We can all use a little “reboot” every once in awhile – and so can our organs. While there are many ways to detox your body naturally, these tips will help you get started if you’re not sure where to begin. They are easy, fast, and powerful ways to give a little love to your organs of detoxification. These are the important organs and systems that are responsible for moving toxins out of your body on a daily basis. Give one or more of these tips a try and notice the difference in your energy, mental clarity, stamina, and overall health!
But first, if you are planning any type of cleanse or detox, there are some steps you can take to make any efforts to detox your body safer and more effective…
Before You Start: 5 Steps for a Successful Detox or Cleanse
#1. Check with a professional. First and foremost, if you are dealing with a chronic condition or specific disease situation, be sure to consult with your natural health practitioner before starting any cleanse or detox program. The point of a detox is to heal and rejuvenate, not stress your body further.
#2. Plan ahead. Secondly, if you decide to do a detox, choose a timeframe when you know that you can really devote yourself to your own healing. Not every cleanse requires you to hermit yourself away from the rest of the world for weeks on end. Many detoxification plans allow you to function well, go to work, and take care of your normal responsibilities. Still, planning a detox during a super-stressful week at work or at home might not be the best strategy.
Before starting any specific plans to detox your body, you may wish to stick to a mostly-vegetarian diet for a few days. This allows your body to rest and prepare. Upping your water intake and adding a little lemon to your water a few days prior to starting your cleanse can also gently begin the process.
#3. Take your time. Especially if you plan on going “all out” and doing a full-body detox which will target each organ separately over a specific amount of time, remember to take your time. Detoxing isn’t something you do once and that’s it. Although a detox may occur in your busy life only once or twice a year, its effects will last longer if you work with your body, so don’t push it.
In addition, be sure to take the time to reflect on how your body feels and other insights you may have during your cleanse. You may want to record these in a health journal or notebook so you can look back at your progress.
#4. Work with your body. Remember, our bodies do have built-in mechanisms that help them detoxify on their own. When we do a detox of a particular organ, we are merely helping that organ function at its best. With that in mind, consider which part of your body you wish to target. The colon and the liver are two places that many people detox on a regular basis, but it may help for you to reflect on your own health situation first. Talking it over with your physician (if he or she is open to the concept), a natural health practitioner, a nutritionist, or a health coach first may be a sound first step for you.
#5. Keep an open mind (and heart). Finally, get ready for some major cleansing on all levels, especially if this is your first experience with detoxing. You may experience a roller-coaster of emotions and physical sensations as toxins are released, balance is restored, and the healthy cells of each organ begin to “wake up” to their full healing potential. Most unpleasant symptoms associated with a cleanse usually last just a few hours to a few days at the most.
If flu-like symptoms, headaches, fatigue, or mood-swings last for longer, consider slowing down or stopping your detox and talking with your health professional.
Detox Your Body by Giving Some Love to These Organs & Systems
1 – Detoxing Your Liver
The liver is sometimes referred to as the “CEO of detoxification.” It detoxifies the blood, produces bile to digest fat, works to break down hormones, and extracts essential vitamins and minerals the body needs. In addition, your liver also helps to produce some major substances needed to keep your immune system and the rest of you working smoothly, including glutathione − the “mother” of all internally-produced antioxidants.
There are many factors that lead to a sluggish liver, including environmental exposure to toxins, autoimmune conditions, obesity, and viral infections, just to name a few. If you do not have adrenal fatigue, consider a daily coffee enema using pesticide and mold-tested coffee. In addition, milk thistle, dandelion, and turmeric in tea or supplement form can help boost liver function.
Finally, during the length of your liver cleanse, be sure to eliminate all sources of toxicity from everything you “consume,” from food and sundry products to violent TV shows and negative conversations. Consider that your liver may have the job of processing out harmful “toxins” on all levels. During your liver cleanse, make it a point to remove these elements from your daily experience.
2 – Flushing Your Kidneys
An organ that works hand-in-hand with the liver are the kidneys. If the liver is the great detoxifier, then the kidneys are the “great filters” since they help to siphon out toxins and waste from the body. Have you known someone (maybe even yourself) who has had the unfortunate experience of passing kidney stones? If so, you probably know that besides being extremely painful, kidney stones may be a huge indication that it is time to give these tiny but important organs some love.
You can help your kidneys daily by staying hydrated and also staying away from processed foods. For a cleanse of the kidneys, consider healing juices that can be incorporated into your daily routine. Cranberries have been known to cleanse the body of excess calcium oxalate, one of the main substances in kidney stones. Be sure to use cranberry juice free of extra sugars, other juices, and artificial ingredients.
