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8 Essential Oils for Drainage Pathways

By Jodi Cohen

Illustration of the human body's lymphatic system. A male figure is shown with lymphatic vessels in green, highlighting key nodes. The respiratory system, lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines are depicted in semi-transparent layers.

Your health depends upon fluid movement in the body.  More specifically, the good things – like nutrients and oxygen – need to be able to get into your cells, and the bad things – heavy metals, environmental toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi, pathogens and cellular waste – need to be eliminated.  Any build-up of these pathogens in the body keeps your immune system on high alert and triggers chronic inflammation – both of which interfere with your ability to heal.

Healthy fluid flow and functional drainage pathways help prevent stagnation and support health.


What Are Drainage Pathways?

Drainage pathways refer to your body’s pathways of elimination or the pathways that the body uses to move fluids around and out of the body.  It’s the pathway by which metabolic waste, toxins and pathogens flow out of your body.

In order to leave your body, waste, toxins and pathogens flow from the cell to the fascia, to the lymphatic fluid where they are carried into the blood, processed through the liver, then eliminated via the gall bladder carrying them to the intestines in the bile where they are eliminated with your bowel movements.

Any congestion or stagnation in these detoxification pathways can compromise your ability to drain the waste, toxins such as heavy metals, glyphosate or mold and pathogens that are being pulled out of the body.  There are many remedies, including diet, supplements and essential oils that help mobilize toxins from the body.  The problem is that these mobilized toxins often recirculate instead of leaving the body.  This creates other problems.

Essential oils are powerful tools to ensure that detoxification pathways open and flowing so that TOXINS ACTUALLY LEAVE THE BODY!


Symptoms of Poor Drainage

If your drainage pathways are congested or compromised, toxins may stay in your body, reabsorb into your bloodstream, travel to your organs, and contribute to sensitivities or reactions that may present as symptoms like:

  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings
  • Skin issues, like rashes, itchy skin, acne or cellulite
  • Weight gain or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Memory issues
  • Circulatory and inflammatory issues, including fluid retention, puffiness or swelling
  • Stiffness and achiness
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Cold hands and feet


8 Essential Oils for Drainage Pathways

Essential oils help keep plants healthy by moving vital fluids and energy. They transport water from the roots to the leaves and perform similar functions in your body, helping to move energy, flush toxins like viruses and heavy metals, and prevent stagnation.

They perform similar functions in your body, helping to move energy and prevent stagnation.  For example, essential oils help open drainage pathways like those in your lymphatic and circulatory systems to improve the flow of energy and toxins through the blood, into the detoxification organs, and then out of the body.  Similarly, if your liver becomes stagnant, from physical toxins, stress or anxiety, it impedes detoxification.  Essential oils are a powerful tool to help shift stagnation and improve flow of energy and toxins through the liver and the gall bladder.

Essential oils can help shift your body into alignment so toxins do not backlog back into your bloodstream, but flow out of your body. More specifically, topically applying essential oils to specific points on your skin can activate energy flow directly and quickly, stimulating your liver and gall bladder to help toxins flow out of the body instead of back into the bloodstream.

Many essential oils have been found to have anesthetic properties, which helps explain their value in supporting drainage pathways. (Study).  Science magazine reported that certain types of anesthetics, or substances that reduce sensitivity to pain, dramatically increase the space between your cells so fluid can flow more easily to help wash the brain. Studies have verified the sedative and anesthetic properties of essential oils like clove, eucalyptus, lavender, fennel, black pepper, and peppermint. (Study) For example, the administration of clove oil, which is high in the constituent eugenol, dramatically decreased the time required for the induction of anesthesia. Similarly, both fenchone, a constituent of fennel essential oil, and linalool, a naturally occurring constituent in lavender oil, both have acute local analgesic effects.


Your Body’s Drainage Pathways

The drainage funnel in your body refers to the order the body moves fluids to remove toxins. Cellular waste products flow into organs and tissues, then to the lymphatic system, then the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, and ultimately out of the body through the colon.

