As you turn the page on the calendar to a new year, do you feel like you need to turn a new page of your health too? Do you feel like you need a reset? Maybe you feel like.. You’ve considered doing a detox but your not sure if it will help? Medical studies show there are several benefits to detoxing. 1
Where to Start
From a whole systems, functional medicine perspective we always start with diet, and targeted herbs and nutrients to help up-regulate detox mechanisms. Please join Bridgit Danner’s DIY Detox Summit to learn more about how you can Detox on your own. In the meantime here are eight things you can DIY at home for yourself.
1. Lymph Drainage
A great place to start your detox with is your lymphatic system. Why? Because the lymphatic system is how your body gets rid of waste, fluids and other unwanted toxins, from deep inside tissues, draining off the space outside cells.
Recent findings have shed new light on just how important this system is to your body. This network of tissues and vessels is responsible for absorption of fluids back into your bloodstream. Many immune system cells are in the lymph fluid and it is actively involved in autoimmune inflammation. Healthy, flowing lymph and vessels keep the body in a state of homeostatic balance, keeps your heart healthy, and reduces inflammation. It even helps prevent obesity. 2
Unfortunately with chronic toxins and infectious exposures the lymph fluids become very gummy and get backed up and sluggish. To make sure your lymphatic system keeps moving, you can encourage it along with a few natural remedies. Try daily dry brushing your skin before showering or using a loofah sponge- start at your extremities and move toward your heart.
Movement is critically important to lymphatic system health. Even If you are experiencing fatigue or recovering from an injury, you can do very gentle bouncing and stretching, to keep the lymphatic fluids from stagnating and causing edema. Try and add a little exercise throughout your day, even just small bounces with your feet and calves. A rebounder mini-trampoline is a great tool, especially if you have knee or back issues.
You can consider using a Chi machine, a BioMat, a vibrating plate, a BEMER mat, gentle percussion wands or a specially trained lymph therapist to help with improving lymph drainage. If you’re in the DFW area check out Carpathia’s lymphatic drainage circuit with a number of these modalities.
Sweating is a great way to detoxify the body and it stimulates your lymphatic system. Most of the year in Texas we just tell people to go outside. But in these colder months, or if you don’t live in Texas, consider using an infrared sauna several times a week. There is medical evidence that using saunas frequently may lead to longer life because you sweat out those nasty toxins. 3 Ozone saunas have the added benefit of ozone to kill off pathogens, and stimulate energy production and can be very beneficial.
Soak in a hot Epsom salt bath, with several drops of high quality frankincense and lavender essential oils. The magnesium sulfate in the salts relaxes muscles and blood vessels while the Sulphur component aids detoxification- the essential oils are anti-inflammatory and soothing. Make sure your bath is as hot as your skin can handle to encourage sweating.
Of course one of the best ways to work up a good sweat is a good workout!
3. Stimulate Bile Production
Why should you even care about bile production? Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder and helps to digest fats. Bile holds on to the toxins that are fat soluble. The above ideas helped flush out water soluble toxins but what about the toxins that are stored in your fat? To get rid of these toxins, you need to stimulate bile production.
Try Swedish Bitters
Swedish bitters, a liquid extract of many different bitter herbs including dandelion, is a “cholegogue”, promoting bile production in the liver. Ten drops in a small amount of water can be taken 15 minutes before each meal, as a great way to support digestion and liver detox. In addition, they are anti-inflammatory and help with immunity. You can find them in most high-end grocery stores or natural health food stores
Many foods and herbs can help stimulate bile production and up regulate liver detoxing enzymes. Pack your diet with cruciferous vegetables, beets, garlic, radicchio, kale, endive, arugula, celery, and radishes. Good fats and oils help signal the gall bladder to empty– use them liberally to get it flowing.
You can manually compress the liver and intestines to help stimulate bile emptying by using a soft 4-6 inch physical therapy ball to roll around on while laying on your abdomen. Placing it under your ribcage while lying on your right side helps to compress the liver with each deep breath you take.
4. Try an Enema — It’s Not as Bad as You Think
Unfortunately constipation, IBS and SIBO are frequent complications of mold and biotoxin illness, especially when taking binders. Keeping the bowels moving and emptied, along with stimulating the liver to release toxins is critical to getting toxins out of you so they don’t recirculate. You’ve heard about enemas but they don’t sound pleasant. However they can provide an amazing amount of relief and sense of well being, as part of a comprehensive detox program.
We recommend coffee enemas because they stimulate bile excretion and help your body make glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps to expel the poisons in your system.4 They also help cleanse the colon. Coffee enemas are an old, simple, inexpensive healing technique that has long been used in the fields of integrative cancer treatments.
Some coffees contain mold. You want to make sure you are getting the right type and recommended amount of coffee. Here’s a link to information on how and why to do this correctly and to using a clean, green coffee with no mold.
5. Increase Your Fluid Intake to Detoxify Your Body
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. As you sweat and move those fluids out of your body you want to make sure you are well hydrated and replenish electrolytes and minerals as well.
Need a change up from plain water? Try this simple Detox Tea recipe and make your own chemical and dye free Lemon-Ade electrolyte drink instead of Gatorade.
1 organic bunch of cilantro
1 organic bunch of parsley
Fresh ginger the size of your thumb- sliced
Filtered Water 2 quarts
Simmer over a warm stove for 30 minutes. Drain the herbs.
Drink a mug full 1-3 times a day to support liver detox enzymes. Parsley and Cilantro are particularly good at helping to chelate heavy metals.
With all this sweating, pooping, and peeing, you need to properly replace electrolytes and trace minerals being lost.
To your water bottle add:
BodyBio Elyte* 1 capful,
BodyBio Liquid Trace Minerals* 1 capful
A big squeeze of lemon juice to your water bottle daily
*Use Coupon Code “Carpathia-P” for 20% off
6. Clean Up Your Cosmetics!
You’ve cleansed your body by changing what you’ve put into it and you’re feeling better. But now you’re wondering if what you are putting on your body is harmful too?
Think about it: we know that topical transdermal hormonal therapy works, so chemicals that are applied to the skin from all the lotions and potions we use cross into the body too. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body!
The EU has banned 1,328 substances found in skincare and cosmetics, while the US has only banned 11!! The US for all its regulatory bodies does NOT regulate what goes into your skincare products as closely as they do in Europe. Many of these agents are linked to cancer and birth defects.
Can you believe Mercury is found in many beauty products like mascara, eye drops and some creams?! Repeated use of these beauty products allows your body to take in mercury. This absorption of mercury by your skin can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. 6
Lead is commonly known as a hormone disruptor and neurologic toxin. Lead has been banned in paint and gasoline, but there are no current FDA limits on its use in eyelines, hair dyes, and lipsticks! Because it is considered a containment and not an ingredient, it may not be listed on your packaging.
Have you been using the same shampoo for generations? Some shampoos and conditioners contain Diethanolamine as an emulsifier. Diethanolamine has been shown in animal studies to be a cancer causing agent. Even some baby shampoos have chemicals in them that can cause neurological damage. Make sure your beauty products are as clean as possible. Beauty Counter is a good resource.
7. Detox Your Home
Have you noticed that your eyes are itchy? Nose and throat feel irritated? Frequent headaches? Your home, like your body, is where you live your life. But is your home a safe place to breath?
Unfortunately, indoor air quality can be worse than outdoors, especially because of standard cleaning products, cheap candles, synthetic “air fresheners”, and off-gassing of formaldehyde and other VOC’s [volatile organic compounds] from synthetic building materials and carpets . Of course toxic mold and mycotoxins from water damage buildings is high on the list of VOC’s. Many of these volatile organic compounds are known to damage the central nervous system, are hormone disruptors and irritating to the lungs and sinuses.
Switch to non-toxic natural cleaning products such as vinegar and water with essential oils. Consider investing in a quality HEPA +Charcoal air filter, especially for your bedrooms.
Where are these volatile compounds in your home? Standard synthetic cleaning products, “plug-ins”, laundry detergents and synthetic candles are all common sources. Even toilet deodorizers. Cheap candles. Formaldehyde from dry cleaning chemicals and pressed wood can all wreak havoc on your system. Using a HEPA air filter with a charcoal filter can help get rid of irritating particulates and VOCs.
The first step I recommend as a toxic mold specialist is to make sure your home and office are not mycotoxin environments. Exposure to water damaged drywall from past floods or water damage has been associated with many debilitating health conditions. 9
Those chemicals you use to clean your house are full of toxins. Clean your house with water and vinegar and essential oils. This old fashioned method cleans as well as any of the new products. Use non-toxic soaps and laundry detergents. Try to not use anything with aerosol.
8. Not Your Normal Warning About Detoxing
One thing we warn patients about when detoxing their bodies, is it does carryover to other parts of your life. Physically detoxing can also lead to emotional detoxing. Be prepared for things to come up for you that you have buried or hidden. Removing your favorite food and chemical crutches may bring up suppressed emotions. To keep your sanity avoid toxic people, stressful TV programs and news and stop watching all negative and stressful media, Talk to someone so you don’t bury or hide these issues again.