Let’s face it—human beings are pleasure-seeking organisms.
One way we often enhance our pleasure is through drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption has an extensive history of use in many cultures worldwide.
Fermented drinks affecting our consciousness have caused centuries of regulation and spectacle. While consuming alcohol can enhance the gaiety of our experiences, it can also wreak havoc on many systems of our body.
The good news is that there are yoga postures and essential oils that can help to support the detoxifying systems of the body that are impacted by this excess intake. The main organs of detoxification are the liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system.
The following essential oils help nurture the organs of detoxification.
- Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil provides rejuvenating properties by biotransforming toxins and converting them to water-soluble substances, which are more easily removed from the body.
- Carrot seed (Daucus carota) essential oil helps detox the liver by reducing oxidative stress and aiding in purifying the blood of harmful toxins and byproducts of alcohol consumption.
- Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis) essential oil has an affinity for nourishing the urogenital tract. It has shown to enhance the filtration process, which makes it an effective diuretic and detoxifier. It can help settle an upset stomach and nausea, which are also symptoms of a hangover.
- Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) essential oil has astringent and antiseptic qualities, making it a good choice for helping kidney function.
- Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) essential oil acts as a wonderful warming tonic that invigorates the stomach and digestion, all the while having a sweet-spicy aroma that is stimulating to the senses. This oil is refreshing and cleansing to numerous systems of the body.
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil is a great oil for maintaining homeostasis of the body due to its stimulating effect on the adrenals and the hormonal system. It also has a wonderful balancing effect for the lymphatic system.
- Grapefruit (Citrus paradise) oil has the amazing ability to act as a lymphatic stimulant and is wonderful to use as a diuretic. It has an uplifting scent that balances the central nervous system and reduces fatigue.
Essential oils can rebuild and support the body’s repair systems from overdrinking. Used either alone or combined in proper recommended ratios, these essential oils can be inhaled, added to a carrier oil or lotion, or added to a bath with detoxifying bath salts.
Once absorbed through the skin or through inhalation, repair and nourish with these essential oils to help bring one back to the health and balance of one’s previously non-intoxicated state.
Create a lotion with 3-5 of these essential oils at a five percent dilution (20-25 drops per ounce). Then rub the mixture on the right side of your abdomen over the liver, as well as the mid-back where the kidneys are located. This aromatic abdominal massage can greatly benefit your organs during the recuperating stages of a hangover.
The detox yoga poses below can also help speed up the recovery process.
- Inversions send blood flow to the pituitary gland, regulating the entire endocrine system. Lymph movement through the body is enhanced when in an inversion, stimulating lymphocytes to attack foreign bacteria and viruses. This then allows the liver to be free to work on removing heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins. Try mild inversions like Downward Dog or Legs Up the Wall pose.
- Twists will utilize axial rotation of the spine to massage the internal organs and squeeze the liver. This action stimulates vital blood flow through the liver where it is purified, and helps vitalize the body. Try Supine Spinal Twist or Half Lord of the Fishes pose.
By using these essential oils and yoga poses, you can alleviate your hangover and help your body detoxify after a night of drinking.
- Balchin, M. (2006) Aromatherapy Science, A Guide for Healthcare Professionals, Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK. Pg. 50, 138, 196, 213, 231, 296.
- Battaglia S. (1995) Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Zillmere, AU: Perfect Potion. Pg. 148, 166, 170-171,174-175, 195-196.
- Bowles, E.J. (2003) The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils, 3rd ed. Ligare Book Pinter, Sydney, AU. Pg. 124-125, 137, 141.
- Mojay, G. (1999) Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Gaia Books Ltd. London, UK, Pg. 76-77, 86-87, 92-93, 114-115.
- Schnaubelt, K. (2011) The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
- Tisserand, R., Young, R. (2014) Essential Oil Safety, A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, UK. Pg. 128, 332, 409.
- Willmont D. (2008) Aromatherapy with Chinese Medicine: Healing the Body/Mind/Spirit with Essential Oils. 3rd ed. Massachusetts: Wilmountain Press. Pg. 76-77, 206-207, 229-230, 237-238, 242-243, 272-274.