Incorporating natural detoxification is essential, considering the staggering amounts of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Many people are unwittingly suffering from the effects of given the dangerous toxins in the , , , and mainstream . One study estimates the average North American is exposed to more than 160 environmental toxins daily. When the body experiences toxic chemical overload it can cause the following symptoms:
- (skin rashes, itching, watering eyes, sinus issues)
- (leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome)
- (rashes, rosacea, acne for example)
- Fatigue and
- Disease (cancer and heart disease)
With all these man-made chemicals floating about and a to fortify ourselves with, our bodies just aren’t coping well. Chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, and heart disease are on the rise. Joseph Pizzorno, President of Bastyr University spells it out: “The primary cause today of almost every chronic disease is environmental toxins. The data is really clear.”
It’s vital to combat the toxic body burden we carry with natural detoxification. Detoxing is the process of removing toxins from the body, organs, and blood stream. The body has a natural detoxification process via the liver, kidneys, lungs, and lymph glands.
“Detoxification is a natural human bodily process that occurs daily. It is the process where your body transforms molecules that need to be removed from the body,” says Stellerie Noyons, RD, of Health City Cayman Islands:
These molecules are known as toxins and they can be internal (byproducts of natural metabolism) and external (introduced to the system through breathing, eating, drinking, or applying to the skin). Although your body is very capable of removing toxins, it is most effective at doing so when it has the right nutrients supporting detox.
Helping Your Body With Natural Detoxification
With every breath of oxygen, your lungs filter waste, your circulatory system pumps fluids and toxins through the blood where they are processed by the spleen, liver, and kidneys. Lymph nodes pump fluids from tissues through the body into blood; they are integral to the immune system and protect us from disease. Like breathing, our body’s natural detoxification process is often taken for granted, yet it’s a key to optimal health.
Meanwhile, the liver is a major detox organ. Every day, liver cells make up to 34 ounces of bile, which allows for the digestion of food and fats into the small intestine.
“When people think about the liver they think about the liver as being responsible for detoxification of chemicals, things like that,” says Pizzorno. “And it most certainly is. However, it’s one of only a few of the critical roles the liver plays. The liver is a huge metabolic factory that has a lot of responsibility for doing (other) things.”
Some of the functions of the liver are:
- Metabolism and breakdown of nutrients from food to make energy
- A factory for making proteins to be used throughout the body
- Storage of nutrients including vitamins and sugar
- Removing bacteria from the blood
- Producing bile, which is needed to metabolize fats into vitamins A, D, E, and K
- Removing toxins caused by chemicals and byproducts of medications
Dr. Pizzorno continues, “I believe the liver does several times more work with metabolism than it does with detoxification … but in our modern world we have so much more toxins that now most of the liver’s function is detoxification.”
Drinking lots of water is also an important part of maintaining the health of the liver, kidneys, and gallbladder. Avoid spoiled and rotting food; this happens more often in the summer. According to research studies, rotten ginger and potatoes are especially poisonous and harmful to the liver.
If you have a liver disease or condition avoid eating s such as potatoes, tomatoes, green tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika, and tobacco. Nightshades contain alkaloids that are toxic to the nervous system. It’s best to avoid them when you are improving your diet and detoxing.
14 Natural Ways For Detoxification
It’s time we take advantage of effective and safe and natural ways to detox the body and improve the function of the liver and gallbladder. Learn natural ways for detoxification in your body for optimal health!
1. Work Up A Sweat
Regular exercise provides a host of benefits. It’s well-known that exercise protects the heart and cardiovascular system. Exercise decreases stress and improves mood by flooding the body with endorphins and mood-boosting hormones; it’s now a recommended treatment for anxiety and depression. Recent studies show that exercise removes chemicals that cause stress and depression. Get on a bike or join a dance class and work up a sweat to experience the benefits of aerobic exercise. Short, intense routines provide and high interval intensity training (HIIT) that are heart healthy and keep weight off.
“Exercise is the forgotten piece of the puzzle when it comes to detoxification,” says Jennifer Hanway of JH Wellness Services. “Toxins at Phase 1 of the detox process are fat soluble, so our toxins get trapped in our fat cells. Exercising can help move these toxins through the pathways, and we also excrete toxins through our breath and sweat!”
