The topic of cleansing and detox is popular at the start of the New Year. But do we honestly need to follow an actual cleanse or detox regimen to get the toxins out of our bodies? Our bodies are naturally designed to be self-cleaning organisms. From the skin acting as a natural barrier for bacteria and other pathogens, to the kidneys and liver breaking down both foreign and domestic waste, the human body has everything it needs to keep itself cleansed all on its own. Unfortunately, most of us live in varying degrees of what you could call a toxic soup, a combo of air pollution, junk food, too much sugar and too little exercise, and let’s not forget about stress. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways we can take care of ourselves naturally, without spending hundreds of dollars on “natural” detox products that are often nothing more than harsh herbal laxatives. Here is what you need to know:
The amazing human body
Thanks to mind-blowingly intelligent design and millennia of evolution, the human body is able to break down and eliminate waste and toxins via the kidneys, liver, and the skin. Waste and toxins are removed when we sweat, and food waste is eliminated through the digestive system.
Detox is a lifestyle, not a product
It’s what you do most of the time that counts. You can’t reverse a decade of partying by doing a seven day juice cleanse. Conversely, if you normally eat a healthy diet, but have an occasional piece of cake at a birthday party, you aren’t going to go into a toxic tailspin. Simply reducing the toxic load on the body by eating a clean diet, exercising, and committing to going green as much as possible will do more for your body in the long run than any detox product ever will.
Cleansed or stripped?
Most of the detox products and cleansing kits on the market contain of harsh laxatives that force your body to purge. Bad news: even though it’s natural and 100% herbal doesn’t mean it’s actually good for you. You will definitely feel it working, but not in a good way. Harsh detox products made with strong laxatives can be habit forming. Diarrhea, weakness, the "blahs", and headache are all common side effects when doing intense cleanses, and unfortunately, the results such as weight loss are usually only temporary. Unless a person makes healthy changes in their diet, lifestyle, and exercise regimen, your body will revert to its pre-cleanse state.
Herbs to the rescue
There are several herbs that are safe, non-irritating, and work with your body rather than forcing it to purge. Here are some of the most important herbs for keeping your body cleansed and healthy:
- Milk thistle is the safest yet most powerful known protector of the liver
- Dandelion root supports liver health, and dandelion leaf promotes the health of the kidneys
- Turmeric isn’t just anti-inflammatory; it is a potent liver herb, and aids in the breakdown of fats
- Nettle leaf provides lots of nutrients and supports healthy kidney function
- Pau d’arco is used to help kill the candida fungus
- Ginger helps to digest proteins, and also promotes circulation
Here are the best herbal tea blends to help nourish your body and support the kidneys, liver, lymph, and skin:
- Daily Detox is probably the most important tea that we make. The herbs in this blend provide a solid foundation for daily good health. With regular use (one to two cups daily) it promotes clear skin, better digestion, and overall immune health.
- Oh My, Fungus Amongus helps to kill candida overgrowth that can cause gas, bloating, brain fog, fatigue, and yeast infections. It works best when you can eliminate sugar from your diet.
- Detox Chai is similar to Daily Detox, but also contains chai spices, which support digestion, circulation, and sugar balance. It's caffeine free, and tastes great without the addition of a sweetener.
- Sleek & Slender tea is the go-to brew for managing weight naturally. Unlike other weight management teas, Sleek & Slender helps curb sugar cravings, supports digestion, and gives the metabolism a boost. It is NOT a laxative.
A few more quick tips to remove the toxic load on your body:
- Skip the soda in favor of lemon water or cold unsweetened tea
- Get rid of synthetic room fresheners and freshen your home with pure essential oils instead
- Bring lunch from home instead of eating a fast food lunch
- When doing DIY home improvement projects, use low or no VOC products whenever possible
Wishing you a healthy New Year!