As people become more aware of the toxins woven into their daily lives, they also find themselves looking for the best ways to detox correctly. Unfortunately, doing a detox is not as easy as going out and picking up a kit or a bag full of lemons and some cayenne. You need to carefully decide what kind of detox you are doing, the areas you are looking to target, and prepare yourself for the inevitable symptoms that go with it. Not only that, but you need to take care of your main detoxification pathways, so the process will go much smoother. So how do you promote healthy detoxification pathways and minimize the symptoms cause by detoxification? Primarily, by supporting and invigorating all the key pathways that your body uses to rid itself of toxins, namely the liver, kidneys, colon, skin, lymphatics, and lungs.
Support the Liver
Our liver is the largest solid organ in our bodies. It takes the brunt of our poor diet and lifestyle choices including chemically treated, processed and GMO foods, toxic personal care products, prescription drugs, heavy metal poisoning, treated water, overconsumption of sugar, and much more.
The liver is responsible for filtering the blood from toxins and helps eliminate any toxins that do get into the blood stream. Without it, we would become an toxic cesspool and would succumb to the toxic overload quite quickly. So it makes sense that we keep this humble working organ as healthy as possible so it can remain our best detoxification pathway. We can do that while detoxing in several ways, including:
- Taking liver supporting and rejuvenating herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, burdock root, artichoke, and turmeric (curcumin).
- Eat plenty of garlic, grapefruit, avocado, walnuts, and green vegetables
- Eat fermented foods, including coconut kefir
- Drink liver supporting teas
- Using a castor oil pack externally on the liver area
This will help the liver properly dispatch a potential onslaught of toxins that will be released during a good detoxification program.
Support the Kidneys
The kidneys are small organs but they process about 20% of the entire amount of blood pumped out by the heart. As a result, they process about 200 quarts of blood every day in effort to filter out waste products and extra water. This processed blood is returned to the body and the eliminated waste stays in the urine and is stored in the bladder until it is excreted from the body through the urethra. Due to the heavy amount of work this tiny organ does, we need to keep it working effectively and efficiently by taking the following:
- Pure cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, and magnesium
- Uva ursi, corn silk, juniper berries, horsetail, and herbal formulas which invigorate kidney function
- Drink kidney and bladder supporting teas
This will assist the kidneys in their important job of filtering the blood when your detox program increases the amount of waste products to be removed.
Promote frequent and healthy bowel movements
The movement of your bowels will have a big impact on how well you will detoxify on a daily basis. Failure to move them properly and consistently (well formed excrement, 1-3 times in a 24 hour period) will allow toxins to reabsorb into your intestinal wall which will make it into your bloodstream for other areas of your body to either deal with or sequester. Due to the importance to keeping things moving in this area, you will want to ensure you are consuming a variety of foods and herbs that promote healthy and constructive bowel movements, including:
- Plenty of fresh, filtered water
- A variety of leafy greens and fresh produce
- Aloe vera, garlic, ginger, fennel, and cayenne
- Bentonite clay, activated charcoal, or diatomaceous earth for toxin binding and removal
- Vitamin C
You can also help rid yourself of accumulated toxins in your colon and intestinal system through hydrotherapy (also known as colonics) and enemas. This practice gently irrigates your intestinal system with water that helps remove accumulated toxins more efficiently and effectively, so you experience less detoxification reactions.
Open up the pores of your skin
Your biggest detoxification pathway by surface area is your skin. This is why clear, bright skin is a sign of health and dry, irritated, and blemished skin is a signal of rooted toxins trying to escape or being forced out due to overloads in your other primary detoxifiers like your liver and kidneys. There are a few good ways to help open the pores of your skin and facilitate removal of toxins, with the more popular being:
- Sauna (infrared is optimal)
- Hot baths (add magnesium or essential oils for accelerated effect)
- Dry brushing
An important note when detoxing is to not get into heavy exercise. Your body requires all the energy it can summon to detoxify you correctly, and if you use much of it on exercise, its going to compromise your ability to detox correctly. Stick to the options above, and exercises that don’t burn a lot of your precious energy, but can induce sweating.
Encourage flow of your lymphatic system
Your lymphatic system performs the vital function of cleansing the fluid that surrounds your cells in your body by removing impurities and waste products. This not only helps protect your body from toxins, but it also allows your cells to perform their best.
It is also worth noting that your lymph system doesn’t have a natural pump, like your heart, so it requires movement on your part in order to stimulate it and keep it a state of flow to avoid becoming stagnant.
So what do you do to ensure your lymphatic system remains active and in a state of flow so it continues to remove toxins effectively? Some of your best options include:
- Massage or Acupuncture
These will ensure your lymph is moving and toxins are removed more efficiently. For a more complete approach, read Signs of a Clogged Lymphatic System and 10 Ways To Cleanse It.
Your lungs are another detoxification pathway and it would seem that breathing would be a simple thing we can all get right that can help us detoxify better. Sadly, thats not usually the case.
Unfortunately, many of us breathe short and shallow breaths due to stress, anxiety, and our inability to just relax. This does not facilitate a well working detoxification pathway, and since breathing has been attributed to being a better detoxifier than our skin, urination, and defecation combined, its kind of important that we get it right.
Start out simple when you DIY
When starting a detoxification program on your own with no formal coaching, you need to go easy so you don’t wind up with symptoms and complications you can’t deal with that makes you halt the entire process. These symptoms are primarily a result of toxins being vigorously “dusted up” and all trying to cram out the exits at the same time (overloading the detoxification pathways), and certain microorganisms like candida albicans that now die off and release toxins directly inside your body.
Since most will not know how to handle this type of massive evacuation (and won’t know how truly toxic they are until it happens), you need to go more gently in the beginning, or enlist the help of a health coach who can assist you through the process and help you get through the tough parts with your sanity intact.
Further Reading: Signs of a Clogged Lymphatic System and 10 Ways To Cleanse It