At some point, you’re going to either want to “detox”, or have a friend tell you that you should. In clinic I get a lot of questions about detoxification, and over the years I’ve developed some fairly strong opinions about the topic. That’s mainly because I see a lot of people who were put on powerful detoxification regimens and actually either felt worse or didn’t see any long-term results.
There are all these products out there like juices, smoothies, herbal detox kits, special concoctions… all claiming health benefits like cleansing your liver, your kidneys, your digestive system.
The idea is that, when you buy them and consume them, your body will detoxify and you’ll feel better as all those accumulated poisons leave your system.
Honestly, I’m a little leery of stuff like this. Not because I don’t think it works, but because I know you don’t need any of it.
They’re nice products, and a lot of them have really pretty packaging. They even come with testimonials and some even have clinical studies behind them.
And, in my opinion, they are mostly a waste of money. Read on and I’ll explain.
You see, your body is a detoxifying powerhouse in its own right. It has amazing powers of renewal and restoration and rejuvenation. The key is knowing what to do so that these systems actually get a chance to WORK.
Two problems I see with “detox” products in general:
- They perpetuate the myth that you can just take a pill, or drink a drink, or take some kind of colon cleansing powder in order to improve your health.
- It’s a “quick fix” that is often used as a crutch to continue unhealthy habits between detoxes. They do NOTHING to address the underlying issues of how you became “toxic” in the first place.
“But wait,” you say. “You’re an herbalist, and you prescribe supplements for your patients all the time… Now you’re telling me that detox products are bogus?”
The products aren’t bogus. They work. The herbs and other substances will definitely accelerate your liver’s detoxification pathways, and push more fluid through your kidneys. They might even have a laxative effect to help you cleanse your colon more rapidly.
But, this isn’t always a good thing. Your liver and kidneys are amazing, miraculous filters, but like all human tissue, they are fragile if over-stressed. So, in my opinion if you suddenly double or triple the toxic load on your already over-stressed system, you’re not really getting a net benefit. You may even feel worse.
I’ve seen this time and again, where new patients come in and they’re having hormonal or other issues since doing a strong detox. They just haven’t felt right since. Sleep is off, or their digestive system never recovered from the laxative/purging colon cleanser, or their hormonal system is out of whack because their liver is still not back to normal.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to go out and buy any special herbs or teas — or juice anything — in order to cleanse. The healthiest, most natural, and gentle way to cleanse — one that enhances and protects your health — is to Just let your body work its magic with the following all-natural steps.
All of what I outline below is completely safe. I promise. It is nature’s gift and no doctor or other health practitioner owns this or supersedes it. That being said, if you have a serious disease, you should be careful before doing any drastic change to your diet. If you have any questions, just post them in the comments box below and I’ll get right back to you.
The key here is you do this for about one or two weeks. You’ll be able to gauge how it’s working by how you feel. And, here’s something novel… You should NOT FEEL SICK AT ALL.
In fact, it’s debatable whether you could even call this a “detox”. It’s more like just giving your body a break, and letting it breathe for a minute.
This isn’t one of those detoxes where you “get worse before you get better”. As I mentioned earlier, when you detox and feel nauseous or super-tired or achy, you’re actually HARMING your body. This is a sign that your liver and kidneys and other tissues are detoxing too rapidly and are under a lot of stress.
Let’s call the method I outline below a “physiological de-stress” instead of “detox”. You see, when you remove the stresses that are bombarding your system day in and day out, it very naturally cleanses itself, and you feel really, really good again — right away. Not in a week or a month. Pretty much the day you start.
OK, so let’s get this going. Here are the steps to your FREE, all-natural, amazingly gentle, yet awesomely powerful “detox” or “physiological de-stress”.
Step One – Water – And LOTS Of It
First off, stop drinking ALL flavored drinks, teas, coffee, and soft drinks. Even juice. Drink only water. Just water. Good ol’ H2O. (I’m always mildly amused at the shock this one often elicits. We are, as a society, definitely addicted to our sodas and “vitamin waters”.)
