies of harmful chemicals or will contribute to our toxic burden. With this in mind, it’s critical to remember that (if you’re not willing to change your lifestyle) doing an essential oil detox is virtually useless. Eating McDonald’s and using essential oils every day is like taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back!
There are several resources out there to help you detoxify your body through nutrition and other natural approaches, and I recommend that you use these along with implementing the advice that I give below about how to do an essential oil detox. For a fantastic guide to help detox naturally and safely, check out Dr. Hardick’s eBook here.
Toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are virtually ubiquitous and have no beneficial role to us and contribute to epidemic of chronic diseases that are plaguing our people. While drugs are eagerly sought-after to solve this problem by helping aid the detoxification of toxic elements, pharmaceutical chelators are mainly used for acute poisoning.
The key to understanding how doing an essential oil detox can help cleanse the body, let’s look at the word “chelation.” Chelation (pronounced /kiːˈleɪʃən/) is a chemical term for bonding of ions and molecules to metal ions. To date, most of the research we have about essential oils and chelation has been done about iron, a micronutrient required by almost all living organisms.
Harmful microorganisms have developed a high affinity with iron, particularly fungi. A critical element critical for normal growth and development, iron is actually the most abundant transition metal in the human body. However, free iron accumulation (II) can occur as a result of oxidative stress, which is a known cause of many neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, chelation therapy to reduce complications associated with iron became a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Interestingly, iron chelators can mobilize iron in human tissue, which causes them to be excreted in feces and urine and can be used as therapeutic agents against different types of microorganisms. Therefore, is of significant interest to help manage the side effects and improve the quality of life of people suffering from iron overload.
This is where an essential oil detox can help, and these 10 essential oils are some of the most promising out there!
1-4. Citral-Containing Oils
Due to the antioxidant capacity, research has shown that essential oil compounds can induce detoxification enzymes and can actually prevent toxicity and even cancer in cell line models. The compound citral is the perfect example because it can increase the activity of a key phase II detoxification enzyme known as glutathione-S-transferase, and researchers suggest it has a possible role in skin cancer prevention. (18) These 4 essential oils with the most citral have the potential to be the most detoxifying agents: (19)
- Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citrata (90-98% citral)
- Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus (75-85%)
- Lemon Teatree – Leptospermum citratum from Australia (80%)
- May Chang – Litsea cubeba (65-74%)
Application: Add 5-6 drops of citral-rich oils in your diffuser for an effective essential oil detox!
When many people think about how to do an essential oil detox, lemon naturally comes up, not because of the research done on the subject, but because of the wildly popular lemon detox drinks that are being raved about in the health community. It may seem logical to assume that lemon oil is detoxifying because the juice is so powerfully effective, but that’s not necessarily true. We need to remember that the chemical constituency of the lemon rind (which the oil is made from) and thus the oil itself are quite different from the juice.
With that said, it’s important to note that lemon has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and the peel has been traditionally used to detoxify the liver. According to Indian researchers, hesperidin (a bioflavonoid found in lemon oil) has the ability to do even more by preventing lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxicity in rats. As noted, “Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major trigger of septic shock resulting in multiple organ damage through excessive stimulation of the host’s immune cells resulting in the release of cytokines. Previous studies have shown that hesperidin has several beneficial properties against inflammation and oxidative stress.” (20)
Additionally, hydrodistilled lemon oil has been proven to slow down key enzymes that are linked to neurodegenerative conditions and is a strong antioxidant as evident by its ability to chelate iron. (21) Distilled lemon oil, however, will not have the same hesperidin compounds researched above.
Application: Add lemon oil to your diffuser to support your cleanse efforts!
Rosemary essential oil is a known iron chelator that has been proven to protect DNA. (22) It’s actually one of the most well-studied and promising detox oils. In one study rosemary outperformed other health and essential oil detox superstar oils oregano, thyme, sage, and clove. This is what the study found:
- The oxidative degradation of lipids is one of the main factors limiting the shelf-life of food products. In recent years, several undesirable disorders have been detected as side-effects of using commonly used synthetic antioxidants. Apart from their use as aroma additives in food, essential oils from aromatic plants have shown potential for use in small amounts in fat-containing food systems to prevent or delay some types of chemical deterioration that occur during storage. Using a multiple-method approach, the antioxidant activity of the essentials oils from several spices widely used in Mediterranean countries was tested: oregano (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis) and clove (Syzygium aromaticum). Their total phenolic compound content was also determined. The clove essential oil had the highest amount of total phenols and showed the highest percentage inhibition of DPPH radical and the highest FRAP value. The thyme essential oil produced the highest percentage inhibition of TBARS (89.84%). All the essential oils studied were capable of chelating iron(II), the rosemary essential oil producing the highest effect (76.06%) in this respect. The oregano essential oil had the highest antioxidant activity index in the Rancimat test. (23)
Application: Premake an immunity blend with cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, orange and rosemary. Add 1 drop of the blend oil in some honey and coconut oil for during your next cleanse! Remember that internal use shouldn’t be used every day for a prolonged period of time.
7. Valerian Root
Valerian root essential oil is another ferrous iron chelator. It is interesting to note that research has suggested that methanolic extract of Valeriana jatamansi possesses the best chelation activity (76%), whereas aqueous extracts (43%) and essential oil (31%) do not perform as well in clinical studies. (24) This doesn’t mean that the essential oil is useless, 31% chelation is still good! It simply suggests that other non-oil forms are effective as well.
