By Grace Bryce, MH, CNHP
Like doing regular maintenance on your car or house, cleansing or detoxing your body can help it last longer, look better (and in the case of the body) keep it healthier. So how do you know if you need to do a detox? There are several symptoms that are sometimes indications that the body is ready for a cleanse, such as constipation, headaches, inflamed joints, weight gain, cravings, body odor, insomnia, lack of energy, skin break-outs, and frequent allergies or colds.
Did you know that any chemical you can smell in the air, can make its way into your bloodstream? It’s no wonder that we all need to detox! Even eating all organic foods and being as green as we can, we simply can’t avoid all toxins. On top of environmental toxins, our bodies produce metabolic waste each day, which needs elimination or it can build up. Food sensitivities to gluten, dairy, sugar and other foods can contribute to the toxic build up. Preservatives, colorings, additives, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol are also culprits. What we don’t eliminate, we reabsorb.
It helps to understand a little about the digestive process.
Digestion begins in the mouth, so if you don’t chew your food well enough, the stomach has to work harder. Drinking too much liquid during meals, to wash the big chunks of food down, only dilutes your digestive juices in your stomach. What doesn’t get digested enough in the mouth and stomach, continues through the digestive tract. Undigested food particles may eventually end up in the blood stream creating food sensitivities, because your body sees it as a foreign substance and can make antibodies to it. Then, the next time you eat it, guess what, you might break out in a rash or have swelling or just plain feel terrible after eating it, because you body identifies it as a foreign substance….And you say, “Wow, why now? I’ve been eating this all my life without a problem.” It is because your body is moving into the stages of decline, which lead to chronic disease. This is not a pretty thing, besides leaving you feeling miserable.
Toxins are dumped into our dietary fiber and eliminated. If we do not eat enough fiber, those toxins get reabsorbed back into our bodies and can make us sick or sicker. Once toxins get into the blood stream they are filtered through the Liver. Medications can also build up in our bodies. How are these toxins and substances processed in our bodies? Everything must past through the liver to filter. The liver can be stressed with all of the work it has to do and may let toxins pass back into the bloodstream creating systemic toxicity. Some of the toxins are then excreted through the skin, kidneys and lungs. The toxins that are not eliminated are stored in the bones, hair, muscles, lymphatics or fat tissues. When this is allowed to go on, we become diseased. This begins to show up as irritation and inflammation in our tissues. Those aches and pains could be stored toxins!
What can you do to detox, cleanse and support your healthy body?
* Digestive enzymes can help you tremendously if you eat cooked food and need more help digesting it. Taken between meals, they can act as a detoxifier.
* Fiber – Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber daily (25-40 gms) to absorb toxins and eliminate waste. There are several fiber supplements at Georgia’s Naturals, in case you need more than you are getting in your diet. Some are formulated with herbs to nourish and strengthen the colon and others are designed for a more sensitive colon. Always take your fiber supplements separate from your other supplements or medications, because they can also be absorbed and eliminated, before the body can benefit from them. The best scenario is to eat a clean diet with 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Raw fruit and vegetables are more cleansing. Including fresh herbs in your meals also adds nutrition.
My favorite good sources of fiber include:
Fresh fruit (with skins)
Fresh raw vegetables
Glucomannan (noodles or powder)
* Water– Drink enough water. The ideal amount of water to drink in a day is half an ounce per pound of body weight. So if, I weigh 100 pounds, I should be drinking 50 ounces of clean pure water per day. Don’t drink tap water. Get a simple filter or filtering system, preferably one that filters out fluoride and chlorine. Staying hydrated is important and drinking healthy water is important. Ideally, clustered water with antioxidants and minerals to hydrate and alkalinize the body more efficiently. I personally like this system.
