Essential Oils for Alcohol Detox

By May 13, 2024May 15th, 2024Plant-Based Diet and Mental Health
a woman outside drinking tea

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a complicated, serious disease affecting the mind, body, and spirit. It is progressive, which means that it worsens over time.

Although alcoholism can be stopped in its tracks, it cannot be reversed, which means that once the ravages of alcoholism have taken hold, they cannot be altogether undone.

That said, through living a recovery-based lifestyle centered on health, sanity, and sobriety, many women who used to suffer from alcoholism move on to live meaningful, joyful lives.

Alcoholism’s key features are chemical dependency on alcohol, serious problems with mental, emotional, physical, and relationship health, and negative life consequences (for example job loss, legal problems, DUIs, and so on).

Alcoholism involves overwhelming cravings to drink, which the afflicted person finds impossible to override, despite known negative consequences of drinking. When there’s a problem of ineffective willpower, an inability to choose against mental obsessions, and impulsive urges to act in one’s own best interests (and that of other people), this is a sign of addiction.

 How does alcohol affect the body?

Alcohol affects many of the body’s systems negatively, including the brain, heart, and stomach.

Hardest of all for the body, however, is alcohol’s effect on the liver. Because alcohol is toxic to human bodies, the liver has to work overtime to try to eliminate the poisonous effects on the body’s systems at large. In the case of liver disease cirrhosis, alcohol has overwhelmed the ability of the liver to cleanse and protect the body from harm.

Cirrhosis takes hold when enzymes in alcohol are absorbed into the cells of the liver, causing a fatty acid called acetaldehyde to begin to accumulate in the body. This excess of fatty acids corrodes the liver and prevents it from being able to properly metabolize fats.

Alcoholism also causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, and brain damage.

What is alcohol detox?

Quitting alcohol requires a detoxification process, during which the body must be monitored carefully to make sure that the withdrawal symptoms do not present a health risk. People have died during detoxification from alcohol because the body can go into seizures. It is also very uncomfortable.

We highly recommend checking into a medically supervised detoxification facility. Detox facilities are designed to ease the physical body through withdrawals and will make the psychological process easier too. Alcohol withdrawal may involve frightening hallucinations, intense discomfort, shakes, nausea, sweating, and of course, very strong cravings to drink.

You are more likely to succeed, and it will be less difficult to endure, with support and supervision of the process.

What is the process of alcohol detox like?

During acute detoxification, which may take between five to ten days, the body goes through predictable stages as it adjusts to the absence of alcohol in its system.

Each addictive substance has a slightly different profile during the detoxification process. In the case of alcohol, you can expect a range of mild to severe symptoms including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Weakness and muscle aches
  • Inability to sleep
  • Chills, Shaking and Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression and Despair
  • Anxiety and Panic
  • Seizures

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol detox may kick in around six hours after the last drink. The intensity and severity of symptoms will most likely peak and be at their most dangerous and uncomfortable a couple of days into the process.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms will be influenced by any preexisting physical and mental health conditions, whether or not alcohol was used in combination with other substances (including prescription medications). Withdrawal severity is also impacted by how much alcohol is being consumed, how frequently, and over what length of time.

Aromatherapy for alcohol detox

There are many kinds of supplemental healing methods that can be engaged during withdrawals to make detoxification from alcohol a less painful, severe experience. Villa Kali Ma uses many of them, including massage and nutritional support.

One wonderful support from the nature kingdom is to use essential oils to help the body reorient and restore its inherent self-healing and self-balancing functions. Several common essential oils have been found to assist in the detoxification process and generally promote peace, well-being, elimination of poisons, and restored immune functioning.

Alcohol detox symptoms like nausea, chills, and anxiety can be ameliorated with the presence of aromas administered in the form of direct topical application (rubbed into the skin) or inhalation (breathed in).

What is the history of essential oils?

a woman working drinking coffeeAromatherapy is an ancient form of plant medicine that employs naturally occurring healing properties of aromatic plants. The reason we feel joy when we smell jasmine flowers and roses, breathe more deeply when walking in eucalyptus groves, or like to scratch and sniff the peel of a lemon is because each of these healing plants is gently communicating with our bodies in a beneficial way.

Plant extracts, including essential oils, have been used therapeutically since time immemorial, for healing, cleansing, and spiritual purposes. Many plants have healing properties – in fact, many prescription medicines have a plant extract as its key ingredient. Nature provides many cures for common ailments contained in ordinary plants growing around us.

There is evidence of advanced knowledge of the healing properties of plants, including their oils and extracts, tracing back to Egyptian times. The Greek namesake of modern medicine, Hippocrates, recorded observations related to plants serving as medicine for human wounds and illnesses. More recently, French chemists and surgeons in the 19th and early 20th centuries re-confirmed the presence of many effective cures for burns and battle injuries in common plants, like lavender.

Although much knowledge of the medicinal use of plants and their essences has been forgotten in the folds of history, the use of essential oils has become popular again in the West. Little by little, what was once commonly known in our great ancient civilizations, about nature being a source of healing for humans, is slowly returning to collective memory.

