I passionately believe that detoxing benefits just about anyone. Don't dismiss it as not for you. It really, really should be. First, detox your colon. Check out our post on colonics if you haven't already. Then you can move onto your other detox organs. Every day we are all bombarded by thousands of chemical toxins. Nothing is as it was in our grandparents’, or even in our parents’, days. Air pollution levels are rising and although the ozone layer is showing signs of repair, other measures of environmental toxins are getting worse. Our water contains carcinogenic substances and our food is no longer safe from GMO and chemical interference. Synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are making our earth - and ourselves – sick. Even our houses are made with and furnished with toxic products that affect us negatively. On top of all that we then clean our houses with chemicals. No wonder then, that over time, our organs get overwhelmed and fail to detox us as efficiently as they should.
Bodies under attack
We exist in an electromagnetic ‘soup’, drowning in iphones, computers, routers, phone masts and fridges. They all zap us with electrical frequencies that have been shown to affect human cells in ways that are not good for us.
Mankind has created so many unnatural substances so speedily in the last few decades that our bodies struggle to cope. In fact, we are increasingly overwhelmed. Our health is in jeopardy and we are all getting sicker as a result. What to do about it? It’s not as hopeless as it sounds. The answer is to commit to a thorough detox of each of the detox organs – and follow it up by changing your daily habits.
Apart from the colon there are four other organs to pay attention to for a full health reboot.
Detox your skin
First is the skin, which is often underestimated as a means of eliminating toxins. You have probably noticed that if you come into contact with something your body isn’t happy with, you will get a rash, or come out in spots. This is your skin working to evacuate the substance through its pores. You can speed this process in a range of ways.
Dry skin brushing is one of my favourites. A quick scrub with one of those long handled brushes each morning in your shower stimulates your circulation. Make sure you brush before you get yourself wet (that’s why it’s called dry skin brushing!) and that you always brush towards your heart. And once you have finished showering, don’t instantly coat your open pores with a chemical based lotion that will put it all back in again! Always read the labels on your cosmetic and bath products. You may be shocked to find what they contain. And if you don’t understand one of the ingredients, it’s unlikely to be something that ever came from nature. Be more aware. Change your purchasing habits. Be safe and buy organic wherever possible.
Sweating eliminates toxins, so up your sweatiness. Exercise is a great way of doing that. Stretching and pilates are simply not enough. Go for that 5K run, join an aerobics class, get skipping or do push ups in the park till you glow. Saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms will get you sweating too. Always remember to replace the water lost by drinking plenty of water afterwards.
Detox your lungs
Your lungs are your air purifiers. They take oxygen in from the air when you breathe in and deliver it to your bloodstream. They remove carbon dioxide and other waste products from the body when you breathe out. They act as filters, removing the dust and dirt and pollution from the 11,000 litres of air that you breathe in daily. Have you noticed that if you walk or cycle through a car congested city or town, you will arrive at your destination covered in small black particles all over your skin and your clothes? That’s what your lungs have to deal with on a daily basis, often coughing up mucus as they go to lighten the load. Help them where you can with some sort of oxygen therapy. Breathe in oxygen through a nebuliser or practise daily breathing exercises.
Detox your liver
Your liver is a master ‘recycler’; a rubbish collector extraordinaire and the most hard working of all your detox organs. It receives all the toxins that are processed by your body’s various systems, and divides them up into ‘good’ and ’bad’ chemicals, redirecting them to the appropriate elimination channels that will expel them from your body. Over time, and particularly if you smoke, drink too much and eat processed, unhealthy food, your liver can get overwhelmed and stop functioning as efficiently as it used to. As your liver goes downhill so, often, does your health. Apart from the obvious – stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol consumption and eating well – there are a couple of things you can do to help it clean up.
I drink a mug of warm water with lemon first thing every morning to kick-start my liver. Herbal medicines and supplements are also effective. Milk thistle capsules can be bought in your local health food shop. Garlic, in natural or capsule form, triggers the production of enzymes in your liver, along with selenium and allicin, which both protect and detox the liver. Dandelion root stimulates bile production, and it is bile that removes toxins from the liver, leaving it clear to continue ‘rubbish collecting’.
Enemas are excellent. You can do these simply and inexpensively at home, buying an enema bag and large bottle of distilled water from Boots and researching on the internet. The Gerson therapy advocates coffee enemas, to shock the liver into dumping its toxins and releasing bile. Enemas quickly access the hepatic vein that lies just inside the large intestine, and carry any implant directly to the liver within a matter of seconds. A wheatgrass enema has a similar effect, but, full of vitamins, enzymes, betacarotene and chlorophyll, also re-energises and oxygenates the liver, giving the immune system a thorough reboot in the process. You can grow your own wheatgrass at home, and juice the small amount necessary whenever the mood takes you!
