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DETOX: Myth or Reality?


While we are still fresh in the New Year – many people make decisions to be more healthy.

For you that might mean simply moving more each day, or eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, or reducing your toxic load by changing your cleaning products. Whatever you decide I am sure the word “detox” has entered into your minds. In order to better understand what this means, let’s define “detoxification.”

As you can see this typically relates to individuals who make the choice to stop using drugs or alcohol. However, somehow we have let this word creep into our lives – in other ways. It’s now very trendy to “detox” using juices or smoothie cleanses. I think this is a bit misleading. Let me tell you why:

Our bodies are VERY efficient machines that have a very low tolerance for deviation from “normal” conditions. The digestive and excretory systems work to process our food and excrete what the body doesn’t need. Our circulatory system works in concert with this circulating the glucose and oxygen needed for proper health to all parts of the body. There is no “build up” of toxic items in our bodies, if there were you’d know it. You would need medical intervention if your kidneys suddenly stopped filtering or your liver stopped doing it’s job of producing bile to aid in digestion of fats.

But what about those juice cleanses?

Well, those are wonderful. A gentle way to re-set your body and prepare for a healthier lifestyle. The symptoms experienced by people {headaches, body aches, fatigue} during the period where they are just drinking juices or smoothies are a symptom of withdrawal from sugar and processed foods. This is not a “detox” but rather your body coming to terms with no longer being fed quick energy found in simple sugars.

There are a few issues with the mentality of “detoxing”. In posts like What is Sensitization and Can essential oils be ingested we have discussed the “why” of not ingesting essential oils or using them “neat” on the skin. The reactions that occur when essential oils are misused are NOT detox reactions. There is NO such thing. These are simple burns, irritations, rashes or other issues that must be addressed before permanent damage is done.

In order to overcome this thought process, let’s take a look at how a holistic approach to your health can make a tremendous difference. Personally, I know that essential oils will not “cure” my problems magically, but they are a wonderful tool to help support natural processes already occurring in my own body. When I am not feeling well, I can use Germ Fighter synergy to help keep my family healthy but I don’t rely on it as my only tool. We consume lots of bone broth and take elderberry syrup or echinacea to maintain proper immune function. When I am tired; peppermint can be a quick pick me up but I also know that getting plenty of rest and properly hydrating have a lot to do with how I feel physically.

As we embark on this New Year, perhaps you have a desire to “be” healthier. I encourage you to learn about many ways to be healthier.
  • Drink plenty of water, daily you should consume about half your body weight (in ounces) of water.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep. Limit “screen time” about an hour before bed and sleep in a darkened room.
  • Find ways to reduce stress. Learn to say “No”, set boundaries and be forgiving of yourself.
  • Eat a balanced diet with good quality fats, fresh fruits & vegetables and protein. Limit sugars (of all kinds) and limit carbohydrates. Food is your FIRST and BEST medicine.
  • Use herbal support when necessary. Don’t know much about herbs? Find a naturopathic physician in your area.
  • Use essential oils via diffusion, inhaler or diluted properly to avoid any skin reactions/allergies. Always know which oils you should or should not be using based on medications, state of health of age {for children}.

I wish you the very best this New Year and look forward to this journey thorough essential oils where we can learn, share & grow together!

If you have questions or concerns, please contact on of our on-staff aromatherapists at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com