When I started my healing journey from cancer, I didn’t know to start with detoxification. I set out to take in as much knowledge surrounding health and healing as possible, and it wasn’t long before cleansing found me. It became clear so quickly that toxin overload plays a huge role in sickness today. Our bodies are designed to do their job well, but unfortunately, this modern life has dampened that natural ability. In learning this, I understood the importance of authentic, balanced cleansing and dove in. From working through unresolved trauma to ditching the processed junk in my cupboards, I began detoxing my life. I soon realized that this detox wasn’t temporary—it was my new way of life. And I loved it!
Let’s start the year off right and talk about detoxing the body. One of the most important areas to focus on is the liver—our main detox organ. For thousands of years, the liver has been considered one of the hardest working organs in the body. Both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have prioritized liver health in the sick for centuries. All blood from the stomach and intestines is sent through the liver for cleaning. It metabolizes many supplements and medications, produces bile to assist with digestion and removal of heavy metals, stores essential vitamins and minerals, activates enzymes, and so much more. It is truly unlike any other organ in the body, working around the clock to keep your body toxin-free.
With all of these jobs to do, the liver can become bogged down. When this happens, all these vital processes are slowed, resulting in poor metabolism and detoxification, showing symptoms such as allergies, skin issues, brain fog, fatigue, digestive distress, depression, and so much more. Over time, this can lead to the onset of chronic disease and mental illness.
This first month of the new year is the perfect time to incorporate healthy detoxification practices! Here are my tips for liver cleansing and detox:
- Drink lemon water: Drinking lemon water each morning is one of the easiest ways to support your liver—lemon aids in the production of enzymes and release of toxins. Drinking it first thing in the morning enhances absorption. Half a lemon squeezed into one cup of water can make a world of difference!
- Incorporate supplements: I recommend a few supplements for detoxification and liver support—the first being magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that is integral to your detoxification systems and mood regulation, protein synthesis, energy balance, and more.
- Due to today’s poor soil quality, most are deficient. I recommend Thorne’s Magnesium CitraMate for those who tend towards constipation (this form is well-absorbed and can have a stool-softening effect). For the lucky ones who are regular, I recommend Thorne’s Magnesium Bisglycinate. Alternating the two is also a great option! Another supplement I recommend is Thorne’s Liver Cleanse. It contains four of my favorite botanicals for liver support in just one capsule: Burdock, Milk Thistle, Chicory, and Berberine. Together, each of these can synergistically enhance a sluggish liver, promoting the production and flow of bile, furthering detoxification abilities. I suggest taking one capsule in the evening when you start out and gradually increasing to three times—one with each meal—per day if needed.
- Give intermittent fasting a try: Fasting has become a popular topic in the world of health, and for good reason. Recent studies have shown that fasting can help enhance the body’s detoxification systems, optimize cellular regeneration, and more. Keep in mind—it doesn’t need to be a long fast to benefit your health. Strict fasting, especially long-term, can cause hormone imbalance, especially in women. Intermittent fasting is condensing the timeframe you ingest food down to a 6 to 8-hour window, giving your system time to rest and recover.
- Boost glutathione levels: Sometimes referred to as the “Mother of All Antioxidants,” glutathione is critical for removing toxins from the body. To increase your natural levels, eat plenty of sulfur and selenium-rich foods, exercise daily, and work on sleep hygiene. To optimize glutathione levels even more, I recommend Thorne’s Glutathione-SR. I love Thorne’s version in particular because it is a sustained-release form, ensuring more efficient absorption in the gut.
- Incorporate regular sugar detoxes: I know you know it, and we all hate to hear it, but it’s true: processed sugar is so damaging to our overall health. It wreaks havoc on the digestive system and feeds the harmful bacteria, damaging healthy cells and leading to leaky gut.
- This allows toxins and partially digested food particles to enter the bloodstream and make our detoxification organs work overtime. Giving your body a break from processed sugar can allow for healing. Start with small goals, even a few sugar-free days at a time—and work your way up. Then enjoy the benefits—you will feel a difference!
It is nearly impossible to live a completely ‘clean’ life in today’s world—one that is void of toxins in the home, diet, air, mind, or otherwise. We are all inundated by various toxins daily—often without even knowing it (or having any control over it). This is what makes supporting our detoxification system such an essential practice for our overall health today. And keep in mind: when it comes to cleansing, working through toxic emotional states is just as vital a practice as working through the toxicity in the body. Be sure to incorporate these detox strategies consistently to make this year your healthiest one yet!