Detox has become such a buzz word and a sort of panacea for all bodily issues. Digestive troubles? You need a detox. Skin issues? Do a detox and your skin will be clear. General malaise? Better detox your organs.
The premise is that our bodies are taking in toxins from all kinds of sources: our foods, bath and body products, the environment, everywhere, and that in order to be healthy we need to get rid of those toxins. However, the answer isn’t so simple as a three-day detox.
Yes, many of the things that are in our soil, our food, and our lives are toxins. They are bad for us. But, our bodies are as self-cleaning systems. Think liver, fevers, the whole digestive system. Those clean out the bad guys and make room for the good guys. Should you overload your system with fast food, alcohol, drugs of any kind, and diesel fumes? No, absolutely, not. But, if you are relatively mindful about what you put in and on your body, it will take care of itself.
What often happens when you do a detox is you remove an offending item from your daily life, and then add in something else that is supposed to clear that toxin from your body. Chances are, you feel either pretty horrible or euphoric during this process. Then once the protocol is over the original toxin is right back where it was. In the meantime, your body has swung quickly from one extreme to the other and back again. That’s not so easy on your system.
Instead of periodically removing harmful substances from your life, it’s much gentler on your body to permanently, or mostly, remove the toxin and let your body do its natural detox process. Sometimes you might feel the need to support your body while this is happening, but that is much different than throwing your body into a sudden violent course of action.
Unless you walk around wearing a personal ventilator and grow your own food in a perfectly controlled organic laboratory, you can’t get away from toxins. There are things you can do to help lessen the amount your body takes in, though, like eating food that is as close to its natural form as possible, using products that are only made from earth-created items, and supporting your body when it needs. So slowly wean yourself off your Cheetos and Aqua-Net and do what you normally do, but with more natural versions instead.
If you feel like your body needs a little extra support through this process that might be called detox, there are some teas you can drink to help.
- Dandelion is known for its overall body support, especially to the liver and kidneys. The gentlest way to consume dandelion is by steeping the tea in hot water for 5 – 7 minutes. If you want more power from your dandelion, make an infusion by steeping 1 ounce of the tea in 4 cups of boiling water until the water has cooled to room temp. Strain the leaves, and drink about a cup of this infusion daily for as long as you feel necessary.
- Puer, or pu-erh, teas are also known to help detox the body, as the dry tea leaves have been fermented. These teas have caffeine, so brew as you normally would any black tea. If you’re caffeine-sensitive it’s probably best to stay away from puer tea. Just a cup or two when you feel called to it is all you need.
- Not really a tea, but made from tea, is kombucha. This is a fermented sweet tea that is said to cure everything from anxiety and arthritis, to digestive issues and weight loss. My personal experience with kombucha has been a very strong immune system.
So just be gentle with your body. Put good things in, and let it take care of itself. Support rather than force. Be kind to yourself.
*This is not medical advice and is not to be taken as such, but rather to get you thinking about how you treat your body.