It’s important to note that if a person’s body is overloaded with toxins, exercise may actually make them feel worse. In this case, opt for lighter exercise and monitor your symptoms.
2. Eat Green, Eat Clean
Numerous studies show the benefit of eating a diet high in good fats, organic fruits and vegetables, and superfoods with zero processed foods and no refined sugar. Maintaining a healthy diet helps the body run smoothly and is a one of the best natural ways for detoxification. Many fruits and vegetables are full of phytochemicals that promote detoxification. When a person eats alkaline foods that promote an optimal pH of 7.3 – 7.45, the body’s immune system and elimination pathways work better. A 2014 study found that eating more than 569 grams (2-3 cups) of fruit and vegetables a day lowered the risk of death from circulatory, respiratory, and digestive diseases.
Many Americans are nutrient deficient and don’t eat enough leafy greens or organic fruit. To compound things, most (roughly 97 percent) Americans are terribly deficient in one essential nutrient: fiber. Fiber plays a major role with the liver in detoxification. Without enough fiber to bind to, toxins are released into the bloodstream. “Once the liver dumps the stuff into the gut, it needs to bind to typically fiber in the gut and excrete it out of the body,” says Dr. Pizzorno.
If a person has too low fiber, a lot of those toxins are reabsorbed in something called enterohepatic recirculation. As we evolved as a species we consumed 100-150 grams of fiber a day, but now we consume 20-25 grams of fiber a day.
The best way, by far, to get more fiber is in its natural state, by consuming lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Although the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) may qualify fruit juices, jams, and jellies as a serving of fruit, that’s not going to cut it. Instead, think of a handful of organic berries, an apple, or a cup of fruit salad. When it comes to greens, the same rule applies: the fresher the better. Try having sliced cucumber with your sandwich instead of potato chips. Add arugula and kale to your romaine salad. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 – 30 grams. This is the bare minimum. Load up your fridge with fresh fruit and veggies — you’ll be consuming 40 grams of fiber, or more, per day. That’s what’s needed for optimal health.
*Remember to drink more water as you increase fiber intake.
3. Learn To Use Clay
Throughout history, healing clays have been used to alleviate poor digestion, remove toxins from the skin, and promote circulation. Clays have also been used as bandages to heal skin and treat blemishes. Bentonite clay is derived from volcanic ash or silicate glass. The clay particles are often quite small, less than 2.0 μm (micrometers) in diameter. When combined with water, the clay forms a mud which can then be applied as a mask or Band-Aid. From a molecular standpoint, bentonite clay is a fine mineral that is negatively charged (high cation exchange capacity). These tiny negatively charged molecules attract and hold positively charged particles. The clay acts as a sponge in the body, by expanding and quickly binding to positively charged toxins. The body is then able to excrete this material, in some cases, even before it enters the bloodstream.
“There’s no question that clay is an effective way of binding to toxins in the gut so that they don’t get absorbed,” says Dr. Pizzorno. Fiber can do the trick, but as many people have a hard time getting all the fiber they need, especially if they suffer from gut issues that make them sensitive to fiber. “So that’s where bentonite clay comes in; it’s so useful in that it will bind to toxins in the gut and expel them in the stool. It’s actually very effective and what I’ve used for years,” says Dr. Pizzorno.
By binding to toxins, which are then quickly removed from the body, calcium bentonite clay alleviates this burden from the liver and kidneys. This makes bentonite clay a great option for detoxing from heavy metals and radiation.
The uses and benefits don’t stop there. When used directly on the skin or in a bath, the clay draws toxins out through the skin. When taken internally, clays have an antimicrobial effect, removing from the body. They also balance the body’s pH. Bentonite is sold in most health food stores.
Not all clays are safe for internal use. Always do research and contact the manufacturer to ensure it’s safe to ingest. Make sure any clay you buy is high quality and free from contaminants.
4. Coffee Enemas Help To Eradicate Toxins
Our detoxing organs can get stressed and sluggish from an overabundance of chemicals. This is common when you are contending when it comes to autoimmune conditions. When this happens we need to stimulate and support detoxification of the liver and gallbladder.
A gentle cleanse, like a , can be helpful.
