To Cleanse Or Not To Cleanse
Ever notice how most people take better care of their car than they do their own bodies? You know, like with regular oil changes every 6 months, whether it needs it or not. And, why do people do this? One of the key purposes, other than to lubricate, oil keeps dirt suspended so it can move it to the oil filter so your car runs more efficiently, while protecting the engine. In much the same way, our body’s systems (liver, skin, bladder, and intestines) act to remove the “dirt”, or waste/toxins, out of our body through bile, sweat, urine and feces so that our body’s systems run more efficiently and keep us free from illness.
8 Signs You Should Probably Do A Cleanse
Sometimes our systems need a little extra support, or a good oil change, so that they can continue doing what they were designed to do, naturally. With heavy exposure to toxins found EVERYWHERE, it can be difficult for our body’s to keep up with eliminating them. This is where cleansing through diet, supplements or fasting comes in. Like the oil in your car’s engine, cleansing helps our systems run better by assisting in the break down of toxins and move them where they need to go in order to be eliminated.
Here’s a list of 8 signs you should probably do a cleanse (or get a tune-up):
- Do you feel like you are not as healthy and active as other people your age?
- Do you have low energy levels?
- Do you often feel down or depressed?
- Do you get more than 1-2 colds a year?
- Do you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, or uterine fibroids?
- Do you often have trouble thinking clearly?
- Do you have sore, achy muscles for no reason?
- Do you have bad breath or stinky stools?
If you answered yes to any of these, you would probably really benefit from a cleanse. Here’s a list of more specific clinical reasons you should consider if you’re still on the fence about trying a cleanse:
You are, have, or have been diagnosed with…
- more than 20 lbs overweight
- history of heavy alcohol use
- natural or synthetic steroid hormone use (anabolic, estrogens, oral contraceptives)
- high exposure to certain chemicals (cleaning solvents, pesticides, antibiotics, diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, thyroid hormone)
- history of viral hepatitis
What Are Toxins?
A toxin is defined as any compound that has a detrimental effect of cell function or structure. Some have minimal negative effect, while others can be fatal.
Examples of toxins
Environmental (filtered through the liver):
- Heavy metals – aluminum found in cookware, certain antacids and drinking water
- Arsenic – found in drinking water
- Cadmium – found in cigarette smoke and drinking water
- Lead – found in cigarette smoke; car exhaust; dolomite, bonemeal, and oyster shell calcium supplements; drinking water
- Mercury – dental amalgams (silver fillings); drinking water; fish and shellfish; air in places where coal is burned to produce electricity
- Nickel – air and water
Persistent Organic Pollutants (filtered through the liver):
- food additives
- Microbial Compounds:
- produced by bacteria and yeast in the gut
Breakdown Products of Protein Metabolism:
- the kidneys are largely in charge of eliminating these toxins and can be supported by drinking adequate amounts of filtered water and not eating excessive amounts of protein
Fat Soluble & Some Heavy Metal Toxins:
- excreted through the skin via sweat
Bowel Bacteria, Fat Soluble, and Mercury & Lead Toxins:
- Excreted through the feces via the intestines
8 Things You Can Do To Aid With The Body’s Natural Detoxification Process
- Decrease exposure
- eat a diet that focuses on fruits & veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds (stay away from saturated fats, refined sugar & alcohol)
- avoid alcohol (or in moderation: no more than a glass of wine or beer or 1 oz of hard liquor for women and double that for men)
- regular exercise
- take high potency multi vitamin and mineral supplements
- use nutritional and herbal supplements to protect the liver and enhance function
- drink 48-64 oz of filtered water daily
- go on a 3-7 day nutritional cleansing at the change of every season
Conclusion – To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse
In addition to the daily things you can do for yourself to aid with natural detoxification, it is clear to see that we can most certainly benefit from cleansing up to 4 times a year (with each change of season). I know from my own experience, cleansing has left me feeling recharged, energized and clear headed. With all the media hype about cleansing, good and bad, it may be difficult to know what to do. I hope this article has helped you to see the benefits cleansing really can have for your over all health and wellness.
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Source: The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Third Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D. & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.you