Detoxification involves the elimination of stored wastes. The body’s processes of detoxification can be supported with dietary measures and the appropriate use of herbal and nutritional supplements.
Natural therapists have traditionally believed that an accumulation of toxic compounds from the atmosphere, our diets and our bodily processes can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. Consequently, cleansing or detoxifying regimes in which food intake is reduced or restricted for a period of time feature in a number of forms of traditional medicine. The restricted diet is often combined with the use of herbal medicines and/or fresh juices.
A detox may be beneficial for:
- Skin problems
- Sluggish liver
- A history of exposure to toxic compounds (e.g. pesticides, industrial chemicals)
Although some people advocate fasts in which no foods are consumed for a number of days as a form of detoxification, most natural therapists would consider this approach extreme, and advise against it, especially as such an approach may lead to side effects, and the depletion of important nutrients.
Instead, it is more common for a modern detoxification programme to involve following a pure, healthy diet, while abstaining from cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, junk food, fatty foods and animal products for a short period of time. At the same time, herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, exercise, and other cleansing practices such as saunas and skin exfoliation may be employed.
This may help support the body’s organs of elimination (e.g. the liver, bowel, kidneys and skin) to flush out stored waste products, and return to functioning more efficiently.