April 12, 2017    


  • The body eliminates waste every day through the skin. Essential oils can be potent plant helpers in this detoxification process.

  • Tradition has correctly identified plants that yield detoxifying essential oils, including: Lemon, Frankincense, Patchouli, and Ylang Ylang. 

  • The ancient rule of thumb – “as above, so below” – is a reference to the way in which botanicals that help dispel negative thoughts and emotions also help rid the body of toxins.

  • All citrus essential oils are detoxifying, but as a rule, none should be worn on the skin in daylight because they may be sun sensitizing.


Open an alternative health magazine, read the signs in the windows of a spa or health food store, check out the website of your local health practice – chances are you’ll see “Detoxifying” treatments offered – from foot baths to FAR infrared saunas, through to cleansing diets and aromatherapy massage. Every culture features traditional practices that help our human bodies detoxify – sweat lodges and saunas, cleansing fasts and herbal teas, hot springs and mud baths

These traditions build on the ways our bodies already work to detoxify. Our bodies continuously eliminate toxins through our digestive, urinary, integumentary (skin), circulatory, respiratory, and lymphatic systems. Traditional detoxification treatments are designed to enhance these built-in mechanisms. It seems that human beings have always sought out and devised ways to cleanse the body of unwanted by-products of foods, especially cooked and smoked foods, the remnants of stress and fatigue, occasional encounters with natural toxins, and sporadic bouts of deliberate intoxication such as that caused by fermented beverages and other substances such as narcotics.

We are designed to process toxins that are naturally occurring, but since the 20th century, human bodies are increasingly bombarded with new toxins from denatured foods and drinks, regular use of intoxicants such as alcohol, pesticides, cigarettes and herbicides, petroleum by-products, air, and water pollutants. Fatigue, constipation, gas, bad breath, low immunity, hormone imbalances, menstrual, menopausal and fertility problems, skin problems, poor circulation, mood swings, depression, frequent infections and mucus build-up all can be signs that the body needs extra help to detoxify.

Like herbs, essential oils can be potent plant helpers in the detoxification process. Traditions correctly identify detoxifying plants and quite a few appear regularly in our diets and folk remedies such as lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, ginger, bitter greens and hot peppers. Detoxifying foods need not be taken as essential oils; in fact, never ingest an essential oil unless prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. You can take a tablespoon of lemon juice in warm water each morning to help the liver detoxify, for instance, and it is neither necessary nor advisable to use a few drops of the essential oil instead.

The body eliminates up to 1 pound of waste products every day through the skin. It makes good sense to keep the skin open and able to release waste products efficiently. Perspiring has many functions, chief among them the elimination of waste, so it makes sense to exercise daily, use deodorants instead of antiperspirants and enjoy sauna and steam baths whenever you can. In fact, the body relies on a simple exercise like walking half an hour a day in order to circulate lymph in the lower half of the body. Brushing the skin of the whole body towards the heart from bottom to top is a simple practice that removes dead skin cells and increases lymphatic circulation. Using a salt or sugar scrub in the same way, then soaking in a bath in the dissolved scrub is also beneficial.



  • Cypress: Cupressus sempervirens is diuretic, acting to tone the blood and lymphatic vessels, and decongest the lymph.

  • Lemon: Citrus limonum stimulates white blood cells to defend the body against infection and is effective against viruses like the ‘flu. Detoxifies through the blood and liver.

  • Grapefruit: Citrus racemosa is diuretic, antifungal and speeds up lymphatic circulation and the elimination of toxins. Detoxifies through the skin, urinary tract, liver, gall bladder and lymphatic system.

  • Fennel: Foeniculum vulgare dulce is diuretic, and aids digestion and elimination, expelling parasites. Detoxifies through the skin, kidneys and the digestive tract.

  • Fir Balsam: Abies balsamia is antiseptic, anti-cancer and detoxifies through the adrenal glands.

  • Frankincense: Boswellia carterii gently regenerates tissues and the nervous system through its relaxing effects.

  • Juniper Berry: Juniperus communis is antiviral, diuretic, and can help reduce cellulite by eliminating toxins from fatty tissues and expel uric acid from the system. Detoxifies through the kidneys, skin and urinary tract.

  • Palmarosa: Cymbopogon martini cleanses the digestive system at a cellular level. Detoxifies through the nervous and digestive systems.

  • Patchouli: Pogostemon cablin is known by tradition to act on the glands to detoxify skin and strengthen the immune system through its profound stress relieving properties.

  • Peppermint: Mentha piperita is powerful against infections and their toxic residues, but never use it in a bath or directly on mucous membranes. Detoxifies through the respiratory and digestive systems.

  • Rose: Rosa damascena is gentle and so relaxing that it is said to balance hormones and stimulate the immune system solely through its action against stress and its by-products.

  • Rose Geranium: Pelargonium odorantissium or graveolens enhances circulation, balances hormones especially in menopause, and fights yeast while protecting helpful bacteria. Detoxifies by toning the liver, pancreas, and spleen.

  • Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis increases circulation. Detoxifies the respiratory system and clears mucous.

  • Ylang Ylang: Cananga odorata is powerfully relaxing and detoxifies through the nervous and digestive systems.

A note about citrus essential oils: All are detoxifying, but as a rule, none should be worn on the skin in daylight because they may be sun sensitizing.

Remember the ancient rule of thumb “as above, so below” – botanicals that help rid the body of toxins also help dispel negative thoughts and emotions. Most importantly, take the opportunity of a self-directed detoxification program in order to thoroughly enjoy yourself – the taste of clean water, the textures, and colors of fresh foods, the satisfaction of moving the body, and the sensory delights of homemade essential oil treatments. When it comes to toxins, the rule is: Reduce, Relax, Refresh and Relish!

IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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