The detoxification process
The festive season has come and gone and for most of us that means getting back into the swing of things after a well deserved bit of indulgence. For a lot of us we can instantaneously feed into a cycle of lack and restriction - cutting out food groups, overexercising and not allowing for a sense of ease in the body and mind all in the name of detoxification.
The good news is that the body detoxes itself on a daily basis. Of course we can always provide a little herbal nudge and assistance to allow for the body to optimise its processes and allow for some support.
Healthy detoxification has shown to increase energy levels, improve digestion, promote mental clarity, ease pains, balance hormones, support immune function, balance sleep cycles and reduce less healthy food cravings.
They key organ that we have to thank for this process is the liver
Dr. Saleh Alqatani from Johns Hopkins medicine writes: ““The liver removes all toxins, clears medication from your body, and metabolizes [breaks down] all your food.”
In fact the liver performs about 500 different functions in order to facilitate your health and wellbeing - so there are numerous reasons for needing to pay more attention to this incredible organ. Dr. Saleh also writes that we cannot live a week without this previous organ - on a daily basis the liver regulates blood sugar levels, adjusts cholesterol, builds proteins, aids in fat absorption, stores sugar and processes toxins.
There are three key organs that play a vital role in assisting the body in its ongoing detoxification process:
A healthy liver processes toxins which enter the body and halts them before they pass into the bloodstream. It works tirelessly to cleanse the blood, store essential minerals, vitamins and iron and breaks down fats.
It further acts in the following ways:
- produces proteins and cholesterol
- breaks down toxins (such as bilirubin, ammonia and others), alcohol and medications
- destroys old red blood cells
- regulates blood through proteins, fats and sugars
- processes nutrients to allow for optimal absorption in the intestines
- produces chemicals to aid in blood clotting
- stores minerals, vitamin A and iron
Our life holders - in Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys are said to be some of the most important organs in our bodies in that they allow for the balance of all apposing energies to find equilibrium thus allowing for our life force to flow. The kidneys act in a magical perpetual cycle in which they filter all waste, toxins and excess water from your blood - cleansing themselves in the process.
The Colon/ Large intestine receives food from the small intestines in a liquefied form where most of the nutrients have been absorbed. The colons mission is to dehydrate whats left in order to allow for healthy elimination, it does this by absorbing liquids such as electrolytes and water. Microbes and bacteria break down all waste material further to all for assimilation of all nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Here the colon has the objective to eliminate what is necessary and effectively - healthy metabolic processes and digestion allows for healthy detoxification of the gut and body at large.
Onto the herbs:
- Avoid saturated, hydrogenated and rancid oils
- try cut out trans fat, refined carbs and processed sugary foods, instead look at pre and pro-biotic rich, fresh, soluble fibres, healthy proteins and carbohydrates which energise the body.
- Reduce salt intake to reduce water retention
- consume anti-inflammatories in the form of foods and herbs
- eat a balanced and well rounded diet to promote gut resilience and balance
- Introduce more colours, flavours and variety to your diet
- Eat fermented foods
- Move the body in ways that feel good to you on that day, in that moment
- Drink enough water
- Avoid fad diets
And always - have balance
. . .