Whenever we start a cleanse, detox or reset around here I always get asked this question:
“What supplements and essential oils can I use during this program?”
This is a great question, but before I answer it I wanted to address why you would even want to use supplements and essential oils during a cleanse, detox or reset. If you've been around my Beacon coaching programs for any amount of time you've probably heard me talking about how whole food is foundational, and isolated nutrients — vitamins, minerals, etc. — just aren't my favorite when it comes to a health regimen. I believe in the synergistic power of whole foods and when you start to isolate nutrients you may very well be losing powerfully nutritious compounds. An example of how this principle works is in comparing orange juice and a whole orange. If you simply drink a glass of orange juice your blood sugar will act very differently than when you eat the entire orange. Why? Because the fiber in the orange helps to slow the sugar's impact on the body. All the parts of the orange work together to give your body a better (and more balanced) experience.
So why would I be advocating for supplements and essential oils during this program? Here are three reasons why I think you should consider using supplements and essential oils during a cleanse, detox or reset:
- The current state of a majority of the modern world's diet is way too processed and lacks many of the basic building blocks and nutrients that our bodies need to maintain health and vibrant wellness. We are heavy on sugar, simple carbs, and the wrong kinds of salt and fats, and we are way too light on fresh fruits and veggies, herbs and — get this! — WATER. These wide open gaps in our diets necessitate that we plug the holes, and FAST. While eating better can start to bridge the gaps, this strategy takes time. It can take MONTHS to restock stores of certain vital vitamins, for instance. Some people need vital nutrients in such large doses and in such an immediate manner, and this generally necessitates the use of supplements. Examples of this sort of gap could be vitamins like the B family (even though they are water soluble, we need them on a regular basis over long periods of time to fill gaps), and nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Did you know that fruits and veggies, beans, nuts and seeds have actually lost nutrient density over the years due to the poor quality of the soil they are grown in? It's not just the seed, watering and sunshine we need to be concerned with when it comes to growing our food. We also need to look at the quality of the soil. When soil isn't given proper nutrients and given enough time to rest in between growing seasons it becomes depleted. It becomes further depleted when we do not rotate the crops being grown in it from season to season. When plants grow in this type of soil they become depleted of certain nutrients. When we eat this produce we can become depleted in those nutrients, as well. Quality supplements can help to fill the holes left behind in our diet.
- It's quite common these days to hear folks say how bone tired they are all the time, how their digestion is simply “off” and how they are suffering from annoying, chronic health conditions. These types of symptoms point towards bodies that are overloaded, clogged up and sluggish. In many cases, reducing the load on the liver and getting the lymphatic, digestive and renal systems humming along help to improve general health and wellness which can result in more energy, better sleep and more efficient movement through the systems of the body. Quality supplements and essential oils can help to support the body's natural ability to detox and cleanse. Sometimes the body just needs a little support so it can do the great job it was designed to do.
For all these reasons I recommend using quality supplements and essential oils during a cleanse, detox or reset. It is vital that the supplements and/or essential oils you decide to use are high quality, pure and, as much as is possible, made from whole sources.
Note: As we get into the recommendations, I wanted to disclose that I am a Young Living distributor. As such, I receive a commission when someone is a member of my organization and makes a purchase. I am recommending many Young Living products below. I want to expressly note that I have tried every single one of these products and one of the biggest reasons I am a distributor for Young Living is that I believe in their products. I've tried them and have been pleased with them and so I suggest them to others. If I don't like something, I don't suggest it, no matter whether I receive a commission or not. Please note, in each of the supplement suggestions I've also suggested a non-YL product that I like, as well. You are not required to use Young Living supplements or essential oils in order to participate in the Beacon programs we offer.
Here are the basic supplements I suggest for any cleanse, detox or reset cycle:
Multi Vitamin: While I believe a balanced diet should cover all of a person's basic nutrient needs and that we should prioritize our food intake as such, many of us walk into a cleanse, detox or reset with some deficiencies. They may not be reading on a blood test just yet, but fatigue, brain fog, joint and muscle aches, edginess, excess weight, digestive upsets, bloating, etc. are indicators that something may be either out of balance or deficient. For these reasons, I generally suggest using a multi-vitamin to plug those holes and to assist the body as it seeks to detox and find balance during the program. I prefer a multi-vitamin that is all natural and whole foods based as opposed to one that contains synthetic, isolated nutrients. My favorite multi right now is Young Living's Master Formula. This product includes a very broad base of nutrients and many are whole foods based. Master Formula contains gut flora-supporting prebiotics and ingredients that help neutralize free radicals in the body, and it also includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other food-based nutrients. It's packaged as a month's supply in daily sachets, so it's super convenient. Check out the information sheet on this supplement to learn about everything it contains. Another multi-vitamin I like is Life Extension Foundation's Two-Per-Day Capsules. This product isn't as whole foods based as Master Formula and contains none of the synergistic essential oils or “extras” that Master Formula has, but it's a potent multi containing a broad spectrum of nutrients that can help to plug holes in our diets. If you're watching the dollars closely, this is a suitable multivitamin to use on the program.
