Feeling sluggish and fatigued? Suffering from hormonal imbalances, acne, weight gain/loss, frequent headaches and stomach issues? These could be signs that your body is overburdened and in need of a break.
Our bodies are our warriors to the outside world. Everything from what we eat, to the air we breath, to the products that come into contact with our skin, are absorbed into our bodies, filtered and excreted. But with the world we live in today, you can only imagine the amount of work that takes place in order to keep our bodies functioning.
Our liver is the master detoxifier; performing over 500 different roles in order to help our bodies thrive and work properly. So when we’re overloading our bodies with different chemicals, additives and toxins, there’s nothing better we can do than give this beloved organ the support it deserves.
So, thinking of doing a detox but have know idea where to start? Because there are so many types of juice cleanses, diets and supplement programs on the market, choosing the right course of action for you can become quite overwhelming. And while proper nutrition plays a big role in supporting the body (and the liver), there are some non-diet related things we can do to help cleanse and support our bodies natural detoxification.
Here are a few:
Lymphatic drainage massage - The lymphatic system is apart of the immune system that is in charge of helping to rid the body of toxins and unwanted materials. A lymphatic drainage massage is a form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system so that it can help remove excess fluid and metabolic waste.
Exercise - Exercise is not only great for its cardiovascular benefits, muscle building, release of endorphins and so on, but working up a sweat also helps to rid the body of toxins. Toxins are excreted through various systems in the body and our sweat is one of them. So simply by breaking a sweat, you’re naturally helping your body to eliminate waste. Did you know that toxic elements such as arsenic, lead and mercury have all been found in sweat? Be sure to rinse off soon after exercising so that unwanted materials are not reabsorbed into the skin. 
Dry Brushing - Dry brushing not only helps exfoliate your skin and encourage cell renewal (goodbye cellulite), but it can also help increase blood flow and improve lymphatic drainage; which helps to enhance nutrient circulation and detoxification.
Epsom salt baths - While baths can be extremely relaxing and soothing, adding in epsom salt can also make them detoxifying! Epsom salt can help you work up a sweat without the physical effort. And like stated before, when you release sweat, you also help to release toxins. *Please do not use epsom salt if pregnant, have open cuts or burns, or are dehydrated.
Cut out the alcohol - I know, I know, sometimes easier said than done. But as mentioned before, our liver can take quite the beating from all the stuff we throw at it. Alcohol in particular produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde, and in large amounts, it can begin to damage this vital organ. Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates our bodies. Our livers need sufficient water in order for it to do its job properly, so alcohol can be a double-edged sword. So if you’re looking to support your liver, you might want to eliminate or minimize on your alcohol consumption.
Milk Thistle - Often used interchangeably with Silymarin, this herb has been used medicinally for over 2000 years. Milk Thistle can not only help detoxify the liver, but it can actually help protect and rejuvenate the liver. Silymarin helps to preserve glutathione which acts as a master antioxidant. This boost helps to fight oxidative stress and fight free radicals that can harm this vital organ.
Choose organic whenever possible - While organic foods aren’t any more nutritious than non-organic, they can help ease the burden on your body. Organic farming eliminates the use of pesticides and fertilizers from their crop production, which means you’re eliminating them from your diet as well. While organic foods tend to cost more than non-organic, there are some foods that contain higher amount of pesticides that you might want to consider splurging for. Check them out here.
Castor Oil Packs - Castor oil has been used for centuries and can be a gentle way to help detox the body. Although there is a lack of clinical research on the uses of castor oil, it can work by helping to increase blood circulation and the flow of fluids throughout the lymphatic system. Castor oil used topically (externally) penetrates the skin and can help improve liver activity, lymphatic flow and immune function just to name a few. Here is a video to show you how. *Please note: not recommended to be taken orally and do not use when on your monthly cycle.
Rethink your beauty and household products - Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs whatever it comes in contact with. If you’re using products (both beauty and household) full of harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, sulfites, dyes and so on, your body is having to work overtime to break them down, bind them, and excrete them from the body.
Fortunately there are so many natural products on the market now that are affordable and efficient. While i'm not suggesting to throw out all your current products and start anew (because that would be very wasteful), simply start by swapping in natural products when your current products run out.
Hydrate - Yup, this should be an easy one. Like mentioned before, adequate water intake is needed for our livers to do its job most effectively. Have a hard time drinking enough water? Be sure to carry a water bottle with you to help remind you to drink throughout the day. You can also spruce up your water with some lemon/lime and/or herbs like mint, rosemary and basil for added taste, vitamins and minerals.
So while it may feel like we live in an ultra toxic world, our bodies are quite exquisite at taking care of the bad stuff. Our miraculous bodies control over a trillion different processes and reactions in a given moment so supporting our body systems where we can, can be a big help in easing some of the burden.
Disclaimer: Information provided is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. Please always consult your physician or health care provider.
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