We know that juices extract the essence of fruits and vegetables, providing a detoxifying and nourishing blend of easily digested and absorbed nutrients. Just as these extracted juices are the concentrated essence of our produce, so are the potent extracts and essential oils of tinctured herbs, flowers, and other medicinal plants. Using just a drop or two added to our juices or smoothies can advance the restorative benefits of juices exponentially.
Essential oils are essentially distilled volatile plant extracts taken from the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, and even seeds of plants. Many of these are otherwise inedible or not nearly as potent in their raw form. Once extracted and concentrated, they are extremely powerful in the smallest amounts. They not only help to enhance the flavor of juices and smoothies in complex or floral-flavored ways but address imbalances more effectively than other plant foods sometimes can.
Potential benefits of using essential oils and extracts:
- Detoxify more rapidly
- Help to address hormonal and other imbalances in the body
- Promote energy
- Boost the immune system
- Activate the lymph system
- Contain antibacterial and antiviral benefits
- Enhance flavor
- Potent antioxidants
- Promote clearer skin
Depending on the herb, flower, or other plant material used, the benefits change, of course. Below is a list of some favorites and their potential benefits.
Rose is a vastly beneficial herb for a wide range of imbalances and concerns. It's gentle enough to be used externally on the most sensitive of skin, and internally using simple rosewater, or potent essential oils.
It takes quite a lot of roses to make just one ounce of essential oil, so often rose absolute will be one of the more expensive essential oils. Keep in mind, price is not the only factor that denotes quality. Buyers should look for organic and reputable companies if intending to use essential oils internally.
Rose essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial, boosts the mood, eases stress and depression, and promotes joy. Full of a variety of antioxidants, rose is highly anti-inflammatory and soothes irritation, swelling, and redness.
An antispasmodic, rose relieves spasms and contractions throughout the body. It is a wonderful herb for women and promotes blood cleansing and a healthy cycle by potentially balancing hormones and easing cramps, nausea, and excess bleeding.
Orange blossom is extracted and distilled from the bark, leaves, pulp, peel, and seeds of the orange tree. In its essential oil form, often called neroli, the flowers of the bitter orange are distilled.
Orange blossom water is commonly added to recipes to instill a subtle orange aroma, and used on the skin it is very nourishing and soothing. Like rose, orange blossom has antiseptic properties and also elevates the mood and focus. It is considered an aphrodisiac and may enhance libido. It promotes digestion, relieves gas, is wonderful for the skin, and boosts the immune system.
Extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant, this traditional remedy is excellent at easing tension, anxiety, stress, and pain. It enhances circulation, clears the respiratory system, and heals the skin.
It is a wonderful sleep aid and treats insomnia through aromatherapy. It helps to treat urinary issues by balancing hormones and reducing inflammation of the bladder. It generally boosts immunity and promotes digestion and digestive juices.
Peppermint has long been used and prized for its indigestion- and stress-relieving benefits. It helps to promote digestion; relieve gas, nausea, and upset stomachs; relieve pain and IBS symptoms, as well as improves bad breath, treats headaches and tension, cools the body, treats infection and boosts immunity, and improves and clears the respiratory system.
Described in flavor as a less bitter more aromatic lemon, lemongrass is known as a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It can help to boost the mood, reduce fevers, boost immunity, fight infection, relieve gas, increase urination, and calm the nervous system.
Roman chamomile is perhaps the most common form of chamomile prized for its soothing blue compound, azulene. Used externally it can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Internally, it helps to promote detoxification, fight infection, calm the nerves, promote digestion and circulation, and reduce gas.
Chamomile is a member of the sunflower family and those with sensitivities or allergies to the ragweed family should avoid using chamomile.
Oil of oregano and oregano essential oil have potent antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic benefits that promote immunity, fight colds and flus, reduce inflammation, and promote digestion.
Oregano oil is often used before and during a cold or flu in place of antibiotics. It promotes the respiratory system, relieves allergies, and boosts immunity. Pregnant women should not take oregano oil, and it should not be used directly on the skin.
Here are some upgraded green juices, infused with medicinal herbs and floral essences.
***Please note: Not all essential oils are safe to be consumed orally. Use a reputable food-grade product, and check with your doctor if you have any health issues or are taking medication to ensure no complications or drug interactions.***
- 1 grapefruit with or without pulp
- 1 cucumber
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 lemon
- 1 ounce raw aloe vera juice
- 1 to 2 drops of rose, neroli, or lavender essential oils
1. Juice produce and add fresh aloe juice and essential oils. Stir and drink fresh.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of chia seeds for added fiber and essential omega fatty acids. Allow to soak for about 5 minutes before drinking, or presoak in water first and drain before adding to your juice.
- 4 stalks of kale
- 1 pear
- 1 cucumber
- 1 small bunch of basil
- 1 to 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
Juice all produce, add lemongrass oil, stir, and drink fresh.
- 1 small bunch spinach
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 1 beet
- 1 large carrot
- 1 inch turmeric or ginger root
- 1 lemon
- a dash of cayenne pepper
- pinch of himalayan salt
- 1 to 2 drops oil of oregano
Juice all produce, add salt and cayenne to taste, oil of oregano, and stir. Drink fresh.