Application: Diffuse 3 drops valerian, 2 drops vetiver and 1 drop cedarwood to do an essential oil detox for your emotions and spirit from negative feelings and hurt.
8. Mint Family
Several oils in the mint family have been shown to detox iron and ginger mint extract is the most prominent, presumably due to its antioxidant capacity. Here, it is also reasonable to assume that the antioxidant capacity is linked to the principal chemical compound present in each essential oil and the foremost study in this area states that, “The ability to chelate iron (II) species is dependent on the chemical composition of each variety and was more effective with the extract of M. x gentilis L. , followed by M. piperita L. We are assuming that the ability to chelate iron (II) species is linked to the principal chemical compound present in each essential oil: M. spicata L. is rich in pulegone (55.49%); M. x gentilis L. in linalyl acetate (45.59%); M. crispa L. in carvone (60.88%); M. piperita L. in l-menthol (32.43%) and M. x piperita L. in l-menthol (42.70%). (25)
Application: Diffuse 2 drops each of ginger mint, peppermint and spearmint for an invigorating, energy boost during your next cleanse!
9. Nees & Mart
An oil you’re probably not familiar with, the species Rhaphiodon echinus (Nees & Mart) Schauer is basically a weed from the family Lamiaceae that is commonly found in vacant lots and has been used in folklore medicine for treating cough, fatigue, pain, infections and inflammation. Research studies on echinus have shown that it contains significant antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Research has also uncovered that the essential oil from R. echinus leaf is rich in sesquiterpenes, mainly bicyclogermacrene and trans-caryophyllene. Most recently, scientists have discovered that aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Nees & Mart are rich in polyphenols and is truly a therapeutic oil.
The iron (II) chelation potential of Nees & Mart essential oils has also been investigated in vitro. (26)
The more research uncovers, the more we see stress in its various states as an underlying cause of so many illnesses and discomforts. It’s no wonder that a powerful antioxidant would carry such varied benefits. And powerful it is! Myrrh emulsion exhibits an antioxidant effect strong enough that it can actually protect the liver – the “detox” organ that is bombarded with toxins every day – from oxidative damage. (27)
Application: Create a healing, essential oil detoxifying oil by adding 3 drops myrrh, 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops spikenard and 1 drop valerian with 1 ounce coconut oil. Apply over kidneys and bottoms of feet.
Essential Oil Sourcing Considerations
It is interesting to note that the chelating activity of essential oils based off of phenology is becoming of greater interest to scientists. Phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events, discusses how plant compounds are influenced by seasonal variations in climate, as well as habitat factors such as elevation.
Research on thyme oil suggests that the flowering & vegetative phases do not affect the metal chelating activity of the essential oil, whereas the geographical location do. The metal chelating activity of the essential oils was assessed and compared to synthetic EDTA (a medical intervention used to treat lead poisoning). (28)
In 2015, the Journal of Essential Oil Research published a study showing how the chemical composition and iron chelating activity of Ruta chalepensis L. (Rutaceae) essential oil is influenced by phenological stages and plant organs. Essential oils were extracted by hydrodistillation from different organs (flowers, leaves and stems) and analyzed.
Results also showed that significant differences of chelating activity were affected by the actual plant organs. The lowest chelating activity, for example, was measured in the leaves, by contrast, the highest chelating activity was found in the stems and the flowers at the flowering stage. (29)
Once again, this reinforces the importance of knowing where your oils come from.
Tips on Doing an Essential Oil Detox
There are several ways to do an essential oil detox, and safety should be a top concern. Meaning this, you don’t want to drink several drops of essential oils in water every morning because you see something on Pinterest! Seriously, I see this stuff all the time and it’s ludicrous.
We must remember that essential oils are powerful substances and need to be handled with care. They are also powerful detoxifying agents and can help you flush out toxins and cleanse the skin and oral cavity. These are some effective ways to regularly enjoy the detoxifying power of an essential oil detox:
- Regular detox baths 2-3x per week.
- Oil Pulling with essential oils 3-4x per week.
- Taking my immune boosting shot 1-2x per week.
- Daily diffusion and stress reduction.
- Use this emotional detox inhaler blend for emotional grounding.
- 3-5% dilution detox message. 3% = 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil. 5% = 15 drops
- To enhance your lemon juice + water detox morning ritual, add 1 drop of lemon oil 2-3x per week in a teaspoon of honey or coconut oil.
- Be sure not to do this for prolonged periods of time as resistance may develop. If you are using another essential oil internally, skip this internal use.
For all serious conditions related to toxic overload or heavy metal detoxification, it’s not likely that an essential oil detox alone can “cure” you. It would be best to work with a detox specialist that can prescribe a customized protocol to help your body heal itself.
Special Note About Reactions
It’s important to note that your skin should NOT break out in hives when doing an essential oil detox safely and effectively. You’ll see ludicrous claims in the blogosphere claiming that inflammatory responses of breaking out in hives, pain, and other signs of damage are “natural.” Nothing that hurts is natural! Please remember this.
The 4 Cardinal Signs of Inflammation are the body’s way of saying, “No! Stop hurting me!” Or, “Check under the hood, something is wrong!” Discontinue use immediately if you use essential oils and suffer from any of these: swelling, redness, itching, and pain.