Detox: more that just a fad [Part 2]

Posted by Andrea Rossi, RHN, R.BIE in Lifestyle + Essential Oils

2018-05-22

In last week’s blog post I talked about the detox pathways, toxic load, and talked about the basics of detoxification of the body. If you haven’t read part 1, click here to read it first.

In this week’s blog post, I want to talk more practical things you can do and products that help support your body’s natural detoxification pathways.

As mentioned in the previous article, we’re exposed to over 2 million toxins a day that are mostly out of our control. Part of supporting our body through detoxification is to limit our exposure as best we can, and then to support the detox and elimination pathways: our liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.

The most common reasons why our detox pathways can be blocked are through toxin exposure, nutrition choices, gut health, low exercise, poor sleep, and dehydration. Check out last week’s post for more information on each of these areas.

The second part to supporting our body through detoxification is, in my experience, with the help and wisdom of plant medicine. Whether that’s via food, herbs, tinctures, remedies, or essential oils. Because herbs, tinctures and remedies are very specific and different for each of us, I won’t be doing in depth on those today but something we would address during a 1 on 1 session.

As for nutrition and detoxification, that would be a whole other blog post, to come at a later date!

What I really would like to talk to you about today is the amazing power of essential oils when it comes to detoxification. 

Don't forget to download my personal daily essential oil routine at the bottom of the article. This will help give you an idea of how to incorporate the essential oils into your daily life. 

Why Essential Oils?

I was originally drawn into using essential oils because of their ability to help us heal on a cellular level. My practice and personal beliefs stem from the concept that we all have the power to heal from within. Using the essential oils is another tool that I can give to my body to help it heal and run optimally.

Essential oils are ultimately the plants “essence”, what gives a plant it’s aroma and flavour. They’re 50-70 times more powerful that herbs. For example, peppermint plants smell like peppermint because of the essential oil in their leaves. And 1 drop of peppermint essential oils is the same as 28 cups of peppermint tea! Using 1 drop of peppermint to sooth a stomach, no problem. Drinking 28 cups of tea, well that’s not ideal! Lol!

For each plant, their essential oil is a critical part of their immune system. They use it for pollination in some cases but most importantly for protection against environmental threats and disease. The parts of each plant that has the most essential oils is the part that is the most vulnerable to attack, whether it’s the rind, leaves, bark, roots, sap, etc.

Essential oils are carbon based molecules and so are we! And this is why essential oils work so beautifully within our body to help support our health and wellbeing. It’s like the oils adopt us as their new host plant, protecting us, and helping us function optimally! 🌿

They provide us with their anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help support our cells, boost our immune system, and fight infections.

The Therapeutic Compounds in Essential Oils

OK, so this is where my inner science geek gets all excited! 🤓 I’m going to try to keep this simple but educational for you so you can understand why essential oils are so powerful and why they’re taking over in so many areas of health care (they’re even in hospitals!).

Not all essential oils are created equal. This goes even beyond a brand, this goes right to the plant that’s in the earth. Where the plan was grown, what species within a plant family is it, how it was harvested, how it was processed, and all these important details are crucial in producing the highest therapeutic grade of oils available. This is where the essential oil company doTERRA has a 1-up on everyone else. They’ve sourced all the highest therapeutic grade oils available from around the world.

That being said, the information below is based on the research on doTERRA’s therapeutic grade oils and their healing chemical compounds. If you have any questions on this, send me an email and I’d be happy to elaborate: andrea@holisticharmonyhealth.com

Little bit of Essential Oil Chemistry

👩‍🔬Chemistry friends, get excited! I’m going to keep it short, but feel free to skip ahead to the list of oils if you want! 😉

There are 2 main groups that define the chemistry of essential oils: hydrocarbons, and oxygenated compounds. The hydrocarbons I’m going to talk to you about today are the monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, and the oxygenated compound will be phenols and their effects on detoxification.

Monoterpenes

These are present in some amount in almost all essential oils. Monoterpenes are a type of terpene hydrocarbons and because of their molecular weight being smaller and lighter than other molecules, they tend to react quickly to air and heat and can get broken down more quickly.

They have amazing effects on our cellular membranes because of their small size they’re able to fit between the fatty molecule that make up the cell membrane and get inside our cells to provide support. They restore the correct information in the DNA of the cell once the sesquiterpenes and pheonlics have done their job. They’re protective to cells and promote normal cell growth.

There are over 2,000 varieties of monoterpenes, each with their own unique biological activity. Common monoterpenes found in essential oils are: limonene, pinene, terpinene, and cymene. The oils with the highest levels of monoterpenes are: Grapefruit (97%), Wild Orange (95%), Lemon (95%), Lime (85%), Frankincense (75%), White Fir (75%), Juniper Berry (75%), and Cypress (70%).

