With it being nearly January, a lot of people are looking to create some goals for 2018 — many of which are health goals. It’s a great idea. Use whatever motivates you to make some positive changes to your health!
For many people, gut health — and general detox — are at the top of their list. It’s a huge issue in the natural health world!
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.
Try This Cleanse! …and Other Flashy Statements
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.
There are endless systems, recipes, supplements, and more out there…all intended to help you detox.
Not to mention 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’s not always so great.
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 improvements…or what those improvements ought to look like. There’s a lot of incorrect information passed around.
It’s confusing to many…because of course it is!
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. Crappy 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 true…they aren’t good for us, and they certainly don’t promote health! …these aren’t 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 makes things harder for sure. 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…which can cause a lot of those ‘detox reactions’ that are oh-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 and we don’t even realize. 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, etc. 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.
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 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 (why 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 — 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 — Provides vitamins A and D to support healthy immune function
- Take astragalus root — An adaptogenic herb that helps to promote healthy immune function
- Get magnesium — Helps to promote restful sleep (so important for any healing), relieves occasional constipation, balances hormone levels, and more
- 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!
- Cut the ‘junk’ — Refined white flour and sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc. If it isn’t 100% clean and whole, don’t put it in — or on! — your body
Just doing these things will help to support your body’s needs and you’ll 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 ‘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.
By the way, although you do not need it to make these changes, Earthley is offering a detox kit to help get you started. You can absolutely do this without it, but it will help to provide liver support and fight topical yeast.
Work hard to support your body…and your body will be healthier!
Have you made the #1 detox mistake?
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