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Do you use essential oils? Ever considered essential oils for detoxing? It could be a valuable part of your detox routine – one that’s safe, affordable & easy to implement.

If not, you should research them and their many uses. I think you’ll be surprised how safe, effective and versatile they are.

If you do, maybe you’ve diffused them in your living room or inhaled peppermint when you were nauseous, but now you’re wondering if they can do even more.

Maybe you’ve heard of detoxing with essential oils and wonder if it’s really a thing?

Well, it most certainly is – and a very wonderful thing at that!

Before we dig in, don’t forget to download your essential oil detox plan at the end of this post!
For centuries, our bodies processed toxins just fine thanks to the God-given systems put into place. When the industrial age hit the scene, however, it brought with it a whole slew of chemicals and toxins.

Now today, the very food we eat, the cleaners we use and the products we apply to our skin are loaded with toxins in various forms. The sad result is our bodies are overburdened and unable to process them all efficiently.

That’s where active detoxing comes in.

In generations past, toxin processing was just something that happened in the background with no action needed by us. Now we need to take a proactive approach, and essential oils help us do that.

Many people now use essential oils to detox effectively. Today, I’d like to show you how you can do the same!

But first…

Why Do I Need to Detox?

Simply put – our bodies are so overloaded with toxins that we can no longer process them all without help. I mentioned the onslaught of toxins brought forth by the industrial age, but let’s look at 4 specific sources of toxins.

This will give you a better idea of why active detoxification is necessary and how essential oils can help.

1. Overuse of Pharmaceuticals

This is a big one.

As a whole, we use to believe in our body’s innate ability to heal itself with natural support from things like plants and herbs.

Once pharmaceutical companies realized the money to be made in drugs, that all changed.

(Disclaimer: I’m very thankful for the strides we’ve made in the medical field and not all drug companies are after our money – some actually do care. I also agree that medications are absolutely necessary in many cases. I was particularly thankful for antibiotics when I developed a postpartum infection after my third child. However, I do believe that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are overused today, and the result is an overwhelming detriment to our health.)

Many of the active ingredients themselves are toxic to our bodies, but a drug’s toxicity doesn’t stop there.

Even the coatings on many pills contain dangerous chemicals. In fact, these coatings are often laced with plasticizing compounds known as phthalates. You’ve probably heard of them before as they’ve been linked to a number of hormonal and reproductive issues.

Now normally, you should be able to look at the label and see what’s in your medicine.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Thanks to some slack FDA regulations, pharmaceutical conglomerates aren’t required to list things like phthalates on their labels if they’re considered inactive ingredients or a part of their drug delivery system, which is considered a trade secret.

And that’s just one toxin found in some drugs. There are many more.

2. Toxic Cosmetics and Cleaning Supplies

On top of the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs, we also absorb chemicals every day through our household cleaning products and personal care items.

Many chemicals found in such products carry the potential to be incredibly dangerous.

glass beakers and jars with toxic chemicals

Let’s look at just 2


Paraben absorption is associated with premature puberty, cancer, organ toxicity, and birth defects. Found in shampoo, sunscreen, deodorant, and more, they actually interfere with hormonal balance by affecting estrogenic activity.

One CDC report revealed that over 2,000 human urine samples tested positive for parabens, which just goes to show how widespread their use is. Yet another study, this time from the Journal of Applied Toxicology, showed that almost all breast cancer samples contained paraben esters.

Scary stuff.

Now let’s look at another one.


Aluminum is a popular ingredient in many deodorants for its sweat-reducing properties. Once absorbed though, aluminum can lead to breast cancer and other devastating diseases. In fact, this study by the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry admits that it has a genotoxic profile, able to cause DNA damage.

That’s just two. Other toxic ingredients in our everyday products include:

  • Talc
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde (yep, the same stuff they use to embalm bodies)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Synthetic dyes

The list goes on, but I want to get to the part about detoxing with essential oils, so I’ll spare you the rest of the data about our daily exposure to toxins.

3. Our Food

Our culinary culture today makes it increasingly difficult to truly eat clean. Toxins make their way into our food through every stage of the process – growing, manufacturing, storage and transportation.

These toxins include but are not limited to:

  • Pesticides
  • GMOs
  • Fungal toxins
  • Industrial contaminants
  • Heavy metals
  • BPA
  • And more

4. Environment

This one is so widespread that it’s impossible to name all the ways our environment is toxic. From the air we breathe to the items we wear, our body is attacked by pollutants from all sides.

Here’s a brief list of environmental toxins

  • Cigarette smoke
  • EMFs
  • Off-gassing from carpets and furniture
  • Air pollution
  • Smog
  • Lead paint
  • High VOC paint
  • Plastics
  • Even our water in many cases

If you’re alive today, which I assume you are if you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly exposed to these toxins on a daily basis.

