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Herbalists and natural practitioners understand that your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself by eating fresh whole food, moving your body, and getting adequate sleep. With the help of a special class of herbs called alteratives (once referred to as “blood purifiers”), which gently alter your body toward a healthy state, your body will have what it needs to cleanse and heal naturally. But if you’ve been drinking too much, eating poorly, or have been exposed to toxins at home or at work, then it makes sense to do a cleanse to lighten the toxic load on your body. To make sure that your cleanse is a success, you will want to avoid making these mistakes, which can leave you feeling even worse than before you started.
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1) Avoid Cleansing During Cold Weather
After the excesses of the holidays, people love to do a cleanse at the start of the New Year. However, January isn’t the best time to detox because many detox and cleansing protocols, such as juicing and fasting, actually cool your body. In the winter, your body wants to conserve heat, not drain it.
A study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology found that body temperature is lowest in winter and highest in summer. This suggests that our bodies are naturally better equipped to handle the stress of a cleanse during the warmer months. When the flowers start to bloom in your area, that’s your cue from nature that it’s a good time to do a cleanse.
2) Avoid Hardcore Gallbladder And Liver Flushes
Gallbladder or liver flushes can create a great deal of stress on your body. Hard, fast, and strong cleanses that target your liver or gallbladder can cause weakness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Instead, nourish your gallbladder and liver with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and drink gently cleansing herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles, and milk thistle. When these organs receive the nourishment they need, they will take care of themselves.
3) Avoid Laxatives: They Can Do More Harm Than Good
Most of the diet teas on the market that promise a flat belly are nothing more than herbal laxatives. While it’s true that you will lose a few pounds right away, and your abdomen will appear to be smaller, these benefits are only temporary. Even worse, laxatives are habit forming; even plant-based herbal laxatives create dependency when used for more than a few weeks at a time, and your colon will lose its ability to contract naturally.
4) Avoid The Detox-Retox Hamster Wheel
One of the biggest mistakes people make after doing a cleanse is to go back to eating the same foods, drinking the same drinks, and repeating the same habits that made you want to do a cleanse in the first place. A week of juicing won’t make up for months of eating junk food. The most effective way to cleanse and detox is to eliminate the toxins from your life in a gradual and sustainable way so that the changes you want to make in your health are permanent rather than periodic. Many people enjoy the book "Cleanse To Heal" by Anthony William, the Medical Medium, as it's loaded not only with tips but with easy plant-based recipes.
5) Avoid Doing 7-Day Cleanses and Instead Treat Cleansing As A Lifestyle
Your body was created to be a self-cleaning detox machine, and like any machine, your body works best with regular care and maintenance. Fiber-rich fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally cleansing to the colon. Staying hydrated with plenty of water and teas keep your kidneys healthy, and your skin clear. Regular moderate exercise promotes cleansing by increasing circulation to all of your organs. Breaking a sweat stimulates the lymphatic system, which clears the body of toxins naturally. The detoxifying effect of a healthy lifestyle is far more beneficial for your body than a seven-day cleanse at the start of the New Year. This book of Detox Recipes can be helpful when trying to figure out the best foods to eat when cleansing.
Tips For Successful And Healthy Cleansing
- Easy does it. Instead of purging your body with harsh remedies, nourish yourself with clean, fresh, healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are naturally cleansing, and won't create stress on your body. Adding fresh juices into your cleanse is a great way to get extra vitamins and antioxidants. A masticating juicer like this one by Omega is the best for getting the maximum benefit from your juices.
- Eliminate one thing at a time, and make the change permanent. Instead of doing an extreme fast for a week or so, eliminate one toxic item from your life at a time. For example: for 30 days, focus on eliminating soda completely from your daily diet. At the end of the 30 days, you will have made a more positive impact on your health than doing a 30 day juice cleanse, and returning to soda afterward.
- Rather than big cleanses once or twice a year, consider doing short cleanses one weekend a month. Simple monthly cleanses, such as a weekend without fast or fried food, and extra veggies, water, and herbal tea, can provide a healthy reset for your liver and kidneys on a regular basis.
- If you're a woman, consider doing a monthly cleanse one week before the start of your menstrual cycle. PMS can be aggravated by sugar, dairy, caffeine, and any foods that you're sensitive to, so avoiding these foods might ease PMS symptoms. Combine with gently cleansing herbal teas for best results.
The Best Loose Leaf Herbal Blends That Support Cleansing And Detox
- Daily Detox is gentle enough for daily use, but is still an effective way to keep your liver and kidneys happy and healthy.
- Detox Chai supports your kidneys and liver, and also promotes blood sugar balance and circulation.
- Coffee Quitter promotes gut health, and is a great beverage for the morning to keep your digestion moving.
- Smooth Jazz is a caffeine-free coffee substitute that supports liver health and digestion.
Keep your tea with you all day long in this insulated bamboo and stainless steel tea tumbler.