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It's cleansing time!

Since the weather’s not the best for the usual plethora of outside activities, it’s a great time to focus inside and clear the body.  When the weather finally clears, your system will be detoxified and primed for superior performance!  As well, there are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables around now, so, it’s time to get going on a rejuvenating cleanse.

It’s always important that we try to eliminate the accumulation of toxins that have gathered over the year every spring, so, I always try to encourage a cleanse each spring and fall.   External toxicity can be acquired by breathing, eating or having physical contact. 

We are exposed daily through chemicals in the air and water, electromagnetic radiation, on our food, using pharmaceutical drugs & other medications, eating refined/packaged and processed foods, as well as using stimulants and sedatives.

We also produce internal toxins called free radicals through normal everyday functions of our cells in biochemical and bodily functions.  Microbes, such as intestinal bacteria, produce wastes that must be eliminated and our thoughts and emotions also generate biochemical toxins.  If our body is working well, with good immune and eliminative functions we can handle everyday exposure to toxins.  Cleansing helps to prevent build-up of toxicity and degeneration.

We detoxify through the respiratory, gastro-intestinal, urinary, skin, lymph, thought and spiritual systems.  Detoxification/cleansing can occur on many levels.  Drinking an extra quart of water, eating more fruit and vegetables, less meat and dairy products is a form of cleansing, since it helps to clear toxins from our body.  

Be careful about over-elimination or over-detoxification.  Some people go to extremes with fasting and herbal laxatives and diuretics and an imbalance can be created.  You may become deficient in vitamins or minerals or the liver can become overloaded.  This may make a person feel sick and fatigued.  It's important to set up a cleansing program individually, with knowledge of a person’s history, diet, vitamin/mineral levels, health and lifestyle.  General guidelines are:

  • Hypo-allergenic diet (whole grains, veggies, fruit, fish)
  • Increased fibre (oat bran, veggies, fruit)
  • Increasing purified water intake
  •  Using herbs such as garlic, red clover, cayenne, ginger, dandelion root, yellow dock, burdock, licorice and parsley
  • Include saunas and sweats
  • Reduce fats (fried foods, red meats and dairy)
  • Regular exercise to induce sweating
  • Colon support/stimulation (fibre-psyllium, herbal products, aloe, betonite clay and acidophilus)
  • Regular bathing and brushing of the skin and lymph massage, resting, relaxation exercises, breathing exercises
  • specific supplements for the individual

The next level of a detox diet is one made up of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, especially brown rice, seeds & almonds and fish along with homeopathic detoxification drops.  A raw foods detoxification diet is also an option for some.  Other specialized detox diets treat specific problems, like the Candida diet.  Then, there are liquid cleanses or fasts using juices, vegetable broths and teas.  Miso or spirulina is often added. 

I also have people detoxify by using “MEDI-CLEAR”, which is like a meal replacement with detoxification nutrients added.  This method supports the process so well that people feel energized, can work and exercise as usual and don’t feel deprived or hungry. 

So, whatever method works for you, try a detoxification cleanse to continue on the process of healing!

Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC.