Yet another day dawns and here you are feeling sluggish, apathetic, not functioning at your potential and sleeping badly. You decide you are in need of a DETOX to get you up and back in the game again. Of course, the desire to detox can range anywhere from wanting to look younger, be thinner, feel brighter, have better looking skin, be calmer, or from the need to cure an on going disease condition or illness. Then there are also those who want to detox to re- tox, as it is jokingly phrased, but really what IS the point in doing a detox to then go back to eating badly and swigging lots of alcohol? OK so you have given your body a little rest, but it doesn’t need a REST. What it needs is a diet and lifestyle makeover, and one that is so enjoyable, you will not want to break it. This is possible I promise you, as I am proof of that. We Miss Goody Two Shoes rarely start out that way.
In the sphere of natural health there are many practitioners who would advise gentle cleansing and this is because most people are in need of supporting their internal systems, not purging them. This may sound a little bizarre, but it is the healthier amongst us who can stand the detox better. This can be likened to how surgeons will not operate on a non emergency patient unless the patient meets certain criteria. One of the considerations is that if the blood count is less than 7 the operation won’t go ahead until it has gone up. This is because if an operation is performed when the patient is weak, recovery will be much harder, and it can make the actual operation more dangerous. Similarly, any cleansing of our bodies has to be approached with forethought, and consideration of your current state of health. (Please Note: For any serious illness, it is vitally important to follow a protocol with a natural health practitioner)
In the Days of Yore
Once upon a time (not so very long ago), the word detox was used in reference to people who went to a clinic to recover from alcohol or drug addiction. However, for a few years now it has been the trendy word for cleansing our bodies of the detritus that results from modern living and eating. Because it is trending, there are so many detox diets, weekend cleanses, herbal concoctions, and natural supplements available, that is can be hugely confusing to know which way to go. I am going to walk you though the cleanses I did, explain why and how, and then look at why so many detoxes are little more than a rest from eating.
Again as with pretty much anything I seem to do with regards to my health, I had heard of and read up on colon cleansing some years before I actually got around to doing it. Finally, at some point when re- reading about it yet again, I was nudged into doing one. I had a partner joining me in this, and I certainly think that two of us doing it together aided in its success, for reasons which I will shortly explain.
Having researched about which type of cleanse I wanted, I chose to do the most stringent from Blessed Herbs. They offer 3 types of colon cleanse using the same pack of ingredients. The deepest cleanse protocol meant fasting for five days, after first having undergone 2 or 3 days of reducing food intake, and concluding with introducing food again gradually. So all in all, the process was about 9 – 10 days. It involved drinking a lot of freshly juiced apples combined with their special digestive herbs and the toxin absorber, several times a day.
The first two days were not so bad, the 4 and 5th were the worst. In an odd way you don’t feel hunger but at the same time, eating is all you can think about! What this type of cleanse does is rid the colon of mucoid plaque. This is years, nay decades, of impacted, improperly digested food stuffs. Yuk. Yet we all have it, people! (Those of you who eat a predominantly meaty diet, more so.)
The effect of the herbs, and the mix of bentonite clay and psyllium husk in the toxin absorber, serves to dissolve and pull this waste matter off the walls of the intestine, and it is then expelled in the normal way. When you see the incredible amount of muck coming out, it is at one and the same time astonishing and revoltingly fascinating. Just think, this stuff has been inside for so long, inhibiting proper absorption of nutrients. There is seemingly no end of this stuff, which given the small intestine is 23 feet long should not be surprising.
This expelled matter looks like rubber tubing and smells likewise to begin with, progressing to more of a metallic smell, from the drawing out of any mercury, lead, aluminium, and other heavy metals that our bodies have acquired one way or another.
There are detractors of this cleanse who say the rubbery stuff is just the gel (psyllium husk) moulding to the shape of the colon. To this I can say that since I did that first cleanse my waist has been between 24 and 25 inches. It was 24” when I was 16, since then I have had 5 children. I think Mommas, this will speak volumes to you! The beauty of this cleanse is that once you have rid yourself of this, it will never return…well not unless you go back to eating all the rubbish that put it there, and that is unlikely. The lightness and lovely clean feeling that you are left with afterwards is simply amazing. You will want to hold onto this.
