Toxic release is like detoxification, but is based on the essential oil’s ability to pull or push toxins out of the cells. As humans we are bombarded daily by petrochemicals and other synthetics in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the medicines we take, and also the products we use on our skin. These man-made, unnatural chemicals are major endocrine disruptors and may be the cause of the decline of our overall health. Essential oils (the good guys who are ready to fight) are highly volatile and are naturally inclined to chase down free radicals (the bad guys or toxins). When you place an essential oil on or in your body, they go after these free radicals to murder them off. Your body needs a place to dump these bad guys. Normally your “sweeper” is your kidney and liver. When you first start using essential oils, your body will most likely be overrun with too many bad guys. Your body will then need to look for a back alley to dump the excess bad guys after they have been “offed” by the good guys. It is at that point that you may experience what is called a vital energy flush. Vital energy is our skin and the feelings associated with our skin such as fever, chills, rashes, headaches, sweating, redness, and lightheadedness, all of which can mimic symptoms of cold, flu, and often allergies. These symptoms are different than what they are mimicking, however, in that they only last a short amount of time. You will experience vital energy detox for a couple hours at most. The only toxic release symptom that tends to stick around a bit longer when first using essential oils is headaches. Depending on other toxic substances you place in and one your body on a daily basis, this can last 1-2 weeks. The best way to help assist the good guys in getting rid of the bad guys is to drink 80-100 ounces of water per day whenever you know you may experience a toxic release. Adding a drop of Lemon essential oil may also help aid the flushing of toxins, so drink up!
 Birnbaum, L. Ph.D. (2015) Endocrine Distruptors. Triangle Park, NC. National Institute of Envoronmental Health Sciences.
© 2016 Jen O’Sullivan, from French Aromatherapy, Essential Oil Recipes & Usage Guide