How to Unblock Your Detox Pathways for Effective Detoxification
Your body is made up of an interconnected system of rivers connected by one large body of water and when toxins build up in your body, they form a dam that negatively affects your health.
Toxins in the form of pollutants, heavy metals, synthetic chemicals, processed foods and even toxins from the natural processes of bodily functions.
Naturally, your body is capable of flushing out these toxins out via your detox pathways, meaning through the use of your kidney, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, skin and digestive system.
However, if one of these organs or systems isn’t running efficiently or overwhelmed from frequent use or a blockage, the detoxification pathways jam and toxins spill out and flood your body.
You can imagine the problems these toxins can cause if allowed to run free and unchecked.
Personally, I'm a big believer in detoxification/cleansing programs/protocols to help things along and it's something I do myself a couple of times a year but when I recently read a book on detox pathways and essential oils, I now understand that detoxing is only the most effective when we have helped to clear these essential pathways.
Fortunately, if you’re looking to support your detox pathways, you can turn to essential oils to help rid your body of these invasive toxins for a healthier, brighter you!
Note: According to the work of author Jodi Cohens, there are 2 one more pathways we may need to consider, that is the vagus never and the emotions (believe it or not?)
How Your Body Flushes Out Toxins
If we ate a clean diet and lived in a clean, non-polluted environment with the perfect living conditions, our bodies would behave like any other living organism and flourish without additional support...
However, the foods we eat are so heavily processed, often sprayed and bastardised, that it’s hard to eat the way nature intended, so lending a helping hand when you notice your body is lagging from overwork or environmental pollution can help prevent free radical (toxins) damage.
These are the signs that your body is working too hard to process out toxins:
The Liver: The first line of defence is your liver. However, if there is a backup in your liver, then your body redirects toxin detoxification to your skin.
Signs Your Liver is Sluggish/congested or in Need of a Cleanse
- Fatigue, lethargy & tiredness
- Hormonal imbalances
- Bloated belly frequently (this may also be from food intolerances etc.)
- Chemical sensitivities & allergic reactions
- Poor sleep
- Mood swings
- Skin issues (itchy skin, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, acne, blemishes, scabs etc.)
- Digestive issues
The Skin: As the largest organ, your skin rids toxins from your body via dry or itchy blemishes, rashes or scabs. As you just read though, itchy blemishes, rashes and scabs can also be due to a sluggish or congested liver
The Kidneys: Your kidneys are another detox pathway found on your lower back. If you suddenly experience the onset of back pain, swollen ankles, puffy eyes or frequent urination, then you know your kidney is under duress.
If you had more serious kidney issues you would know about it and a detox protocol would be best done under the supervision of a trusted health expert.
Your kidneys are located in the middle of your back at the lower part of your ribcage.
Failure to Eliminate Toxins Properly
Should your body fail to eliminate toxins through these primary modes of detoxification, then to keep pollutants out of your vital organs, your body then has no choice but to store toxins as fat — burying the problem.
But as you know, nothing ever stays “buried,” the truth or, in this case, your body’s need for detoxification support; always has a way of coming out. So tune in to your body’s cues and pay attention to the early signs of duress so you can step in and help with detoxification for better, more vibrant health!
Essential Oils and Detoxification
When you notice the signs of bodily distress, help relieve the pressure on your detoxification pathways by removing the blockage with essential oils.
In just a few tiny drops of purified and highly concentrated essential plant oils, you’ll harness the power of nature and clear your detox pathways to put your body at ease. When you dab essential oil onto a problematic spot, this signals your body (the gallbladder and liver) to direct its healing powers to this area to unclog and redirect the build-up to the proper detox channels for disposal.
The only thing left is knowing which essential oils to use if your body encounters a blockage in your detox pathways.
Essential Oils that Unblock Your Detox Pathways
If you’re new to the practice of essential oils, with so many choices on the market ranging from single-plant oils to oil blends, it can be challenging to know which essential oils would benefit your specific needs. If you’re looking to unblock your detox pathways, these are the best oils:
(I have broken this down into bodily systems)
Respiratory EO's (Lungs)
Basil, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, frankincense, marjoram, pine, Roman chamomile, ravensara, rosemary and sandalwood
3 drops of eucalyptus oil + 3 drops of Roman chamomile + 3 drops of frankincense + 3 drops of ravensara + 21 drops of carrier oil (I love fractionated coconut oil)
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply to your chest area with your hands. Rub in a clockwise direction, apply morning and night to help boost respiratory health and unblock pathways for better respiratory detoxification.
