10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body

Feeling sluggish or out of sync? Struggling with skin problems, aches and pains, or digestive problems? Can't seem to lose weight? It might be time for a body detox.

Practiced for centuries by cultures around the world — including ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.
How does detoxification work?

Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren't properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.

A detox program can help the body's natural cleansing process by:

1. Resting the organs through fasting;
2. Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
3. Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin;
4. Improving circulation of the blood; and
5. Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.

"Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of individual cells, the smallest units of human life," says Peter Bennett, N.D., co-author of 7-Day Detox Miracle with Stephen Barrie, N.D., and Sara Faye.
How do you know if you need to detoxify?
Bennett suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, Bennett cautions against detoxing for nursing mothers, children, and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your health care practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.

Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, "it's critical to detox," says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author of Detoxification. Page recommends detoxing for symptoms such as:

Unexplained fatigue
Sluggish elimination
Irritated skin
Low-grade infections
Puffy eye or bags under the eyes
Menstrual problems
Mental confusion

How do you start a detox?

First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.

Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the "adrenaline rush" to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Yoga, Qigong and meditation are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring.
Which detox program is right for you?

There are many detoxification programs and detox recipes, depending on your individual needs. Many programs follow a 7-day schedule because, as Bennett explains, "it takes the body time to clean the blood." His program involves fasting on liquids for two days, followed by a carefully-planned five-day detox diet to allow the digestive system to rest. Page recommends a 3-7 day juice fast (drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water) as an effective way to release toxins.

Here are our five favorite detox diets:
1. Simple Fruit and Veggie Detox
2. Smoothie cleanse
3. Juice Cleanse
4. Sugar Detox
5. Hypoallergenic Detox
Top 10 ways to help your body detoxify

After a detoxification program, you can cleanse your body daily with these diet, supplements and lifestyle practices:

1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.

2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.

3. Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.

4. Drink at least two quarts of water a day.

5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.

6. Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.

7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.

8. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.

9. Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.

10. What is the most important way to detoxify? "Exercise," says Bennett. "Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day." Also try Qigong, a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.

Consult your doctor before using any health treatment — including herbal supplements and natural remedies — and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intented as substitute for medical counseling.

Related Articles and Videos:

How to Detox from Caffeine, Sugar and White Flour in 7 Days

Video: Easy Detox Exercise

Video: How to Detox with an Ayurvedic Diet

1-2-3 Detox for Radiance

Detox Solutions:

D-Tox Foot Spa

Jadience Detox Bath

Detox Start-Up Kit

Browse our full line of detox products

Submitted by susan t on Sun, 10/07/2007 - 08:51.
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are there any known side effects to de-toxing?

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Submitted by Stephanie422 on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 11:14.
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There are some side effects. As you detox you might feel mild flu-like symptoms for a few days as your body discharges the toxins. Also it's important to remember that not everyone is a candidate for fasting or juicing. People with hypoglycemia, for instance, would do really poorly on a juice or water cleanse. So if you're fasting and feeling really horrible, lightheaded, sweaty, nauseous, dizzy, faint, etc., you need to eat something! Be sure to consult a nutritionist before embarking on one of the more rigorous programs.

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Submitted by mark424 on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 20:06.
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reading your blog I was wondering if all 10 ways of detoxifying the body are equally effective and if not in what order do they fall most effective to least effective?

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Submitted by elzanicegirl on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 08:48.
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how long are you supposed to detoxify your body?

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Submitted by mbb4502 on Sat, 08/08/2009 - 10:08.
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I understand the importance of ridding my body of toxins and that we live in a world over-ridden with them. As a cancer survivor, I have become proactive in detoxification and have practiced yoga, eaten more healthy and used some successful methods and supplements to aid my journey.


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Submitted by Dorothy422 on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 02:52.
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Does Yoga and Meditation helps into Detoxification and remove impurities from our body?

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Submitted by iheartgabby on Wed, 11/10/2010 - 10:31.
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I have a question. I am really wanting to do a detox - but I have a great suspicion that I fall into the category of folks who can't do it. I have Bipolar Disorder. Not only am I on 10-12 different medicines every day, it has been drilled into me how important eating habits are to someone with Bipolar Disorder. But with so many meds, so many mood changes, do much stress, can't you see why I might WANT to detox ?! Is there anything I can do to do a partial detox that would still keep me eating full meals, but I might get something out of it? Or anything you may suggest?

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Submitted by jonny818 on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 21:01.
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I would not suggest this. Stick to eating health, without any fastfood, artificial sugars, and non-carbonated drinks. You may also want to be careful with certain fruits as certain vitamins can cause intoxication as well.

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Submitted by jonny818 on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 21:03.
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About a month, depends on what you are doing. For diets with fastening, it would be less.

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Submitted by woodlandsmare on Thu, 02/10/2011 - 11:11.
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I have been doing chelation to help remove mercury after removal of amalgam fillings. I have been consulting with my doctor re: this and am on supplements to facilitate. She is monitoring my treatment. With all this, when I do YOGA, it seems to really speed up my detoxing to a point where I feel I have to stop the YOGA. My question is why, what's actually happening, and has anyone else experienced this?

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Submitted by LAHealthyGirl13 on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:23.
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Have you heard of Kaeng Raeng? It sounds very similar to a lot of the detox programs you were discussing here. It sort of falls into a mix between the meal supplement category and a fruit/veggie juice cleanse.
I heard about it on a few blogs and I have to say it's my favorite!

I was always curious about cleanses, but this one was so filling and it sounded so safe that I took the plunge. I wasn't really hungry during it because of all the protein, fruit, and fiber in it. I maybe got hungry once and was free to have as much fruit and raw veggies as I wanted.

It's pretty cool. I'm too afraid to do any of the fasts you were talking about, though. I'd rather eat clean. I don't want to mess up my metabolism.

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Submitted by paulalfred on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 19:36.
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Aah, .. I just cant give up coffee! but I only drink one cup a day. ;-)

I would address stress, regular exercise, and optimum daily allowance on this matter.

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Submitted by kedwa30 on Tue, 04/19/2011 - 17:59.
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To all who are taking a lot of medicines and especially those with bi-polar disorder, talk to your doctor about reducing the number of medicines. Many medicines are prescribed to counter side effects of poorly prescribed medicines. Rather than take so many different medicines, it is better to sort out with your doctor which are truly necessary and which are there simply because you complained of a side effect.
Further, many anti-depressants are based on fluoride, which works by causing excitotoxicity which causes cell death and memory loss. Taken over long periods of time, these kind of anti-depressants are essentially a chemical lobotomy.
If your prescriber does not want to take the time to sort through the medicines to help you eliminate some, then find a different prescriber.
Your prescriber should also be the best person to discuss whether or not you would be able to do a cleanse. A cleanse does not have to be without your necessary medication. The idea is to reduce the load on your organs which process chemicals, so that they can recover and will work better.

I personally have a jaded opinion of "modern" Western medicine which relies too much on surgery and drugs while neglecting the natural remedies available. One natural remedy to many things is simple meditation to rest the mind. Watching TV tires the mind as does sleep, since the process of dreaming is actually more activity for the mind than while awake, so unless you have learned how to rest your mind on your own somehow, you probably will suffer the symptoms of an over-tired mind. Yet I would be surprised if a PHD in the U.S. ever recommended meditation for a patient to rest the mind. Instead they might prescribe an addictive medication such as a sleeping pill or worse.


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