In a minute, I’ll share how you can detox from all this with essential oils, but first, you should know how to recognize when your body is carrying a toxic burden.

Symptoms of Toxicity

It’s important to note that the toxicity we’re speaking of in this article is referring to the micro-accumulation of toxins that happens gradually over time. Due to the slow and steady nature of this process, someone can reach the point of toxin overload without even realizing it.

At first, you may just start dragging your feet a bit. Maybe it’s harder to get out of bed these days. Then a few weeks or months go by, and you start experiencing random, throbbing headaches.

Still more times goes on and you find that it’s harder to concentrate and think as clearly as you could this time last year.

You get the picture.

Things that happen slowly over time tend to sneak their way into our lives without much disruption. Sometimes that’s not a big deal, but when it comes to toxicity, it can be a devastating invader.

Here are a few signs that you’re overloaded with toxins and need to detox:

  • Bad breath
  • Hormones out of whack
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Recurring infections
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Brain fog
  • Unexplained pain
  • Poor circulation
  • Skin conditions like eczema

If you’re experiencing any of these and you can’t point to a specific cause or reason, then it just maybe your body screaming, “I need an essential oil detox!”

How you answer that call could be the difference between a vibrant, thriving lifestyle or just moping through your days simply trying to survive.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what essential oils have to do with detoxing. Even if you’re already an essential oil user, you probably just use them for things like enhancing concentration, sleeping better, more energy, nausea abatement or freshening up a room.

But if that’s all you use them for, you’re missing out my friend!

Why Should I use Essential Oils for Detoxification?

When you’re sick or fatigued or just feel “off,” you have 2 options:

  • Take a pharmaceutical drug to mask the symptoms
  • Use natural remedies like essential oils to address the root cause, detoxing your system and allowing it to heal itself

I want to make the case for using essential oils to detox as opposed to covering your symptoms with medications.

a white towel and detoxifying essential oils

Drugs produced in a lab don’t work like natural oils from the earth do. Essential oils detox the body while meds add even more to it. Likewise, oils boost the immune system while pharmaceuticals suppress it.

Our bodies don’t easily respond to or rid themselves of the pollutants introduced by manmade drugs. When essential oils are introduced into the body, they remain long enough to do their job and then are eliminated naturally.

To put it simply:

Essential oils are natural, so they complement the human body that is also natural – not manmade. Medications are spliced together chemicals and are therefore treated by the body as alien invaders.

Also, essential oils are able to differentiate between harmful bacteria and our body’s normal, beneficial flora, whereas prescription drugs kill indiscriminately.

Then there’s the actual activity of the drug or essential oil. Just one essential oil can possess an array of therapeutic properties, but most medications are pretty one dimensional.

Essential oils are what’s known as “homeostatic.” They’re aware of changing conditions within the body and adapt to them.

Prescription drugs, on the other hand, are like your lazy coworker – they do their bare minimum, “one and only” job, and nothing more.

And we can’t discuss the benefits of using essential oils for detoxing without discussing their side effects or lack thereof.

When used properly, most essential oils have no side effects (with the exception of photosensitivity in oils like grapefruit). Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, almost always have a laundry list of side effects.

That’s due to the fact that they’re not formulated to address the root cause of disease.

Instead, they misinform receptor sites and/or the brain in order to mask symptoms. They oftentimes successful in these efforts, normal body functions are adversely affected in the process.

Even if all that wasn’t enough, there’s one more convincing reason why you should consider detoxing with essential oils.

The #1 Thing That Sets Essential Oils Apart from Many Other Detox Methods

Did you know that toxins are stored in our fat? This discovery was brought to the spotlight by the Environmental Protection Agency back in the 1980s.

They conducted a survey (known as the National Human Adipose Tissue Survey) in which they revealed that all of the human fat samples they obtained contained traces of chemicals, industrial solvents, and dioxins.

And it’s not just those specific toxins that wind up in our fatty tissues. Our fat cells are also the unwitting hosts of heavy metals, pesticides, toxins from household cleaners, and more.

Just in case you think that’s not too big a deal, keep in mind that fatty tissues involve more than just what we think of as “fat.” Fatty tissue is found in some critical areas such as the brain and liver.

The worst part about toxins being stored in fat is the fact that they are very difficult to remove once there. Other toxins are actively circulated throughout the body, making them easier to detox through other methods like juice cleanses.

The ones stored in fat, however, are very stubborn and not so easily detoxed.

Now here’s where essential oils come in.

