Why the fuss, you may ask, when detoxification is something your body already does, minute by minute, day by day. Yet our overworked detox organs are often overwhelmed by a myriad of toxins, both from within and without. Hormone imbalances, poor digestion, strenuous exercise, and emotional stress can create internal toxins while chlorinated water, chemicals in personal care and cleaning products, drugs, preservatives, pesticides, and processed foods increase our body burden of toxins, often beyond what our organs can handle.
The four goals of detoxification are to move toxins from storage sites within the body; support the liver's ability to break these toxins down; encourage bile production to carry toxins away; and assist the other major organs in their elimination of processed toxins. As well, we must limit our toxic exposure. The six key detoxification pathways include the skin, kidneys, bowel, lymph, lungs, and liver. Let's consider each pathway and the ways we can encourage efficient detoxification.
Your skin is your third kidney and eliminates as much as two pounds of toxins daily. Dry brushing the skin, sweating from physical activity or from a dry sauna, detoxifying Epsom salts baths and castor oil packs are ways to enhance your skin's natural detoxification abilities.
Drinking sufficient water during a cleanse helps to flush toxins out of the body. Green and herbal teas, chlorophyll water, wheatgrass juice and green drinks are helpful too. As well, the herbs in Kidney Flush assist the kidneys by increasing their efficiency and their work capacity.
Many times people think that increasing elimination through the bowels is the only important aspect of detoxification, and this is not true. However, it is important to ensure that you have good bowel function during a time of cleansing - and all the time for that matter - so that toxins are efficiently removed. One to three easy-to-pass, staying-together stools per day is the goal. Beneficial micro-flora from probiotic supplements, kefir, raw sauerkraut, and fermented foods help create a healthy working environment. A fibre such as soaked flaxseeds, as well as sufficient magnesium, can help hydrate the bowel. Herbs for peristalsis may be added is needed.
Your lymph glands purify the lymph fluid which surrounds all your cells. We generally ignore the lymph system, but it has a very important role in removing waste from the inter-cellular fluid. Drinking enough water, exercise (especially rebounding), Lymphydiaral homeopathic drops or cream, and skin brushing are all ways to improve this important but neglected function.
The lungs process 9,000 liters of air a day and eliminate carbon dioxide, stored acids and other toxins. Deep, slow, abdominal breathing helps this process, and the herbs in Lung Flush help cleanse and strengthen the lungs ability to detoxify.
This remarkable central clearing house deserves our respect and support. It is intimately involved in neutralizing toxins and processing them in preparation for elimination by the other organs. The liver demands a plentiful supply of antioxidants from vegetables and fruits, green tea and spices, and also essential nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, and zinc. Supplements can play a very strategic role: lipoic acid, for example, is versatile and powerful, protecting the liver and enhancing other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E. Proanthocyanadins from grape seed or pine bark extracts are also very potent. Herbs can play a key supportive role in liver function. I recommend burdock, dandelion, artichoke, milk thistle, and turmeric, amoung others; they will help the liver do its important work more efficiently, including increased bile production and important stage two detoxification.
LIVING A DETOX LIFESTYLE
Less toxins in and more toxins out is the goal. Reduce toxins in, on and around our body: in our food, on our skin, and around us in the atmosphere of our homes. In addition, we want to stop manufacturing toxins from within through poor digestion, poor elimination, and excess stress. More toxins out can be accomplished by ensuring we have the nutrients we need to detoxify.
Here are four suggestions for ongoing detoxification:
(1) Remove those foods that are causing you distress.
(2) Tune up your digestive system with probiotics and a little dash of Molkosan added to your water.
(3) Use FlorEssence, a detoxifying herbal tea that will nourish, soothe, and restore the entire gastrointestinal tract and help assist stage one and stage two detoxification of the liver.
(4) Schedule a Liver Detox Day to give your liver time to catch up on the backlog: a day of not consuming anything that's hard for the liver to process, and a day of giving the liver plentiful nutrients to accomplish its important work. Setting aside one day a week as your Liver Detox Day is a wonderful habit that will reap big rewards. Good luck detoxifying!
By: Janet Jacks