Water is literally the foundation of life itself. It is essential to every single physiological process in your body. I am not going to get sidetracked here on all the benefits of water. Let’s just say that drinking a lot of it makes your digestive system, liver, kidneys, brain, and every single other tissue in your body amazingly happy.
And, here’s a little trick for “detoxing” using just water and a lemon. You can do this EVERY SINGLE DAY if you want. Do it first thing in the morning before you eat anything:
- Start with a glass, a lemon, and some water.
- Cut the lemon into fourths, lengthwise, so you have 4 slices.
- Squeeze one of the slices of lemon into an 8oz glass.
- Fill the glass with water.
- Drink all of it.
- Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you’ve finished the lemon.
The flavonoids in citrus are an amazing natural detoxifier. They very gently (and effectively) assist the liver in its natural process of cleansing the blood. And, the lemon juice actually alkalizes the body, once it is metabolized, and this helps calm inflammation and soothe over-stressed tissues.
Step Two – Sleep
Rest is the most powerful rejuvenator and an amazing way to support your body’s natural detoxification process.
And, most people simply don’t get enough of it. Want to help your body renew itself and heal? Get sufficient rest.
6 hours isn’t enough. 8 hours may not even be enough. Try 9 or 10 hours when you want to refresh and enhance detoxification.
At night, your blood returns to your liver. Your biology very intelligently does this because, while you sleep, you don’t need as much blood supply to the extremities and muscles (since they’re not moving).
The more deep, restful sleep you allow, the longer your blood stays in your liver. What does that mean? It has sufficient time to detoxify.
Not sleeping enough? Then you are creating the opposite effect. Your liver — which is merely the greatest filter nature ever invented — doesn’t get enough time to work its magic. Your toxic load gradually goes up and up and up, the same way weeds will take over your garden when you don’t finish pulling them.
So, rest is an important tool in detoxification.
Step Three – Get Rid of Foods That Promote Inflammation and Spike Your Blood Sugar
This means you will not eat the following:
- Animal products (meat, dairy, etc) EXCEPT FOR EGGS from free-range chickens
- Anything made from wheat flour
- Refined sugar/corn syrup/sugar substitutes
- White potatoes
- Fried foods
And you’ll only eat minimal amounts of the following:
- One serving of fruit daily at a maximum
- Starchy grains like white rice
Plan to initially try this for about 3 days, which is totally do-able. You should start feeling a LOT better within about 36 hours. Less digestive bloat, healthier bowel movements, more energy. Once you complete the initial 3 days, it will be easier to continue — and feel free to do so for up to 14 days.
Now, here’s the key. I’m not advocating long-term vegetarianism, or veganism. That’s a personal choice and if you want to go that route, please educate yourself properly on how to ensure you maintain healthy levels of iron and B-vitamins.
And, if you have a blood disorder, are anemic or have a blood sugar issue, please do this with caution.
In fact, I strongly encourage you to discuss it with your healthcare provider before beginning if you have a chronic health issue.
This is an AMAZINGLY healthy way to eat. If you like it, and you like how you feel, you can keep doing this pretty much forever with the occasional meat thrown in for protein.
How To End This Detox
Just gradually work some of the “no” foods back into your diet. Take it slow. Don’t go out the first day and binge on french-fries and beef. Go slowly.
But, here’s the most important part: PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU FEEL AFTER ADDING CERTAIN FOODS BACK IN. What you might discover is something you were previously eating on a regular basis was making you feel tired, bloated, inflamed, or otherwise not well.
Make a note of this, and try to avoid that food most of the time.
Yes, It’s THAT Simple
You don’t have to do anything else for this detox to work. Well, of course, except practice healthy hygiene (i.e. bathe regularly).
Just make sure you don’t suddenly cheat in the middle of it with something like alcohol or high-sugar food — you won’t feel so good, trust me.
Of course, if you do, you might gain valuable insight into just what the sugary, inflammatory foods are doing to you…
Questions? Comments? Agree? Disagree?
I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below. Let’s discuss!