6 Essential Oils for Detoxing Heavy Metals (plus 2 Detoxing Blends!)
It’s no secret that our bodies are exposed to toxins every single day. Toxins can be found just about everywhere and can impact the body in significant ways. The same goes for heavy metals. We’re frequently exposed to heavy metals, and excessive accumulation of these substances may eventually lead to heavy metal poisoning. Some heavy metals that can be toxic include:
How heavy metals accumulate in the body
While our bodies are designed to filter and eliminate heavy metals (and other toxins), when the exposure of metals exceeds the body’s ability to detox the metals, it can create multiple problems within the body.2 Accumulation of heavy metals is usually caused by a number of factors, but some of the most common ones include exposure via:
- Polluted air
- Lead-based paint
- Factories or industrial businesses
It’s important to point out that heavy metal poisoning isn’t limited to just adults. Children are exposed to many of the same things adults are, and a growing number of children are being treated for heavy metal poisoning. With children, diagnosis can be tricky as symptoms can present themselves differently than they do with adults. Some of the most common symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include:
- Digestive issues
One of the most commonly used treatments for heavy metal poisoning is chelation. Chelation (pronounced “KEY-lay-shun”) refers to using a medicine or supplement to remove the toxins from the body. The medication binds to the metals in your body and then both are eliminated through the urine.3 There are also several foods—such as cilantro, garlic, chlorella, and several more—that are believed to have binding properties that can support eliminating heavy metals as well. Although chelation therapy is considered an effective treatment, it should only be administered by a qualified and knowledgeable healthcare provider and never attempted on your own.
Organs and bodily systems that contribute to heavy metal detox
As mentioned, our bodies were designed to eliminate unwanted guests—such as heavy metals—on their own. In fact, several organs and bodily systems all contribute to the elimination of metals (and toxins!) from our bodies. The blood, lymphatic system, digestive system, urinary system, gallbladder, kidneys, liver, and skin all contribute to the removal of heavy metals from our bodies.
It’s not enough for the metals to just be released from certain areas in the body—they must actually be eliminated. If they aren’t properly eliminated, they’ll just find a new place in the body to take up residence. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that our bodies are functioning at optimal levels and that we are doing all we can to support health.
Can essential oils detox heavy metals?
Currently, there is no solid scientific evidence that suggests essential oils can remove heavy metals from the body. They do not act as binders or chelation agents. However, that is not to say that essential oils aren’t incredibly beneficial during the detoxification process. In fact, there are many essential oils that are considered detoxifiers and that would be extremely useful when detoxing heavy metals. Specifically, essential oils that support the different detoxifying organs and systems of the body can be especially beneficial when detoxing heavy metals and can aid the process tremendously.
Essential oils for detoxing heavy metals
As plant extracts, essential oils are naturally beneficial for the body. Most oils can help in a number of ways and have a direct effect on multiple systems of the body. For a thorough heavy metal detox, it’s important to ensure that the body is functioning properly. This is why it’s crucial that all the different bodily systems are working the way they’re supposed to.
While there are many essential oils that can be beneficial in supporting heavy metal detoxification, below I have included what I believe to be 6 of the best essential oils for detoxing heavy metals. Many of the oils listed below have the potential to aid the detoxification process in multiple ways by supporting multiple systems in the body.
Rosemary essential oil is commonly used to aid with memory and poor concentration. This is no surprise, considering that it is often referred to as the “herb of remembrance.” However, rosemary essential oil isn’t beneficial for only the mind. It is considered an effective decongestant and detoxifier and is frequently used to treat various respiratory illnesses, as well as to detox the respiratory system.
Rosemary happens to be a very stimulating essential oil as well. It is widely considered to be beneficial in stimulating circulation, which is incredibly important when detoxing the body.4 The blood plays a key role in the detoxification process by carrying the heavy metals through the body and transporting them to the different areas for elimination. It stands to reason that if circulation is sluggish, it can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the detox. So, by supporting both the respiratory and circulatory systems, rosemary can also support the detoxing of heavy metals.
Grapefruit essential oil supports a number of bodily systems and is a very stimulating essential oil. Like rosemary, grapefruit is believed to help stimulate circulation. However, that’s not nearly all. It also helps to stimulate the lymphatic system—which is extremely beneficial when detoxifying, especially if the lymphatic system needs a bit of a push.5 Grapefruit also happens to be stimulating to the digestive system. Since the digestive system is responsible for one of the main areas of elimination in the body, it’s crucial to make sure that it is healthy and working properly.
Additionally, grapefruit is also considered an effective detoxifier for the liver, which we all know is one of the body’s main filtration systems and is crucial for maintaining good health.6 Because it is so supportive of so many systems in the body, grapefruit essential oil can support the detoxing of heavy metals in numerous ways!
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry is a well-known detoxifying essential oil. It contains diuretic properties that benefit the urinary system and aid with fluid retention, cellulite, and urination.7 As another route of elimination, urination is extremely important in removing heavy metals and toxins from the body.
Juniper berry also happens to be a great detoxifier for the skin. As the largest organ of the body, the skin is a natural barrier that helps protect our bodies from toxins. However, the skin is also involved in the detoxification process. Toxins such as heavy metals can be eliminated through the skin—primarily through sweating—which is why it’s important to ensure that nothing is hindering the skin from doing its job.
