The best essential oils for detox – cleanse & clear naturally

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

The best essential oils for detox

There are several essential oils that are great for detoxing the body in differing ways.

What does detox mean?

The word detoxification means the process of removing toxic substances.  So, when we detox we are getting rid of any waste substances in our bodies that shouldn’t be there and that our body doesn’t need or can’t use.  This could be anything from alcohol, drugs or excess medication to the additives or chemicals found in fast, processed or burnt food.

Our liver is designed to deal with a certain amount of these toxins – by converting them into safer substances that the body can tolerate- however even the liver has a limit and can only deal with so much.

We also have our lymphatic system which is capable of picking up waste and toxins around the body and removing them, however, again, an overload of unhealthy substances will cause the lymphatic system to slow down and not work so efficiently.

When we have too many toxins in the body, we feel and look unhealthy.  Here are just a few things that can occur when we have too many toxins in the body.

  • Our skin can look dull and sallow
  • We can experience spots or breakouts on the skin
  • Cellulite can appear on our legs and often other areas of the body
  • We feel tired and lethargic
  • We can experience swollen areas of the body – usually wrist and ankles – where fluids are not draining effectively
  • Our body as a whole will not work as effectively, so we may feel drained and unwell.
  • Due to this our body may be more at risk of illness, as the organs are not working efficiently and our immune system cannot cope with the toxins and fighting off illness.

How essential oils for detox work

Some of the essential oils work to actually help remove the toxins and waste from the body, by stimulating the lymphatic system to work more efficiently.  This means that waste and toxins will be taken more readily to the lymph nodes where they can be destroyed. 

Other oils stimulate our immune system or lymphatic system, which means the body is in a better position to deal with toxins, waste or harmful substances and strengthen our immunity.   The oils have 2 benefits for the immune system – they can attack bacteria that are already in the body and they can stimulate cells and organs, in a sense waking them up, so they are better equipped, more efficient, and ready to attack bacteria and deal with toxins and waste.  Oils that stimulate the lymphatic system can be used preventatively to strengthen the body’s own defences to treat a particular condition caused by ineffective lymphatic system, like the build-up of cellulite, water retention and bloating.

The best Essential oils for detox

Black pepper  

A strong stimulating oil that speeds up the lymphatic system, which allows the waste and toxins to be taken to the lymph nodes for removal.  Black pepper could also remove toxins in the digestive tract, so good for detoxing after over-indulging.

(Black pepper is incompatible with homeopathic medicines)

Carrot seed

Carrot seed revitalises the liver and gall bladder.  This means that the liver will be more efficient and capable of converting toxic into safer substances. It can also cleanse the blood, so a great all round body cleanser.

(Do not use during pregnancy)


Chamomile stimulates the immune system, so waste and toxins are able to be removed and destroy more easily.  This oil also helps to decongests the liver.

(Do not use during pregnancy)

Clary sage

Clary sage revitalises and strengthens the immune system, so the body is more ready and able to fight infection and deal with unwanted substances. 

(Do not use during pregnancy, or before or after alcohol)


This oil help to reduce the build up of fatty deposits and waste products underneath the skin surface that shows as cellulite.  It is also a diuretic which means that it can help reduce the swelling of water retention and oedema.

(Do not use during pregnancy)


Fennel is the ultimate detox essential oil!  It is a good general detoxifier for the body, helping to reduce cellulite, remove toxins and revitalise organs of elimination.  Fennel is also a good oil to use in the case of hangovers!  However, large doses of fennel essential oil should not be used, so use in moderation.

(Do not use during pregnancy, or if epileptic)


Geranium stimulates the lymphatic system, so toxins, waste and bacteria are more easily rid of, while also cleansing the blood.


A good warming oil that helps to remove toxins from the body.  Another oil that is useful for detoxing during a hangover.


A lovely refreshing citrus oil that stimulates immunity, helps relieve fluid retention and cellulite.  Grapefruit makes a good addition to an detox oil blend due to its variety of detox properties and uplifting fragrance.

(Avoid sunlight after application)


Juniper is a natural diuretic so can help flush excess fluids out that may be causing swelling in the bodies tissues.  It also helps reduce cellulite.

(Do not use during pregnancy, or if suffering with any kidney disease or issues)


A good all round essential oil, Lavender stimulates production of white blood cells, so really helps to boost immunity, thus helping the body be able to remove and destroy waste, toxins and bacteria.


A light refreshing citrus oil, mandarin is a diuretic and helps remove and reduce cellulite.


Orange relieves oedema and fluid retention, so useful for any swelling in the bodies tissues due to excess toxins in the body.

(Avoid direct sunlight after application)


Similarly Rosemary acts as a diuretic so useful for fluid retention.

(Do not use during pregnancy, or for those with high blood pressure or epilepsy)


A medicinal smelling oil, Thyme encourages the production of white blood cells which boosts the bodies immunity, so waste and toxins can be removed more effectively.

(Do not use during pregnancy or for those with high blood pressure)

How to use essential oils for detox

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The best way to use essential oils for detox is to blend a massage oil or a bath oil, and use these during the detox process.  The oils are able to be absorbed by the skin, reach the bloodstream and travel to their target to help detox the body.

Essential oil detox recipes

General detox body oil

This is a good oil to use on a fairly regular basis. It contains detox essential oils, that will stimulate the lymphatic system to help remove toxins efficiently and keep your body working at its optimum.

  • 25ml Sweet almond oil
  • 25ml Soybean oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit
  • 5 drops cypress
  • 5 drops fennel
  • 5 drops orange

Lymphatic stimulant oil

If you suffer with poor circulation, then the chances are that your lymph circulation is sluggish too. This means that the waste and toxins that may be in your body, are lingering and not being removed effectively. This oil is ideal to use to boost the circulation and relieve conditions such as water retention, cellulite and oedema.

  • 50ml Sweet almond oil
  • 3 drops black pepper
  • 6 drops chamomile
  • 4 drops geranium
  • 7 drops grapefruit

Cellulite busting oil

Massage this into any areas with cellulite, ideally after body brushing, to keep skin smooth and dimple free.

  • 50 ml Sweet almond oil
  • 5 drops cypress
  • 5 drops grapefruit
  • 5 drops juniper
  • 5 drops mandarin

Liver decongest oil

A great oil to massage into the abdomen after over indulging. The essential oils here will help support the liver.

  • 25ml Sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops carrot seed
  • 4 drops chamomile
  • 5 drops fennel

Immune boosting body oil

  • 50ml Sweet almond oil
  • 8 drops of lavender
  • 6 drops of thyme
  • 6 drops of geranium

Fluid retention body oil

  • 25ml sweet almond oil
  • 8 drops cypress
  • 6 drops juniper
  • 6 drops rosemary

Other ways to detox our body

Body brushing

Body brushing is a great way to add to the detox process, especially if you are concerned with cellulite or fluid retention.  Using a dry body brush daily on areas on areas of concern (legs, upper arms), helps to stimulate the blood and lymph circulation, and breaks up fatty deposits and toxins underneath the skins surface which create the lumpy appearance of cellulite.   By stimulating the lymphatic circulation we are also helping to move the waste along, thus encouraging toxins to be taken to the lymph nodes for destruction.  Using a body brush daily will really improve the appearance and texture of the skin.


Massage is another great way of improving the appearance of the skin while also helping to destroy and remove toxins.  Massage encourages both the blood and lymphatic circulations so speeds up the removal of waste and brings fresh blood supply to the skin.  Massage can also help with a host of other issues, such as back pain, inflammation and dry skin.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.