Sesquiterpenes

These molecules are very similar to monoterpenes but they have a higher molecular weight and are therefore less volatile but also less present within essential oils. Their size being larger, they don’t fit as effectively through the cell membranes as do the monoterpenes, but they have a unique shape that allows them to adhere to protein structures affecting their activity.

On a cellular level, they delete or unscramble bad information from our cellular memory (DNA). They also have the ability though to cross the blood-brain barrier which allows them to deliver oxygen to the brain, especially to the limbic system (specifically the pineal and pituitary). This helps to control the release of antibodies and endorphins but also helps to cleanse our neurotransmitters.

There are over 10,000 varieties of sesquiterpenes but the most common ones found in essential oils are: cedrane, zingiberene, himachlene, and caryophyllene. The oils with the highest levels of sesquiterpenes are: Cedarwood (70%), Patchouli (65%), Vetiver (65%), Ginger (55%), Ylang Ylang (55%), and Myrrh (55%).

These oils are usually the most viscous of the oils, which you’ll notice by the difficulty you’ll have by getting them out of the bottle! 😣

Phenolics

Phenolics are a functional group within organic chemistry. They’re 1 of 8 found in essential oils, but today I wanted to talk about this one specifically due to it’s effect in detoxification.

They’re known to be stimulating to the nervous and immune systems of our body. They help support the proper function of our cardiovascular, circulatory, digestive, immune, nervous, and respiratory systems. They’re the initiators of the healing processes, clearing the way for many other types of healing compounds in the essential oils to carry out their therapeutic assignment. They clean the receptor sites on the outside of the cell membrane to improve communication. This allows for the sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes to do their jobs effectively.

They’re some of the highest antioxidants and can be very invigorating. They protect us from viruses and harmful bacteria. Because of their high potency, they can be irritating to the skin and should always be diluted.

The most common type of phenols are: thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, and antheole. The oils with the highest levels of phenolics are: Oregano (90%), Clove (80%), and Thyme (50%).

The Best Essential Oils to Support Detoxification

If you’re working with therapeutic grade essential oils to any capacity, they’re all going to help support your body as a whole. In this post, I just wanted to outline the top oils I love specifically to help with our detox organs.

Citrus Essential Oils [Bergamot, Wild Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime] 

The main healing component within the citrus family is D-Limonene. This category of oils is probably the most common for detoxification for it has a large impact on liver detoxing, as well as various fat-soluble toxins.

Key Benefits:

- Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- Helps keep the gut flora in balance with it’s antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, ultimately helping to keep bowel movements regular
- Dissolves sluggish bile to help keep the liver, gallbladder, and digestive system moving optimally.
- Helps to dissolve excess cholesterol and gallstones made of cholesterol
- Inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which is known to increase the risk or atherosclerosis.
- Also helps to dissolves any fat-soluble sludge and toxins in the body, including the lymphatic system, and our mucous membranes.
- Helps with Phase I (converting toxins into less toxic forms) and Phase II (neutralizes Phase I by-products and makes toxins water soluble for ease of elimination) of liver detoxification.
- Helps prevent insulin resistance and has mild appetite suppressing effects.
- It’s also been widely studied in cancer prevention via the NF-kappaB gene signaling system, specifically skin cancers.

How to use:

- Add 1-2 drops to 8oz of water, citrus drinks, or teas and drink
- Combine 1-2 drops with honey and warm water to create a soothing herbal tea.
- Diffuse 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice.

Lemongrass Essential Oil 

The main healing component within lemongrass is Citral (Geranial + Neral). The main benefits are more for Phase II detoxification of the liver. The compounds are also found in the Melissa essential oil.

Key Benefits:

- Helps in Phase II of liver detoxification (via increasing the detox enzyme glutathione-S-transferase)
- Lowers oxidative stress in the liver
- Reduces excessive cholesterols
- Helps the body detoxify black mold
- Reduces airborne bacteria by 89% along with Geranium
- Shown to be helpful in reducing H. Pylori
- Possibly helps in skin, colon, and liver cancer prevention

How to use:

- Apply 1-2 drops with 1 tbsp. of a carrier oil like coconut oil to your feet to support the body’s natural detoxification systems. It’s also helpful for sore muscles, you can massage into areas where muscles are sore as well.
- Diffuse 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice.
- Can be taken internally, but I would suggest using in in a blend or making a gel capsule.

Rosemary Essential Oil

This oil has many great uses. The main therapeutic compounds are alpha-pinene and 1,8-Cineole.

