15 natural ways to detoxify the body
I was teaching at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition the other night about how environmental and food toxins affect our natural detoxification process. As I went on explaining how food is grown in an industrialized society today – I had to delve deep and talk about additives, preservatives, food colours, GMO foods, pesticides, herbicides and irradiation. There is also treating animals poorly (extremely poorly) by using confined areas to raise them, zero cleanliness practice, adding GMO and other animal meat/organs in their fed, injecting hormones and antibiotics in them so they grow faster and bigger.
After looking at their face I thought now it is time that I talk about solutions. I always share with clients and students that they should support organic, fair trade, local and seasonal as much as possible. In addition to that they should focus on detoxification and self-care that will build a stronger immune system and body.
We did a fun exercise in the class where we talked about different ways of detoxing the body. When I asked them – at the beginning they could only think about fasting, detox diet and increasing hydration. However when I pushed them a little more we came up with a bigger list. Here is what we think are some of the best ways to detox our bodies. Let me know what your thoughts are and share with us how you detox….
1. Food, Diet and water
|Diet||Eat fresh, wholesome and real food that is unprocessed and does not involve a lot of processing. Shop around the produce section and add wholesome grains, beans, and small amounts of nuts and seeds. This will automatically increase the level of fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and mineral supply in your body. Consume unprocessed, non-GMO and extra virgin Omega 3 fat in your diet such as flax oil, fish oil or sancha inchi oil.|
|Detox Drink||Make a detox cocktail drink every morning. Add lemon or lime juice, aloe vera gel or apply cider vinegar to a cup of water. Drink this first thing in the morning.|
|Avoid Food Toxins||Avoid white flour, sugar, preservatives, additives, colours and un-pronounceable ingredients from the foods you buy.|
|Hydration||Increase your water intake. Drink 5-6 glass of water and do not replace your water intake with any other beverage.|
|Fasting||Talk to you nutritionist or ND to do intermittent fasting or any other way of fasting to give the body rest.|
|Juicing||Replace one meal a day with a freshly made vegetable juice and add very small amount of fruit to make it flavourful. I prefer smoothie (blending the vegetables and fruits and including the fiber in them) than juicing. You really need the “fiber help” during this time.|
|Un-favour these foods||Coffee, chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated drinks (tea, red bull or pop) and smoking during this time.|
2. Supplements and Herbs: Speak with an expert before you add any supplement or herbs in your diet. Unless you know what you are doing or have prior experience. Use herbal formulas that do not use strong laxatives. Even kitchen spices can assist it cleaning the body! Consider herbs that support kidney and liver function as they are our internal detox organs as well as consider herbs that are anti-parasitic and remove heavy metals from the body. Herbal tea, supplements and decoctions are great for detox regime. A liver cleanse or parasite cleanse is ideal to support the body’s natural detoxification channels. Add probiotic capsules or small amount of fermented vegetables to your detox regime.
3. Environmental Toxins: Sometimes it is hard to avoid exposure to environmental toxins, radiations and pollutions. However supporting your body with immune boosting foods or herbs.
4. Household and Toiletries: There are all sorts of chemicals and industry by products used to make your house hold cleaning products (oven cleaner, dishwashing soap, detergent, all-purpose cleaners etc.) and toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, creams, lotions, make ups, perfumes etc.). Read label before your apply any product on your body. Through the skin pore you absorb many of these chemicals and then they are stored in the fat cells of your body. Use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap or glycerin soap to clean your hands and body, you can easily find non-toxic cleaning products at any major grocery stores. Nature’s clean, Simply Clean or Eco ever are some of the best products I know. I have also used vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda to clean my bathroom and kitchen.
5. Exercise: Exercising will induce sweating and you will be eliminating toxins through the largest organ of the body – skin.
