Essential oils that your liver will love! (24th January 2012)

Your liver is an amazing organ. Did you know that it performs over 500 tasks that keep you feeling great?

The liver is the body’s factory – it makes the stuff that stops you bleeding when injured and it extracts the healthy bits from food and gets rid of the rest. The liver is the body’s waste disposal plant - it cleans the blood and breaks down and removes harmful drugs, alcohol and poisons and it recycles waste into new building blocks for the body.

Love Your Liver is a national UK awareness campaign which was quite aptly launched on 1st January 2012 by the British Liver Trust. The campaign has kicked off with a series of roadshows and pop-up liver clinics around the country where specialists have been on hand to offer expert advice and free liver tests.

According to the British Liver Trust if you regularly drink more than a pint or 2 of beer or a couple of glasses of wine each day you are putting your liver under incredible strain and over time this can lead to liver failure. However, just staying off alcohol for two to three days at a time, avoiding fatty foods and taking regular exercise can help you to take care of your liver and help it function at its best.

In addition to a more healthy life style there are a number of essential oils that have been traditionally and medically recognized as being supportive to liver health.

Rosemary essential oil is by far the most beneficial to the liver as it helps to cleanse the blood and flush harmful toxins from the liver. One of the liver’s most important functions is to produce enzymes needed for proper digestion and Rosemary is believed to stimulate the production and flow of bile which aids digestion. It has a tonic effect on the liver, encouraging it to work more efficiently and it is often used in the treatment of liver problems including cirrhosis and jaundice.

German Chamomile is also an excellent tonic for the liver and digestive system. It stimulates the liver and gall bladder which helps to improve digestion and it also helps to cleanse the blood and discharge toxins via the liver.

Peppermint essential oil also stimulates healthy bile flow from the liver and gall bladder and supports the digestive system as a whole.

Juniper oil benefits the digestive system and has a tonic and detoxifying effect on the liver, helping to eliminate waste products from the body.

Fennel essential oil supports the digestive function and has an antiseptic, tonic effect on the liver. It is also believed to protect the liver from certain toxins.

Cypress, Lemon and Thyme oils are also useful when the liver is congested.

Liver tonic:

For a simple liver tonic, add a slice of lemon to a cup of warm water and drink first thing in the morning to help cleanse your liver. Then throughout the day add 2-4 drops of Chamomile Hydrolat to a glass of water. Make sure the water is at room temperature as it will be easier for your body to absorb.

For more tips, health advice and information about the liver, visit the British Liver Trust

Please note that essential oils should never be taken internally. Click on the following link for more information on using essential oils.

 Disclaimer & Safety Advice

12 Responses to Essential oils that your liver will love!

  • Liz Fulcher

    This is a wonderful post and I would like to pass the liver information on to my students. However, I need some references.

    Can you kindly supply references for the list of oils that "have been traditionally and medically recognized as being supportive to liver health."? Thank you so much!


  • sharonlovett

    Hi Liz

    Glad you like the post unfortunately we don't have a list of references available. This was written over a year ago by on of our aromatherapists who would have drawn on her years of experience and knowledge. Some of it may have come from text books but unfortunately we don't have a record of these - really sorry! Perhaps google may be able to help?
    Kind regards
    Base Formula.

  • Liz Fulcher

    Okay, thank you.

    Liz Fulcher

  • christine
    christine on 19th August 2015 at 10:08 pm said:

    hi you have peppermint oil listed as safe for the liver. peppermint oil is NOT safe for the liver, as a matter of fact, it is toxic to the liver. i have liver disease and know, after consulting with my doctor and my own research, that this is the last oil you want to use if you have liver problems, it actually will even hurt a health liver. please fix this and please research a little better, thank you, i just want to help other people with liver problems. stay healthy!!

  • sharonlovett

    Hi Christine.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Whilst there is evidence that Menthone can cause some liver toxicity at <strong>high dosage levels</strong> (over 0.2g/day for 28 days), there are other studies that have concluded that Menthone is not hepatoxic and is unlikely to cause problems at the <strong>dosage levels used in aromatherapy</strong>. Peppermint is generally regarded as a suitable oil for the digestive system, but you should always consult with your GP or health care provider, before using aromatherapy, if you have a particular medical condition or are taking medication.

    As a general rule of thumb the contra-indications for Peppermint are:

    Peppermint should not be used on children under the age of 3 as it can produce reflex apnoea (a temporary suspension or absence in breathing) or laryngospasm (a closure of the larynx that blocks the passage of air to the lungs).

    There is also a consensus of opinion that Peppermint should not be used in conjunction with homeopathic treatment although reasons vary.

    Should not be used externally in high preparation.

    Should be avoided during pregnancy and if suffering with high blood pressure.

    I hope that helps answer your concerns.

    Kind regards

  • Silvia Winetzki
    Silvia Winetzki on 22nd August 2016 at 2:20 pm said:

    Hello, thanks for the interesting article. I have a question regarding the last answer given in the comments. You mention that peppermint "should not be used externally in high preparation". Would you please be kind to teach me what that sentence mean? I don know what is "high preparation" and could not find the answer in google. I often use 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in a little bit of grapeseed oil and spread it in my belly and neck in really hot summer days to feel refreshed. Is it dangerous? Thank you very much.

  • admin

    Hi Silvia. The levels of peppermint that you are using are fine. High levels would be considered as over 0.2g/day for a period of 28 days. Kind regards BF

  • Ginny

    Fennel oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and juniper oil in high concentrations and filled with VOCs are considered potential towards hepatoxicity. Why would you suggest people ingest these? The plants show medicinal value - but not the essential oils which are VOCs at high concentrations. In fact, there is an entire index at poison control to handle ingestion of VOCs as well as rosemary and fennel are linked with epilepsy. And your issue for peppermint oil is you are quoting it as "aromatherapy" but suggesting people use internally by ingesting - those aren't the same thing.

  • admin

    Hi Ginny - we're sorry but we have not suggested taking these oil internally - and we never ever do so! We have included a link that details further guidance on using essential oils safely.

  • Lori


  • Becky

    How can rosemary oil be used to help detox liver?

  • admin

    Hi Becky do you mean how can the oil be applied/used in practice?? If so, please visit for general usage instructions. Please note that you should not use Rosemary if pregnant or epileptic. Kind regards BF

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