Vitamin D3: Some studies suggest that upwards of 50% of Americans are deficient in this very important vitamin. This is due, at least partly, to the increased use of sunscreens while in the sunshine. Suncreen blocks the sun's rays that are necessary for our skin to create this vital nutrient and so we are having to find alternate ways to get this nutrient into our systems. Vitamin D3 is vital to so many transactions in our bodies, and deficiencies of this vitamin have been linked to many different conditions including cancer, MS, auto-immune conditions and more. Immunity also appears to be impacted negatively when we are deficient in D3. For all these reasons, it's important to find a quality D3 supplement. It is advisable to have your D3 levels tested on a regular basis if you are supplementing. While taking around 2,000 iu's daily is the general suggestion, some folks need significantly more D3 to get to the target levels necessary for optimal health. As such, I suggest that everyone gets their D3 levels tested as soon as possible when beginning to take this supplement. Until you get tested and know your levels, I don't suggest taking more than 2,000 iu's per day. Young Living doesn't offer a straight Vitamin D3 supplement, so my favorite is one offered by Life Extension Foundation. Their 1,000 iu liquid capsules are my pick. You can take 2 per day to hit that 2,000 iu level.
Probiotic: It's become general knowledge in our time that much of our immunity starts in the gut and our gut is richly impacted by our microflora. We have a microbiome in our guts — a rich environment of microbes that help us to process food, create nutrients and assist our bodies in the transactions our body requires to thrive. So helping our body to balance its “bug gang” is vital to finding and maintaining vibrant health. That said, while we “should” be able to get all the gut love we need from naturally fermented foods and prebiotic fibers that can be found in foods, we really don't see enough of these sorts of foods in our diets these days, so a probiotic becomes foundational. I love Young Living's Life 9 probiotic. “Life 9™ is a proprietary, high-potency probiotic that combines 17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains that promotes healthy digestion, supports gut health, and helps maintain normal intestinal function for overall support of a healthy immune system.” Another probiotic I am a fan of is Ortho Molecular Product's Orthobiotic. A third I recommend is Metagenics Ultra Flora Balance. All probiotics are different and so they can affect one person differently than the next based on their specific gut needs. You may have to try more than one to find the one that makes you feel best. Also, you want a quality probiotic with lots of live cultures, so this isn't the time to go grab whatever is cheapest off the health food shelves. A quality probiotic is generally going to cost at least $1/day, so that's a good guideline to consider when selecting your supplement.
Vitamin B Complex & Vitamin B-12: B vitamins are workhorses in the body. First, there are 8 of them (with a 9th on the horizon – hello, B-17!) and they each do something slightly different in the body. In general, though, they help with energy levels, mood and the detox and creation functions of the liver and blood. It would take an entire post to discuss the functions supported by the B vitamins, so suffice it to say, it's good to include this family of vitamins whenever you're doing a cleanse, detox or reset. Young Living's Super B is a great B complex for this purpose. “Super B is a comprehensive vitamin complex containing all eight essential, energy-boosting B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12). Combined with Nutmeg essential oil and bioavailable chelated minerals such as magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc, Super B not only assists in maintaining healthy energy levels, but it also supports mood and cardiovascular and cognitive function.” Another B complex supplement I really like is Designs for Health Homocysteine Supreme.This product also contains other liver supporting substances that can help to support detox.
Omega-3: Omega-3 is the first of my “honorable mention” suggestions. The previous mentions are what I consider “everyday foundations.” With a decrease in the amount of fish eaten and an increase in consumption of inflammatory processed grains, our balance of fatty acids is off. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold-water, fatty fish, walnuts, and some fruits and veggies are important for many functions in the body. Also, making sure that the balance between O3s, O6s and O9s in the body is vital so we avoid the inflammation that seemingly comes when this mix is off. Supplementing with Omega-3 can help to support cadiovascular and brain functions and has even been shown to support mood. Young Living has a great product called OmegaGize that also includes CoQ10 and a blend of synergistic essential oils, but I also like Metagenics OmegaGenics.
Greens Supplement: Continuing with my “honorable mentions” is a quality greens supplement. We will be increasing leafy greens during the program as well as increasing other veggies, but a greens supplement should be considered for added “insurance.” Many greens supplements include algae based substances that increase the detox support of the supplement. I love Young Living's Multigreens supplement. “MultiGreens™ is a nutritious chlorophyll formula designed to boost vitality by working with the glandular, nervous, and circulatory systems. MultiGreens is made with spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, bee pollen, eleuthero, Pacific kelp, and therapeutic-grade essential oils.” If you want to “up your game,” include a greens supplement in your plan.
NingXia Red: I'm including Young Living's NingXia Red in the honorable mentions section (as opposed to everyday foundations) for only one reason: It's an expensive habit. A daily 1 ounce serving will cost you a little over a $1/day, and the recommended serving is 2-4 oz. if you want to get serious. Some folks don't want to spend that on an antioxidant supplement. Now as for me and my family, we ALL take 1-2 oz. of this stuff daily and I believe it's helped tremendously to support our general wellness. NingXia Red is an antioxidant, juice based beverage containing the wolfberry (similar to a goji berry). The stats on the amount of antioxidants you are getting in a serving are pretty incredible. Just see the information sheet here for the details. “Young Living NingXia Red benefits include support for energy levels, normal cellular function, and whole-body and normal eye health.”
