We are living in a very toxic world, so it’s only natural that we would want to keep on top of removing all the harmful substances from our body on a regular basis. No matter how much we try, we can’t avoid exposure to toxins of various kinds.
Very often, persistent or recurring health conditions are the result of a build up of toxins in the body.
We can try our best by eating only organic food, using non toxic products, and filtering our water. However, it’s not just bacteria, viruses, fungi, fluoride, chlorine, pesticides and herbicides that we need to be worried about these days, but also radiation, heavy metals, food additives, medications, and the many other stealth cancer causing chemicals which lurk in most of our everyday products, and also in the very air we breathe.
Below are just some of the common ingredients found in everyday products.
(We are often unaware of this exposure and more worryingly, many of these substances are neuro-toxic and carcinogenic).
Parabens, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate, and sodium laureth sulphate), DEA, Aluminium, Parasites, Formaldehyde, VOCs, Lead, BPA, Phthalates, Petrochemicals, gas fumes, Benzene, Arsenic, Acetone, Excito-toxins, Aspartame, Mercury, Barium, Triclosan, Teflon, nitrosamines, nitrates, nitrites.
Below I have listed some common sources which contain these substances:
Tap water, Cookware, Plastic containers, Amalgam fillings, Vaccines, Medications, Bottled water, Non-organic foods, Processed foods, Toothpastes, Shampoos, Conditioners, Perfumes, Make-up, Nail varnish, Hair dyes, Bubble bath, Household cleaners, Soaps, Mouthwash, Moisturisers Sunscreen, nappy creams, Fruit Juices, Baby formula, Fizzy drinks, Fish and shellfish, Mercury thermometers, Light bulbs, Fluorescent bulbs, Barometers, Tin cans, Metal food and drinks containers, New Clothing and Bedding, packaging, Fire retardant furniture, MDF furniture, faux leather clothing and upholstery, plastic toys.
If you’re not convinced of how common these toxins are – Do your own research, you don’t have to take my word for it! Educate yourself about the toxic world we’re living in and check your labels! HERE is a link to a previous post which gives a list of ingredients to avoid in personal care products.
I will be posting soon about safe and natural alternatives for many of the above products, but for now we’ll concentrate on how to safely and naturally remove these toxins.
It is extremely beneficial to include some natural detoxifying ingredients to our daily diet, to ensure a safe long term detoxification. This will aid the body’s natural toxin removal process and prevent the long term build up, (which if not removed can cause many serious health problems). Heavy metals for example, have been linked to degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers. Heavy metals, even in tiny quantities, are neuro-toxic and are NOT naturally passed through the body, so they accumulate eventually causing serious health problems. Also auto-immune conditions are now also being linked to vaccines and food additives. The more the research and studies continue, the more we are finding out that these toxins are poisoning us and our environment.
Where to start?
There is a common mistake many people make when deciding to embark upon detoxing the body, the misconception that you can go 30, 40 or even 50 years or more into your life without ever cleansing your body and then try to detox a lifetimes worth of toxins in just a few days or a week or two using an intense short term detox program, and then revert back to the same old eating and lifestyle habits you had before. This is rather naive when considering what you are trying to achieve in maintaining your state of health.
It’s important that at the start of any change in lifestyle, that you are mentally prepared for making the changes necessary. So it is always recommended to improve your mental and emotional state first. You can begin by using relaxation, stress management techniques and meditation prior to the physical diet changes. Some people may experience emotional reactions when they start a new nutritional routine, plus those who are set in their ways with firm habits, may find it stressful at first until new habits are formed.
(However once you begin to feel the health benefits of good nutrition, you won’t want to go back to your old habits!)
Detoxification stages we need to consider for regaining optimum health include –
Bowel & Parasite cleanse
Dental Clean up & Amalgam Removal
Kidney Cleanse & Liver Cleanse
There are many ways to clean up your lifestyle and nutritional habits to remove toxins such as –
- Embark upon a two day liquid only fast once a week (this gives the body’s systems time to rest and aid in the natural detoxification process)
- Do a cleansing diet once every couple of months (This consists of eating only fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for 7-10 days)
- Drink lemon water daily (use freshly squeezed lemon juice in your water every day to boost vitamin intake and boost the immune system)
- Meditate (It is important to include meditation into your daily routine, after all our whole being consists of more than just the physical body. We have a mental body, emotional body and a spiritual body also. Many people forget this, and unfortunately most are not in touch with the non tangible aspects of themselves)
- Cut out pasteurised dairy, alcohol and sugar as much as possible.
- Do your best to limit exposure to the various toxins listed above.
*Psyllium Husks (whole husks)
*Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
*Raw Apple Cider Vinegar —(More info about ACV HERE)
(I have covered the use of bentonite clay, diatomaceous earth and psyllium husks in this post. I will be posting more information about the greens and apple cider vinegar in further posts)
I have given more details and pictures below about each of these ingredients and how to take them safely and effectively. My advice would be to begin introducing each ingredient into your diet gradually. This approach is useful in being able to observe how your body responds and helps in finding your own preferred regime.
Bentonite clay sometimes known as Montmorillonite refers to edible Bentonite Clay that belongs to the smectite family of clays. These clays were formed from volcanic activity millions of years ago and have been used to detoxify and improve health and well being for thousands of years! It is safe for children, as well as pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and can be used both internally and externally.
