Most of us have heard the buzzword, “detox” at some point, but what do we really understand about detoxing our bodies, and what is the hype all about? I was once told by my grandmother that detoxification is something that we should not do because our body is more than capable of eliminating its own toxins without following different diets, but is there really something wrong with giving our body a boost to enhance its natural detoxification system? This is especially since the environment we live in, and what we often consume, just adds to the problem. I believe our bodies are just not capable of detoxifying itself (in this day and age) without a little help.
Detoxification has been practiced around the world for centuries, in many different forms or ways, and by many different cultures, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems. I detox when my energy is low or when I am feeling weak. After detoxing, I feel completely rejuvenated. I always take the natural approach when I detox, I find that detoxifying my body without any store-bought, artificial supplements is more beneficial, healthier, and far more effective too. This article will offer a guide on how to detox your body naturally and will add a little more insight into why it is so beneficial for both body and mind.
What is a detox?
Simply put, detoxification means cleansing the blood or ridding the body from toxins. The process of detoxification eliminates toxins and impurities from the blood in the liver (where toxins are processed and removed). Toxins are also eliminated from the body through the intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system. When referring to toxins, they are the pollutants, heavy metals, processed foods, and synthetic chemicals that negatively affect the body’s overall health.
The process of detoxification starts in the liver and is divided into two phases. The first phase converts toxic substances and chemicals into highly reactive metabolites. The second phase is the process of excretion to remove the harmful toxins from the body.
Detoxification is important for the overall health of our body, it is all about resting, cleansing, and nourishing the body from the inside out. By eliminating harmful toxins and impurities from the body, and feeding the body with healthy nutrients thereafter, you will be offered protection from disease and your optimum health will be renewed. You will also feel rejuvenated with increased energy, both your mental and physical health will also enjoy a positive boost. Detoxing naturally can help the body’s cleansing process by:
- – Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins from the body
- – Stimulating the intestines, kidneys, and skin to eliminate toxins and impurities.
- – Blood circulation is improved
- – The body is refueled with much-needed healthy nutrients.
- – Organs are rested through fasting.
If one of the systems that aid the elimination of toxins from the body is compromised, then impurities and toxins will not be filtered correctly, and the body will be negatively affected. This is often when we need to step in to help our body with detoxification, of course, without forgetting to treat the system that was initially adversely affected.
The suggestion is to detox at least once a year because in today’s times there are a lot more toxins in the environment and in the air we breathe. We are subjected to toxins in our food, especially since we tend to consume a lot more processed foods or fruit and vegetables that have been chemically enhanced. We are also exposed to harmful chemicals that are found in common items that we use daily, such as household cleaners and cosmetics. Our body needs the “extra push” with a natural detox program to help reduce the toxin load and to support the body’s detoxification system.
Detoxing our body helps to promote and keep our bodies in balance. This is important because it helps to maintain a healthy weight, reduces the risk of certain diseases (including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and osteoporosis), and adds on some valuable years to your life.
When to detox
Sometimes we need to stop and listen to what our body is telling us, it will offer signs and symptoms when it is distressed and needs additional support. In the same way, our body will let us know when it needs a helping hand to detox. It is recommended to detox when the following symptoms are experienced:
- – Irritated skin
- – Skin breakouts (pimples/acne)
- – Allergies
- – Bloating
- – Sluggish elimination
- – Low-grade infection
- – Puffy eyes
- – Mental confusion and strain
- – Menstrual problems
- – Low energy levels
Cleanse your body naturally
The best way to detoxify is through a healthy diet. Firstly, you need to remove certain foods that will interfere with your detox or make you more toxic. The foods or substances that should be avoided include the following:
- – Refined sugar
- – Processed foods
- – Saturated fats
- – Alcohol. More than 90% of alcohol is metabolized in the liver. Put down the cigarettes too!
- – Decrease your intake of salt
- – Coffee and caffeinated drinks
It is also a suggestion to switch to natural household cleaners and personal health care products if you really want to optimize your detoxification. This might even be a great option when you are not doing a detox.
