As we slowly edge towards the start of spring, many of us are planning a period of detox to wash away the mental and physical effects of holiday indulgences and wintertime comfort eating. Whilst you will already know that exercising, eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water is a good way to reboot your system, you might not know that certain smells – in the form of essential oils – can help support your body’s natural systems of elimination.
Essential oils also play a valuable role in detoxing the mind, helping to clear negative thoughts while relieving stress and anxiety. Here we look at 10 scents that are the perfect accompaniment to your spring regime, helping complement your detox plans.
Peppermint is such a nostalgic smell, instantly conjuring up thoughts of delicious peppermint creams or colourful candy canes. Aside from its ability to cleanse toxins from the body, its wonderful aroma instantly soothes, lifting your mood and helping you regain concentration. Peppermint is often blended with other detoxifying agents to increase its effectiveness.
Eucalyptus is an exceptional detoxifier for the lungs, thanks to the compounds it contains which have antispasmodic, decongestant and expectorant properties. Cineole, the active ingredient in eucalyptus, can ease coughs and aid respiratory problems. Detox one of your most vital organs with this pleasant and invigorating minty fresh aroma.
The delightful citrusy scent of mandarin essential oil can significantly boost the effectiveness of your detox with its many purifying properties for the body and mind. Extracted by cold compression from the fresh peel of the fruit, the oil is well known for its relaxing and calming properties, helping to clear the mind of stresses and anxieties. Mandarin is also known to boost the immune system and aid circulation. Additionally, it has a depurative effect, helping to clear the body of toxins by way of excretion.
Juniper essential oil is known to help remove toxins from the body, improving circulation and giving relief from inflammation. It has an appealing pine-like aroma which blends well with other woody fragrances. Juniper oil is used to treat a wide variety of ailments – and when used for detoxing, it is particularly effective at relieving nervous exhaustion and fatigue.
A little known essential oil, helichrysum comes from the sunflower family and is packed with detoxifying ingredients. This useful oil is known to reduce inflammation and help regenerate cells. The sweet green floral scent has so many benefits, from supporting the nervous system through to healing respiratory conditions. It is antibacterial and antifungal, and can help relieve insomnia.
Zingy grapefruit oil has a whole range of uses and benefits, from the ability to destroy bacteria and viruses through to its powerful antifungal properties. As a detox agent, it works on the stomach, liver and urinary tract. Its delicious uplifting scent is not only beneficial in combatting depression but it can also help curb food cravings. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to cut back on unhealthy snacks.
A tasty and distinctive-smelling herb used extensively in cooking, rosemary is also a powerful essential oil with many therapeutic benefits. When used as part of your detox programme it has been shown to be effective in enhancing the memory, helping people become more alert and producing a feeling of contentment. Use it to detox your mind, rid yourself of troubling thoughts and help you think more clearly.
Refreshing lemon has a wealth of benefits – its addictive zesty fragrance is highly effective at treating stress, calming the nerves and relieving insomnia. This gorgeous citrusy fragrance is thought to stimulate white blood cells, helping the body to ward off infection. It is also thought to assist the liver and lymphatic system in clearing away toxins. Sharp lemon works on the mind as well as the body – bringing clarity and stabilising emotions.
Taken from the leaf of the laurel, this essential oil is packed with antioxidants which can help the digestive system function at its very best. Like many of our recommendations, you can benefit from this essential oil by using it in a diffuser, allowing you to gently inhale the oil and benefit from its properties throughout the day.
Taken from the patchouli plant, this essential oil is known to help improve your mood and restore your libido. For those suffering from depression, it can help wash away feelings of sadness or loss and instil a sense of hope. Patchouli essential oil relieves tension and its sweet aroma is perfect for long relaxing baths or quiet evenings.
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