6. Sauna: Infrared sauna can expedite the body’s detoxification process. It increases the body’s metabolic process by heating several inches deep inside the tissues. It enhances circulation, induces sweating and helps oxygenate the tissues. As we all know that the skin is a major organ for detoxification. According to Dr. Clement, “Repeated use of the sauna slowly restores skin elimination, which can help reduce your toxic load quite significantly. But not only will it help rid your body of heavy metals and chemicals, it will also help kill off viruses and other microbes—even cancerous cells,” Consider regular yoga practice or exercising to sweat daily and avoid wearing synthetic or tight clothing. For women, avoid wearing tight and wired bras as they obstruct the flow of the lymph nodes.
7. Enema: I know that the thought of enema is off putting and somewhat daunting. I for one was adamant that I will NEVER perform an enema. However two years ago I tried it for the first time. Once you get over the “first time” hump you will be amazed how easy, comfortable and cleansing this process is. I know there are many things recommended to include for your enema however filtered water and sesame seed oil are the best options. Lubricate yourself with non-petroleum jelly and insert the thin pipe to rehydrate your colon. Please talk to an expert before you do your first enema. Once your bowel starts to move with enema you will feel all benefits of detoxification such as no bloating, constipation, indigestion, skin conditions, headaches, gas and candida effect. Enema gets rid of fecal matters, balances pH, relieves toxins and eliminates calcium deposits.
8. Colon Hydrotherapy: Much like enema, colon hydrotherapy irrigates the colon with pressure and water. Chose a clinic where you can find experienced colon hydro therapist, the closed system (were the colon hydro therapist assists you with the process) and low pressure pump. After the water enters the colon the therapist massages the abdominal and after holding water for a while you will release the water like a regular bowel movement. There are two pipes for this process – one where the water enters the colon and the second were water is released. Check with your primary health care practitioner to know who you can find a comfortable clinic.
9. Dry Skin Brushing: Dry skin brushing is known to stimulate the lymphatic system of our body. The lymph vessels collect the waste materials from the skin. They are essentially little valves that are spread throughout the skin. When we dry brush our skin it helps move lymph fluid and allows it to eliminate toxins. Dry skin brushing also loosens the dead cells therefore it is amazing for cell renewal. Read more about the detoxifying benefits of dry skin brushing here.
10. Self-Massage or Abhyanga: I have written very extensively about the health benefits of self-massage. This warm oil massage gently removes toxins from the body and strengthens skin elasticity. Read more here.
11. Pranayama: It reduces the signs of oxidative stress in the body. Practicing pranayama everyday can assist in steady mind, strong will power and sound judgement. It is a natural detox through breath control. As we expel breath we eliminate toxins from our lungs and nervous system. Ujjayi pranayama is the most intensive detoxification exercise. Read more here.
12. Tongue Cleaning: The white coating on your tongue indicates that you have accumulated undigested food or toxins from the night before. Therefore I high recommend tongue cleaning first thing in the morning. Read more about Tongue Cleaning here.
13. Oil Pulling: This is a best way to practice oral hygiene. I use sesame seed oil after tongue cleaning to do oil pulling. Take 1-2 Tbsp. of oil and swish and rinse gently inside your mouth. Some say you have to do this for 15-20 minutes but I only do this for 5 minutes and still find it extremely beneficial. Use organic oil to swish. This way of swishing the oil in the mouth activates the oral enzymes and the enzymes help draw toxins and microbes from your mouth.
14. Unload Mind Toxicity: When you are considering detoxing your body, you cannot forget the mind. The mind is the most powerful part of our being. It is affected by everything that happens to us every day. Relationships, work. financial stress, bad memories, societal pressure and overwhelm can cause to disturb the mind. Through Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), energy medicine, reiki, yoga, pranayama and meditation you can learn how to purify the mind.
15. Salt and Steam Bath: Sea salt or pink salt or Epsom salt combined with essential oils or Epsom salt combined with bentonite clay and essential oils can be a fantastic recipes for a detoxing salt bath. Salt bath draws toxins from skin surface and help replenish minerals in the body. Some people also use baking soda for an alkalizing bath. Steam bath or shower also assists the body to detoxify the same way as salt bath.