Essential oils are fat-soluble, allowing them to penetrate fatty tissue. They also contain what’s known as “sesquiterpenes.” These substances effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and can actually cleanse brain tissue.

Hopefully, by now you’re convinced that detoxing with essential oils is a good idea. The benefits to be had are tremendous, and rather cheap compared to other detox methods.

So now let’s dig into the most detoxifying essential oils and their benefits.

Top 12 Essential Oils for Detox

Before you start an essential oil detox, you should realize that it’s just one tool in a lifestyle of detox. There is lots of marketing hype out there that would lead you to believe there’s such a thing as a “7-day detox” or one time juice cleanse that will solve all your problems.

That’s simply not true.

Proper detox (and one that results in real, lasting health) is an ongoing thing that’s more of a lifestyle than some short protocol.

With that said, here are my picks for the best detoxification oils.

a brown bottle of essential oils

1. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon is a popular ingredient in cleaning products these days. Lucky for us, it doesn’t just clean hard surfaces, but it cleanses your body as well.

Stimulating white blood cells, it works to boost the immune system and even help keep your respiratory system running smoothing even in the midst of environmental challenges.

While all these properties are great, perhaps its most valuable use is its ability to detox the liver.

The impressive properties of lemon oil is mostly due to constituents like bioflavonoids found in the rind. One such bioflavonoid, known as hesperidin, has been of particular interest ever since researchers discovered its ability to prevent lipopolysaccharide-induced toxicity.

LPS can trigger septic shock and lead to multiple organ failure, so lemon oil’s ability to prevent this is certainly a welcome benefit.

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2. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit is another oil that does a fantastic job cleaning the digestive system while also working to relieve anxiety and lift your mood. Its role in detox is an important one – it works to decrease the production of excess mucus that often occurs when detoxing.

As a note of caution, some people report a sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity) when used topically.

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3. Juniper Berry Essential Oil

Juniper Berry is an effective diuretic, working to flush water and toxins from the kidneys. For this reason, it’s helpful in cleansing the urinary tract and is especially effective at eliminating uric acid and reducing pain. When applied topically, it works great as a natural skin toner. Plus, it can help remove cellulite – a nice added bonus!

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4. Laurel Essential Oil

Laurel oil aids detox by ensuring your immune system and digestive system are functioning properly. This allows other systems and organs to focus more efficiently on processing toxins and expelling them from the body.

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5. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is one of the beloved citral-containing oils. Citral is a compound that can actually induce certain detoxification enzymes, especially glutathione-S-transferase – a vital enzyme involved in the phase 2 detox process.

It is also highly versatile. Just a few of its beneficial properties include anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, and more.

In the realm of detoxification, however, it’s perhaps best known for the citral compound mentioned above as well as its ability to facilitate drainage in the body.

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6. Oregano Essential Oil

Popular as one of the most potent natural anti-bacterial oils. Whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us carry parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens that harbor toxins or at least interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate them.

Because of this “toxic” relationship, an anti-bacterial oil like oregano can be an extremely effective detox tool.

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7. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is a go-to oil for many. I know for me personally it was a lifesaver during morning sickness, but it also has its place in a detox regimen. It’s known to jumpstart sluggish digestion, decrease inflammation, purify the lymphatic system, and is especially helpful for gallbladder support when applied topically over that area.

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8. Clove Essential Oil

Antioxidants abound in all sorts of plants and foods, but many researchers say clove trumps them all. In fact, gram for gram, clove has 30 times more than blueberries! Researchers are learning more and more about antioxidants’ role in detox thanks to their ability to reverse free radical damage, prevent cell death, and slow overall degeneration.

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9. Myrrh Essential Oil

Many of us recognize myrrh as one of the gifts given to Jesus upon His birth. Myrrh oil is composed of terpenoids, which is known as a powerful healer – perhaps due to its role in defending against oxidative stress.

Recent research has also shown that it has antitumor, antiseptic, anesthetic, and other healing properties.

Since stress is a major player in toxicity, its antioxidant nature plays a direct role in detox. In fact, one study indicated that it’s potent enough to protect our body’s primary detox organ – the liver.

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10. Lavender Essential Oil

Known for its ability to calm and encourage restful sleep, lavender is one of the best for a sort of mental detox. It can relieve everything from nervous tension to emotional stress, while also boosting positive mental activity.

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11. Rosemary Essential Oil

Best known as an iron chelator, rosemary oil is among the most widely studied essential oils for detox. In fact, it’s been proven to have a protective effect on DNA.

Besides that, rosemary can help boost metabolism and mental function while also supporting respiratory function and proper digestion.

