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Our body is bombarded with toxins relentlessly both externally and internally. The more toxic we are, the more weakened our immune system becomes. So detoxification is vital!
But a natural body detox doesn’t have to be complicated. Did you know that you can help your body detoxify on a daily basis in simple ways?
If you want to discover 31 easy-to-do actions that will help you detox and guide you towards a healthier lifestyle, then you should…
A word of caution: While each tip on its own is simple, trying to incorporate too many new things into your daily routine all at once is a recipe for none of them to stick.
Review the list and see which of these you’re already doing on a regular basis, and then pick one or two new things to start. Once these become habitual, then pick a couple more items.
If you do this consistently each month, by the end of the year you’ll have a bunch of new natural body detox habits that support your physical (and mental) health!
31 Ways to Naturally Detoxify Your Body Every Day
#1. Drink more filtered water. It takes liquid to flush out those unwanted toxins. Try upping your hydration level today by taking your total weight, dividing it in half, and consuming that much in ounces of fresh, filtered, good-for-you water. You’ll be amazed by how great you’ll feel!
#2. Start your day with lemon water. Get the hydration habit going with 8 oz. before you eat or drink anything else. Use real lemon juice or, if you are on the go, simply add 1 drop of supplement-grade lemon essential oil to your water. According to Keri Glassman, RD, health correspondent for The TODAY show, this morning ritual can also remind your brain that “Hey, I’m making healthy choices today!”
#3. Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is the process of swishing 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil around in your mouth for between 10 and 20 minutes. The chemical reaction between your saliva and the oil literally “pulls” bacterial toxins out from the deepest crevices in your whole oral cavity. According to Dr. F. Karach, oil pulling can also strengthen the stomach, heart, liver, lungs, and reproductive organs. Give it a try − and don’t forget to spit it out afterwards into the garbage can so you don’t clog your sink drain.
#4. Tongue scraping. Besides oil pulling, another effective way to target the oral cavity for detoxification is through the Ayurvedic practice of “tongue scraping.” According to Sheila Patel, MD, medical director at the Chopra Center, “Scraping the tongue daily removes any build-up on the tongue, which, if left untreated, …may house a significant number of bacteria.” Tongue scraping requires an inexpensive tool that can be purchased at most pharmacies. Stainless steel works well, says Patel. The tongue should be scraped very gently from back to front 7 to 14 times.
#5. Eat more organic green leafy veggies. Kale, celery, spinach, parsley, cilantro, and celery… all these greens are your friends. They contain vital nutrients, plenty of fiber, and chlorophyll, which helps to cleanse the blood. Try them in a smoothie or very lightly sautéed in coconut oil if eating them raw is not for you.
#6. Add some prebiotics. The gut is the first line when it comes to nutrient absorption, and prebiotics are the “food” of healthy gut bacteria. Most health food stores now have pre-made, probiotic rich raw sauerkraut and kimchi. Look for it in the refrigerated aisle and add it to your lunch today!
#7. “Beef up” on organic/pastured meats, dairy, and produce instead of conventional. While you’re munching on yummy greens and gut-friendly pre- and probiotics, make the switch to organic/pastured meats and dairy instead of using conventional animal products. According to Consumer Reports, 80% of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used for livestock and other farm animals. If you are serious about your detoxing goals, you don’t want that in your body!
#8. Try some chlorophyll. Another great addition to your diet can be chlorophyll in tablet or liquid form. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and algae. Chlorophyll can increase red blood cells and bind with toxins and heavy metals, sending them on their way and out of your body.
#9. Consider gentle detoxifying teas. Add some dandelion, turmeric, or Holy Basil tea to your evening routine or try lemon tea for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Chia, milk thistle, garlic, and spirulina are all great natural detoxifiers and heavy metal chelators as well.
#10. “Unplug” during a meal. Take a media break while you eat. This is just a good habit to get in for proper digestion. While you eat your lunch or as you sit down with your family for dinner, instead of focusing on who is texting you or what is playing on TV, why not focus on what is going on around you or with each other? Chew your food slowly as well − chewing is the first stage of digestion.
#11. Media detox. Why not extend your non-media mealtime to a whole day “unplugged?” Abstain from watching the news and other sensationalized or violent television and movies. Opt to read a book, go for a walk, listen to some music, or do a craft instead. At the end of the day, write down how you felt before and after your “media detox.”
#12. Use an essential oil. Essential oils can be a great adjunct to your detoxing goals. Experiment with peppermint to refresh the mind, oregano to help with viruses, and bacteria and frankincense to ground and center.
#13. Bentonite clay anyone? Clay is a powerful anti-bacterial. It can help get rid of bacteria such as E. coli, MRSA, and Staphylococcus. Plus, it is great for heavy metal detox as well. Try mixing a tiny amount of pesticide-free bentonite clay powder in an 8-oz. glass of water. If you decide to continue using bentonite clay more often, start slowly and work your way up to a teaspoon or more.
#14. Play out your stress. Take a detox from the mundane and dive into your creativity! Spend at least an hour engaging in a healthy creative activity, allowing all concepts of time go out the window. Get lost in the play of painting, dancing, writing, doodling, needlepoint, being in nature, or whatever brings you joy.
#15. Breathe more. Pay attention to your breath. Does your breathing become shallow when you are stressed or upset? Decide to take a deep breath instead. Deep breathing can help cleanse the respiratory system and oxygenate the blood.
#16. Try meditation. Meditation not only calms the mind, it also helps relax those stress responses that are pumping too much cortisol into your body, creating inflammation and toxic build-up. Start with even 5 minutes and simply focus on your breath as you close your eyes and go within.
#17. Do some aerobic exercise. Get moving! Aerobic exercise pumps life-giving oxygen and feel-good hormones into your body. But did you also know that, according to researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute, during a workout the muscles act like the liver and produce an enzyme that clears out depression-causing chemicals.
#18. Stretch and release. Stretching not only keeps muscles and joints flexible, it can also lower inflammation and “fight or flight” responses that can lead to chronic disease. A 2009 study of women with breast cancer found that those who underwent a 75-minute restorative yoga class for 10 weeks had less instances of depression than those who did not. Stay motivated and detox from stress by doing a few stretches throughout the day.
#19. Hot and cold shower cycling. Now that you have worked up a sweat and stretched it all out, consider keeping the detoxing going as you step into the shower. Cold showers can lower stress and improve circulation. Hot showers, on the other hand, relieve tension and congestion and help you sleep better. Turn the shower temp to a little hotter than you would normally have it. Then alternate the temp to as cold as it will go for 30 seconds. Work up to alternating hot & cold intervals for 5-minutes.
#20. Spend time in nature. Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a Japanese term for being in nature in order to gain the physical benefits it can offer. A 2010 review of 24 studies found that forest bathing kicks in parasympathetic nerve activity that can help heal and detoxify. Don’t live near a forest? Try the beach, a park, an indoor greenhouse, or even a hotel courtyard. Nature can be found almost anywhere!
#21. Get some sun today. Sunshine provides us with vital vitamin D, a truly “healing hormone” that has been linked to lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, improvements in muscle tone, improved brain function, and even cancer protection. Try 10 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen. If you are in a part of the world that doesn’t get much sun, consider investing in a “SAD lamp.”
#22. Make your home electro-pollution free. The National Institutes of Health recently released a report which proved the connection between close-range cell phone use and certain kinds of cancer. Cellphones are just one source of harmful EMFs, however. A few simple actions can turn your home into an “EMF-free zone.” Make sure your bed is located as far away as possible from SMART meters. Turn off your Wi-Fi routers before you snooze so that EMFs do not disturb the quality sleep you need to detox and heal.
#23. Do a “purge” of your kitchen and bathroom. Take a look inside your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Evaluate your sundry and beauty products as well as the items in your kitchen. The Environmental Working Group says that there are over 3,000 “stock chemical ingredients” that the perfume industry alone can choose from for their products, many of which have not been tested for safety. Switch out one commercial product at a time for an all-organic one and consider switching out at least one product a week until your home is truly toxin-free.
#24. Take a bath. “Hyperthermia,” or using heat to heal, is a great detox modality. Your bathtub can be your own hyperthermia tool. Take a hot bath and release tension with some added Epson or mineral salts and calming essential oils, like lavender. After getting out of the bath, wrap yourself in a blanket for a few minutes for some extra sweating power.
#25. Body brushing. Brushing your skin for detoxing? You bet! And right before a bath or shower is the best time to do it. Using a soft-bristle brush, gently start at your feet and arms and work your way towards your heart. Dry brushing is a core modality for Ayurvedic detoxification protocols because it stimulates the lymphatic system.
#26. Give an enema a try. Even though enemas are still fairly “taboo” in the United States, in other countries, such as India, they are as normal for routine health as brushing one’s teeth. (You can read more about coffee enemas for cleansing the liver in other articles on TTAC). A simple filtered or distilled water enema with a bit of aloe or lemon juice added, however, can be a soothing way of flushing the colon as well.
#27. Castor oil packs. Castor oil packs have been shown to improve the detoxification capacity of the liver, support reproductive organs, improve lymph flow, and reduce inflammation. Try using a “castor oil pack” along with a heat source on your abdomen for at least an hour.
#28. Foot massage. Relax and unwind by giving yourself a soothing foot massage. Reflexology is the Chinese practice of corresponding points on the foot with organs in the body. When you are massaging your feet, you are really loosening up the entire body. For a deep, reflexology massage, make a fist and use your knuckles to rub up and down with medium pressure on each point for up to one minute. Notice if there are any areas of soreness. Then check which organs these points correspond to on a reflexology chart.
#29. Acupuncture mat. Also called an “acupressure mat,” an acupuncture mat is made from cotton or another natural material and contains plastic acupressure points that stimulate the flow of “Chi” throughout the body. They are cheap to obtain and easy to use; you simply lay down on it for 20 minutes or more to improve circulation, especially in the detoxification pathways.
#30. Connect with others. Connect with someone in your life that means a lot to you. Make a phone call or send a text just to say “hi.” If no one is around, sit in a coffee shop or a park and strike up a conversation. If you don’t see the link between social interaction and health, consider the well-known “Alameda County” study. It found that for every individual in the decades-long study, those with the fewest social ties were three times more likely to die over a 9-year period than those who had the most social ties. Importantly, this was regardless of pre-existing health conditions, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, race, sexual satisfaction, physical activity, and use of preventive health services. Wow!
#31. Take time for gratitude and appreciation. Last on this list, but certainly not least, take the time to simply let go. Detox from negative thinking by tuning in to the things, people, and situations in your life that you are most appreciative of. Have a job you love? Are your kids the bomb? Do you live in a great neighborhood? Are you grateful for all that you have learned about detoxing and your health? Celebrate all of this until it puts a smile on your face!
Editor’s Note: This article was initially published in December 2017 and has been updated in January 2021.