Sharing is Caring
It is good to go through this with a partner for the reason that 10 days is a long time to commit to something on your own. It is also reassuring to compare the detox symptoms. I was in the fortunate position of not having to prepare meals for anyone during this period. In fact I spent most of it resting outside in the sun. I don’t think it is possible to do this fasting cleanse unless you can set aside time in this way.
Approximately 18 months later I did the same cleanse again, with the same partner. My reason for this was my age (52) and all the years of life that had added to the toxic state of my body. I have had since my early teens, many amalgam fillings and these leak as they get older, releasing mercury into the body.
The second cleanse was carried out in the same circumstance as the first, the only difference this time being that I availed myself of a daily enema. I know this is not nice topic to think too long on, so briefly: for me it was a mountain to overcome mentally and emotionally. My mum had been very enthusiastic about using an enema as soon as an illness appeared, and I remember having them when I was 5 years old and very poorly with measles. I hated them of course, and the memories clung for years.
However, I found that it greatly aided in expelling the rubbery stuff with ease. This time it was less overpowering smell wise, and again at the end of these few days I felt amazing. Everything about me glowed, eyes, hair, skin, and halo. So I have nothing but high praise for this particular colon cleanse procedure. The results spoke for themselves.
It will seem then somewhat contradictory to say that I have no intention of carrying out any more like that. This is not because I have lost faith, but because there is another way, which I was not aware of at the time. Which of course, I will be sharing with you. Firstly though, it is imperative that you grasp a few of facts about detoxing.
What a Detox is Not
It is not simply deciding to eat light, and give up alcohol for a few days/week/month. Neither is it drinking just juices or taking herbs for a short period of time. Of course, not giving your digestive system much work for a few days allows it to rest, and the energy normally expended on breaking foods down is available for something else, this is a plus. There is nothing wrong with doing these things, but they are not a detox.
It will not rid you of impacted gunk.
Using the kitchen sink as an analogy, if this is blocked in the U bend, no matter how much clean water you pour into the sludge that won’t go down, it won’t alter the fact that the sink is blocked. Your bowels are the U bend and most people have some kind of blockage!
Consider this: we are detoxing every single day to some extent. We take in toxins, sometimes consciously by eating badly, but also unconsciously, or with little or no control in the matter because of the modern environments we live in.
The impure air we breathe, the cleaning materials we use, the electro magnetic smog from appliances and being surrounded by WIFI and/or mobile phone masts all have an effect on us. Our bodies are absorbing these impurities and if we did not rid ourselves of some of them daily, we would be dead. The build up of these contributes to illness, of course.
Store. Process. Eliminate – How our body protects us.
I grew up with a mum who when she wasn’t busy performing enemas, was always going on about poisons and toxins in our normal foods and it really really irritated me. I would silently groan and do the eye roll. (This disrespectful behaviour carried on well into my early 30’s!!) These ‘poisons’ were just an abstract thing to me, I couldn’t relate to them, so let me explain, in case it is the same for you.
If our bodies are working at their optimum, any toxins taken in each day from whatever source, would be eliminated and there would be no back log, no build up.
This is simply not happening for the vast majority of us. So the body has these ‘poisons’ sitting in it, and needs to store them somewhere, in places they can do the least harm. So the fat cells are a prime choice. There is not a single fat person who is not in a state of toxicity. The next place is the liver, which is already busy processing toxins, so it doesn’t really want the extra job of storage. Neither does the thyroid, which is another place toxins get dumped.
The organs that deal with processing the toxins are the liver, the kidneys, the small intestine, and the lymph. Simply put these all make the toxins less dangerous, and/or pass them on for elimination.
You will find many detox ‘programs’ that suggest detoxing the liver and kidneys too. I am not saying this is wrong per se, but the order in which these things are accomplished is important.
Clear the Exits
For toxins to be expelled from the body, the exits need to be clear! So basically you need to unplug from the bottom up if you will excuse the pun. Aside from the colon and bowels, toxins also are excreted by the skin (sweating) the bladder (urination), and the lungs (breathing).
The more toxic you are, the more slowly you need to proceed. If you suddenly decided to fast going from a SAD sugar laden diet, toxins would be released so rapidly into your system that it would be overwhelmed, and with no way out, the exists being blocked. Which in turn would leave you feeling like the proverbial death warmed up. If you are going to get your toxins out of storage, you need to clear the path to the rubbish dump.
