Thanks to Realfarmacy.com for this article.
Your body is naturally equipped with a self-cleaning process. But too much sugar, caffeine, processed foods, stress, and too little exercise can slow the body’s natural detox function to a slow pace. And then your body can’t clean itself when it is put up against the increasing number of harmful and toxic substances in the environment. Toxins come in many forms: pesticides in produce, formaldehyde in carpets and cosmetics, PCBs from plastic containers, dioxins from bleached paper products, and more.
Your body will process and eliminate some of the hordes of chemicals that enter, but overflow gets stored in the liver, lungs, kidneys, fat cells, intestines, blood stream, and skin—which can result in chronic illnesses down the road. When you undergo a detox, you get these toxins out of your system.
How do you know if you need a detox?
You know you’re suffering from toxic overload if you are experiencing fatigue, memory decline, difficulty focusing, allergies and infections, irritability, anxiety and depression, difficulty with weight gain and weight loss, muscle and joint pain or weakness, skin rashes and outbreaks, recurrent yeast and fungal infections, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and indigestion.
Most people report vast improvement in their symptoms after a detox. At first, you may feel a little fuzzy because of the toxins being released. However, when you stick with it, you will begin to feel more alert, energized, and full of vitality.
Start small! Begin with a one-day program and gradually increase to one week or more. Here are 5 steps to a daily detox that will gently cleanse your body:
1. Start the Detox Day Right
• First thing in the morning, drink one lemon squeezed in 12 ounces of warm filtered water. Lemon activates your liver to release toxins and helps to cleanse and move the roughage that stays behind in your intestines.
• Take acidophilus or a probiotic supplement. Acidophilus is one of the many “good” bacteria and yeasts known as the probiotics. Probiotics balance our intestinal functions, helping to break down food and control the “bad” bacteria that is also in your system—all of which optimizes the detoxification process. Always take probiotics on an empty stomach.
2. Your Detox Meals
These meals are designed to jump-start your body into becoming healthier.
• Breakfast: Eat oat bran cereal, brown rice, or any other whole grain cereal as long as it is unbleached and does not contain any added sugar or chemicals.
• Lunch or Dinner: Eat any combination of beans, brown rice, oat bran, vegetables, and organic chicken, or turkey. When you eat, notice how your food affects you. You should feel satisfied and energized. If you feel tired and sluggish, try eating smaller meals so that you don’t overwhelm your digestion and interfere with the detoxification process.
3. Eat Green to Spring into Health
The green pigment in plants, chlorophyll, is structurally similar to the hemoglobin in the human body—the iron-containing element in blood. It increases red blood cell production and improves oxygenation, detoxification, and circulation. Be sure to eat several servings of fresh green vegetables every day during your detox. Try this super-cleansing broth and juice as a quick way to up your veggie intake.
Detox Broth: Add as many of these ingredients as you can into a large pot of filtered water: collards, Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, dandelion, Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, watercress, seaweed, shitake mushrooms, cilantro, garlic, leeks, fresh fennel, anise, fresh ginger, and turmeric. Boil until all ingredients are soft. You can make in a large batch and refrigerate for up to three days.
Detox Juice: Juice the following together: Aloe vera juice (which can be found in most health food stores), apples, asparagus, beets (including greens), cabbage, carrot and carrot greens, celery, cucumbers, and parsley. You can also purchase vegetable juice from the store, but be sure that it has no added salt or chemicals.
4. Supplement Your Detox
• Take a daily supplement of 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil, walnut oil, or deep-sea fish oil.
• Green Tea is a strong antioxidant, and a great beverage choice for your detox. Be sure to drink decaffeinated green tea.
• Dandelion and Milk Thistle both protect and restore the liver. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is most active in the detoxification process during spring.
• Ginger is a bowel and kidney cleanser. Make yourself tea from fresh ginger root during your detox.
A popular herbal formula among my patients is Internal Cleanse, a special combination of natural herbs to detoxify, calm nerves, clear the mind, promote emotional balance, and ease digestion. For more information, click here.
5. Take an Invigorating Herbal Soak
Soak for 20 minutes in a revitalizing herbal bath. Help draw out toxins by infusing your bath water with eucalyptus, wintergreen, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, and epsom salts.
Spring may be the best time to cleanse your body, but you don’t have to wait until spring to start. Detoxification and cleansing is a healthy maintenance program for all seasons.
Make sure to get your Epsom Salts from a source that does not use aluminum to stop the salt from clumping. Magnesium Salts are also excellent for detox and revitalization.
1/4 tsp of coconut oil added to the last 5 minutes of your soak is very beneficial to your skin and hair. Coconut oil taken orally also has many beneficial effects on almost every body system.
I have an Oxygen Spa that I will share information with you on later this fall that provides an excellent detox. It is very relaxing and enjoyable and overall detox is just one of the many benefits it provides the body, mind and spirit.
My personal thoughts on detoxification are that it should be a continuously ongoing. Toxins are accumulated on an ongoing basis so ongoing detox is just plain smart preventative maintenance.
At the very least – start your day with fresh lemon in hot water.
I like to grate fresh Ginger, let it steep while I juice a lemon, I then add the lemon to the steeped ginger tea and sweeten with a bit of honey or real maple syrup. No matter the season, the fresh Lemon – Ginger combo really adds zest to your morning. It also has an excellent detoxifying effect.
If you have an intestinal system that is working well, leave well enough alone. I suffered from severe IBS before it had a name. Now my intestinal system works really well. The friendly flora are in the correct balance. I now will only add a Pro-biotic when that balance is disturbed and would not add it as part of my detox program.
Our bodies are an amazing compilation of complex systems that work synergistically. The gut is one of those complex systems.