Even if you lived in the middle of a huge forest with no signs of industry, you would still be exposed to polluted air, toxic soil and possibly treated water running downstream from some large factory.
You might be spared foods with additives and pesticides if you grew your own or had access to organically raised food.
You might not think about the chemicals you put on your skin by using shampoos, skin creams or make-up from an unconscious company.
In your daily routine, how many cups of coffee do you drink?
The body is designed to process and eliminate toxins, in reasonable limits. We can watch our intake of toxic chemicals and heavy metals and we can help our body to flush. Many of our body?s organs are responsible for eliminating toxins. We can help that elimination process by changing our diets and using herbs or homeopathic detox formulations.
OUR ELIMINATING ORGANS
The skin is our largest organ. When we get a rash or have an acne outbreak, it is the body trying to rid itself of contaminants. You can help your skin eliminate toxins, and soften and refresh it at the same time. Try a dry skin brush for a few minutes a day to increase blood flow and help flush out the lymphatics. In the shower you can help your skin to flush by massaging your body briskly with a loofa sponge. If you prefer baths, indulge in a warm Epsom salt bath or select a scented salt from your local health food store.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are part of the urinary system. Their purpose is to filter waste from the blood and excrete it along with water as urine. We are told to drink lots of water daily, but not what type of water. (That is an article unto itself.) What I will say now is to drink water that is clean and pure. Look into a good filtration system for your home, both for what you drink and for what you use to bathe. I suggest a periodic kidney flush if you are retaining water or suspect that your body is toxic. When we think of detoxifying our system, we think of the colon and liver first, but should not ignore our kidneys. You should reduce your intake of salt while flushing because salt retains fluid, inhibiting the process. Foods that aid in kidney flushing include:
- Dandelion greens
The liver is considered the master detoxifier in our system. It is responsible for producing bile, metabolizing fats and proteins, and filtering out drugs, chemicals, and metabolic waste.
"Thousands of chemicals are added to food and over 700 have been identified in drinking water. Plants are sprayed with toxic chemicals, animals are injected with potent hormones and antibiotics and a significant amount of our food is genetically engineered, processed, refined, frozen and cooked. All this can lead to destruction of delicate vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the detoxification pathways in the liver. The liver must try to cope with every toxic chemical in our environment, as well as damaged fats that are present in processed and fried foods." (1)
Common signs that it is time for a flush may be:
- hormonal imbalances
- feelings of anger and frustration
- poor digestion
We can help the liver do its job better by making sure it does not become stressed or overloaded. The liver is the only organ in our body that can regenerate when as much as 70% of it is damaged, so it is intent on righting itself. You can purchase a cleanse at your health food store or do a simple cleanse by following this recipe (5 minutes prep time):
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
cayenne pepper, to taste
Heat water, but do not boil. Add lemon juice, olive oil, molasses and a dash of cayenne. Drink this mixture first thing in the morning for 10 days continuously. (Recipe thanks to http://www.recipezaar.com/198678 ) If you want an even simpler version, just drink some warm water with the fresh lemon juice and olive oil.
Foods that support the liver are:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Dandelion greens, a valuable bitter to help promote bile
- Watercress Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root are the master herbs to regenerate the liver.
The colon is the part of the intestine that helps food leave our system once digested and processed. Its five feet of tubing can hold toxins and mucus buildup that can become petrified to actually form "castes" of the colon. These castes keep the toxic materials from being eliminated. This buildup could be responsible for weight gain, poor digestion, food allergies, malnutrition and chronic illnesses. We must help our body to flush things out at least twice a year.
Fiber is the ultimate health food for the colon. Fiber helps eliminate constipation and helps prevent imbalances like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diverticulitis.
The American diet is very low in natural fiber. Consider increasing your consumption of:
Fruits: apples, pears, figs, blueberries
- Grains: whole wheat (pasta), bran, oatmeal
- Legumes: lentils, black beans, lima beans
- Vegetables: peas, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, turnips (boiled)
HELP IS AVAILABLE
There are many ways to support the body. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to help yourself and your family, look to your local health food market. Your local store will be able to put you in contact with the closest and best nutritionists, herbalists and specialists who cater to detoxifying the system.
(1) Sandra Cabot, MD http://www.liverdoctor.com/02_liverdetox.asp
Nicholas Schnell, Clinical Herbalist, AHG, RH, Nutritionist, RD, LMNT