10 Essential Oils for Detoxing and Boosting Immunity
I’ve experienced the somewhat miraculous healing properties of essential oils first hand. When getting over a long bout of an upper respiratory sickness, I bathed in a combination of ylang ylang, white thyme, jatamansi, lavender, marjoram, and sandalwood oils. A few drops of each is all it took. I soaked away sore muscles, and the aroma itself was exhilarating, but what was most interesting is that right after stepping out of this healing bath, I was able to cough up some phlegm that had plagued me for weeks.
While many of the benefits of essential oils have not yet been clinically tested, there is ample peer feedback to suggest that these oils, just like the plants from which they are derived, are essential to our health when used properly.
10 Oils for Detoxing
Here are 10 oils from a list of thousands you can utilize for their detoxing and health-supporting benefits (please note that some oils should not be ingested directly, but used topically only):
- 1. Peppermint Oil – This oil smells just like candy canes or peppermint tea, and can be used topically, or in very small amounts (a drop in a smoothie or a glass of water is fine) to help detox the body. T he plant itself has been used medicinally for thousands of years, often as a wonderful cognitive supporter. It also aids the respiratory system, and with digestive disorders. For breastfeeding women, peppermint water can help to reduce tenderness of the nipples. Hay fever, shingles pain, and even chemotherapy-induced nausea can be helped with the oil of peppermint.
- 2. Mandarin Oil – A great smelling oil, mandarin oil has as antiseptic, antispasmodic, circulatory, cytophylactic, depurative, digestive, hepatic, nervous relaxant, sedative, stomachic, and tonic properties. Mandarin oil helps to circulate blood and lymph, and promotes the growth of new cells and tissues in the body. Because of this, mandarin oil can boost immunity and help overturn ‘bad’ or old cells more quickly. Mandarin also helps the body to remove toxins through its normal excretory functions – through sweat, through the digestive system, and through the urinary tract. Just a few drops in a glass of water right after a meal can also help the digestive system.
- 3. Laurel Oil – This oil is full of antioxidants, which can help rid your body of a toxic overload. The Greeks believed that those doused in laurel gained the gifts of divination and prophecy. The Roman’s also used laurel oil to assuage a multitude of ailments. “Dr. Cazin classified laurel as a carminative, expectorant, diuretic and sudorific, and prescribed it for flatulence, slow and difficult digestion, asthmatic conditions and bronchorrhoea (a chronic form of bronchitis, with a great amount of phlegm). More recently Dr Leclerc recommended its use for chronic bronchitis, ‘flu and ‘flu fevers, flatulence and virus infections; his remedy was an infusion of the leaves or berries.”
- 4. Juniper Oil – Derived from the Juniper tree berry, a brightly colored, blue delicacy, as well as the bark and leaves of the tree, this oil has diuretic properties and helps with digestive issues, but that isn’t all. It is also an antiseptic, sudorific, antirheumatic, depurative, antispasmodic, stimulating, stomachic, astringent, carminative, rubefacient, vulnerary, and tonic substance.
- 5. Grapefruit Oil – Grapefruit essential oils help the body flush out unwanted toxins. It also contains limonene, a substance contained in citrus fruit that has been proven to minimize the incidence of colon, skin, liver, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. Grapefruit has been studies extensively in Universities throughout the world.
- 6. Rosemary Oil – This is another powerful oil. It has analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant qualities. It can help to boost memory, assist in learning, and provide better insight. This oil is best used topically or aromatically in a diffuser, and not ingested, unless it is very pure and diluted extensively. Massaging rosemary oil into the feet several times daily is said to help with Candida Albicans overgrowth.
- 7. Jatamansi Oil – This oil is one of my favorites. Coming from the Himalayan region, Jatamansi oil has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is the perfect combination of three tastes – bitter, astringent, and sweet. If you are familiar with doshas – the Ayurvedic classification system for body types – jatamansi is thought to treat imbalances in Vata. Jatamansi is a nerve tonic and memory enhancer, and it has been used to help clear the mind for meditation. It is a great oil to treat anxiety and depression as well. It also does wonder for skin problems like eczema, rashes, burns and wounds – especially those caused by streptococcus bacteria.
- 8. White Thyme Oil – This is another immunity booster and cognitive aid. The Greeks used to bathe in it before battle to instill courage, and the Romans used it to naturally get rid of pests. Thyme is one of the oldest herbs on record, too.The International Journal of Food Microbiology as well as other institutions found that 92 percent of Gram negative and positive bacterial strains could be killed using cinnamon, thyme or clove essential oil. Here are some other health benefits of thyme.
- 9. Tea Tree Oil – This oil is well known by many as a skin curative, but it has many other qualities too, Among them, effectively detoxing the body. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant, and sudorific substance. It has a reputation as a ‘cure-all’ for good reason. It can handle just about any infectious disease while boosting immunity and protecting against everything from viruses, to unwanted bacterial infections, to the common cold. It is meant for topical application only, though, so don’t ingest this one!
- 10. Lemon Oil – Lemons are known disinfectants, and the essential oils are no different. They are incredibly effective at clearing out gunk from the body. The benefits of lemon oil include its ability to treat stress disorders, fever, infections, asthma, obesity, insomnia, skin disorders, hair conditions, stomach problems, and tiredness. Lemon oil is a great essential oil to use for sleepless nights, stomach upset, or to minimize cramps during menses. It also relieves mental fatigue, irritability and nervousness, as well as boosts the immune system. Here are 10 ways to use lemon for beauty.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.