“Coffee (is best) because the caffeine in the coffee is powerful enough to open the bile ducts in the liver, allowing for the release of toxins. You can use wheat grass and other things,” says Susan Erlich, CEO of Purelife Health Equipment. “People use wheat grass to detox the liver too, but it’s not going to have the same effect as coffee.”
Coffee triggers glutathione S-transferase, an enzyme that stimulates bile excretion, which means that it binds to toxins and removes them from the body along with the coffee.
While coffee enemas are effective for the treatment of digestion and bowel issues, they are meant to supplement a holistic health plan. Erlich believes each person has a unique physiology and may respond differently to coffee enemas.
“We always recommend a person see a naturopath or practitioner before starting a coffee enema program. It can help in determining what dietary program the person may need to go along with the coffee enema,” advises Erlich.
Be sure to use a high–quality coffee enema kit and above all, do NOT use hot regular coffee during the treatment. If you are caffeine-sensitive, conduct your enema in the mornings and keep in mind that the body does not absorb large amounts of caffeine when done rectally.
“Coffee enemas saved my life because I was so sick,” says Erlich. She describes her ordeal with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and how she turned to coffee enemas. In a few short months she went from not being able to get out of bed to hiking the Grand Canyon. “Good nutrition is vital when doing coffee enemas,” Erlich adds.
Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops of all. Of course it has to be organic and PureLife is double certified. Two agencies certify it but we also buy a specialty grade bean which is a little more costly but it eliminates the chance of mycotoxins like mold and fungus.
5. Ditch Chemical-laden Personal Care Products
Cosmetics and personal care products are applied directly to our skin, which is our largest organ, and places toxins.Women use up 126 different chemicals daily, which can quickly build up in the system causing a strain on the liver and lending to digestive issues, and a host of other problems. More than 4 million women use personal care products each day that likely contain reproductive and developmental toxins which could harm fertility and babies in the womb. This is why opting for natural, plant-based personal care products is a smart choice. Natural oils like are great for the skin. Manuka honey is an anti-inflammatory that is used in skin products to help with , while charcoal is another popular ingredient as it is naturally detoxifying. Natural , , , etc. can go a long way to unburdening your body.
6. Brush the Toxins Away
The skin may be the most overlooked organ when it comes to detoxification. Dry skin brushing is an Ayurvedic practice that involves a specially designed brush. When the brush is used in gentle, circular motions away from the body it stimulates the lymph system, removes dry skin cells, reduces cellulite, and releases toxins and impurities into the bloodstream where they can be removed by the liver and kidneys. Dry skin brushing is relaxing and can make you feel calm just like any other spa treatment. This method may not be good for those with sensitive skin, eczema, or psoriasis. An alternative treatment is to use or a bentonite clay bath.
- Buy a natural bristle brush
- Use the brush in a gentle, clockwise circular motion in small areas (e.g., elbows, stomach, and chest)
- In larger areas like the arms and legs, use long sweeping brushstrokes toward your heart
- Always brush toward your heart, always be gentle
- When you are done get in the shower and alternate warm and cold temperatures as much as you can tolerate it; this will aid the detoxification process
- After your shower, moisturize with a natural moisturizer like
- You can do this process several times a week or as little as once a week
7. Add Lemons And Limes To Each Meal
Lemons are antibacterial and have been used to treat drinking water to make it safe to drink. Studies have shown that eating lemons regularly can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Lemons and limes can improve fat metabolism and help curb weight gain. They contain bioactive compounds like ascorbic acid, citric acid, and flavonoids like kaempferol in limes. In addition to , these citrus fruits contain limonins which are proven to prevent many cancers including colon, breast, and stomach cancer.
For optimal health eat lemons and limes daily. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over your fruit salad; add to your smoothie, salad, and guacamole. Add lemon zest to baked treats. Make lemon-ginger tea with fresh lemons and ginger root. To detox, make citrus water: add lemon and lime slices to 32 oz. (approximately 1/2 liter) filtered water and drink every morning on an empty stomach. Drinking detox water first thing in the morning wakes up organs and flushes toxins out of the body. For best results, drink in the morning and sip throughout the day.