In order to leave your body, toxins or pathogens flow from the cell to the lymphatic fluid where they are carried into the blood, processed through the liver, then eliminated via the gall bladder carrying them to the intestines in the bile where they are eliminated with your bowel movements.  Any congestion or stagnation in these drainage pathways can compromise your ability to detoxify, which is where essential oils for drainage pathways – often working from the bottom up – can be especially helpful.

  1. Parasympathetic® for the Colon

Your colon is the primary drainage pathway. If you are constipated and not eliminating waste via bowel movements, you will not be able to remove wastes and toxins efficiently and the rest of the funnel upstream will become backed up and stagnant as well, requiring the other pathways to pick up its slack.  What’s more, anything the body is trying to excrete via the colon is going to sit there longer.

Constipation can be caused by the slowed or delayed transit time of waste matter through the colon, also known as peristalsis.  The parasympathetic state of the nervous system activates the “housekeeping wave” which moves food waste (stool) through the digestive tract.  The sympathetic “flight of fight” state routes blood to the external muscles so you can flee an emergency which DECREASES motility blood flow and constricts sphincters.  Conversely, the parasympathetic state of the nervous system activates the “housekeeping wave” which moves food waste (stool) through the digestive tract. Clove oil contained in Parasympathetic® possesses  anti-inflammatory properties may help re-balance gastrointestinal bacteria and optimize digestion, as well as improve nutrient uptake. Parasympathetic® oil, applied on the vagus nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone) can help you drop into the parasympathetic state and improve motility.

Apply the Parasympathetic® blend right behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone, to help shift your body into that rest and digest state where it digest, absorb and assimilate food as well as eliminate toxins and waste.  Parasympathetic® blend also helps you support your liver’s ability to transform toxic molecules into less toxic ones and help your body eliminate them.  Research shows that the limonene found in citrus essential oils, like Lime in the Parasympathetic® blend, can stimulate the production of glutathione, a key component of healthy drainage and detoxification.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Best Essential Oils for Constipation


  1. Fascia Release™ to help release toxins from the cells

Fascia is the band of thin, fibrous connective tissue that wraps around and supports every structure in your body, including every cell and tissue in your body.  If fascia is constricted or stagnant, it may impede the ability of the cells to release toxins and cellular waste products, including pollution, heavy metals, mold, and glyphosate. Toxins that linger in your cells may contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and fatigue, draining energy that may impact your ability to detoxify.

Fascia Release™ blend helps support the fluid dynamics of the fascial system, helping to release adhesions and fascial restriction, increase circulation, decrease swelling in the tissue.  As you know, fascia lies just below the skin so topically applying essential oils onto the skin allows for easy and immediate access to the fascia.  The skin is your largest organ and is relatively permeable to fat-soluble substances like essential oils which easily penetrate layers of restricted fascia, creating warmth to break up congestion, increasing circulation, lymphatic drainage and mobilizing adhered tissue and allowing cells to easily release toxins.

To release fascia and support healthy drainage, liberally apply Fascia Release™ around the jaw/neck/face, back of heart, hips and any areas of constriction.

READ THIS NEXT: Fascia and the Lymphatic System

  1. Lymph™ for the Lymphatic System

Your lymphatic system is a network of vessels, glands, and nodes that works alongside your circulatory system to fight infection and drain fluids from tissues throughout the body into the bloodstream to be purified by the liver and spleen. Before it returns fluid to the blood, lymph nodes filter out bacteria, toxins, viruses and pathogens and act as the first line of defense for your immune system.

The primary role of the lymphatic system is to cleanse the body of external sources of toxins and internal cellular waste and damaged proteins. If the lymph becomes congested or stagnant, tissues may swell, resulting in fluid build up and retention, which significantly compromises your ability to drain and eliminate toxins.