Herbalist Elwin Robinson explains all of this so well, so much so that I have adopted a few of his terms here. Years ago, at a time when I was thinking liver cleanses were a good thing, he said he would not go that route, feeling it was too extreme, and now I understand why.
Please note here that when I did my first colon cleanse I had already been eating a high raw diet for 3 years. I had already been taking health supporting herbs for this time. I was in a good place to colon cleanse. The burden placed on organs forced to function at levels they were not meant to, needs to be relieved and eased, and these organs gently supported, before they are asked to work harder on a deep detox.
Working With your Body
Hopefully now you are seeing a clear path emerging. I am not suggesting that you should not detox nor alter your eating habits to be healthier. But working with your body means rather that you follow a process, and have a strategy. This can be illustrated by what normally happens when you decide to detox for weight loss.
What happens is (in my own experience), you psyche yourself up for it, name a starting date, eat as much rubbish as you can in the preceding days- reasoning it’s your last chance – then commence some drastic plan that usually ends up failing by the end of day two, if not day one. Then you feel useless for not sticking at it, as well as still fat! Yet, there are very good reasons behind this inability to stick with it. It is nothing to do with being pathetic or weak willed. As we saw above, if you detox too quickly, the stored toxins come out fast and have nowhere to go, with the exits being if not entirely blocked, certainly inhibited. So you feel lousy, are hit hard by withdrawal, and give up.
So working with your body is not about a quick fix – detox so you can re tox – it is about establishing a clean and healthy internal state, then maintaining its new shiny condition.
The Easy Colon Cleanse
It can be hard to carry out a detox if you are a mum with children and a man to feed, unless they do it too, which is highly unlikely! This is one reason why going away for weekend cleanses to a spa or retreat are considered an advantage, plus being able to avail yourself of the other treatments that can make the side effects more tolerable. (Massage, yoga, colonics, sauna et al)
But if we are looking at fitting detoxing into normal life, it needs to be something that does fit, that is relatively simple to carry out, that is similarly relatively inexpensive, and one that will train your body to reject toxins in the future. Sugar with that madam? No, thanks I’ve been clean 4 years now!
So what can you use? Here are my personal top 3. Tried and tested. They all work in slightly different ways, and are different prices. So you could for instance go the Oxy Powder route for a month then continue with one of the others. Or if funds only allow for the cheapest option from the get go, take that (and party).
“Oxy-Powder is a specifically designed compound which has been ozonated and stabilized to release beneficial nascent oxygen into the intestinal tract and body. The time-released delivery ensures that Oxy-Powder will provide an adequate amount of oxygenated magnesium, slowly, for better utilization by the body”
“OxCgen – Colon Cleanser and OxyGenator. This activated oxygen product is an updated version of the original Homozon formula and incorporates food grade Magnesium Peroxide, Vitamin C and a Bioflavnoid complex”
If you are constipated, here is your solution. Most people ARE constipated. You should be evacuating after each meal, this is how a properly functioning body works. In reality most people go once a day at best. I personally know a young woman in her 30’s who has suffered for years with chronic constipation and IBS like symptoms, has tried myriad ways to resolve this, including regular colonics, and who swears by these capsules.
All you need to do is follow the instructions on the bottle.
Zeolite Powder (AKA Clinoptilolite)
Zeo Health explain why this combination of volcanic ash and sea water is so powerful:
“When ingested as a supplement, a zeolite works at the cellular level to trap allergens, heavy metals and harmful toxins. In fact, because it is one of the few negatively charged minerals in nature, a zeolite acts as a magnet, drawing toxins to it, capturing them in its cage, and removing them safely and naturally from your body. This unique ability to remove dangerous toxins is so well documented; it was used by the Russian government to absorb radioactive chemicals and other harmful toxins after the Chernobyl disaster. For centuries, the powdered forms of specific zeolites have been used as traditional remedies throughout Asia to promote overall health and wellbeing.”
It is important to take the purest quality and for this I recommend Zeoforce by Healthforce. The amount to consume is detailed on the bottle.
