Most of us have heard of essential oils (EO), but did you know they can provide many therapeutic benefits for both physical and mental health?! EO’s are highly concentrated, biologically active volatile compounds that can be used often in very small amounts without the fear of a toxic overload. They have been used for thousands of years and are referenced in the Bible over 300 times! All EO’s are sourced from nature, mainly from the stems, leaves, and flowers of common foliage such as roses, melaleuca and grapefruit plants. I use them daily to reduce stress, in combination with vinegar as a natural, chemical-free household cleaner and to focus on my studies.
When purchasing EO’s, make sure the label reads 100% pure essential oil and to consider sourcing, especially if you intend on using them internally (yes, it’s proven they are as effective as pharmaceuticals!*) and/or topically. There are several different grades thus the varying prices. Just like food, if it’s cheap in price then most likely, so is the originating quality of the product. I have used many different brands over the years; however, with time not on my side these days, I am partial to the brand doTerra. I can trust their level of quality to be of the highest, so if I choose to take them internally, I don’t have to do any research to ensure what I’ve purchased is therapeutic grade.
As spring begins to awaken here in Chicago, one of my favorite ways to prepare for the spring equinox is soaking in a relaxing, warm detoxifying bath. Not only is it quite simple to throw together, it costs under a dollar to relax your daily stressors away!
When the bath tub is approximately halfway full with warm water, add:
- Add 1 cup Epsom salt
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 5-10 drops of essential oils of choice (I recommend 5 drops doTerra Balance blend and 5 drops of their Serenity blend, although any of your favorites will do just fine!)
- Lay back and enjoy for approx. 20-30 mins!
If you’re looking to detoxify even further or if your water contains high levels of chlorine, consider a full body skin mask:
- In quart glass jar, mix ½ cup bentonite clay in enough water to make a paste.
- Mix vigorously w a plastic or wooden spoon to ensure it is blended thoroughly.
- Apply liberally to the body and allow to dry. This will pull many chemical toxins as well as heavy metals from the body, furthering the detox process.
- Once dry, hop into the warm bath for 20-30, lay back and enjoy! Use a cloth towel to remove any remaining clay before towel drying.
Peace, health, and wellness!
-Karah Kruse, ACSM CPT, CWP
Karah is a second-year naturopathic medical student at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. She currently serves the NMSA in the capacity as Chapter President of the Chicago Chapter. She also represents Natural Doctors International as the 2016-17 on-campus student representative. Her passions include learning about different cultures and the people that constitute them, supporting naturopathic licensure legislative efforts across the world, rebuilding relationships within her local community, and learning natural therapies that may assist her in her long term goals of practicing as a naturopathic physician. Upon graduation in 2018, she plans to move West to pursue her dream of helping the 25 million people affected by drug and alcohol abuse to achieve sobriety and gain freedom from addiction through improved lifestyle, trauma/pain recovery, and obtain a meaningful quality of life by awakening an individual’s Vis.
Disclaimer: Content of this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider.