Every year about this time, as spring’s energy begins its upward spiral, folks come into Herbiary ready to cleanse.
“What’s your favorite detox?” they ask, imagining that how to detox involves scrubbing their colon, pumping their gallbladder like a piston, and removing every last toxin from their liver.
(My past-students are eye-rolling. They already know where I am going with this.)
I know all the big health gurus say cleanse, cleanse, cleanse.
I say: “Simplify.”
I say: “Detox your life.”
Sounds like a big job, huh?
Luckily it’s a big job made up of lots of small, easy steps. And the good news is: you don’t have to be perfect about it.
Daphne Miller, M.D., author of The Jungle Effect, emphasizes that six weeks of simplified eating each year lowers cholesterol and weight gain for the entirety of the year. Six weeks per year is one long-weekend per month. Totally doable, right?
But a good cleanse is about more than food.
Before you think about the BIG DETOX, consider how to detox your everyday life:
1. Drink enough water.
What’s enough? Take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. The number you get is the number of ounces of water you should drink each day.
And, no, soda, coffee, tea, and juice are not water!
If you’re retaining water, try putting a squirt of dandelion leaf tincture into your water bottle.
2. Cut your sugar intake.
Whatever your sugar intake is, simply cut it in half. So if you normally take a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, put a half teaspoon instead.
When I say sugar, I am talking about the white stuff. There are many different sugars, and your body processes them all differently. But what we encounter most, in baked goods, processed foods, and various beverages is granulated sugar from sugar cane.
What’s the problem with sugar?
The sweet stuff has been separated from the fiber of the sugar cane. It’s the fiber that lets your body know that you have had enough and stops you from binging. Also, white sugar is processed mainly in the liver, which is an over-worked organ. So feeding it lots of white sugar is kind of like dropping a huge stack of reports onto the desk of the busiest person in the office.
3. Reduce products that contain “fragrance.”
The chemical compounds used to create fragrance in everything from deodorant to laundry detergent to room spray often contain toxins (note: the ingredient “fragrance” is not the same as “essential oil.” Essential oils come from plants and are incredibly complex. Fragrances come from the laboratory, where scientists have not yet replicated nature’s sprawl of chemical compounds, which can balance our toxins).
These substances have to be processed by your over-worked liver. Go fragrance-free to reduce the workload, letting your liver catch up on functions that are fundamental to your well being.
Yep, it’s that easy. The latest studies show that sleep allows the brain to detox.
So what’s my favorite detox?
I keep it simple: non-starchy veggies and fish and/or lentils to eat. Veggie juices, veggie broths, herbal teas, and water with lemon to drink. Baths with epsom salt and apple cider vinegar.
Ultimately, when it comes to how to detox, the process should help the organs in your body process waste that has built up over time. Think of it as a few days to clear the backlog without adding new work to the mix.
And the good news? Three days of this a month will give your liver a new lease on life.
Simply click here to get your free copy of A Witchy Woman’s Guide to Spring Cleaning & Detoxing. It’s full of fun facts and juicy information about how to detox inside & out!