8. Secret Benefits Of Molecular Hydrogen
This powerful yet underappreciated gas prevents cell death and inflammation, revs metabolism, and reduces oxidative stress. All of this adds up to strong disease-fighting properties. It also boasts a , and little to no adverse side effects. Hydrogen gas or molecular hydrogen (H2) is inert in the human body. It does not react with live cells or even oxygen which makes it safe for internal use. For many years, scientists have investigated molecular hydrogen for medicinal use, and were especially awed by how molecular hydrogen reduces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress plays a big role in many diseases and reducing it means reducing your risk of disease. Try Hydrogen water, an H2 bath, supplementing , or inhaling H2.
More than 500 Studies Now Extol Hydrogen Water For Its Remarkable Ability To Reduce Oxidative Stress — One Of The Major Causes Of Most Lifestyle-Related Illnesses. Click Here To Get Hydra
9. Don’t Forget About Oxygen
Ozone, also known as Medical O3, has been studied and used to treat disease for over 150 years. We now live in a world where air pollution is linked to asthma and heart disease. Air quality indoors has a direct affect on one’s health. Meanwhile consider that pathogens like Streptococcus and E. coli love anaerobic environments (environments that lack oxygen).
Ozone is composed of three oxygen atoms. Oxygen in this state is unstable and will readily give up one of its atoms to another atom or molecule. The oxygen easily binds to other atoms and molecules which makes O3 an effective detoxifier. Ozone can be administered in a variety of ways: via pumped full of oxygen, ozonated water, ozone sauna, gas irrigation of the vagina or rectum (like an enema), gas irrigation of wounds, and ear insufflation. Ozone therapy is quite safe and there are little to no risks or side effects reported from treatment. Topical application of ozone goes deeper in the blood stream than internal ingestion of ozone — providing for a more effective detox.
10. Get Some Sun
Throughout history, civilizations have worshiped the sun, and for good reason: The benefits of natural sun exposure are enormous. From purifying the skin and body to reducing depression, there is no easier way to up your detox game than to step outside for a dose of v. Sunlight kills bacteria and has been used to sterilize drinking water.
While sunlight is a natural antibiotic that kills microbes both in the air and on the skin, it’s important to know how much sun exposure is enough. Experts advise sitting in the sun without sunblock until the skin starts to turn pink (about 10-15 minutes for lighter skin). The amount of time will vary based on your skin pigmentation. Those with darker skin tend to require more sun exposure to get the purifying effects and enough vitamin D. After the skin turns color you can apply or simply get in the shade. When it comes to sunscreen be cautious; many sunblocks and sunscreens .
According to the Environmental Working Group, sunscreens with oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, and SPFs above 50+ are ranked as the worst. Retinyl palmitate is a known carcinogen. Oxybenzone causes hormonal changes linked to skin cancer. It’s best to look for natural ingredients which have a natural sun protective factor (SPF):
- Coconut Oil: SPF 4
- Red Raspberry Seed Oil: SPF 25
- Zinc Oxide: 2-20
Your first line of defense is to cover up with a hat and sunglasses and stay in the shade. Sunscreen is a second step and the last line of protection. Store bought and homemade with Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide create a mineral barrier and are also good alternatives. Also consider , which has an SPF of 35, is 100 percent natural, and is alkaline with a pH balance to destroy cancer cells before they form.
11. Sip Organic Tea
A 2010 study revealed the total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods. It is no surprise that tea took first place. Matcha tea ranked near the top, followed by Green tea, while Hibiscus tea was the clear winner with the highest antioxidant content of all beverages tested. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) has been shown to prevent cancer and is an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea is full of strong antioxidants and catechins which have a positive and beneficial effect on many parts of the body. Even better, green tea’s vitamins and minerals enhance this antioxidant effect providing an army of protection from natural sun blocking to antibacterial properties.
While green tea contains caffeine, hibiscus does not. Hibiscus tea is made from hibiscus flowers and when lemon is added it increases its antioxidant level even more. Clearly, there’s a reason why in many cultures a cup of tea is a daily activity. The anti-aging, detoxifying, and disease protective effects of tea make it a go-to beverage.
While it’s recommended to drink several cups of tea a day, women who are pregnant should avoid hibiscus tea to avoid miscarriage and other complications.