* Herbs for Cleansing & Nutrition– Besides eating a healthy diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables and juicing, herbs are a great way to detox the body and supply added nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Most herbs help in a combination of ways and can be used together to balance a formula. Renew Life makes several cleanse kits using herbal formulas, available at Georgia’s Naturals. The following list is only a partial list of the herbs that can be used for cleansing, healing and support. A good cleanse formula will support the seven routes of elimination:
1. Bowel support includes fiber to move the toxins out, as previously mentioned and herbs such as marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark help to lubricate and soothe the intestinal lining. Rhubarb root, mullein, fenugreek all have a laxative effect. Fennel helps with gas and spasms or cramping. [Note about constipation: laxative herbs such as cascara sagrada, senna and aloe should be used with caution, since the body can become dependent on them if used continually. Magnesium citrate (CALM by Natural Vitality) would be a better choice to get things moving.]
2. Liver herbs help support healthy liver function, remove toxins from the liver, nourish the cells of the liver and offer cellular protection to the liver. Milk thistle protects the liver, promotes detoxification of poisons and can help regenerate the liver, dandelion root stimulates the release of toxins, cleanses liver and stimulates bile, and burdock and tumeric restore the liver and offer liver protection, others offer healing, such as garlic, blessed thistle, fenugreek, and yellow dock and all assist in liver support.
3. Lung support herbs include mullein to clear congestion and inflammation, garlic detoxifies and protects, oregano helps with inflammation and infection, tumeric is anti-inflammatory and fenugreek reduces mucus.
4. Kidney support herbs include: dandelion leaf acts as a diuretic and improves kidney function, marshmallow root also helps with reducing excess fluid and mucus, nettles work as a diuretic and tonic, parsley is a diuretic and tonic, and mullein helps to soothe inflammation.
5. Skin support includes yellow dock which also supports the liver, colon and blood; oat straw is a restorative tonic; burdock aids in elimination of toxins and acts as an antioxidant. Calendula is healing to the skin and the digestive tract. It is soothing and anti-inflammatory,
6. Lymphatic herbs include: Echinacea supports the lymphatic and immune systems and mullein clears swollen glands, dandelion root and red clover are also cleansing to the lymphatic system. Red root is another good lymphatic herb, which helps move long chain fatty acids from the lymph.
7. Blood herbs include: kelp provides minerals and strengthens vessels; burdock and dandelion root purify the blood and help eliminate toxins; tumeric inhibits platelet aggregation, improves circulation, vessel health and lowers cholesterol; blessed thistle, red clover and yellow dock are cleansing to the blood.
* Regular exercise and deep breathing is essential for your liver circulation, the production and movement of bile into the gallbladder, and for the circulation of lymph, which also moves toxins. It will also benefit the bowel and your general health. Find some form of exercise that works for you. There are lots of choices.
* Detox Heavy Metals by adding cilantro, chlorella, spirulina and red marine algae to your diet and supplementation. Have your amalgam dental fillings safely removed by a biological dentist.
* Adding a probiotic is also essential to rebuild the colony of beneficial bacteria in the colon and to restore colon health. Colon health is also your immune health you are building.
* Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Bath
The Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Bath is a gentle systemic detox booster. Research has shown that it can improve your circulation and improve cellular function at the cellular level, which oxygenates your tissues and alkalinizes your body. This in turn aids the body in detoxification and supports a healthier you.
People have reported almost immediate relief in sore joints and the relief of numbness in the hands and feet due to diabetes or peripheral neuropathy. This is a fast, gentle way to cleanse the body without putting it into a healing crisis. There are reports that is has helped with headaches, fatigue, joint pain, stiffness, numbness, cold hands and feet, allergic reactions, dermatitis, memory loss, mental confusion, attention deficit, autism, insomnia, and stress.
People report feeling more relaxed and energetic after the sessions and that it helps them sleep better. I have had that experience myself. The ionic foot bath doesn’t strip the body of vitamins or minerals. I offer the service of Aqua Chi Ionic Foot Baths by appointment. There is more information on my website.
If you have serious health issues, please consult your doctor. I do not diagnose, treat or prescribe, but I am here to offer you educational information on how you can improve your health and address your health concerns. With guidance you can move through the cleanses in a healthy way. This is something I could help with during a consultation. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please see my website for more information.
Make a plan today for your body maintenance and start the new year with a clean slate!