Have you ever woken up but just cannot get out of bed? You think about how much sleep you got, and you should feel ok. But you don’t. Do you frequently get bloated after eating a healthy meal? Do your muscles and joints just randomly ache? Have you started to think the dreadful “I am getting old”?
All of these symptoms can be a sign your body is trying to tell you something, and that something is not simply that you are getting old.You don’t live feeling this way if you listen to your body. Your body may be telling you, or screaming at you, that you are making the biggest detox mistake. This mistake can happen even if you are not intentionally “doing a detox.” Your body is always detoxing.
For many people, gut health and general detox are at the top of their list of health goals. Gut health and detox have become major buzzwords in natural health and also increasingly in mainstream healthcare.
But unfortunately, there are a ton of myths that surround detox, and this can set people up for failure. We can’t cover them all right now, but we will cover what I believe is the #1 detox mistake that people make — and it’s a big one.
Drink this, avoid this, eat this, do this, and take this!
There are endless systems, recipes, supplements, and more out there. They are all intended to help you detox. But do they actually help?
Everywhere you look, there are all kinds of gurus and experts (here’s the difference between them) promising that their protocol or their boxed detox set will be what you really need to turn your health around. Many times the “take this” in one expert’s protocol is on the “avoid this” in another expert’s protocol. All of the conflicting information can be very overwhelming.
Beyond the gurus and the experts, there are tons of various support groups. People trade information on what symptoms to expect, and how to get through the “herxheimer reaction” (AKA “die off”) that occurs when you do a cleanse. A lot of people end up feeling worse before they feel better. And that is not always a good thing.
In a lot of cases, people aren’t quite sure if it is working or not. They aren’t sure if they should feel better or worse., at what point they should see improvement, or what those improvements ought to look like. There’s a lot of incorrect information passed around that confuses those pursuing good health.
Most of these plans miss something really important, a key tenet of detoxing, and if you don’t know what it is, you could be harming your health in the long run!
The #1 Detox Mistake
Ask yourself, “How did my body get toxic in the first place?”
The top answers revolve around environmental situations – processed or low-quality food, pollution, medication, etc. Sometimes, it’s a health issue like parasites or PANDAS or vaccine injury. But the focus is always on something that happened to our bodies.
While those things are not good for us and most certainly do not cause good health, they are not the root cause of problems.
The true root cause of problems is that our detox pathways become congested, and stop functioning as they should.
Our bodies are meant to self-detox. They’re not meant to need regular cleanses or support. And yes, overloading them with all the toxicity in our modern world definitely makes things harder. But if we’re toxic and staying toxic, even once we make changes to our diets and other habits, then something more is going on. Our natural detox pathways are broken.
What do you think is going to happen if you use herbs or supplements to force your body to release all those toxins, but your pathways are still congested?
The reason all those toxins are bound up in your gut flora, fat cells, or wherever else in your body, is to protect it. Your body could not eliminate it as it should have, so rather than allowing the toxins to get into your brain or your organs (where they could kill you), your body bound them up so they could not cause immediate harm.
If you then release all those toxins, but do not address the underlying congestion in your detox pathways, all you are doing is causing harmful toxins to circulate in your body. Doing this can cause a lot of those “detox reactions” that are so common.
The #1 detox mistake is not supporting your body’s natural detox pathways!
Heal Your Body Naturally — Support Your Detox Pathways
Your body wants to heal itself.
A healthy, living person is constantly healing or avoiding assaults. We all run across a wide variety of microbes in everyday life, and our immune systems fight them off. We catch a hint of a cold, and with barely a sniffle or cough, we feel better. This is normal.
When we’re not healthy, it’s because our bodies are not able to use their natural systems to keep us healthy. They aren’t making antibodies to kill pathogens. Our livers or kidneys aren’t eliminating things as they should.
The first step in any detox should be to support these natural pathways, so that our bodies can do their work the way they need and want to. There should be no attempt to force-kill yeast, parasites, or other undesirable things without first making sure these pathways can do what they are designed to do. Otherwise, the “detox” will only cause more damage!
For many people, especially with minor issues, this is all you need to do. (And, it’s safe to do while pregnant and breastfeeding, because it’s mild and supportive.) Give the body the tools it needs, and it will start to heal on its own.
If you do not give the body the tools it needs, it can’t and won’t heal. You can take all of the supplements, exercise, change your diet, and still not see true progress! Many people who thought they were “doing everything right” can attest to this. You can learn more about healing the gut in a healthy way in my post, How to Heal Your Gut.
Support Your Kidneys
To support your kidneys, try these tips:
- Stay well hydrated Many people do not drink enough water, which leaves things “trapped” in the kidneys.
- Cranberry Use d-mannose pills or cranberry extract to support healthy kidney function.
Support Your Liver
To support your liver, try these tips (many work for kidneys too):
- Dandelion root — Take dandelion root extract or make tea with it to support healthy liver function
- Milk thistle seed — Take in capsules or as an extract
- Turmeric root — Take as capsules or an extract, or mix 1/4 tsp. powder into 1 tsp. raw honey and eat
- Peppermint — Take as a tea or extract
Support Your Gut
To support your gut, try these tips:
- Increase raw fruits and veggies Consume more fiber, which serves as a prebiotic to feed healthy gut flora.
- Add fermented foods Consume kombucha, water or milk kefir, yogurt, etc. to add new healthy bacteria. Check out this post about why probiotic supplements won’t work.
- Consume bone broth or gelatin Natural gelatin from grass-fed/pasture-raised animals is healing and soothing to an inflamed gut.
- Turmeric or cinnamon Both are natural anti-inflammatories that can help to calm an irritated gut.
- Marshmallow root This herb soothes an irritated gut with its mucilage.
Support Your Immune System
To support your immune system in general, try these tips:
- Add cod liver oil. This provides vitamins A and D to support healthy immune function.
- Take astragalus root . This herb is an adaptogenic herb that helps to promote healthy immune function. Astragalus works well in soups. You can add some to whatever soup you are making or try out Earthley’s Immunity Soup.
- Get magnesium. Magnesium helps to promote restful sleep (so important for any healing), relieves occasional constipation, balances hormone levels, and more. It can be taken in a drink, in a capsule, or applied in a lotion like Good Night Lotion.
- Exercise. Getting moving helps to get lymph flowing, so that your lymphatic system can remove toxins naturally.
- Sleep. Get enough sleep so your body can heal itself! Does this sound like it is easier said than done? Check out this guide about how to finally get the good night’s sleep you need! You can also support your body’s natural sleep processes with this Sleepy Time tincture.
- Cut the junk. Eliminate refined white flour, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc. If it isn’t 100% clean and whole, don’t put it in or on your body!
- Try these supplements. Immune-Aid Vitamin C Powder, Immune-biotic, Master Tonic, and Oyster-Min have all been formulated to support the immune system.
Doing these things will help to support your body’s needs, and you will start to feel better. If you have made all of these changes and have used herbs to support your gut, liver, and kidneys, and still have symptoms, then it is time to look into making other changes or trying some kind of a cleanse to deal with specific issues. But at least when you do that, then you’ll know your body is ready and able to start detoxing instead of allowing the junk to simply circulate in your body.
Earthley offers many other affordable products to help support you as you make these changes.
Work hard to support your body, and your body will be healthier!