Note: Before we get into essential oils I need to establish that when I say “essential oils” I am talking about 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. These are not the type of essential oils you find at the grocery store or the big box stores. They are generally not even the type you can find at large distributors online. You want to make sure the oils you purchase and use are steam distilled and don't contain any solvents or thinners. Even though a bottle of oil may say “pure” this may mean that only 5% of the oil in the bottle is actually pure essential oil. This is crazy but it's true. You need to find a supplier that can attest that 100% of what is in the bottle is distilled oil and that it doesn't contain any solvents or thinners. The oils you use should be both company tested and independent, third party tested. I use Young Living essential oils exclusively and I rely on their Seed to Seal process to ensure I'm getting 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils that are processed with integrity and ingenuity. You can check out their process at seedtoseal.com.
Here are the basic essential oils I suggest for any cleanse, detox or reset cycle:
Citrus Oils – Vitality Line (Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange) : You can flavor drinking water with citrus oils. Drinking water not only hydrates you, but it can help to curb hunger and cravings.
Lemongrass & Lemongrass Vitality: Use topically, aromatically or ingested (per label); invigorating and supportive of general wellness.
Young Living's Slique Essence: Add to drinking water. “Slique Essence combines grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, spearmint, and ocotea with stevia extract in a unique blend that supports healthy weight management goals. These ingredients work together to help control hunger.”
Cinnamon Bark Vitality: “Taking Cinnamon Bark Vitality essential oil as a dietary supplement can support healthy digestion and help maintain a healthy immune system.”
Lavender: Lavender essential oil has many different uses, but helping to support sleep is a big one. Diffusing lavender at bedtime creates a calming environment that can definitely help when you're trying to increase sleep quantity and quality.
Peppermint Vitality: Great to add to add to drinking water. Super invigorating and can help to support healthy digestion.
Digize & Digize Vitality: Use topically or ingested (per label) to support healthy digestion. A good one to have on hand when you are making changes to your regular diet and may experience digestive “noise.”
Panaway: This is an essential oil blend that you can apply to tired or sore muscles in some carrier oil to soothe after a workout. Also has a highly invigorating scent.
Frankincense Vitality: Referred to by many as the King of Essential Oils, frankincense is one of the most studied essential oils. It can help to support normal cellular health.
If you're already a Young Living member, you will notice that many of the oils I suggest above can be found in the premium starter kit. It's why I believe the starter kit is the absolute best place to start with essential oils. It's the basic toolkit we need when our goal is to support the body to find and maintain robust and vibrant wellness.
While it isn't my intention to sell you anything personally via this post (none of the links above are affiliate links), if you would like to get started with essential oils so you can use them during your cleanse, detox or rest, you can use my referral link to grab your premium starter kit (select Member to sign up). Many of the oils I reference above are included in the PSK (Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Digize, and Panaway). With membership you receive 24% off retail prices, so you could snap up the other oils not in the kit at the discounted wholesale price along with your kit. The kit (retailing at approximately $325) costs $160 plus tax and shipping, but I give my Beacon Cleanse, Detox and Reset folks a $25 rebate after purchase, so this brings it down to $135. The PSK includes 11 essential oils (including 6 I reference above) and a diffuser, along with the membership that gets you 24% off retail prices and access to our Oiliversity community — our oil education and chat group on Facebook where we teach you how to use your oils and provide support as you step into the oily lifestyle.
If you were hoping to simply grab supplements from Young Living and didn't want to bother with essential oils at this time, there's another membership you could consider — the Basic Kit. The Basic Kit is $45 and includes your membership (which gets you 24% off retail on all future purchases), a 5ml bottle of Stress Away essential oil and some oil samples. But you could then purchase supplements at 24% off retail immediately. Alternatively, you could grab many of the supplements I list above at Life Extension Foundation or Amazon. So simple. If you want to grab the basic kit and get your supplements from Young Living, just use my referral link, select Member and sign up for the Basic Kit. You can then add the supplements to your order at the discounted price.
So which supplements and essential oils are you planning to use during your Cleanse, Detox or Reset? Come on over to The Beacon Cleanse Facebook group and share with us. The Beacon Cleanse group is also the place to ask your questions and join the conversation around how we will be using supplements and essential oils during our current program. See you over there!
Important Disclaimer: The information and opinions found in this article are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned herein and the information accompanying them are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult with your doctor if you are currently under care and/or are taking medications and are considering beginning any supplementation regime as there may be interactions. I am not a doctor and cannot provide advice as to whether certain interactions may occur. Consequently, you should not rely on the information or opinions listed here as medical advice. It is not my intent to suggest to you that any supplement or essential oil discussed here can or should replace a drug. Consult your health care provider if you'd like more information about using supplements and/or essential oils as part of your existing treatment plan.