How to Detoxify Safely and Naturally
Gastrointestinal function in general is intimately tied to our overall health. Our neurological system is tightly intertwined with our gastrointestinal system and much of our immune system resides within the gastrointestinal system. Not only is the gastrointestinal system responsible for digestion of food and removal of toxins, it encounters microbial invaders and potential allergens on a continual basis.
When the gastrointestinal system is out of balance or not functioning properly, every system in the body is affected. The biggest enemies of normal gastrointestinal function are processed foods (with high sugar, starch, and fat content, but low dietary fiber) and emotional stress. These seem to go together all too often.
How can “detoxing” benefit the body?
Toxins are also a significant contributor to disease, so it is very important to limit toxins that are floating in your system. Toxins increase oxidative stress and disable the immune system, allowing microbes to set up shop. Toxins poison biochemical reactions, disturbing essential functions in the body.
Imagine your body as a large basin of water. It is resting at the bottom of a slow moving stream and receives a trickle of water continually. A small valve at the bottom of the basin allows the same amount of water to escape, so the level of water in the basin is always the same.
Now imagine that the stream is contaminated and the water trickling into the basin is cloudy. This will cause the water in the basin to also be cloudy, and over time, sediment will begin to collect in the bottom of the basin.
If you enjoy foods that contain sugar, wheat, and dairy, then you’ve been letting a “cloudy” water stream in and have collected accumulated toxins and harmful bacteria in your system. I know that is a disturbing picture, but don’t worry – your body is prepared to reset and recharge. But in order for your body to accomplish this, you need to set the stage.
By supporting your body’s intrinsic strategies for detoxification and elimination, you can help your body to prevent toxins from accumulating from in your tissues.
What are the steps for complete detoxification & rebooting?
1. Clean the inflow stream. This is the first, most critical step! During the detoxification period, everything that goes into your body should be crystal clean (fresh, whole foods – absolutely no sugar, wheat or dairy).
2. Get rid of unfriendly bacteria in the gut and on the skin. Strictly eliminating processed food cuts off the food supply to these pests, but it takes a while for die off to occur. Take a high-quality probiotic to re-seed the gut with friendly bacteria and suppress growth of unwanted opportunists.
3. Convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble toxins. Most toxic substances are fat-soluble and are retained in fatty tissues. We depend on our liver to convert these fat-soluble substances into less toxic water-soluble substances that can be removed more easily. This is a hard job. As we age, the liver becomes less efficient at detoxification and other functions such as regulating cholesterol and glucose.
Keeping the liver working optimally is important for purifying your system. Milk thistle (along with other herbs found in Prevention Plus) enhances flow through the liver and supports normal liver function.
4. Prevent reabsorption of toxins. Fiber from fresh vegetables holds onto toxins and pulls them from the body. It can also surround toxins that are in the intestine, thus preventing their reabsorption. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber holds water-soluble toxins within the colon for removal. Insoluble fiber makes up the bulk of feces; this type of fiber helps to push everything through.
5. Eliminate toxins that are floating in your system. After processing by the liver, by-products of the detoxification process must be removed from the body. There are three main pathways for removal: the colon, kidneys, and sweat glands.
To accomplish this, you need to get things moving. Exercise mobilizes toxins from tissues by increasing blood flow. If exercise is not practical, try a far infrared sauna. Supplements that support optimal blood flow (Prevention Plus) can enhance the process.
Drinking plenty of clean liquids will flush the kidneys. Kidney function can also be supported with cordyceps and other adaptogenic herbs. Chlorella, a fresh water algae, is a great purifying agent that can be taken as a supplement to expedite toxin removal.
Flushing toxins from your system takes time and is an ongoing process!
Living free and clear of toxins will allow your body to perform at a high level and heal itself quickly and effectively. You’ll be amazed at what your body can do when provided the right opportunity.
Detoxing with supplements and a clean diet for ten days will be a huge step in the right direction, but these clean gut practices must be continued long term if you want to truly optimize your health.
Reprinted with permission from Vital Plan.
Bill Rawls, MD is an advocate for individuals with fibromyalgia and related conditions. Board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Rawls has always focused his practice on health and wellness. After experiencing fibromyalgia and Lyme disease first hand, he shifted toward helping others with those conditions. He uses his passions for writing and study of natural herbal medicine to reach out to those left behind by the current healthcare system. Through books and health restoration protocols available through Vital Plan, he paves the way toward a better life. His latest book, Suffered Long Enough, puts the pieces together for fibromyalgia and Lyme disease sufferers and offers a safe pathway back to normal health.