Posted on Jan 16, 2014 by Amy Knapp
Start your post-holiday season detox today.
Cleansing is something we should all be doing at least once a year. While it may be tempting to buy flashy products from the health food store and feel like you’re doing something great for your body, the fact is you just can’t buy good health. It’s something you have to make happen for yourself.
Getting the order right is vital when cleansing or detoxifying. If you miss a step, your cleanse will be far less effective. For example, the liver and gallbladder can’t cleansed itself if they’re full of parasites. Those bugs need to be cleared first. And once all that toxic badness has been swept away, all that junk in the colon has got to be cleared out for good.
Proper spring cleaning in the body should follow this order.
1. Cleanse your body of parasites
Everyone has parasites. It’s not a disease, nor is it something you should lay awake at night worrying about. Still, it’s important to be mindful. We pick up parasites everywhere, from unwashed fruit and veg, undercooked meat, drinking water, our pets, others humans, and especially during travel. They are to blame for a range of general unpleasantness:
- sugar cravings
- muscle aches
- mood instability
- stomach complaints (constipation, diarrhea, gas, IBS, etc.)
- fatigue (low energy, chronic lethargy, sleep disorders, etc.)
- skin disorders (acne, eczema, dry skin, allergies, etc.)
Parasites aren’t difficult to clear away. Black walnut, wormwood and cloves are the basic ingredients in almost any store-bought parasite cleanse. You can collect these ingredients yourself and follow Dr. Hulda’s Herbal Parasite Cleanse, which doesn’t require any dietary changes, though anyone embarking on a parasite cleanse would be wise to carefully wash and cook their food, and avoid restaurants if possible.
When your body is free of parasites you should feel lighter and more energetic. Likely you won’t need to eat as much, and digestion should come much easier.
2. Rinse out those kidneys
If your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, you’ll probably be unnecessarily lethargic, sleepy or even depressed. If you suffer from frequent water retention, kidney stones or type 2 diabetes, you’ll be a good candidate for a kidney cleanse.
Most health food stores sell kidney cleansing teas or capsules, which use a mixture of the same herbs, notably marshmallow root, red clover and dandelion. When following a kidney cleanse, it’s important to observe a strict diet free of toxins, to help your kidneys do their work. These needn’t be permanent changes, but for the duration of the cleanse try to:
- follow a vegan diet
- switch to sea salt without additives
- avoid caffeine, even green and white teas or yerba maté
- avoid dark chocolate
- quit any prescription medications if possible
- cut out artificial sweeteners
Water is the best medicine for flushing out toxins in the kidney. A few litres a day of clean, quality spring water should do the trick. Qi Gong is great exercise to support kidney cleansing. Get plenty of rest and give your body the space it needs to heal.
3. Cleanse the liver and gallbladder of any stones
Cleansing the liver is a nice way to say bye-bye to the booze-laden holidays and christmas indulgences and start the new year afresh. One obvious way to know your liver and gallbladder need cleansing is if you suffer from gallstones. Doctor’s often jump to recommend surgery to clear those painful annoyances, but it’s possible to rid yourself of them in a weekend or two, without any unpleasant surgery. Many have done this before.
Dr. Hulda’s is the most widely accepted way to cleanse and has detailed instructions for cleansing the liver here, including tips about which of her theories have been disproved, what works and what doesn’t. The basic ingredients are probably already in your home: grapefruit, epsom salts and olive oil. A little black walnut tincture is good for supporting this cleanse since it will unleash more parasites, but it’s not essential.
If you’re suffering from gallstones, this cleanse is worth a shot. It takes just 24 hours, it’s harmless and inexpensive to follow. What’s to lose? Plus, once the liver is clean, you can expect some of these wicked fringe benefits:
- increased sex drive
- clean and clear skin
- better digestion
- fewer aches and pains
- stronger immune system
- most stable moods thanks to balanced hormones
4. Clear out the clutter in the colon and bowels
This is a scary one for many. Most of us imagine starving for 10 days while drinking nothing but lemon water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. While some find the master cleanse to be a great support to colon health and actually enjoy (yes, enjoy!) those 10 days, most of us prefer to take things a little easier.
Diet plays a major role in your colon health. If your stomach is often upset or you’re experiencing constipation more often than not, chances are your body is sending you a message. A warm water enema is an easy way to clean out the bowels, and it’s not nearly as scary as you might think. You can also flush out your intestines by drinking a large glass of salt water (hint: squeeze a little lemon in there to disguise the taste). Stay close to the bathroom for a few hours after that one. It really works!
5. Don’t underestimate the power of a healthy mind
Cleansing the mind is just as important as cleansing the body. The two are intimately connected. One cannot be healthy if the other is sick. Try a meditation practice, learn tapping or EFT, or get a life coach if you know of a good one. Just one baby step to a happier you can have profound repercussions in every area of your life.