Fasts, restrictive diets, and juicing are all trendy ways people try to cleanse and are often very popular at certain times of year, notably at New Year resolution time and with the coming of spring.
But do strict programs and short concentrated efforts to detox deliver all the benefits they often promise?
The human body isn’t designed to undergo periodic “deep cleanses” with caloric restriction or use of intense products to rush eliminatory functions. In fact, aggressive cleansing can cause uncomfortable reactions, as our body attempts to move a lot of toxins at once.
These can include:
- body aches
Detox isn’t something that occurs over a week or a month – your body is hard at work detoxing 365 days a year! Optimizing the body’s innate detoxification pathways through lifestyle and gentle support of its natural systems of elimination is the most sustainable and effective way to detox.
Liver detoxification, bile production, bowel movement, urine production, and productive perspiration are all ONGOING processes that are required to keep a body healthy and free of toxins. While a short, intense cleanse might help “jump start’ some of these processes, they are all required every day of our lives.
That is why we make naturally crafted products that do not include habit-forming laxatives, but rather provide gentle support for improved circulation and functioning of eliminatory organs and optimal bile production, for the “cleansing” that naturally comes with good bile flow.
Some key plant medicines and therapeutic body care that support your body’s natural detoxification and elimination include:
Milk thistle contains silymarin, a group of compounds that act as a liver protectant and help to maintain optimal liver function. This plant medicine is beneficial for glutathione production, the most important antioxidant in our liver, involved in both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways. Detoxification support from this herb can be especially helpful in supporting liver health from long-term use of medications, hormones, alcohol, and recreational drugs. Milk thistle can be taken in both tincture form and convenient capsules.
Oregon grape A balanced gut environment is essential for healthy elimination, but correcting dysbiosis is not a one-week job. It can take weeks of treatment and months of ongoing intervention to create and maintain a healthy microbiome. Oregon grape contains berberine, one of the best-known natural constituents for getting rid of the “bad bacteria” or dysbiosis in our intestinal tract. It can be found in the Hepato DR® tincture or capsules along with targeted herbs that work synergistically to increase detoxification through liver pathways and gallbladder support to aid in bile production and flow.
Optimized lymphatic flow. Your lymph system is like a much slower secondary circulatory system, focused on bringing environmental toxins and end products of metabolism back into the elimination pathways for excretion via bile, urine, and perspiration. Herbs, like those found in Lymph Tonic, and practices like massage, rebounding, and hot and cold hydrotherapy can all support healthy lymphatic flow and improve elimination.
Learn More about your Lymphatic system: Your Lymphatic System – A Key Part of Immune Health
Castor oil is a very gentle age-old naturopathic anti-inflammatory and cleansing tool. Topically, it is much more slow acting, in contrast to its oral use (which we do not recommend). Hence the need for longer term, more habitual use. It works to improve circulation in the lymphatic system, as well as aiding key detoxification processes in the abdomen, liver, and kidneys. It can also help relieve symptoms of constipation.
You can apply castor oil in the form of a castor oil pack (get the directions here), or simply massage a small amount into the skin over the affected area (you can apply over the liver area for enhanced detoxification), throw on an old T-shirt, and head to bed!
When it comes down to keeping your toxic load low and cultivating energy, vitality, and glowing health – slow and steady is the way to go. Gentle, simple, everyday supports can optimize the body’s innate detoxification pathways, providing you with an effective way to “cleanse” for the long term.
Learn more about our gentle, everyday detox support: Detox Naturally – Reset Your Body and Your Health!