Key Benefits:

- Great iron chelator for those with an excess of iron
- Protects DNA against oxidation
- Increases cognitive function and memory
- Supportive of the respiratory tract for it has a relaxing effect on the smooth muscles in the trachea (antispasmodic)
- Helps to reduce inflammation and pain, very helpful for arthritis
- Mucolytic (reducing mucous build up)
- Also shown to inhibit the proliferation or leukemia calls and breast carcinoma cells.
- It’s also shown to help hair growth

How to use:

- Apply 1-2 drops with 1 tbsp. of a carrier oil like coconut oil to your feet to support the body’s natural detoxification systems.
- Diffuse 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice.
- Can be taken internally, but I would suggest using in in a blend or making a gel capsule.
- Add 1 drops to your shampoo daily to help with hair growth

Juniper Berry Essential Oil 

The main healing components within the Juniper Berry oil is the alpha-pinene, similar to the Rosemary oil.

Key Benefits:

- Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects
- Helps to support immune and respiratory systems
- Great support for the skin detoxification
- Very supportive of the kidneys and urinary system
- Helps support excretion of uric acid and toxins
- Also helpful for water retention, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.

How to use:

- Add 1-2 drops to 8oz of water, citrus drinks, or teas and drink
- Apply 1-2 drops with 1 tbsp. of a carrier oil like coconut oil to problem skin areas to promote a clear healthy complexion.
- Diffuse 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice.

Zendocrine Essential Oil Blend 

This is a custom blend from doTERRA is also called the Detoxification blend. It gets it’s name because it contains all the powerhouse oils when it comes to detoxing: Tangerine, Rosemary, Geranium, Juniper Berry, and Cilantro.

Key Benefits:

- Supports the healthy functioning of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin (all the detoxification organs!)
- Helps the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins and unwanted substances
- Great anti-oxidant and helps the body to eliminate the free-radicals which can slow the systems down.

How to use:

- Add 1-2 drops to 8oz of water, citrus drinks, or teas and drink
- Combine 1-2 drops with honey and warm water to create a soothing herbal tea.
- Apply 1-2 drops with 1 tbsp. of a carrier oil like coconut oil to your abdomen, lower back, and or feet to support the body’s natural detoxification systems.
- Diffuse 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice.

Smart & Sassy [aka. Slim & Sassy] Essential Oil Blend 

This blend from doTERRA is also called the Metabolic blend for it’s ability to help manage your appetite and support a healthy metabolism. This is another powerhouse blend that also has great detoxing effects. Oils within are grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon bark.

Key Benefits:

- Helps to curb cravings and manage hunger throughout the day, especially when ingested.
- Supports a healthy metabolism and helps to balance blood sugar levels
- Peppermint is known to help cleanse the lymphatic system, support the gallbladder, decrease inflammation, and supports the digestive system
- Provides energy
- Helps body cleanse and eliminate toxins
- Mood boosting (Bonus!) 

How to use:

- Add 1-2 drops in 8oz of water or tea and drink throughout the day
- Combine with honey and warm water to create an invigorating herbal tea
- Add to water and drink before working out for a revitalizing energy boost
- Consume before meals to help control appetite
- Can apply with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage into stomach, hips, and thighs for a smoothing, warming effect
- Can add to a Epsom salt bath to help with detoxification
- Diffuser 3-4 drops in an ultrasonic diffuser of your choice
- Note: Don’t consume too late in the evening for you can have trouble falling asleep.

Precautions when using essential oils:

- Keep oils out of reach of children and use with adult supervision.
- If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician.
- Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
- For any citrus oils or blends containing citrus oils avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product topically due to the citrus oils increasing our photosensitivity.

I put together my daily essential oil routine to give you an idea of how to incorporate the essential oils into your daily life, including other personal care products from doTERRA that I love! Fill our your information below to get instant access!

Conclusion

I realize this was a lot of information. Thanks for sticking with me! As you can tell helping your body function optimally is my goal, and giving you the knowledge and tools to be able to do so is what I’m here to do.

Even when it comes to reducing our toxic load, looking at our personal care products specifically is very important. Whatever we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies and needs to be processed. I use all of doTERRA’s products to keep my body healthy, home clean and chemical free, and to boost my moods.

There is so much more I can talk about on the subject of detoxification, but I’ll leave it for another post.

Not sure where to start? Do you need all the oils? Which detox pathways are blocked? 

Enter your name and email below to sign up for a free 30 min consultation and I can help guide you on what systems need the most support, what oils your body responds best to, and how to get started. 

Much Love,

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by Health Canada. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease*

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1749210

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3521421/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28326753

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-15

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/

https://www.wellnessresources.com/news/d-limonene-help-for-digestion-metabolism-detoxification-anxiety-breast-canc

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-constituent-spotlight-limonene

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124166417000523

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123741301500085

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123984562000761

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12615076

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/jsfa.2740390307

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12615076

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949817300546

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24955655

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/p/zendocrine-oil-blend

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/p/slim-and-sassy-oil

https://www.doterra.com/CA/en/p/smart-and-sassy-oil

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/essential-oil-terpenes-monoterpenes

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/essential-oil-terpenes-sesquiterpenes

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/essential-oil-oxygenated-compounds-phenols

 

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