Our body has five main routes for eliminating toxins, and by gently stimulating each of these pathways, you can achieve a simple, inexpensive and wonderfully effective detox.
Bowels – Psyllium seed husk powder (or bran fibers) are an excellent way to remove fat soluble toxins from the system and help keep your bowels regular. Daily bowel movements are necessary to flush (no pun intended) toxins from the body. For more information on this, see “How Often Do You Poop?“. I strongly advise when increasing your fiber intake, to do a slow taper up over a week or so, and make sure you increase your water intake to compensate.
If you have Crohn’s or Celiac disease or any other chronic inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract, make sure you discuss this with your doctor before adding these in.
Kidneys – This is an easy one. Increasing your water intake is an excellent way to flush water soluble toxins out through your kidneys. A good general rule is to drink 1/3 – 1/2 your body weight in ounces. So for example if you weigh 150 pounds, you would drink between 50 and 75 ounces of water per day. It’s generally best to do this in the earlier part of the day and stick with smaller amounts in the evening, so you’re not waking up frequently at night.
If you have kidney disease or heart disease or are taking any medications affecting your electrolyte or fluid balance, discuss this plan with your doctor before changing your water intake.
Skin – Steams, Saunas or Dry Skin Brushing are all excellent ways to remove toxins that are being excreted through the skin. When doing a steam or sauna, just make sure you take a cool rinse (not uncomfortably cold) afterwards to close up your pores and allow the toxins to be washed off the surface of your skin. Warm water opens your pores, so you’re more likely to reabsorb some of those toxins you’ve just excreted. Make sure you’re hydrating well with any type of heat therapy.
If you have any condition for which saunas or steam baths are contraindicated, don’t do these or talk with your doctor to get clearance before you do.
Lungs – Another simple and very powerful one. Do a series of very slow and very deep inhalations and exhalations. For example a sloooow inhale (for a count of four), brief hold and sloooow exhale (for a count of eight), repeat six times. This is great not only for releasing gaseous toxins (no not those kind) but also helps to relax you. Doing this 2-3x/day can not only help you detox but can also help you lower your blood pressure and deal more effectively with stress.
Liver – Castor Oil Packs are my very favorite liver detox. You can simply do a Castor Oil Pack right on the skin over your liver. So… from right side to center front and from just below your right ribs to about five inches up. The liver actually goes all the way to the back of your body, but just doing the castor oil pack on the front/side is generally sufficient.
If you have liver disease or are taking any critical medications (ex. cardiac medications), please check with your doctor before doing this treatment.
So there you have it. A gentle and inexpensive five system, whole body detox.