January is often seen as a month to clean up your system after the excesses of December. It is often referred to as Detoxing. So what does that actually mean? How do you know if you need to do some? What should you do to detoxify?
Merriam-Webster says: Detoxify
1 a: to remove a harmful substance (as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such from something, b: to render (a harmful substance) harmless
2: to free (as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance
From a natural health point of view detoxifying is assisting the body in the removal of toxins and wastes to improve health and strengthen the immune system. Natural cleansing involves using home remedies, not medical techniques, to get rid of toxins. Some people follow a short detoxification or cleansing program for a few days or a week. However, real health comes from making detoxification a part of your daily routine.
The harmful substances that need to be removed are the toxins, pesticides and genetically modified organisms that get into our systems through the food we eat, the drinks we imbibe, the air we breathe, and the products and textiles that we wear. Many of these toxins cause the liver to become sluggish and the kidneys to become inflamed and clogged up. Often these toxins are stored in fatty tissues such as the brain or breasts and lead to long term damage or disease. We need to not only clean out the accumulated toxins, we need to stop putting new toxins into the system.
There are four addictive substances that need to be removed in order for the body and immune system to function freely. Start watching how you react to sugar, aspartame, wheat, and yeast. Sugar is actually know to be more addictive than cocaine. Just try cutting out all sugar and wheat and see how addicted you are!
|Do You Need to Detoxify?|
|Do you have headaches or other aches and pains?||YES | NO|
|Do you often eat fast foods, fried foods, or refined foods?||YES | NO|
|Do you regularly consume caffeine, sugar, or soda, or feel you need these substances to have enough energy to survive your day?||YES | NO|
|Are you overweight or do you tend to overeat?||YES | NO|
|Do you have high blood pressure or elevated blood cholesterol?||YES | NO|
|Do you have allergies to foods or the environment, manifested possibly as hay fever, skin rashes, or asthma?||YES | NO|
|Do you experience constipation, diarrhea, parasites, candida, or other digestive problems?||YES | NO|
|Are you a regular drug user or abuser of over-the-counter, prescription, or recreational drugs?||YES | NO|
|Do you smoke tobacco or inhale second-hand smoke?||YES | NO|
|Do you regularly use alcohol?||YES | NO|
|Do you often feel tired or experience fatigue?||YES | NO|
|Have you experienced a serious or chronic illness or disease?||YES | NO|
|If you answered yes to two or more of these questions,
it is likely that you will benefit from a detoxification process.Total “Yes”: 0 – You probably do not need a detoxification process.
Now that you have established your need to detoxify, how should you go about it?
There are some very simple approaches that help.
- Substitute all drinks (milk, pop, juice, wine, beer, coffee, caffeinated teas, etc.) with pure water. It can be hot or cold and you can throw in a splash of organic lemon juice if needed but just use water as a liquid for at least a week. You may add to that 1 large glass of freshly juiced vegetable juice (note: it does not say fruit juice). Vegetable juice should consist of 6 different vegetables with 1 fruit added for some sweetness. Try a carrot, a stalk of celery, 4 inches of cucumber, a small beet, a big handful of chard, kale, or parsley, a stalk of broccoli with 1 apple. You can add a half inch of ginger and a few sprigs of cilantro for more cleansing benefit.
- Add fiber to your diet. Eat 50-75% (by weight) of your diet raw! So, lots of salads, fruits, and nuts and seeds. Use organic fruits and veggies, wash well, and you don’t need to peel. Many toxins and wastes accumulate in the large intestine. Fiber adds bulk to stools and makes them soft, so they can pass easily. Fiber relieves constipation. Dr. Robert Schulze, a medical doctor who is also a proponent of alternative healing, believes that most diseases and illnesses are caused by a full colon. He claims that once the colon is cleaned of fecal matter, many diseases, from autoimmune disorders and cancers to heart and skin problems, can be cured or ameliorated. He says disease results from toxins remaining too long in the colon.
- Few people know that exercising is a good way to detoxify the body. The body stores toxins in the fatty tissues of the body. By being overweight or having excess body fat, you hold more toxins and wastes in the body. Any type of exercise is helpful to burning fat. Even you if usually lead a sedentary life, walking or yoga is doable for most people. By building up a sweat you also remove toxins. Sweating releases toxins through the pores. Doing some form of exercise each day will accelerate the burning of fat and the release of toxins.
- Using an herbal detoxifying wrap or hanging out in a far infrared sauna or sleeping on a BioMat will also release toxins from the fat tissues and organs.
- Cut down on or eliminate the four addictive foods. Read labels and avoid foods that have added sugar (on a label anything that ends in –ose is a sugar). Reduce the amount of wheat or gluten that you eat but substitute it with real whole foods. Do not be deceived by all of the “gluten free” junk food. Just because it is gluten free does not make it good for you. Refuse everything that contains artificial sugars. Choose real whole foods rather than baked or prepared foods that depend on yeast—that includes all the alcohols, just in case you didn’t know, they are yeast-based.
Lastly, there are herbal preparations designed specifically to help clear the liver, kidneys, and bowels of unwanted toxins. AIM Herbal Fiber Blend in one of the best. New Roots Herbal “Liver” or “Excellent Purifiant Cleanse” are also excellent. Check with your natural health practitioner to select one that is suited to you.
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