Before I share with you my essential oil detox blends, I just wanted to emphasize that as powerful as essential oils are, they cannot work miracles. They are not a substitute for a good diet, adequate sleep, clean lifestyle, physical activity, etc. In my approach to autoimmunity (and health overall), I combine nutrition, mind-transforming modalities, herbal medicine, bioenergetics (incl. energetic medicines), and essential oils. It is this truly holistic approach that produces the amazing results I get with my clients. I am sure you can appreciate that when you integrate essential oils with other modalities that promote healing, you will have a much greater impact, compared to looking at essential oils as that one-stop solution to all your health problems.
1. These days, many people claim to be experts on essential oils but the truth is that many blogs that offer advice on essential oils are not written by qualified practitioners. Be careful as to sources of information you use as the industry is not regulated. Essential oils are incredibly potent because they are highly concentrated plant extracts. This means that if you use them appropriately, they will be a wonderful addition to any healing protocol. Conversely, if you don’t use them correctly, you can hurt yourself.
2. Whenever you see people recommending using silly amounts of essential oils, e.g. 10 drops of each oil in a blend, you can assume that they do not know what they are talking about. Using excessive amounts of oils is wasteful, because there is a limit in terms of what your body can utilize, and it can be harmful.
3. It is worth noting that certain oils are phototoxic (e.g. most citrus oils when cold-pressed) so they should not be applied on the skin if you are going to be exposed to sunlight. This is less relevant with the detox blends and strategies presented in this article but definitely worth knowing.
4. Essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil (e.g. fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil, etc.). There are very few exceptions to that so accept that as a general safety rule.
5. There are additional safety considerations in pregnancy - certain oils should not be used (see more details here). The same applies to babies. If you are on medication, you should check for any potential drug interactions. I am unable to list all the drug interactions in this article but this applies to anyone with asthma, as well as those taking medications for depression, epilepsy, kidney and heart disease, blood clotting and blood sugar disorders (this is not a complete list).
6. Those with allergies must also be careful. For example, if you allergic to asteraceae plants, there will be a number of oils that will be contraindicated for you. The same applies to other plant families, such as lamiaceae and apiaceae. Finally, extra care must be taken when using essential oils on children.
7. When using oils for the first time, it is recommended to do a patch skin test. Plus, you should always conduct an organoleptic evaluation of the oils you use (using your senses to evaluate the oil and your response to it). This is particularly important for people with chronic illness who may already have increased reactivity to foods, chemicals, EMFs, etc. Remember, just because I love the blends I put together, it does not automatically mean they are right for you! Start low and slow, test, and determine how you feel when using them (listen to your senses and instincts).
I do not recommend one specific brand of essential oils for a couple of reasons. Mainly, because not promoting any brand in particular makes my recommendations more credible in my opinion. Secondly, there is a natural variability in the plant world, and also oils have an energetic profile. This means that a person may respond to e.g. peppermint from one company but have a different response to the same oil supplied by a different company. I personally use a number of different brands. Again, you need to try and see if a given oil works for you or not.
When buying your oils, go for pure oils obviously. Organic unfortunately does not guarantee purity. Also, “therapeutic grade” means different things to different people. It is not a standardized term. The best thing to do is to first read the company’s profile and what they are about. If that checks out and you like their ethos, approach the company and ask them to supply you with their quality and purity testing reports. If they start making excuses or ignore you, stay away from them. If they supply you with the reports readily, you know they are more transparent even if you don’t know how to interpret the reports! Also, make sure that the label states the Latin name of the oil. Finally, beware of cheap oils.
Essential oils are expensive to produce (some are more expensive than others) because it takes a huge amount of plant material to produce a small bottle of oil. Sometimes a room full of leaves or petals is required to produce a 10 mL bottle of essential oil! When you understand the process and what goes into it, you understand that they cannot be cheap.
When making your oil selection, you may find this article on consumeradvocate.org a useful resource. They had an independent lab test the purity of 33 oil samples from well-known names in the essential oil industry to see what was really inside each bottle. It is a very interesting review.
When embarking on any detox protocol, it is massively important to understand that your elimination pathways must be cleared before you start releasing toxins from tissues. This means that if you currently have a clogged-up bowel, or poor lymphatic drainage, you need to address those issues first.
The liver, as I am sure you know, is our main organ of detoxification but of course once the toxins are dealt with by the liver, we must ensure that they leave the body. Otherwise, it is a pointless exercise. This, by the way, is where many people go wrong with detox. We eliminate toxins in urine, faeces, sweat, and air we exhale. Lymphatic drainage is also critical.
When you are on the mission to detox your body effectively, you absolutely must take binders. Some of the binders people usually go for include chlorella and coriander oil. These are quite weak binders however. Plus, chlorella can be very contaminated if not properly sourced. Activated charcoal is a much better option, as is a product called Enterosgel. There are obviously others. The point I am stressing is that you should definitely incorporate them into your detox protocol if you haven’t already.
In the same way you do not want to eat the same things day in day out, because sooner or later that will lead to problems, you want to vary your oil blends as well.
One way of using these blends is in an ultrasonic diffuser. When diffusing essential oils, have the diffuser on for 30-45 minutes (less for the first time to determine how you feel about using that blend), and then off for 30-45 minutes. These oils have amazing detoxifying properties but some of them can irritate airways when inhaled for long periods of time. Use one drop of each oil included in the blend.
You can also use these blends topically (remember the photoxicity though). Particularly, the liver detox blends which you can use directly on your liver by massaging that part of your abdomen (right-hand side below the ribs). The recommended dilution is 1 drop of each oil diluted in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of your choice. If you respond positively, you can make it more concentrated but I would not recommend going higher than 2 drops of each oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. The liver detox blend can be also used with a compress (alternating between hot and cold towels every 5 minutes to stimulate the circulation and toxin removal).
When applying the blend on the skin, you should not have any adverse reactions. If you do, that is not normal and means you are reacting to something in the blend. If that happens you can either narrow down which oil is causing the reaction, or discontinue using it altogether. That is why I am recommending to do a patch test first.
Please note that these are synergistic blends that I have done my best to balance. You don't really want to mix too many top notes, or too many base notes, in one blend. Some oils are stimulating whilst others are calming, so you may not want to create a blend that is revving you up or sedating you too much. Usually, you will want to balance those. Unless you understand all those nuances, stick to the blends as they are presented. You can omit certain oils if you don't have them, if they are too expensive, or if you have a bad reaction to them. However, oil blends (when combined well) are always better than individual oils.
DETOX BLEND 1
DETOX BLEND 2
LIVER DETOX BLEND 1
LIVER DETOX BLEND 2
Obviously, in this article I focused on biochemical detox but as you may have heard me emphasize many times, emotional detox is just as important (if not more important!). I shall make my recommendations on how you can use essential oils to assist you with emotional detox in the next article.