Bentonite clay is formed from volcanic ash and water, it is a phyllosilicate which has highly adsorbing and absorbing properties. ‘Food grade’ clay is safe to use externally and internally and will bind to heavy metals, organic and chemical toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and metabolic toxic waste such as lactic acid.
The most common types of healing ‘food grade’ clays (which are safe to take internally as well as externally) include, sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite clay.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of using bentonite clay –
- It attracts, binds and removes pathogens, heavy metals and toxins- from the intestines, it cleanses and detoxifies the body.
- Improves digestive function soothing the lining of the intestinal tract – gives relief from heart-burn, indigestion and ulcers.
- You will experience a clearer complexion and brighter eyes.
- Eliminates diarrhoea and constipation.
- Have more frequent bowel movements.
- Improves mental state and emotions.
- Improves the immune system function.
- Cures acne, rashes, infections of the skin.
- Increases energy levels.
- Replenishes minerals within the body, such as sodium, calcium, silica, iron, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and carbon.
ALWAYS USE PLASTIC OR WOODEN UTENSILS AND CONTAINERS WITH CLAY! DO NOT USE METAL WITH CLAY, AS IT WILL AFFECT THE ELECTRICAL CHARGE AND REDUCE EFFECTIVENESS!
Please Note – If using ‘Sodium’ bentonite clay it is very important to pre hydrate the clay first! Sodium bentonite clay will swell to several times its size, therefore it needs to be hydrated with water prior to ingestion! Calcium bentonite clay does not swell and therefore it is not necessary to pre hydrate before ingestion. To pre hydrate ‘Sodium’ bentonite clay – Simply mix 4 tbsp of clay powder with about a of filtered water, mix/whisk well with a wooden spoon or plastic/silicone whisk.
Place in a container with a lid, such as a large jam jar and leave to set in the fridge. Once set, the pre hydrated clay (or clay ‘magma’ as it’s also known) can be safely mixed with water, juice or smoothies. I usually use about one large tbsp of clay magma mixed in my breakfast smoothie each morning.
Alternatively you can just mix 1 tsp of ‘non swelling’ Calcium bentonite clay in with a glass of water (ensuring you use a non metallic spoon, whisk or fork)
Bentonite Clay is commonly mixed with water. Novices start with 1/2 a teaspoonful mixed with 200g (7oz) of water, once a day, 1 hour before a meal. Dosage is gradually increased over a period of time, first take 1/2 tsp in the morning, 1/2 in the evening, then to 1 teaspoonful 3 times a day. But everyone’s body is unique, so listen to what it is telling you.
If you experience discomfort, reduce the dosage or make a break for a week and start with a smaller dose again. Raymond Dextreit, the famous French Naturopath, recommends 3 days on/4 days off/ 4 days on/ 3 days off rule, which means you take the clay for 3 days, make a 4-day break, then take it for 4 days, make a 3-day break, and so on. However, it is not necessary and depends on what suits you most. I have gradually increased my clay intake to a daily dose of sodium bentonite clay in the morning and one dose of calcium bentonite clay in the evening before bed .
To increase the bowel cleansing action of clay, psyllium husks are a sensible dietary addition.
Psyllium seed husks are indigestible and are a source of soluble dietary fibre. They are used to relieve constipation, IBS, and diarrhoea. They are also used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease condition of the gut. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.
Psyllium husks are extremely good at aiding in the passage of mucoid plaque from the bowel/colon. It is important to remove this plaque so that it doesn’t remain in your body affecting your digestive and immune system. Psyllium husks can be bought as a powder or in whole husk form. I would recommend buying whole husks rather than powder, as it is more efficient at cleansing the colon.
Psyllium husks swell when mixed with water so it’s important to pre hydrate these too!
Many people take them without soaking them first, which is okay as long as you drink enough water afterwards to ensure sufficient hydration. If stomach cramps are experienced, that is usually a sign that you have not consumed enough water. For my morning smoothie, I add 1-2 tbsp of husks to half a glass of water and let stand for a few minutes before I add it to my pint of smoothie.
If however you wish to take the husks alone in water, make sure you mix 1 tbsp in a full glass of water. (can be left overnight in the fridge also- when hydrated they form a jelly like consistency. This helps to fill the stomach making you feel full without eating a full breakfast.) It fills you with fibre, reducing appetite without overstimulating the nervous system. (Fully hydrated half quantities can be used safely with children also.)
Diatomaceous Earth or DE as it’s also known, is a clay-like powder that is composed of the crushed fossilised remains of marine plankton. Freshwater diatomite (diatomaceous earth) is referred to as ‘food grade’ because it is the purest form and can be consumed internally by humans and animals. It can simply be added to food and water (I also add this to my breakfast smoothie with clay and psyllium husks).
Daily amount – 1-2 tbsp is a sufficient dose for most adults. Halve this amount for children.
As with bentonite clay, DE also has a negative charge, so it is advisable to only use non metallic containers and utensils!
Health Benefits of DE (Diatomaceous Earth)
- Large concentration of natural silica, as well as many other trace elements vital to health.
- strengthens bones, teeth and nails.
- Improves skin health.
- Improves joint health.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Lowers cholesterol.
- Flushes toxins and parasites from the body.
- Cleanses the digestive tract.
- Improves the immune system.
- Removes viruses and bacteria.