While detoxification means to get rid of harmful substances which a person can become addicted to, such as alcohol and drugs, the word also has an additional meaning. Detoxification has developed into its own special meaning within the field of natural health. Doing a Detox means removing harmful or potentially damaging substances from our bodies, our environment and our diet.
There are many harmful substances that we are exposed to and that we are directly or indirectly affected by. These can be harmful to one's health and can possibly reduce one's vitality and spark. Through a process of detoxification, one can get rid of accumulated harmful substances that stress our systems.
Some harmful substances that we tend to accumulate include:
- Air pollutants including industrial waste & car fumes.
- Food preservatives, additives and sweeteners.
- Make-up, hair dyes, perfumes & cleansing products usually contain preservatives and strong chemicals that can be considered harmful for the body.
- Toxins in household cleaning products.
- Heavy metal corrosion which can enter drinking water.
- Alcohol, cigarette smoke & harmful addictive substances.
While it is true that some of these substances, such as alcohol are water solvent for example and will largely be flushed out of the body, some harmful substances are not water soluble and tend to get stored in the body's fatty tissue.
By eliminating or flushing out toxic substances and by minimizing the amount taken into the body, one can increase one's chances of optimum health.
What is a Toxin?
Toxins are basically substances that are considered to cause physical harm or damage, and which, if taken in large enough doses, can prove to be fatal.
A small amount of a toxic substance causes an increase in energy levels like an energy rush, such as caffeine for example or alcohol.
When you take small amounts of a toxic substance, such as alcohol, you may notice that you get an increase in energy levels. If you continue to drink large doses of alcohol, the next stage is often sleepiness.
If a person continues to take a toxin in larger and larger quantities until the body has become saturated with it and levels of the substance are very, very high, then the result can be fatal and eventual death, for example as with alcohol poisoning when the blood becomes saturated with alcohol.
The same is true if we take caffeine. A little caffeine can create an energy rush, if we carry on drinking it, then we get sleepy and if we take it to excess, it can be fatal. Caffeine is found naturally in some beans, such as coffee beans and cacao beans (used in making chocolate, these are beans from the cocoa tree), and is really meant to be a deterrent from the beans being eaten by invading insects. By over-stimulating the central nervous system of invading insects, caffeine tends to cause insects to collapse.
Caffeine causes the heart rate to increase, the blood vessels to restrict and the air passages to relax. It is a substance that many people feel they cannot live without, because it is an energy pick up in small doses.
Certain plants have been used for centuries to help cleanse the body. Nearly all early cultures including the Druids, North American Indians, Australian Aborigines and many indigenous African Cultures had lore about plants that were beneficial to help assist with bites and infections.
Before starting on a course of natural supplements, it is advisable that you check first with your professional health practitioner.
Plants can be used to help support different systems such as the digestive system or urinary system. Usually, natural supplements that assist in this way are taken for a specific period of time and are not usually taken for a very long time. Plants can be used effectively for cleanses and should be used sensibly and wisely.
There are many ways to start detoxing your body and they don't have to be costly or time-consuming, in fact, it is possible to start doing something about your health today. Here are some simple tips to help you on the road to detoxing your body today.
Improve Your Diet Today
Giving our bodies a rest from foods which may cause stress or strain on our digestive systems is a good way to start a detox. Sugar can be one such food as it usually highly processed and stripped of much of its good nutrients ends up as refined sugar.
Substituting refined sugar for fruit sugars is one place to start. Refined sugar can cause energy spikes and crashes. Foods rich in refined sugars include packaged cakes, biscuits, sweets, ice-creams, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, sweets, many canned drinks, canned fruits and vegetables as well as some food sauces also contain refined sugar. Check the labels!
If you feel the need for an energy hit, eat some fruit. Fruit is naturally high in fruit sugar which is called fructose. Fresh fruit is also high in vitamins so you get goodness and energy!
Drink more fresh mineral water
Water provides the body with life-giving minerals. Check the water you drink. Does it contain heavy metals? Could you be drinking water that is more beneficial for you?
Tap water may come through old pipes which can add heavy metals into the supply. Unless you are confident in the cleanliness of the pipes carrying water to your home, it may well be worth investing in drinking mineral water bottled at course or having a healthy supply of drinking water.
Heavy metals, by definition, are metals which are harmful for ones health and can, in excessive doses, prove to be fatal. Heavy metals include copper, zinc, lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
Sources of heavy metals include car & cigarette fumes, industrial waste that is carried into soil and the air and sometimes drinking water. Lead can also be found in old, rotting pipes and in some older, household paints. Water filters fitted into your home can be very effective at removing and cleaning the water supplies. Other ways to ensure clean, healthy water is by purchasing water or using a portable water filter system. There are many of these available on the market.
Are you Putting Harmful Chemicals on your Skin?
There are many chemicals in hair dyes, hair sprays, make-up and skin products. You can help your skin by using the most natural products available. Using skin products that are high in perfumes and chemicals, can clog the pores. The skin is a living, breathing protection for the entire body.
Often moisturisers and cleansers for our face and body are saturated with colours, preservatives and chemicals. There are every day brands that use little or no perfume and there are also brands of make up which contain some organic products and then there are the top end ranges of make-up which are entirely organic.
Being aware of the kind of treatments you give your skin can make a big difference. Even soaps can be packed with frothing agents and perfumes that do not assist in the health of the skin.
Our skin is one of the largest organs in the body and is one of the ways the body eliminates toxins, through its pores. It is well worth protecting it and treating it with the best skin care products available.
Do you eat fresh farm produce ?
Eating fresh farm produce can reduce the amount of chemicals one eats with ones food. Most supermarket foods are sprayed with insecticides or fertilizers.
Have a look in your local paper to see when the next farmer's market is coming to town. Local farms often do not spray their fruit and vegetables as much as larger ones. Organic food is probably the best to purchase but the prices also increase dramatically with organic.
Most supermarkets nowadays have some organic products or free range fresh goods. If you can purchase fruits and veggies from markets, these are also less likely to have been heavily sprayed than pre-packaged foods.
When it comes to food, the less time between fruit or vegetable picking and eating is the best! So if you can buy fresh farm goods, you will get lots more goodies in the fruits and veggies, than if they have had to travel a long distance.