Detox 101

Why do we need to Detox?

We need to Detox to help our metabolism maintain optimum function. Detox helps to clear out toxin build up which impedes healthy cell function. This build up can occur because of excessive exposure to toxins or suboptimal functioning of detoxification organs and processes, or both. By regularly Detoxing we reduce the likelihood of disease and enhance feeling great.

What is considered a toxin?

A toxin is a substance that is harmful to the body. Traditional toxicology defines toxins in relation to the dose or amounts of a particular substance. Toxins come from outside the body, for example pesticides or heavy metals. Toxins also come from inside the body, because of a build up of waste products from normal functioning or from “bad” bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts.

Can’t our bodies Detox naturally?

They can, infact our bodies are always detoxifying. Every cell of the body has a cleansing ability and there are major organs and systems involved in constant detoxification. It’s ideal to Detox regularly to support this healthy cleansing function and to avoid these systems and processes from being overwhelmed or thwarted.

What are the signs I might need to Detox?

Signs to Detox include: Digestive problems, low energy, headaches, unclear thinking, poor skin appearance, cravings. If you are feeling anything less than optimal, this could be improved by a good gentle Detox.

Why do I get headaches, feel nauseous or lethargic when detoxing?

I’d suggest the pathophysiology of headaches would be either inflammation or a shift in blood flow to the head. These could be caused by either withdrawal from an addictive substance, like caffeine or alcohol, or an excessive of reactive toxins in the blood, due to an excessive liberation of toxins that the organs of detoxification can’t manage. Nausea can be associated with the liver being overwhelmed from toxins. Lethargy can be due to your body needing energy to deal with the cleansing processes that are going on, that it needs to rest. You must rest during a Detox, drink lots of pure water and if nauseous, lots of ginger and honey tea.

What’s the difference between a juice and a smoothie detox?

A juice Detox means imbibing the fluids from the plants juiced, whether grass, vegetables or fruits. You could have one or five juices a day, with or without other foods. A smoothie detox provides the fluids and the solids of the plants used. This means you get the benefits of the whole food, including the fibre that provides necessary bulk to keep the bowel moving. Again you could have vegetable, fruit and superfood smoothies once or four times a day, with or without other food, depending on how much preparation you have done for your body to handle the Detox.

What other detox diets are out there?

There are many different detox diets with various levels of intensity. The raw food approach is my favourite approach. My raw food blog describes some of my journey with that process. Dr Joshi has a good gentle detox diet.

How does going on a juice- or smoothie-only fast help?

A juice or smoothie-only fast acts to reduce the burden on the digestive tract. The foods are already mechanically broken down, which frees up some digestive energy and enables the body to cleanse and repair elsewhere in the body. Additionally, good juices and smoothies will be made from organically produced plant ingredients, which will provide excellent nutritional support for detoxification. Make sure you prepare yourself before going on a juice or smoothie-only fast.

Is that a good way to detox?

Juices and Smoothies are a supportive and effective way to detox if your body is ready for it. If you’ve been a smoker, drinking, caffeine addict, fast or processed food consumer, lived in a city for long periods of time, eaten conventionally grown produced, experienced moderate to high levels of stress, had amalgm fillings, pharmaceutical medicines or exposed to conventional cleaning products, then you may need to take a few preparatory steps before jumping into a juice or smoothie only fast. Jumping in too fast could be damaging.

What is the best, safest way to detox?

Slowly, gently and gradually is the best, most effective way to detox. The body appreciates this and more healing is possible when approached in this manner. Make sure you give yourself time out of normal life, lots of pampering and space, and the best water and nutrients you can find.

Do I need to detox if I eat healthily?

A regular detox can help everyone living on our crazy planet today. Detox is not just about what you eat, it’s also about what you drink, breath, touch and think. Everyone can benefit from taking stock of this every now and again, and eliminating things that are not supporting their true vitality.

Do I need to consult anyone before starting a detox?

It depends a lot on how much time you have to research things yourself, what level of toxin exposure you’ve had, if you’ve Detoxed before and how well your elimination channels are functioning. It can help to get some one-on-one support to start with or if you have particular problems.

Anyone can safely start a Detox today by clearing out toxic substances from your home and workplace, stopping, or at least slowing down the intake of regular drugs, sugars and processed foods and becoming aware and rooting out toxic thoughts from your mind.

I don’t want to do a detox, but I want to keep my system “clean”. What habits should I adopt?

There are many ways to keep your system clean. Physically, maintaining healthy bowel function and good hydration levels are two very easy ways. Eating foods in their whole form, or as close to natural as you can provides great cleansing support. Avoiding synthetic chemicals in your body care products and in foodstuffs is a simple guideline to follow.

Sally Mathrick

Sally Mathrick

Health educator, writer and naturopath Sally Mathrick provides the perspective of personal wellness to contribute to planetary health to cleansing, via Sparkle Well School online programs, writings and public presentations. She practices as a naturopath (on sabbatical until July 1st 2021), lectures at Torrens University, holds 3 university degrees and is a committed life long learner.

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