Now that you know what to avoid, let us investigate what natural sources are excellent for detoxifying your body.
When I was a teenager my mother would wake me up every morning with a glass of hot water that had freshly squeezed lemon juice dissolved in it. She would tell me how good it was for me, but I never knew why. Lemons are a staple of many different detox diets because they are a rich source of antioxidant Vitamin C. Lemons also have an alkaline effect which helps restore the PH balance of the body which maintains a healthy immune system. A glass of hot water with a slice of lemon helps flush out toxins and cleanse your body. It also does wonders for troublesome skin conditions such as acne. An absolute must (in my opinion) for any teenager.
2. Elder Flower
All parts of the elderberry plant have been used for centuries for a variety of natural medicines. Elder flowers are a strong and valuable blood cleanser which encourages perspiration, this makes them especially beneficial for detoxifying the body since it helps flush out the harmful toxins. Organic, dried elder flowers make a wonderful detox tea blend.
3. Green Tea
Our body needs fluids to keep our organs healthy and to flush out the toxins from our body. Drinking green tea helps boost your fluid-intake for a natural flush of your system and helps with weight loss. Green tea is incredibly rich in antioxidants and helps the body increase its production of detoxification properties and protects the liver from the damaging effects of the toxic substances that it filters. Adding 3-6 cups of green tea to your daily diet for 3-4 weeks offers an excellent detox for your body.
4. Dandelion Root
Dandelion is a wild and bitter weed/herb that stimulates the liver and aids your body’s natural detoxification system. The bitter compounds in the dandelion stimulate the taste buds which initiate a chain reaction of flowing juices from saliva to the bile that is produced in the liver. The chain reaction helps breakdown fats during digestion and aids in flushing away waste products and toxins. It is recognized as one of the most valuable herbs for detoxification in Western herbalism.
Dandelion root is also a natural diuretic and a source of potassium. The roots and leaves of the dandelion contain high levels of Vitamins A, C, D, and B complex, as well as iron, zinc, and magnesium. Adding dandelion root or leaves to your detox blend will offer support to your liver and gall bladder detoxification and overall functioning. Can be consumed in the form of tablets, capsules, or tea.
5. Stinging Nettle Leaf
Also known as Urtica dioica, stinging nettle leaf helps to cleanse the body of toxins and impurities. The nettle leaves help relieve fluid retention and bladder infections and stimulate the body’s lymphatic system which enhances the excretion of toxins through the kidneys. Organic, cut nettle leaves can be used to make a detox tea blend, and do not worry once it’s boiled the “sting” is out of the nettle.
Just like many herbs, fruits, and vegetables, the watercress plant is a natural health booster and a great detox food to add to your list. Watercress leaves contain many vital detoxifying nutrients, including Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, and potassium. Watercress offers natural diuretic properties that help flush out toxins from the body. Add some watercress leaves to your sandwiches, salads, and to your soup to reap its detoxifying benefits.
If you want to incorporate the above natural sources to make your own detox tea blend, try a combination of the following: Organic, raw kombucha made with filtered water, herbal tea blend (organic dandelion root, organic stinging nettle, organic elder flower), organic green tea, organic evaporated cane juice, and ginger juice.
Detox for a difference – a nudge in the right direction
Improving your diet is the best way to detox your body naturally. Although the body can detoxify itself through its own highly efficient detoxification system, sometimes it needs additional support to enhance its functioning, especially when we are exposed to so many toxins in a variety of ways. Although a natural diet is the key focus for your detox, remember to maintain the benefits of your detoxification by staying hydrated, stressing less (try some yoga and meditation), sleeping more, and getting active. You can also add supplements that contain NON-GMO essential vitamins and nutrients to your daily regime (they can be found in capsule form). If you want to try a different approach, buy natural household cleaning supplies and natural toiletries if you want to eliminate the number of toxins your body is exposed to daily.
Leave a comment below and let me know what natural detox you prefer.
Until Next time