Circulatory EO's (circulation)
Eucalyptus, ginger, cypress, rosemary, clary sage, cinnamon, cassia, copaiba, marjoram, peppermint, black pepper, wintergreen, neroli, juniper
5 drops of cypress + 2 drops of eucalyptus + 2 drops of ginger + 2 drops black pepper + 3 drops of peppermint + 42 drops of carrier oil
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply to the bottoms of your feet, ankles and wrists twice a day. You can even rub this blend on your neck and collar bone to increase circulation, thus improving the flow of fluids (potentially).
Lymphatic EO's (lymph system)
Angelica, cypress, fennel, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lemon, pamarosa, peppermint, spearmint, ylang ylang, helichrysum
Peppermint is especially good for enhancing lymph flow so we have made this one the predominant oil in this example recipe.
6 drops peppermint + 3 drops grapefruit + 3 drops cypress + 3 drops ylang ylang + 30 drops carrier oil
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply to the lymph node areas and lymph system (both side of your neck, along your clavicle/collarbone and the gap between your collarbone (thymus area), your underarms where it feels like your arm joins to your body, your spleen area and your groin/bikini line area.
Apply in the morning and again before bed.
Be mindful not to get these areas in the sun (where you've applied any citrus oil as most citrus oil can be phototoxic when exposed to the sun).
Digestive System EO's (Liver, Intestines, Gallbladder)
Liver: German chamomile, Roman chamomile, cypress, grapefruit, helichrysum, juniper, lemon, peppermint, spearmint, rosemary and turmeric
Intestines: Clove, lime, fennel, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint
Gallbladder: Blue Tansy, black cumin
3 drops grapefruit + 3 drops ginger + 3 drops blue tansy + 3 drops peppermint + 24 drops of carrier oil
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply to the liver, gallbladder and intestines area rubbing in a clockwise direction. (Your liver is located on the right-hand side of your body in the abdominal cavity beneath the diaphragm).
Pro Tip: to increase the potential benefits (especially for your liver, use organic castor oil that you can purchase from a health food store or online). You might want to do this before bed and wear some old clothes to bed as castor oil is kind of sticky and messy! Definitely worth trying though.
To further increase the potential benefits, use a hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel or towel so it doesn't burn your skin). This is such a nice relaxing feeling. You can move the hot water bottle around from your liver to your tummy.
Another thing you can do is to hop into an epsom salts bath as the heat will help the oils to absorb and the magnesium is good for relaxing everything.
Urinary EO's (kidneys)
Black pepper, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, mandarin, orange, helichrysum
3 drops grapefruit + 3 drops mandarin + 1 drop black pepper + 3 drops juniper berry + 20 drops carrier oil
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply to your kidney area (located behind your back in the middle, bottom of your ribcage)
Warning: if you have kidney disease, or any disease for that matter, this should be done under the care and supervision of your trusted health practitioner.
Integumentary EO's (skin)
Angelica, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, eucalyptus, German chamomile, ginger, helichrysum, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, thyme
3 drops ginger + 3 drops helichrysum + 3 drops peppermint + 2 drops angelica + 28 drops of carrier oil
Mix the oils together in a ceramic jar and apply over your feet, legs, back, tummy and arms in the morning and again at night time before bed
Improving Your Detox Pathways with Essential Oils
Your body is an interconnected ecosystem of rivers forming your beautiful body that relies on each other to maintain optimal health. When your detox pathways become bogged down with toxins and your body has no choice but to work harder, at some point, each of your detoxifying organs will reach a tipping point and collapse—passing the torch to the next organ. When there’s no organ left in the fight, your body buries the toxins as fat deposits.
If you want to maintain a harmonious balance within your body, then using essential oils to support your detox pathways can help your beautiful body flourish.
There is conflicting information about applying oils neat (undiluted) to the skin, I think it really is an individual thing where some people can (certain oils) and some people cannot and should not.
Personally I like to apply many essential oils neat to my skin (certain areas) but I've had experiences in the past where I'd applied a particular oil to my skin undiluted and that was a very big mistake!
The oil I had a reaction to was cinnamon. I did not realise it at the time as I was just new into essential oils, but cinnamon is a hot oil and it actually caused me quite severe burns. I certainly dilute cinnamon oil nowadays.
Warning: always be very careful when you are using essential oils around animals. Make sure that they don't lick your skin where oils have been or they may become sick.
Many of these tips are available in Jodi's Book 'Essential Oils to Boost the Brain and Heal the Body". You can find this here.
Jodi also has specific oil blends to help you if you don't have all these oils listed, it probably works out more economical for you to order from her?
I've been making my own blends because I read the book and I had a tonne of dōTERRA oils to be able to do this as I'm a wellness advocate for this company. If you'd like to join up, please contact me here.
How to detox?
We have written countless blogs about how to detox, but you might like to start here?
Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.