Why Do A Cleanse? November 06 2013

Our bodies are natural healing vessels.  We cleanse and restore on a daily basis, processing the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the dyes we color our hair with, the alcohol we consume and the products we lather on our body.  Sometimes however, our ever busy, ever stressed, over consuming lifestyle leads to a buildup of toxins in our bodies.

Here's a brief look overview of our own extraordinary detoxification system:

The skin:  The largest of the detoxifying organs is responsible for releasing toxins through our sweat and also absorbing chemicals and pollution through the pores of our skin.  Cells are sloughed off on a daily basis and but regenerated at the same to keep this organ system functioning efficiently.

The colon: Essentially a lengthy tube that interfaces the external world with the internal body. The cells that line the intestine function as a defense barrier and a carrier tube for dumping toxins through elimination.  Regular bowel movements are important to eliminate toxins before they build up and harm you.

The liver: This hardworking organ allows nutrients from your food to enter your bloodstream while sequestering toxins like pesticides and heavy metals. The liver then excretes those toxins in bile, which eventually flows into the intestines to be eliminated.

The lungs: The lungs are our 24 hr purification system, filtering out damaging pollutants and particulates. Tiny filaments called cilia line airways and help prevent pollutants from passing into your blood.

The kidneys: We have two kidneys responsible for filtering all of the blood in the body every 45 minutes. The filtered toxins are then excreted in your urine. 

In optimal health the above organs function in synergy to keep you feeling your best.  Unfortunately, for most of us we have a weakness or “backup” in one or more of our detox organs. 

The list of symptoms caused by impaired detox ability includes but is not limited to:

  • Acne and rashes- Again as the largest elimination organ of the body it is most prone side effects from chemicals and toxins
  • Decreased energy- A key role in energy production requires methylation (an aspect of detoxification) in the liver.
  • Female hormone imbalances- Defects in detoxification cause hormones to become partially metabolized, blocking the action of active hormones and throwing off natural feedback mechanisms.
  • Depression and mood disorders. A healthy gut and liver are crucial for proper synthesis of the brains “natural feel good” chemicals.
  • Brain fog and cognitive decline.
  • Digestive distress and irregular bowel movements

A cleanse program is generally a good idea to do 1-2 times per year. A program can range from one week to one month.  In our experience, a program that is a minimum of 3 weeks is optimal.  It takes 3 weeks to break bad habits and the same time to learn new habits. A cleanse program helps us re-establish the basic health guidelines we should align our lifestyles with on a consistent basis.

Most cleanse programs are designed to remove all poor quality food and toxins from your diet.  This means ditching processed foods, industrial seed oils, and refined sugar, as well as common food allergens, grains. Secondly a cleanse program reminds you to reduce your exposure to chemicals at home. This means choosing non-toxic household cleaning, beauty and hygiene products.  Finally, it is important to support a cleanse program with herbs and nutrients that support phase I and phase II detox in the liver.  One of the biggest problems with many commercial cleanse products is that they only contain nutrients that regulate Phase I cleansing. This is disadvantageous because for every toxin that is converted in Phase I an equally toxic free radical is generated.  These free radicals are neutralized in Phase II, but if you boost Phase I cleansing without addressing defects in Phase II, you’ll increase the amount of free radicals produced without improving the body’s ability to deal with them. Consider a physician approved cleanse to boost your health from good to optimal.