What is the use of essential oils for alcohol detox?

Essential oils can be used in a supplemental fashion to help support detoxification from alcohol, lessening the pain and severity of symptoms through triggering inner hormonal and neurotransmitter cascades that create greater feelings of well-being, and aid in the body’s removal of the offending poisons.

Detoxification is work done by the body’s own self-healing systems to eliminate and flush out substances that present harm to the body (such as alcohol). Essential oils, through gently stimulating the immune system, nervous system, and glands, help the body’s healing force to do this more easily and comfortably.

Essential oils are derived from plants, trees, flowers, and roots, through a distillation process that concentrates their therapeutic effects. Essential oils can be applied topically at certain points of the body, such as on the scalp, brow, temples, acupressure points, chest, stomach, back, or hands and feet, depending on the type of symptom to be alleviated.

Some essential oils can be imbibed as tinctures, which help send oils to the digestive tract. Others are best absorbed through the lungs and nasal passages and will be administered through diffusion in the air or as steam.

The method of delivery is chosen based on which body system is being targeted, and most essential oils have multiple purposes. For example, ginger is warming, immune-stimulating, reduces inflammation, and also dissipates nausea, and may be used for any or all of these effects.

Essential oils are used for a wide range of effects, ranging from pain relief, calming the nervous system, stimulating the nervous system, reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and cleansing.

10 types of essential oils for alcohol detox

Essential oils are natural, potent, fragrant plant extracts that are packed with medicinal powers. Essential oils may be an anti-depressant, pain-relieving, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and stress-combating. All of these effects can be helpful during detoxification from alcohol.

These 10 essential oils are especially beneficial for supporting the body in going through withdrawal symptoms and restoring balance as it purges out poisons.

Black Pepper Oil

Black pepper oil has been determined to help with alcohol cravings, gently reducing the desire for a drink during detoxification, and may be used on the spot to get through a nasty bout of cravings.
Black pepper oil is believed to achieve its anti-craving effect in part by stimulating the body to increase availability within the brain of the two critical neurotransmitters, dopamine, and serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters are intimately connected to mood and motivation.

Ginger Oil

Ginger oil helps heal the liver. Since of all organs, the liver suffers most under the toxicity of alcohol, the powerful properties of gingerol, the medicine found naturally occurring in ginger root, is especially helpful for alcohol detox.

Peppermint Oil

Alcohol detox typically includes nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Peppermint oil soothes upset stomachs. Peppermint oil is also refreshing and cooling and helps create mental focus, dispelling brain fog.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil helps with anxiety, encouraging the body to relax. The anxiety and insomnia of detox can be soothed with this powerful oil.

Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman chamomile oil is deeply calming and helps with the anxiety people experience during alcohol detoxification.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil has diuretic properties, which means that it helps the body eliminate. Elimination is an important path for the body to cleanse itself during detoxification and is related to the restoration of optimal hydration levels.
Rosemary is additionally known for alleviating muscle pain and soreness, which is a common symptom during detoxification. Finally, rosemary is calming and will help the body return to regulation after a spike in anxiety.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil, extracted from lemon peel, is a powerful healing agent that stimulates the immune system. The naturally occurring healing chemical limonene, found in lemons, supports the liver and kidneys to cleanse toxins out of the body, especially during detoxification. Lemon is also noted for healing the symptoms of depression.

Mandarin Oil

Mandarin oil helps with the detoxification of the liver and the body at large, by supporting cleansed and oxygenated blood to circulate in the body. Mandarin oil, made from the peels of a species of orange similar to a tangerine, also has calming effects.

Grapefruit Oil

Grapefruit oil, another citrus oil, helps detoxification by supporting the body to flush out molecules of alcohol that have built up in the liver, and is also used to kill pathogens or parasites. In general grapefruit oil stimulates elimination, as it is a diuretic, and flushes out any kind of waste.

Fennel Oil

Fennel is a plant which helps purify and flush the body of toxins. Similar in scent and taste to licorice, it is especially helpful in the digestive tract, stimulating the body to digest and process. Generally, fennel oil supports the body’s tissues and organs to be cleansed during detoxification.

Villa Kali Ma can assist with Alcohol Detox

a holistic picture of rocksAt Villa Kali Ma, we’ve devoted ourselves to helping women recover from alcoholism, a particularly nasty form of addiction. If you think alcoholism may be affecting you or a loved one, we encourage you to take action!

Mercifully, alcoholism can be treated and lives can be recovered back to sanity. But alcoholism’s a tough nut to crack, and like many illnesses, responds best to early intervention. That said, no matter how far you’ve spiraled into addiction, there’s still hope for you if you’re willing to change and be changed!

If you need to detoxify from alcohol, we strongly encourage checking yourself into a medically supervised detox facility, for your safety. This is especially true if you have been drinking a high amount and/or over a long period.

If you’re not sure, detoxification from alcohol is part of the treatment services we provide as a part of your recovery journey at Villa Kali Ma, so feel free to consult us for an opinion!

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