To enhance lymphatic flow and drainage, generously apply Lymph™ around the sides of the neck, under the arm pits and along the bikini line.  Lymph flows more heavily down the left side of the body and can get congested around the left clavicle, so it is good to apply the Lymph™ blend right on the left clavicle bone.  If you think about what oils do in plants, they help to move fluid through the plant so that the water gets from the roots up to the leaves, which can be hundreds of feet in the air. That’s what the Lymph™ oil is helping you do. It’s helping you move things.

It can be especially important to apply Lymph™ oil to the clavicles and the sides of the neck as your neck is the critical intersection where your brain connects with your body. Oxygen, nutrients and stimuli are carried between the brain and the body through the nerves, blood vessels, veins and spinal cord that travel through your neck channel.

The lack of proper drainage in the neck is often correlated with many negative detoxification reactions, like headaches, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety and pain. If toxins are mobilized and don’t leave the body, you will feel worse. Especially if you mobilize toxins in the brain and they recirculate in the brain, potentially relocating to a position where they cause more inflammation and damage.

You can read more about lymph flow and moving lymph with essential oils HERE and HERE. The lymphatic system is an interconnected network of organs and tissues that help to rid the body of waste and toxins.

READ THIS NEXT: Number One Reason Why Brain Detoxification Fails 


  1. Circulation™ to Improve Blood Flow

In addition to your lymphatic system, your circulatory system acts as a drainage pathway which means improving your circulation helps improve drainage through your bloodstream.  Natural compounds, like essential oils, have been shown to increase circulation and blood flow.  For example, essential oils can help relax and improving the health of your blood vessels.  This helps more blood circulate through them, improving your circulation and increasing brain oxygen levels in the process.

Circulation™ blend in particular is formulated to support healthy circulation to deliver oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the body and the brain, while simultaneously carrying toxins and waste to the kidney and liver to be eliminated. Circulation™ blend contains Black Pepper essential oil, which has been found to enhance circulation, increasing blood flow to your digestive system which helps boost nutrient absorption, so much so that it is often added supplement formulations to enhance the effectiveness of the supplement. Apply 2- 3 drops on the sides or back of the neck, over the left clavicle, on the wrists or ankles to promote circulation and greatly accelerate the healing process.

READ THIS NEXT: Essential Oils for Circulation

  1. Liver™

Your Liver is the most important drainage area of the body.

The liver filters blood and removes toxins from it, processing them for elimination by depositing them into bile.  When these get backed up, toxins build up and spill over into the bloodstream. There is then accumulation in the lungs, kidneys, and skin. It can lead to damage to the lining of the lungs and kidneys, as well as itchy/red/irritated skin. The liver needs the energy and vitality to keep up with the increased toxic burden and avoid congestion that can impede drainage.

Your drainage pathways work like a hydraulics system, which means that your liver bile duct drainage system needs to flow freely in order for upstream lymphatic drainage to occur.

Vibrant Blue Oils Liver™ helps support optimal health and vitality of the liver.  This is a great blend to support any kind of digestive repair effort that would release extra toxins (like yeast die off), a detox cleanse or for anyone who demonstrates liver stress symptoms like sensitivity to smells (smoke, perfume, etc.) and or chemicals or those who are easily intoxicated or hung over.  Apply  Liver™ directly over the liver (right side beneath the breast) 2-3 times daily.  You can also combine Liver™ blend with castor oil – just add 3 drops of Liver™ to 1 tsp of castor oil and rub it over the liver before bed.  Castor oil is notoriously messy, so you can either: (1) cover it with a piece of flannel and plastic wrap and apply heat from a hot water bottle (avoid the electricity of heating pads) for 20-30 minutes,  (2) wear a ratty t-shirt and let your body eat work it’s magic (3) climb into an Epsom salt bath with the castor oil and Liver™ oil and benefit from layering 3 healing strategies at the same time.