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12. Ginger Essential Oil

The importance of lymphatic drainage cannot be stressed enough when it comes to detoxing. Ginger oil contains compounds such as gingerols, which break down toxins in lymph nodes.

This action prevents clogged or stagnant lymph, which benefits the entire detoxification process. Ginger is also known to alleviate the pain associated with swollen lymph nodes.

Besides its benefits for your lymphatic system, ginger also helps protect against fungal conditions, arthritis, and bacterial infections.

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How to Apply Essential Oils During Your Detox Protocol

If you’re wondering what the best way to apply essential oil is, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer. Since health is so unique to each individual, where and how you use your oils is mostly a matter of preference.

There are 5 main ways I’ve researched that have proven to be effective in applying detoxifying oils.

  1. A Bath Soak

This is a particularly enjoyable way to detox as it relaxes your whole body, mind, and all. It’s also incredibly effective because most of your body is fully submerged, absorbing the oils along with their therapeutic properties.

Generally speaking, a few drops is all you need. Just be sure to keep your head above the water as essential oils can irritate your eyes.

  1. Topical Application

Before applying to skin, you should dilute essential oils in some sort of carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, or almond oil. A good rule of thumb to follow is 1 teaspoon carrier oil to 3 drops of essential oil.

A popular way to detox with essential oils is to apply them to the bottom of your feet. The perfect time to do this is at night before you go to bed.

Some individuals use essential oils during targeted massages. Lemon or ginger is a great option for use with a lymphatic drainage massage.

You may also want to consider making your own skincare products with essential oils.

Not only will you benefit from their ability to promote cellular detoxification, but you’ll also be avoiding the toxins inside most mainstream personal care products.

  1. Inhalation

Diffusing essential oils is growing more and more popular. When used this way, it acts as a type of aromatherapy that can be a powerful tool for detoxing.

You can also inhale essential oils without a diffuser though. All you need to do is rub 2-3 drops of oil into your hands, cup them around your nose and inhale.

  1. Ingestion

You’ll find advocates on both sides of the fence when it comes to ingesting essential oils. Some say it’s perfectly safe; others say never do it. I believe ingesting essential oils provides excellent results in many cases, especially when detoxing.

However, it’s imperative that you do the research yourself, make an educated decision, and use only 100% pure essential oils. If in doubt, consult a licensed healthcare professional.

There are 2 primary ways to ingest oils:

  • Mixed with juice or water
  • Placed in capsules and swallowed

5. Hydrotherapy Treatments

I personally have never tried infusing essential oils into a hydrotherapy treatment, but I’ve heard of great results from those who use them as part of their colon cleansing protocols.

How to Determine the Quality of Your Detoxification Oils

The purity of the essential oils you use is important in any case but especially when detoxing. Your body is actively trying to purge itself of toxins, so you don’t want to fuel the fire by adding even more chemicals, additives, etc.

two bottles of detoxifying essential oils on a white marble background

To help you determine if an essential oil is of the highest quality, here are some key questions to ask:

  • Does its label list the oil’s Latin name? This is important because there can be many different species of plants under one name (like lavender for example).
  • Does the company provide a statement of purity? If not, their oils are probably altered or diluted in some way.
  • Are the oils GC/MS tested? GC/MS stands for “gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.” It’s a test that can identify the different components with an oil to determine its purity.
  • How much does it cost? Cheap oils in price are usually cheap in quality.
  • Do they offer certified organic oils? Becoming certified organic is a very rigorous process. Companies that cut corners on quality don’t want to jump through all the hoops involved in becoming certified. However, if an essential oil company does offer some organic oils, it’s a good indicator that they not only care about quality but actually provide it.

Closing Tips for Detoxing with Essential Oils

Essential oils are potent detox mechanisms and shouldn’t be used lightly. If after your research, you decide to take some internally, be sure to only use 100% pure essential oil.

Also, it’s hard to talk about cleansing without mentioning heavy metal detox. I personally have not seen adequate research to safely recommend using essential oils for heavy metal detoxification.

Heavy metal toxicity is on a completely different level that requires extreme caution and supervision by a licensed professional during treatment.

Overall, bear in mind that an essential oil detox will only be effective when combined with other lifestyle changes. Basically, you can’t expect lasting results if you eat poorly and sit on the couch all day.

During any sort of detox regimen, you should drink lots of filtered water, eliminate sugar, try your best to eat a whole foods diet, and exercise regularly.

All of these actions work to purge your body of toxins and multiply the efficacy of an essential oil detox.

Ultimate guide to detoxing with essential oils

Want step-by-step guidance and exact recipes for detoxing? Fill out the form below, and I’ll send an easy-to-implement detox protocol using essential oils straight to your inbox!

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