Dr Nicola Dehlinger, ND

Every person’s health and well-being is dependent on how their body removes and purges toxins from the body. With all the environmental pollution, toxic body care products, and processed foods, most people are in desperate need of a detox.

Every person’s health and well-being is dependent on how well their body removes and purges toxins

The concepts of internal cleansing and detoxification have been around for thousands of years. Toxic substances are everywhere – in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink…even the bacteria in our intestines produce toxic substances.  Stress, poor diet, and over-medication are common contributors to liver congestion.

Stress, poor diet, and over-medication are common contributors to liver congestion

Once the detoxification system becomes overloaded, toxic products of metabolism accumulate, and we become progressively more sensitive to other chemicals, some of which are not normally toxic

These are signs that your body can benefit from detoxification support:

  • Frequent, unexplained headaches, back, neck, joint, or arthritis issues
  • Chronic respiratory problems, sinus, or asthma
  • Abnormal body odor, bad breath, or coated tongue
  • Food allergies, poor digestion, chronic constipation with intestinal bloating or gas 
  • Brittle nails and hair, psoriasis, adult acne, or unexplained weight gain
  • Unusually poor memory, chronic insomnia, depressed mood, irritability              
  • Chronic fatigue, slow starter in the morning               
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Environmental sensitivities, especially to odors like perfume
  • Intolerance to alcohol                                                               .

One of the main avenues the body takes to rid itself of toxins is through the liver. In fact, the liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. It works to detoxify blood, produce bile needed to digest fat, break down hormones, and store essential vitamins, minerals and iron. 

4 methods of detoxification:

  • Skin/sweat
  • Lungs/breath
  • Bowels/bowel movements
  • Kidneys/urine

It is important to facilitate opening up each of these pathways daily to assist the body in the cleaning out process! 

Your kidneys play an important role in detoxification

Your kidneys play an important part in getting rid of toxic waste. An overload of toxins can cause irritation and can create more urinary tract infections, water retention, kidney stones and mineral deficiencies.

Drinking lots of filtered or spring water and herbal teas really help the kidneys do their job more efficiently. Trace minerals are crucial for kidney function and can be found in a variety of seaweeds and sea salts.  

Breathing plays a critical role as the first detox organ

Breathing plays a critical role as the first detox organ to get in contact with airborne toxins, chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and allergens. For an effective cleansing of our lungs, we must learn to breathe into the diaphragm. Try taking long, deep breaths and allow the air to flow into the diaphragm where our belly will puff up slightly. Then hold for 30 seconds before releasing out the air. 

Our skin reflects our diet and lifestyle choices

Our skin reflects our diet and lifestyle choices: it’s the mirror to internal health. Our skin is exposed to a variety of toxins from the environment to the products we put on and in our body. Cleaning out the cabinet of all toxic make-up, creams, lotions, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, and replacing with natural products will help support the detoxification process. Ask your local health food store which products you can eat – and only use those for your ingredients!

Lymphatic function

Lymphatic function supports every other system in the body, including the immune, digestive, detoxification and nervous system. In fact, many believe that poor lymph health underlies a host of conditions, from cellulite to cancer. Because the lymphatic system does not have a pump, we must stimulate the flow through dry skin brushing, exercise, and lymphatic drainage massage.

The blood is also responsible for removing wastes

The blood is also responsible for removing wastes from the tissues and organs. Hot water baths and saunas increases blood and capillary action near the surface of skin causing faster release of toxins. The heat also increases sweating and opens pores, allowing toxin-containing perspiration to be excreted more readily. Burdock root and hibiscus helps cleanse the blood while cayenne, ginger and garlic help improve circulation.

Sulfur-containing foods

Sulfur-containing foods are used to help the liver detoxify a wide range of prescription medications, pesticides, and other types of environmental toxins. Foods in this category would include onions, garlic, and organic eggs. There are some unique sulfur compounds in cruciferous vegetables that may be especially beneficial in liver detoxification processes. Think of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and Brussels sprouts.  These are especially good for detoxifying the estrogen pathways.  

Support your liver’s immune function

To support your liver’s immune function, some culinary spices that have extensive research with respect to their role in liver support. Those spices include turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice. Other dietary additions include lemon or lime water, chlorophyll, and beets.  Adding more fiber into the diet is always important as it acts like a “broom” for the intestines, sweeping out excess toxins, hormones and waste.

It can often be helpful to have a guide during a cleansing process – there are lots of resources available locally and online.  It’s a great way to shed extra pounds, increase energy, balance mood and just feel better!

Dr Nicola Dehlinger, ND, graduated from SCNM in 2004. Dr Nicola sees clients from around the world in her naturopathic medical practice, Pura Vida Natural Healthcare, in Durango, CO. She is an expert in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. She is able to minimize supplements and medications as her patients become empowered to heal themselves. In addition to seeing clients, Dr Nicola leads group and private retreats. She also teaches a variety of online and in-person classes. In her free time, you can find Dr Nicola in the mountains or the kitchen, enjoying time with her husband, son, and their dogs. Website: www.puravidahealthcare.com

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