To help with the taste, which can be quite bitter, you can dilute the juice with filtered water and add a little organic stevia to it. Drink as much as you can throughout the day. Other fruits and veggies that can be juiced and are also great for the kidneys include beet, lemon, cucumber, spinach, green apples, and pineapple.
3 – Limbering Up the Lymph
Another system that doesn’t get much attention but is vital for the processing and elimination of toxins is the lymph system. The lymphatic system is an overarching network of organs and tissues that transport white blood cell-containing lymph fluid.
Many people have impaired lymphatic systems due to lack of exercise and poor diet. In addition, millions more may have lymph nodes and other parts of this system missing. It is common in traditional breast cancer therapy to remove some or all of the lymph nodes around the breast area.
In addition, until the early 1980s, it was common practice to remove tonsils as well as adenoids in children. There was a time when doctors felt these tissues were unimportant, but science now knows they are a vital part of the lymphatic system.
If you are missing some parts of this detoxifying system, you may need to spend extra time making sure that it is moving smoothly and doing its job.
When the intricate and interconnecting vessels of the lymph system become clogged, a serious condition called lymphedema can occur. Before that ever happens, however, you can do your part to keep everything flowing by practicing simple actions every day, such as regular exercise and staying hydrated.
For a deeper lymphatic detox, consider dry skin brushing, getting lymphatic massage, doing your exercises on a rebounder, spending time in a sauna or steam room (the heat will help loosen up the lymph), and eating to support your lymph system. Some key nutrients for lymphatic health can be found in foods such as flax seeds, lemons, sea kelp, dark green veggies, radish, and garlic. Key herbs include dandelion, burdock root, parsley, goldenseal, and myrrh.
4 – Repairing Your Gut
If you are in pretty good health, detoxifying the digestive system may be as easy as boosting up on quality probiotics to maintain and strengthen your digestive tract. If you have eaten the SAD (Standard American) diet for a while, have had your share of stress, and lead a mostly sedentary life, odds are that your digestive system will need a little more care and attention to get it back to its optimum performance.
Like the liver, the digestive system is connected to the health of the entire body. For example, upwards of 80% of your immune system cells reside in your upper GI; if it is unwell, your whole body may be. Gut imbalance has been linked to autoimmune conditions, autism, diabetes, and even cancer.
The good news is that tons of research has been done over the last 10 years into the inner workings and importance of the “gut microbiome.” This means you will have a lot of support at your fingertips for your GI tract detox. And most experts now agree that a periodic “gut cleanse” is a good idea since this not only gives your gut a rest, it also helps to “heal and seal” the GI tract.
There are many different types of gut cleanses, but most consist of eating a super-clean diet of unrefined, unprocessed, gut-friendly foods that are high in fiber as well as nutrients and healthy fats. These may include “prebiotic” foods like raw sauerkraut and bone broth, as well as turmeric powder, ginger, coconut oil, and steamed vegetables.
Listen to your “gut” (literally) as to what foods it can and cannot handle without pain and discomfort. If it is strong enough, add apple cider vinegar diluted in water as well as cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, and broccoli to your diet. Also consider adding extra probiotics, aloe vera, spirulina, digestive enzymes, and glutamine powder as well. A gut cleanse is good for anyone, but especially those who suffer from bloating, constipation or diarrhea, brain fog, depression, headaches, joint pain, skin conditions, or general fatigue.
A Natural Detox Is as Unique as You Are
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can help to detox your body. Other popular types of cleanses or detoxes include gallbladder cleansing, skin detoxing, and emotional cleanses. Basically, anytime you decide to pare down, get simple, eliminate aggravating situations (which could be food or negative people), and focus on healing and repairing, you are helping your body to detox.
It may take a while to heal an imbalanced gut, a sluggish liver, or an inflamed kidney, so take your time and go at your own pace. Be gentle with yourself during your detox time. And remember, detoxing isn’t a race and it is isn’t “one size fits all.” It is a unique process that needs to be designed by you based on your body’s needs, ideally with the guidance of a holistic health practitioner.
5 steps for a successful detox or cleanse:
- Check with a professional
- Plan ahead
- Take your time
- Work with your body
- Keep an open mind (and heart)
Organs & Systems that need detoxing:
Other popular types of cleanses or detoxes include gallbladder cleansing, skin detoxing, and emotional cleanses.
Detoxing is a unique process that needs to be designed by you based on your body’s needs, ideally with the guidance of a holistic health practitioner.