The body removes toxins in many ways, including filtration, excretion and perspiration. Toxins can live in our bodies for many years and can remain there if your lymph is not circulating properly. The skin, liver, lungs and kidneys are all important for the detoxification process.
We are especially bombarded with many harmful toxins in our environment, food and drinking water, so it is essential to try and help our bodies cleanse regularly (at least monthly). In fact, I try to detox as much as possible with herbal teas and regular movement daily. For example, simple stretching exercises can help oxygenate the blood and increase lymph circulation.
If you’re having symptoms like headaches, fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain, bad breath or digestive problems, you might want to try a few detoxification tips that can help to alleviate your symptoms gradually.
As we age, our bodies begin to slow down, and the organs that we rely on for removal of waste products tend to want to “fall asleep” for some time. Through time, even more these organs become more sluggish and inactive, making our symptoms of bone and muscle soreness and fatigue an even more obvious reality.
That’s why it’s very important to start moving regularly on a daily basis, and exercise more frequently. Since it may be difficult for those of you in colder parts of the world to get outside, try doing various light exercises at home instead. Yoga, resistance training, squats, and walking up stairs are great ways to help the body get rid of toxins and uplevel the detoxification process.
The skin helps remove toxins through sweating, while, in the digestive system, the liver filters out toxins, releasing them through the kidneys for further filtration and excretion via the urinary tract. The colon allows waste solids to be excreted through the digestive system as well. The colon is also important for absorbing water and other essential nutrients that we consume. The lungs remove waste by releasing contaminants with carbon dioxide into the environment as we breathe.
The liver basically helps convert fat-soluble substances into water-soluble substances. The process has two important phases: Phase I reduces carbohydrates, fats, protein and toxins which are then absorbed through the digestive tract as fat soluble products. Phase II converts these substances into water-soluble byproducts that are then removed from the body.
Five Herbs and Supplements to Cleanse the Body
Glutathione is naturally produced by the liver and is a powerful antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress and helping to remove free radicals. This is an important process that promotes detoxification of the body, eliminating waste products very effectively. It also assists in reducing inflammation, fighting infections by strengthening the immune system, and improving circulation, kidney function and skin health.
Dandelion is not just a beautiful yellow flower. It’s very high in flavonoids and antioxidants, and helps to regenerate of our cells. It is also a diuretic that may strengthen the cardiovascular system, help soothe digestive problems, increase appetite, improve the function of the liver and gallbladder, and can aid in weight loss.
Milk Thistle is a great herb for supporting the liver through the detoxification process. It reduces inflammation, and also has anti-carcinogenic properties.
Burdock Root is a vegetable that can be eaten raw or lightly cooked as a quick snack. It is often added to soups, stir fries and pickled spices for additional flavor. It’s been shown to help remove toxins, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer and improve digestive health.
Vitamin C is a well-known, powerful antioxidant that plays a significant role in detoxification and elimination of heavy metals. Used often to increases iron absorption, it is readily available in fruits (oranges, kiwi, strawberries), vegetables (peppers, broccoli) and herbs including rose hips. It also can increase the healing time for fracture, sores, wounds and burns.
It is also very essential to get assistance from your healthcare provider. Discuss reasons why you desire to take herbs and foods to help alleviate many of your symptoms through a detox process. Your healthcare provider would be able to determine what types of foods would be beneficial, including herbs and other supplements.
If you desire long-term results it is always important to look into individualized care related to you’re unique symptoms and body makeup. It’s important to give your body a certain time frame to adjust to the new regimen. The mistake that many people take is using a detox for a certain amount of time causing stress on the body. Depending on your individual circumstances and health-related problems a detox can benefit you but it’s important to get the professional assistance especially if you suffer from a chronic condition.
Camille McClellan, MD, DNM, MBS
McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition
Free Naturopathic/Homeopathic Consults Available