What Is Detoxing?

Detox, a term found on boxes of herbal teas, recipes for healthier living, or even titles of dietary workshops. Detoxing, in a fundamental sense, is the process of eliminating the unnecessary or unwanted, typically from our bodies.  The term becomes more popular in the fall and Spring encouraging people to do so in preparation for the coming change in a season.

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Let’s start with when.  Generally, we should detoxify our bodies at least twice a year as a preparation for new activities associated with a change of seasons.  Fall and Spring prepare our bodies for the next season’s demands on our bodies, namely, Winter and Fall.  A Fall detox flushes our bodies of unnecessary substances adapting it for consuming fats to warm the body during winter.  The Spring detox eliminates accumulated fat used to fortify us in the winter season.  Our four-footed friends, particularly those that hibernate, do this naturally while we need to be reminded.  Why? We’ve forgotten how to listen to and hear our bodies, like so many other aspects of our life.

A standard method for detoxification utilizes clearing herbs in a tea taken from once to three times daily.  Several commercially prepared blends offer recommended consumption methods for good results.  If you do have questions or concerns, an herbalist or your doctor should help to identify the most beneficial process for you since we may respond differently to certain herbs.

    Another method uses foods.  Certain foods, like dandelion and burdock, may aid in detoxification.  It’s fascinating to consider the first plants that typically sprout through snow-covered grounds are ideal for detoxing, namely the dandelion and burdock.  It’s almost like the earth is trying to tell us something…    

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Now, let’s look at how often we should detoxify.  A good rule of thumb is the suggested seasonal approach, but you can detoxify your body most anytime… within reason.  Again, if in doubt, seek counsel from a nutritionist, herbalist, or your doctor, since certain times would not be good choices for detoxification.  Some of those times may include when your system is compromised such as pregnancy like a condition resulting from sickness or disease.  Under those conditions, detoxification would not be recommended, unless under strict supervision.  The detoxification could be counterproductive and debilitating when the body needs nutrients for strength.  It’s usually advisable to nourish the body first, then consider detoxification.

How long should the detoxification last?  A good detox can take seven to ten days.  That length should give the body enough time to adjust to the herbs or supplement used, then rid itself of the unnecessary accumulated “stuff.”  There are those that simply detox from time to time when it “feels right”; also acceptable as long as they exercise moderation and recognize when to seek guidance.

What are the tangible results besides elimination?  Many people experience feelings of empowerment and clarity.  Weight loss may occur from a Detox too, but losing weight should not be the motivation for this form of cleansing.  It can also help settle emotional issues.  Since the focus of detoxifying is elimination, we may find ourselves eliminating emotional baggage during the process, including sadness, anger, or fear, to name a few.  Since some may seem more emotionally sensitive during a Detox, meditation and other methods of working with one’s inner self may be a worthy pursuit when combined with detoxification to create even more positive results, not only physically, but emotionally.

    One last time, if you have never experienced detoxification and/or if you have any questions or concerns, seek an herbalist, nutritionist, or the advice of your doctor.

    Detoxification can be an enjoyable experience and a method to promote holistic living.

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