Cypress is another commonly used essential oil for detoxification. It can aid the process in several ways and also has a reputation of being a purifying oil. Cypress supports several systems in the body, including the respiratory, lymphatic, and circulatory systems. It is considered an effective lymph and venous decongestant, helping to promote adequate lymph and blood flow.8 Both of these actions are crucial when detoxing heavy metals, as both the blood and lymph help to transport the metals to the body’s organs of elimination.
In addition, cypress is considered one of the best essential oils for cellulite, which are fatty deposits often found on the buttocks and thighs.9 Heavy metals can congregate in fat tissues, so reducing the amount of these tissues can also aid in the detoxing of heavy metals.
Fennel is considered useful for a number of problems, including cellulite and fluid retention, but it also happens to be one of the best essential oils for the digestive system.10 A healthy functioning digestive system is crucial for good health, and it’s also important for the detoxification process. Gut health is directly linked to a number of physical and mental health issues and is paramount to well-being. If digestion is sluggish or there are problems in general, it can not only hider the elimination of heavy metals, but can also contribute to other health problems as well.
In short, by utilizing the therapeutic properties of fennel essential oil to support the health of the digestive system, you can also promote the detoxification and elimination of heavy metals from the body.
Like the other essential oils previously mentioned, lemon can support the detoxification of heavy metals in numerous ways. It’s a stimulating essential oil that can benefit circulation and digestion, as well as support the lymphatic system and the skin. Lemon is high in antioxidants, which have the ability to fight free radicals that can wreak havoc in our bodies if left unchecked.11 By fighting these free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants help protect the health and functioning of the body.12
Furthermore, lemon is a mood-brightening oil—I consider it to be one of the happiest essential oils. This can be especially beneficial if you’ve been feeling a little run down or could just use a pick-me-up, which is common with the detoxification process.
How to use essential oils for detoxing heavy metals
At this point, you may be wondering how to use essential oils for detoxing heavy metals. It’s simple, really. Essential oils can be used to support the detoxing of heavy metals in a number of ways. Inhalation via diffusion is one of the simplest ways to utilize the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils.
Topical application of the oils can also be extremely useful when detoxing. Massage oils and body scrubs can be used to help stimulate lymph flow and circulation, or combining the essential oils with Epsom salts can make for a relaxing and effective detox bath. All of these are great ways to maximize the benefits of essential oils, as well as to support the process of detoxing heavy metals. Just be sure to use appropriate safety precautions with each essential oil to prevent any adverse reactions.
Essential oil blends for detoxing heavy metals
Below, I’ve created two different blends for detoxing heavy metals. Please note that most citrus oils are phototoxic and should not be applied to the skin directly before sun exposure. However, using them in rinse-off products—such as body scrubs—is generally regarded as safe.
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 3 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops cypress essential oil
This is a great diffuser blend to stimulate the detoxification process and to help energize the mind.
- 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 4 drops juniper berry essential oil
- 3 drops fennel essential oil
This is great to use as a diffuser blend or even in a body scrub to help stimulate circulation and lymph flow. For a body scrub, simply combine the above oils with 1 cup sugar or salt and ½ cup oil of your choice and use as needed.
Support heavy metal detox with essential oils
As you can see, essential oils can support the detoxification of heavy metals in a number of ways. While no evidence currently supports essential oils as being able to actually chelate heavy metals, they CAN stimulate, support, and contribute to the overall well-being of the many organs and systems in the body that are responsible for detoxification.
Due to the fact that most essential oils support multiple bodily systems, you can support the body and the detoxification process in numerous ways when you choose to utilize essential oils. By creating diffuser blends, body scrubs, massage oils, and more, you can naturally support the detoxification of heavy metals, encourage physical and mental health, and protect the immune system all at the same time!
1. Cassata, Cathy. “What Is Heavy Metal Poisoning.” Everyday Health, Inc. Everydayhealth.com.
2. “Detoxification – Heavy Metals.” Natural Health Improvement Center. Nhicwestmi.com.
3. “What Is Chelation Therapy?” WebMD LLC. Webmd.com.
4. von Schoen-Angerer, T., B. Deckers, et al. “Effect of topical rosemary essential oil on Raynaud phenomenon in systemic sclerosis.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine 40 (2018): 191–94.
5. Axe, Josh. “13 Grapefruit Essential Oil Benefits and Uses.” Dr. Axe. Draxe.com.
6. Hoffman, Matthew. “Picture of the Liver.” WebMD LLC. Webmd.com.
7. Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments. (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016).
8. Schnaubelt, Kurt. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2011).
9. Ruggeri, Christine. “8 Surprising Benefits of Cypress Essential Oil.” Dr. Axe. Draxe.com.
10. “Sweet Fennel Essential Oil.” AromaWeb, LLC. Aromaweb.com.
11. Arnarson, Atli. “Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms.” Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Healthline.com.
12. Phaniendra, A., D.B. Jestadi, & L. Periyasamy “Free Radicals: Properties, Sources, Targets, and Their Implication in Various Diseases.” Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry 30, no. 1 (2014): 11–26.