READ THIS NEXT:  How to Detoxify Your Liver with Essential Oils


  1. Gall Bladder™

Your gallbladder is responsible for storing, releasing, and concentrating bile, a fluid produced in the liver that helps our body break down fat as well as carry toxins and old hormones out of the body. Your liver manufacturers bile and about 80% of the toxins are dumped into the bile after the liver processes them. The bile has two main purposes: neutralizing the stomach acid that gets released into the small intestine from the stomach (so the acid doesn’t burn holes in the intestinal lining) and emulsifying the fat from the food we eat.

Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released through bile ducts into the small intestine during digestion, where some is eliminated through stool, lowering the level of toxins in the body.  When our bile becomes too viscous, it doesn’t flow as well and toxins (especially estrogen) don’t move out of the system and often get reabsorbed.

What’s more, bile ducts can also get blocked, inflamed, damaged, or narrowed which leads to toxins becoming stagnate and to accumulate in the liver, which can cause liver damage. Stagnancy of bile is one of the major contributors of chronic illness and is caused most often by bacteria, viruses, medications, excess estrogen, parasites, and chemical toxins. If bile isn’t flowing, toxic bile acids are released into other organs like kidneys, lungs, and skin.

Some indicators that the Gall Bladder™ blend might be a helpful blend for you would be motion sickness, floating stools, avoiding fatty food like meat or if you do eating fatty food, needing to use the restroom shortly after, pain between shoulder blades, subtle headache above eyes.  For more ways to support the gall bladder, read this article.

To support the optimal flow of bile and allow toxins to flow out of the body, apply 2-3 drops of Gall Bladder™ underneath the ribs at the gall bladder (right side, underneath the ribs.  If you lean forward, it is easier to apply under the ribs).

READ THIS NEXT: Open 10 Detoxification Pathways with Essential Oils


7. Kidney Support™

Toxins are excreting via the kidneys through urination.  Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that filter blood and remove water-soluble waste products.  The kidneys also regulate the balance of fluids in the body, blood pressure (by maintaining the salt and water balance) and the body’s acid-alkaline balance (pH) by selectively filtering out or retaining various minerals and electrolytes.

They control the volume, composition and pressure of fluids in all the cells.  Blood flows through the kidneys at its highest pressure, filtering out toxins and directing nourishing materials to where they are needed.  It is important to support the detoxification pathway of the kidneys because when the kidneys are overburdened, it will impair other detoxification channels.

The kidneys can also hold onto feelings of fear and paranoia which can impair function. In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the seat of courage and willpower.  Water is symbolic of the unconscious, our emotion and of that which we do not understand and that which we fear.  To help dispel fear, assist in feeling safe and support the kidneys for optimal function, applying 2- 3 drops of Kidney Support™ over the kidneys (one inch up and out from belly button), back of neck, or around the outside of earlobes.


8.  Skin

The skin is our largest organ and a major elimination pathway.  Our sweat glands act as a key channel helping to support any toxic overflow from the liver or kidneys.  For example, skin reactions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis or rashes are often an indication that the liver and kidneys are processing more toxins than the body can handle, so your pores will start to pitch in to sweat things out.

Sweat therapy can trace its roots to Native American sweat lodges, Roman baths, Scandinavian saunas, and Turkish baths and recent research corroborates the benefits, finding toxins like heavy metals in sweat post exercise.  Fat soluble toxins, such as endocrine disruptors like BPA, can also escape via in the sweat as well.  Supporting the detoxification pathway via the skin can lessen the burden on other detox organs like the liver and the kidneys (which is especially helpful for the kidneys as they are delicate organs and can be easily damaged by overuse).

My favorite tool for eliminating toxins via sweat therapy is a detox bath with 2 cups of Epsom salt, 1 cup of baking soda and a few drops of Vibrant Blue Oils Parasympathetic® oil. The clove oil in the Parasympathetic® blend helps to pull toxins out of the skin to lessen the burden on the liver, gall bladder and kidneys.  For more tips to on healing baths, read this article or download this FREE guide.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.