The word that puts acai bowls on a pedestal and accompanies every advertisement for the miracles of celery juice. Social media influencers caption selfies with “taking a cell phone detox”. Retreats bolster a detox from life’s daily stressors. The word, as it should be, is growing in use.
Detox is crucial for an optimally functioning body. Detox is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
Detoxification occurs both consciously and unconsciously. Unconsciously, the body detoxes through sweat, bowel movements and crying. Consciously, one must learn and choose to aid the body in detoxification.
Since the liver is the primary organ in detoxification, it is imperative that we make choices to support liver function. The largest impact is food, which can either aid or disrupt detoxification. Of course, you should keep in mind that balance is the key. Not all choices will be optimal, but making conscious choices to support liver function helps the liver rebound after a set of suboptimal choices. Foods that support liver function include: tea, antioxidant-dense fruits, beets, garlic, cruciferous vegetables and foods rich in omega-3’s. These are just a few.
However, what are some lesser known modes of detoxification for that Sunday morning after a weekend of suboptimal choices? Well,
- Dry Brushing
- Dry brushing involves brushing the skin in long sweeping motions with a natural-bristle brush. One should start at the feet and brush towards the heart to avoid added pressure the blood vessels. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, reduces cellulite, exfoliates dead skin and opens the pores to excrete toxins that get trapped below the skin, which is responsible for excreting ⅓ of the body’s toxins. After dry brushing, rub a natural oil all over the body. The oil can be coconut oil, rosehip oil, jojoba oil or almond oil.
- Chlorella and Spirulina
- Chlorella and spirulina are cousin blue-green algaes that are nutrient dense, energy-boosting, hormone-balancing and aid in detoxification. These algaes are rich in chlorophyll, the pigment that absorbs sunlight in plants. Chlorophyll protects bodily cells and tissues by increasing the synthesization of phase II biotransformation enzymes. These enzymes have been shown to reduce liver damage, which in turn, increases the body’s natural elimination of toxins.
- Milk Thistle
- Milk Thistle is an anti-inflammatory herb that specifically supports the gallbladder and liver. This herb promotes digestion by increasing bile production and decreasing inflammation. When the digestive system and elimination organs function optimally, the body is able to effectively excrete toxins. For the liver, milk thistle rebuilds cells and is most frequently used to reverse damage from alcoholic liver disease. Working closely with the liver is the gallbladder. The increased production of bile flow is believed to prevent gallstones and kidney stones. Gallstones form when cholesterol binds to bile and becomes lodged in the gallbladder. Increased bile flow prevents the binding and ultimately maintains steady detoxification.
- Burdock Root
- Burdock root specializes in the detoxification of the lymphatic system and skin. This root adds a bitter flavor to any tea to cool internal heat and purify the blood. Important properties of the root include health-promoting antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents. Burdock root purifies the blood by detoxing heavy metals and improving circulation. For the lymphatic system, burdock root enhances lymphatic drainage.
The food we consume will either fight or feed disease and aid or disrupt detoxification. Make the conscious decision to support and strengthen the body’s innate intelligence