Diatomaceous Earth (AKA DE)
This is the cheapest option but not to be sneezed at (unless you inhale it which is not recommended!) This clears intestinal parasites and more, as the people at Ancient Purity explain:
“Fossil shell flour (DE) is tubular with tiny perforations or holes in the walls. When these millions of microscopic particles move through the stomach and digestive system they absorb and attract bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, and other pathogens. Also during this process larger parasites are cut or scratched by the hard and sharp DE, which dehydrates and kills them. Diatomaceous Earth is very hard and sharp…this is really important as when these millions of tiny hard and sharp tubular fossil shell flour particles pass through the intestines they help scrub the walls, keeping the bowel clean.”
I have tried several brands of DE and find either the one from Ancient Purity or Diatomx to be the best, meaning the most effective. I take it daily in my smoothie. You will need to drink extra water to your usual amount when taking this or zeolite. Again the instructions on how much to take will be on the packet.
The Lung Detox – It’s Free!!
Just as oxygen helps clear out the colon, it also works wonders in the lungs, so we should breathe in more of it, as this will detox us on a daily basis.
Dr Edward Group explains why:
“Every cell in the human body requires oxygen and, although it seems like an autonomous function, deep breathing exercises can be done to help clear out toxins that may have built up in the lungs which can help improve lung performance and clear airways. Deep breathing gets more nourishing oxygen into your body. Blood that is rich in oxygen will help you feel better, and give you more energy. Deep breathing also reaches the deepest depths of your lungs, and helps to expel and break up residue.
When shallow breathing is the only type of breathing you do, you’re utilizing a small fraction of your lung capacity and doing your lungs a disservice. Shallow breathing lets stagnant air and pollutants accumulate in the depths of the lungs and may lead to fatigue, respiratory sluggishness, and diminished tissue function.
Deep Breathing Exercises for Lung Cleansing
Find a relaxing and quiet place to sit down. Close your eyes, and begin by breathing in deeply through your nose from your belly up. Count to five, inhaling the entire time. Even when you think you can’t inhale any more, try to squeeze a little more air in. Allow your lungs and stomach to fully inflate. This enables oxygen to reach the deepest depths of your lungs to inflate all the alveoli and break up any toxins and pollutants that may have accumulated. Hold your breath for several seconds and then exhale over the course of another five count. When you think you can’t exhale any more, keep blowing from the deepest depths of your lungs and stomach! You should feel your chest and abdomen flatten inward. Repeat this breathing exercise 9 times. Performing this exercise on a daily basis will not only help cleanse your lungs, but it also helps relieve stress. It won’t take long before you notice positive improvements!“
Change your Diet so that Every Day is Detox Day
An area of much debate amongst us ‘healthies’ is the liver cleanse. There is a well renowned one that involves olive oil, grapefruit juice and Epsom salts. I am not going to expand on liver cleanses, as cleaning up the colon is paramount in cleaning up your body. Once you have established a gleaming inner terrain here, nutrients from the foods you eat will be absorbed to a far greater degree than at the moment. Look instead at changing your diet to a liver supporting one. Read over the raw diet articles on here and see how easy it is to add nutrient rich greens to your meals. Take the Chinese herb Schisandra. It is the ultimate liver tonic and tastes nice, always a plus!
Bringing your body back into a state of balance, where every organ is working to the best of its ability is a long term project. Detoxing can be seen as a quick fix, but our bodies respond better to nurturing rather than shock treatments. Allow the removal of toxins to be gradual and gentle. Do note that, as with any serious illness as I mentioned earlier, if you need a heavy metal detox because of mercury in your body from the removal of dental fillings, you need to follow a set protocol overseen by a natural health practitioner. This is whole other area of detox and needs to be done with care.
Finally, remove as much as possible from your daily life, non food related toxins. We are bombarded by a massive amount. As your body becomes cleaner you will become very aware of these, so avoidance will be easier. Conversely you will be drawn to spending time in nature, drinking up the energy from the sea, trees, and any patch of fertile land. Simply walking barefoot outside where possible, aids in releasing stored electricity that we collect throughout the day.
So to recap, the ultimate detox is an on going commitment to feeling better for the rest of your life. You are your body, your body is you. You cannot compartmentalise and separate it. Therefore – be gentle with yourself and set the pace that is right for YOU – and do the following:
1 Change your diet
2 Take a colon cleansing product
3 Practice deep breathing
4 Spend time outside bare foot when possible