Herbal Detox For Health

How to detox for a healthier life

Detoxification is a way of assisting your body to rid itself of the toxins stored in your tissues. Detoxification can clean the body of accumulated toxins helping us to regain energy and to function better; we need to remember that detoxification is not one single event but part of an ongoing process. Gradual change is better than a sharp short shock when it comes to detox. This involves eating more healthy, less processed foods, cutting down or eliminating fast foods, caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and drugs. An organic diet, drinking lots of water and getting regular exercise all help to facilitate the detox process.

Herbs offer a short and reasonably gentle way to aid detoxification. Many herbs not only detox but also stimulate the metabolism and increase blood flow to vital tissue, for example, antifungal herbs prohibit the growth of yeasts that can cause candida, and anti-oxidants help protect against free radicals.

People nearly always mention fasting when you detox. This is not always beneficial or needed. Fasting does not mean refraining from eating or drinking and it does not have to be depressing or austere. I would not recommend fasting for longer than 24 hours, and during this time you must drink as much fluid as possible. Anyone thinking of fasting must be in good health. It not recommended for young children, the elderly, the chronically ill, those suffering from a serious disease, anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol or who has been exposed to dangerous chemicals. In any of these cases consult a qualified health practitioner first - the same goes for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

When we detoxify we need to take life more gently, it is a time to reflect about the emotional and physical reason that may have caused the toxins, it's a time to confront these reasons and make the changes necessary to stop future toxin build up. This is a time to treat your body and relax your mind. Take a massage, do yoga, have a sauna, mineral baths or an herbal wrap -all of these help with the detoxification process.

Herbs to use for detoxing

Natural Laxatives and diuretics

While you are fasting it is important to keep your kidneys working well as they are extremely important in the process of eliminating toxins.

Juniper berries (Juniperus communis) strengthen and detoxify the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract. As a word of warning do not use juniper berries long term but from time to time and when you may have a kidney infection it works extremely well as a cleanser. Nettle (Urtica dioica) is an extremely good diuretic as is burdock root that is very similar to the nettle in its gentle diuretic actions.

Psyllium husks and seeds (Plantago indica, P. ovata and P. psyllium) are good gentle natural laxative. It is also adaptogenic and makes a good treatment for Irritable Bowel syndrome. Liquorice root -"the great harmoniser" in Chinese medicine, is mildly laxative and good from nourishing the adrenal glands. Alfalfa sprouts are also a good all round laxative.

Detox the liver

Milk thistle (Carduus marianus syn. Silybum marianum) and dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) help to cleanse and strengthen the liver. Milk thistle contains silymarin, which is believed to help with liver regeneration as well as being an antioxidant, while Dandelion root also helps remove waste from both the liver and the gallbladder. Milk thistle is a natural antioxidant.

Lymphatic system

One function of the lymphatic system is to remove waste from cells, many people believe that cellulite is a symptom of inadequate lymphatic drainage. The following are the best herbs, in essential oil form, to stimulate the lymphatic system and draw toxins out from under the skin. Basil (Ocimum basilicum), thyme (Thymus vulgarus but use carefully as it can be irritating to the skin), celery (Apium graveolens), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), and lemon (Citrus limon).

Blend three of these different oils, for a total of fifteen to twenty drops, in one ounce of carrier oil and use for massage or skin brushing.

Good luck!