You may already know that you can use essential oils to support your body in releasing toxins when you want to cleanse, but have you considered that using essential oils can have a detox affect even when that's not your intended reason for using them? Understanding this goes a long way to help you understand why your body may respond to essential oils, especially if you are new to using them, in a less than desirable way.
Before I get into what this means in terms of using essential oils, though, I want to give you some examples of other ways your body can be "negatively" impacted even from consuming healthy foods in large quantities. Have you even gotten excited to do a juice cleanse and then spent the weekend in the bathroom? Or have you ever done any kind of cleanse and then felt like you were just run over by a truck? This is a common response to your body releasing toxins too quickly and your body isn't prepared to let go quietly and uneventfully.
I've had this happen to me on many occasions for many reasons, but I think the funniest, most severe time, and the one that best illustrates how even good things can affect our bodies in less than desireable ways was the first time I had Bulletproof coffee at my sister's house. David and I were visiting her for the weekend a couple of years ago. We had just learned about the benefits of drinking Bulletproof coffee, but we hadn't had it yet. Gretchen had been drinking it for a while and she was excited to share with us, so she made a cup for each of us. If you've never had it or never heard of it, it's a cup of high quality coffee, mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed cow butter and 1-2 tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil (I now just use high quality, organic coconut oil). Depending on the toxic load of your body, it's a really good idea to start with the lesser amounts of the butter and MCT oil (probably even less than the lesser amount would have been best for me!). I absolutely LOVED the way it tasted, so I had a second cup! What I didn't know was that Gretchen fixed it full strength both times....
It wasn't long before I started feeling super queasy. I ended up spending the next 6 hours between the bathroom and the bed with flu-like symptoms. My body was in detox overload brought on most likely by the cleansing affect of the MCT oil (note: too much coconut oil can do the same thing if you haven't built up your ability to consume it at higher levels). I was miserable!!!! But luckily I understood what this reaction was, so it didn't deter me from resuming my love of Bulletproof coffee, in a lower strength until my body could handle the increased amount of the ingredients. That experience cost me a day of sightseeing, but I did recover!
So what does this have to do with essential oils? "Essential oils are active at the cellular level of our bodies.*" Because essential oils are antioxidant and support our bodies in maintaining a healthy response to free-radicals to reduce oxidative stress, they create die-off of damaged or toxic cells that no longer serve us. Most of the time our bodies will not notice this die-off in a negative way; however, if you are new to using essential oils or if you use more than the total daily recommended amount of essential oil (see the safe usage chart) your body may experience a response in the form of symptoms causing you to feel that you are getting sick. If this happens to you, reduce the amount of essential oils you are using on a daily basis and make sure you are well hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. You can also add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water to support you body's natural detoxification process. It won't be long and you'll be feeling great again and can increase the amount of essential oils you can use without feeling a negative response!
*See more at: http://doterra.com/US/en/blog/safety-physiology-essential-oil-cellular-activity
Photo credit: Mic445 via Foter.com / CC BY
Holly Mays has been on a journey to share natural ways of supporting health and wellness since 2010 when she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health Coach. She is a recognized as a Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She and her husband, David Mays, became dōTERRA Wellness Advocates in February 2012 and found their passion in empowering people through education to use dōTERRA essential oils, supplements and non-toxic products as a foundation for health and wellness and to create a life of purpose.
David & Holly post tips on using dōTERRA essential oils, supplements and products daily for a natural and non-toxic alternative to support overall health and wellness.