12. Stay Hydrated
Clean ater is essential! Staying hydrated serves many purposes: flushing out toxins, aiding digestion, alleviating headaches and fatigue. Drinking more water (up to a gallon or 3.8 liters a day) will help break down fat and toxins and improve weight loss. When you replace sugary drinks with water this causes an increase in fat oxidation (the body’s tendency to burn fat for fuel) leading to weight loss. You will feel full and consume fewer calories, which naturally leads to weight loss. Decades of studies prove that fat oxidation increases after drinking water. Staying hydrated throughout the day results in the continuous flushing of toxins through the bloodstream which are carried to the liver and kidneys and then removed from the body.
When you are properly hydrated, you will feel better and be able to move more easily. Water balances your pH, which boosts immunity. When your organs are properly hydrated and functioning optimally you aid the natural detoxification process. The kidneys work better and don’t have to work as hard. Aim to drink at least 36 oz. (1.5 liters) per day. For even better results, try the gallon of water a day challenge. If you are on the small side (less than 5 feet tall) and aren’t very active, 1 gallon may be too much and can cause an electrolyte imbalance. In this case, you can opt for half a gallon. Make detox water (see the recipe in #7 Lemons) and sip on it throughout the day. Track your progress with a water drinking app like Waterlogged.
13. Try Zeolite
Like bentonite, is a clay mineral with many uses. It has amazing versatility: Zeolite has been used in nuclear waste cleanup, as a filter for wastewater, and for kidney dialysis. Zeolite clay can be ingested to detox from radiation exposure. You can use it in baths and as a facial mask to purify the blood and detoxify the skin. With an open molecular structure and negative charge, it is particularly effective at removing positively charged ions. This is referred to as CEC (cation exchange capacity).
Zeolites are unique in their ability to remove toxins and radioactive isotopes like Strontium-90 and Cesium-137. Natural zeolites are durable and can withstand intense radiation. Their successful use at Chernobyl is evidence is effective for radiation therapy.
14. Plant Power
Milk are very useful in detoxification. These plants help the body in different ways. Milk thistle stimulates the production of glutathione in the liver. This is important, as Dr. Pizzorno notes:
When the liver is detoxifying these chemicals, it produces free radicals as a normal part of the process. Now, when a person has adequate levels of glutathione available it will bind to the free radicals and … toxins won’t cause any trouble.
He goes on to describe liver poisoning:
The classic example is mushroom poisoning. What happens is the liver is actually really good at detoxifying all the poisons from the mushrooms, however it produces so many free radicals that it overwhelms glutathione stores, and when glutathione stores are overwhelmed, now the liver gets destroyed. The key messages in treating people with mushroom poisoning is to give them intravenous milk thistle because (this) increases the amount of glutathione.
The second plant, dandelion, is also powerful. The entire dandelion plant is edible, including the stem and florets. You can add them to hot water to make tea. You can eat them raw. Dandelion root is helpful for digestion issues and may even have cancer curative properties. When it comes to detoxification, Dr. Pizzorno asserts the plant helps with the excretion of bile, “and saturation of toxins and the increase of excretion into the gut.” Last but not least, there is hemp oil that has a wide spectrum of natural detoxification benefits.
Natural Detoxification For Health
Given the host of chemicals we come in contact with daily through our food, water, and personal products, it becomes clear a regular detox is essential to maintaining good health. “Unfortunately, detoxing can be a tricky topic as many commercial ‘detox’ plans offer promises of ‘shedding the pounds’ by taking juice cleanses, teas, pills or bars,” says Noyons. “These methods are often short-term and may end up doing more harm than good!” She adds:
The best kind of detox is the one that heals your body, provides you with lasting changes, and is a regime that should be conducted every day. When done right, there are no drawbacks to ‘detoxing’ as you are simply aiding your body’s natural daily detox.
It’s best to try a variety of the detox methods above, and see what works best for you.
Nila HD believes in empowering people to adopt healthy habits to change their lives for the better — which is why she devotes many hours helping employers and brands do just that. Nila is always looking for the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in town. She will never say no to a smoothie or juice bar. Invite Nila to grab a smoothie on Twitter @nilatravels.
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