It is always a good time to help your body deal with the daily burden of environmental pollutants. Heavy metals, hormone-mimicking plasticisers, herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives are a few of the many increasing environmental pollutants that can accumulate in the body. These pollutants get ‘stuck’ on our cell membranes (which are the reception and absorption sites in the intestines) and inhibit natural physiological processes. Over time this burden can lead to inflammation, imbalanced hormones, impaired cellular function, illness and chronic diseases.
Detox programs can be easily suited to your schedule without disrupting daily life! Taking the time to combine your cleansing program with a healthy lifestyle and by making thoughtful nutritional choices helps support the body’s natural detoxification process.
Drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out through the kidneys, and keep them functioning optimally.
Regular gentle exercise such as yoga or walking allows for blood and lymph to circulate and be cleansed by the liver. Deep breathing exercises help deliver fresh oxygen to your body’s cells and also help remove waste products and toxins through the lungs. Try something new like dry skin brushing as this helps slough off dead skin cells so the skin can remove toxic wastes more efficiently. It assists with lymphatic drainage and blood cleansing, ensuring that your bowels are moving regularly.
Try to eat a variety of organic nutrient-rich foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Include plenty of vegetables, fibre, nuts and seeds, fruits, and healthy fats in your diet. Fresh foods and teas are abundant in enzymes, minerals, vitamins, plant-nutrients, and antioxidants. Antioxidants assist cleansing by binding to, and neutralizing ‘stuck’ toxins and harmful chemicals so they can be eliminated by the liver and kidneys.
Historically, cultures around the globe have used food in the form of herbs and herbal medicines for cleansing and still do today. For example, Red clover and greens like Watercress are great blood and lymph cleansers and detoxifiers. They are also good for hormonal balance; rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and compounds that bind to toxins. Seaweed and kelp are valuable foods with healthy proteins and a rich mineral content that also binds to many pollutants. They support cellular repair, and have been shown to reduce cellular damage from radiation (another environmental pollutant). Bitter tonic herbs, such as Blessed thistle and Burdock, are crucially important for liver and digestive function. They assist the liver in completing its detoxification work. Sheep sorrel and Slippery elm have traditionally been used in combination with other herbs for serious cases of chronic illnesses, covering nutritional benefits, detoxification, elimination, and all-round immune support.
If you decide to use traditional herbs and plant nutrients to support the cleansing process, consider taking them in a soluble liquid form. Whole herbs in liquid are a gentle way for the body to absorb and use the herbs more efficiently than in a pill or tablet form.
How Much to Take?
Well, as with all natural remedies, it varies depending on the specific herbal combination and especially on your health and goals. Do you have a short-lived or chronic illness? What is your age? Level of sensitivity?
The good thing is, these kinds of herbal teas are not potentially toxic or dangerous when taken as generally recommended and labeled.
Here is a general guideline:
- If you live a naturally healthy lifestyle, avoid processed foods and chemicals at home, you feel well overall and want to keep it that way; take one or two servings of a detox tea per day for long-term maintenance and prevention, or, for example, a couple of months during the winter season. - If you want to do a more intensive detox program for 2-3 weeks a couple of times a year; take 2-4 servings per day for that limited time period. This is best done at the change of each season.
- If you are addressing a specific illness, it is best to speak with a Natural Health practitioner. They can recommend the serving best suited to your case.
What to Expect With Detoxification
Common feedback that many people report when following a detox program includes:
- better energy, skin complexion & sleep patterns
- more clarity of thinking and memory
- better digestion, less bloating, acidity, intestinal problems, more regularity of bowel movements
- less water retention, edema
- less frequent infections (especially during the winter season), better immunity and resilience
- less symptoms of allergies
- less pain, for example joints and inflammation
- better cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol
- better hormonal balance, less PMS and menopausal symptoms
Lastly, herbal cleansing remedies do not have to taste bad. In fact, some herbal cleansing teas taste quite pleasant. So, why not give it a go. This time of year is well-suited for a full body cleanse, especially because of inevitable holiday indulgences. You will feel better, sleep better, and perhaps even shed a few layers of Holiday cookies and treats.
This column is sponsored by Good 'n' Natural in Steinbach.