Natural Living

By Irene Fogarty

As you well know, most detox processes benefit the organs: the skin (our biggest organ), kidneys, lungs, etc. And with all the pollutants, chemicals and free radicals in the air and food today, it’s really good to take time out and just flush the body of all toxins. You’ll feel a lot lighter, more energetic and you’ll probably want to eat healthier food after it. But before you jump right in, you should know the basics on detoxification, so you’ll know what to expect. Here are a few things you may or may not already know.

Liver Cleanse Basics
Back to anatomy 101. We detoxify within the liver, kidneys, intestines, lymph, blood, and in every cell on an ongoing basis. Waste is transformed into bile and is eliminated through the liver. Bile contains most of the body’s metabolic waste, from deceased blood cells to the toxins the liver has filtered out from the system. Bile moves from the liver to the gallbladder and is then secreted into the intestines. Here it breaks down fats and lubricates bowel movements before it is eliminated. Bile serves as a natural laxative as well as normalizing intestines, and any increase in its production and secretion leads to an increase in our body’s ability to cleanse out toxins and waste.

Protect your liver even during detox
Remember it’s important while detoxifying to understand your liver’s capability. The liver is unable to completely purify the system of all toxins while new substances are still coming into the body on a regular basis. By the time the liver is ready to start getting rid of toxins, new ones are introduced and the liver must deal with a new load of incoming toxins rather than finishing up the last batch. So it is easy to see how the liver can become overburdened, congested, and stagnant. What to do? Enter the herb, Milk Thistle.

Got Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum)?

What it is:
This cleansing herb has been used for thousands of years in Europe to treat liver gall bladder problems as well as alcoholic cirrhosis….paddy’s take note!

What it does:
Milk Thistle protects the liver. The seedlike fruits of milk thistle contain 3 liver-protecting compounds collectively known as silymarin, or milk thistle extract. Silymarin, a powerful antioxidant, strengthens liver cells, preventing toxins from harming the liver.

How it comes:
Liquid tincture or capsule form
How to take it:

Tincture form: Take 2ml (50 drops) 3 times daily, alone or with other skin clarifying herbs.

Capsule form: take 250mg daily, alone or with other skin clarifying herbs, or as directed by doctor.

Precautions:
None when taken at recommended dosage. If pregnant, consult with your doctor first.

Dizzy? Crabby? Spotty? You got the detox blues.

As your liver begins to detox, most toxins will be processed and moved out. Some of the symptoms of detoxification include: dizziness, lack of appetite, tiredness, nausea, headache, increased body odor, hives, rashes, or mild skin outbreaks. Lovely right? Well just remember when you cleanse the internal organs, blood, and lymph, some detoxification symptoms are normal and expected. After all, think of the days, months, and years of abuse you’ve put your body through. Now it’s payback time. So quit your complaining. It’ll be worth it in the long run. You’ll reap the rewards at the end: a cleaner liver and better looking skin. You’ll see, just be patient.

Elim, Elimination
I won’t harp on about this but when detoxifying one thing to look out for is that you have daily bowel movements in order to ensure that the newly released toxins are not being reabsorbed back into the system. If you don’t eliminate on a regular basis, (at least once a day), then the newly released toxins may be re-absorbed back into the bloodstream and liver. So be sure to keep an eye on this.

Originally published March 2006
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