How to do an easy gallbladder and liver flush
I regularly do a lemon, olive oil and Epsom salts liver flush about twice a year. I never cease to be amazed by the quantity of toxic residue that comes out in the process. Naturopathic doctors recommend it, conventional ones usually haven’t heard about it and therefore do not. All I can say, from personal experience, is that it leaves you lighter and full of energy afterwards.
It’s not a particularly pleasant experience (who fancies drinking a large glass of salad dressing, after all?). For me the health benefits outweigh the discomfort, and I have never had side effects of any kind. Plus I am just so grateful not to be carrying those vast quantities of pea-like stones around anymore. Be aware that if you have a problem with sugar, this may not be for you as the apple juice involved is high in sugar.
For five days prior to the ‘flush’, drink 2 litres of fresh pure apple juice daily (normal juice from shops). Eat normally, as fat free as possible.
On the sixth day:
- Have no evening meal
- At 9 pm take 1 or 2 teaspoons of Epsom Salts dissolved in 1 to 2 fluid ounces of warm water (I drink through a straw so I don’t have to taste it!). This opens the bile ducts in the liver, and also opens your bowels, so that the only thing left to come out in the morning are the tiny stones.
- At 10 pm mix half a cup/4oz (120ml) olive oil with 2 oz (60ml) fresh lemon juice. Shake vigorously and drink it all down.
- IMMEDIATELY upon finishing the olive oil and juice go to bed and lie on your right side with your right knee drawn up towards your chin. Remain in this position for 30 minutes before going to sleep. This encourages the olive oil to drain from your stomach, helping contents of the bladder and/or liver to move into the small intestine.
Next morning you will see that many stones will have come out, entirely painlessly. They look like peas of various shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny to some as large as a kidney bean. They are usually green or greeny/brown, and are soft and squashy. Sometimes there will be miniscule clear crystals. You will truly be amazed at the quantity the first few times you try it. If you want to check them out properly, place a sieve in your toilet to catch them.
Always have a colonic 24-48 hours later, to flush out any remaining stones.
If you haven’t done the flush before, do it once a month for five or six months initially or until no more stones come out. After that, do it once a year for maintenance. These are two of the most important organs to keep clear and clean for optimal health.
Detox your kidneys
Your kidneys are the next organs to reboot. They are responsible for removing acid waste out of your body via your urine, and are your ‘alkalinity’ watchdogs. What they need from you are vast quantities of water to flush everything through every day. If you don’t give it to them, the resulting dehydration, and eventual gallstones that are likely to show up, will slow them down and stop them functioning properly. The more acid you get, the better the environment you create for chronic disease. If you have a problem getting up at night to go to the bathroom, stop drinking four hours or so before bed (but please don’t stop drinking during the rest of the day). Put a jug of water on your desk or kitchen table, to jog your memory and keep downing a glass or two every hour. You can buy kidney cleaning kits from the health food shop for an extra boost. Alternately, drinking dandelion or nettle tea flushes out uric acid, as does fresh, organic cranberry or grape juice. Ginger and turmeric added to a cup of hot water will also help flush excess minerals and salts out when you go to the bathroom.
Detox your lymphatic system
And last, but by no means least there is the lymphatic system. It doesn't really count as one of your organs, but it's unsurpassed at detox. This is that mysterious spidery network that covers your entire body, sitting just below your skin. Lymph is a clear watery liquid that carries the cells waste directly to the other elimination organs. It protects you from all the bacteria, viruses and toxins it meets along the way. Lymph are the dustbin men equivalents. They gather up your rubbish and take it to the dustbin lorries, which finally remove it all to the dump.
Lymph nodes are tiny kidney shaped nodules that are usually found in the neck, armpits, chest, stomach, pelvis and groin. These are the sentries that prevent invasion of the dangerous intruders who could cause harm and serious illness. There are more than 1,000 of them and they act as filters. If they get overwhelmed by toxins, lymph nodes become hard and you can sometimes feel them like tiny grapes in your armpits. These are the nodes that doctors remove to check for cancerous cells.
Lymph needs to be moved to work effectively, so play your part by upping your exercise quota. Best of all for getting it moving is bouncing on a rebounder. Even a few minutes each day makes a huge difference, and I have personally talked to women who have reduced, and even entirely cleared, their breast lumps in a matter of weeks. An effective lymph massage can also dissolve blockages in the nodes over a period of time.
So, detox. More complex than you thought perhaps, but simple, regular cleanses of your main detox organs, and incorporating herbal medicines and organic teas, can make a considerable difference. Reboot your organs. Be aware of everything you put in your body because, in the process, even making minor changes and slightly altering your daily habits can really help you to reboot your health.
Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, who founded one of the UK's largest breast cancer charities, The Haven, twenty years ago. With Reboot Health, Sara aims to bring the best preventative and curative health solutions ranging from nutrition, alternative therapies, fitness and conventional medicine.