Your guide to detoxing
Detoxing has become very popular over the last few years as a way to potentially increase your health and wellbeing by eliminating toxins that may be stored in the body. But what is detoxing, and is it really necessary?
Toxins are chemicals that may be acquired by exposure to environmental pollutants, as a result of the by-products of viruses, bacteria and normal cellular activities, or from the food and drinks we consume.
According to advocates of detoxing, periodic, regular cleansing is required to ensure toxins are eliminated from the body and are not allowed to build up and potentially cause problems. This may be in the form of taking detoxing herbal mixes, fasting, colonic irrigation or dietary restrictions (or all of these) and is usually recommended for a particular period of time.
Many medical experts, however, believe that going through a detox is unnecessary and is not supported by current research. Our bodies are already able, through complex mechanisms, to rid itself of these toxins and the liver, kidneys and digestive system work very well to neutralise potentially harmful substances and then enable them to pass from the body.
Both camps will agree that there are some specific things that can be done to improve your health:
- Eliminating exposure to cigarette smoke and other chemicals, particularly in household products
- Ensuring you are getting enough sleep
- Cutting down on alcohol (even better, cutting it out altogether)
- Eating a healthy diet high in organic produce and staying away from junk food
- Minimising stress and stimulants, such as coffee
- Exercising every day, even if it is just going for a walk to begin with
- Having vegetable juices with small amounts of fruit instead of soft drinks
- Drinking plenty of water
- Including supplements such as antioxidant-rich Olive Leaf Extract to support your immune system year-round, as well as a good multivitamin and St Mary’s Thistle (also known as milk thistle) to support liver and kidney function are important additions to changes in lifestyle and diet. If on any medications, please consult your healthcare professional before commencing any supplements or herbs.
There is no need to go to extreme measures when thinking about detoxing, nor is there any call for buying special detox kits or formulations. Thinking of the types of changes listed as a ‘detox’ can actually help to reset your thinking on living consciously and help to set new habits in place for the long term.