Even the healthiest of human beings accumulate toxic metabolites from normal metabolism and we are all exposed to environmental toxins through air we breathe; home furnishings and car interiors (you know the smell of new plastics); products that you slap on your skin; chlorine that you swim in; fluoride that you drink etc……you especially need to detox if you are exposed to chemicals in your job or hobbies, paint, petrochemicals etc; or you have hormonal imbalances, inflammation, are overweight or obese, suffer with poor immunity or have an auto-immune condition etc.
Finally, the winter months have passed. A time when we nourish ourselves with an abundance of warming, cooked foods typically rich in protein and fats and often excessive in refined carbohydrates: toast, pastries, pastas etc. Eventually the liver becomes over burdened with accumulations of toxins from months of rich and comforting foods.
Spring has well and truly arrived and I find myself putting a warm salad together and loading my plate with greens in preparation for my annual detox or ‘spring clean’. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), spring is the best time to cleanse or detox, this is in line with ‘the natural order of things’. Spring is represented by the WOOD element in TCM. WOOD governs the liver (yin wood) and gall bladder (yang wood); and is characteristic of growth, expansion and RENEWAL. Green is the colour associated with the wood element & spring; it is likened to blood in plant life and corresponds to the fundamental properties of chlorophyll, thus green foods are used to nourish and cleanse the blood; harmonise and restore balance to the liver and gall bladder; reduce excesses and to strengthen weaknesses; to purify blood and quell inflammations, revitalize and rejuvenate.
To detox effectively it is important to support not just the liver but all eliminating organs and channels: this includes the kidneys; lungs; gastro-intestinal tract (GIT); skin and lymphatics. So, in addition to a very green diet for the next two to six weeks (plus lots of other colorful fresh organic produce and some quality protein) it is important to follow a guided supplement regime. This includes amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to support important liver detoxification pathways; herbs and nutrients to support and protect the liver, kidneys, gut and lymphatics.
This year I am super keen to include the mineral rich “Restore” (Ion* Biome) to increase the body’s production of enzymes through cellular communication and restore some integrity to the tight junctions in my intestines. These are damaged by exposure to glyphosphates (taken in via non-organic fresh produce), gluten and other intestinal irritants. A healthy gut barrier is essential for the uptake of nutrients in your every-day diet; it is also essential in forming a barrier for a healthy microbiome to flourish. This is the foundation of a healthy immune system and the creation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine that are key in obtaining good mental health
It is essential to drink at least a couple of litres of filtered water daily to help flush the toxins through your body. To potentiate the overall effects of detoxification, dry skin brush daily to optimise skin function, plus give it a shine; and fit in far infra-red sauna at least every other day throughout your program.
If you are wanting to reap the benefits of a great detox book in with Jo Riley (TCM Practitioner + Naturopath) for our Total Body Reset Program: