Happy New Year!
January is a great time of year to reset the system and we find many people coming in and asking about starting a ‘detox’. Many people are looking for ‘extreme’ weekend detox regimens but not only are aggressive detox protocols unsustainable in the long term, they can be very uncomfortable and might do your body more harm than good. We prefer a more thoughtful approach, one that truly supports your detoxifying organs and your elimination of the waste by products made when detoxing.
Our philosophy stands on the belief that the biggest changes to your health are made by small consistent actions on a daily basis, and in truth this is where we see the most progress in our private clients! To get you started on that journey, we’ve put together a 14-day protocol that is not only sustainable, but creates habits that will promote truer, deeper detoxification with lasting effects!
What is a ‘Detox’
During a detox, your body’s ultimate goal is to neutralize inflammatory or disruptive substances (could be from your diet, or the environment) and move them out of the body. Common reasons people seek out ‘detoxes’-- inflammation, water retention, bloating, and sluggishness– are easier to curb once the root cause is addressed. In most cases, this is from inadequate liver function and metabolism. And of course, limiting exposure to toxins will help you reduce symptoms in the long term!
Since detoxification happens mainly in the liver, we are looking to support this organ first:
Phase 1 detoxification is when your liver enzymes break down toxins and make them more water-soluble (3). The byproducts of this process are actually inflammatory and put oxidative stress on your cells, so you want to get them out of your system as efficiently as possible.
Phase 2 detoxification is a 2-parter of making the detox byproducts from phase 1 less harmful, as well eliminating them via urine, sweat, and stool (3). Because of this, supporting gut health is an absolute necessity– if you are not regularly eliminating, you are not properly detoxing!
Meet your Supplements
Remedy Liver Detox - A main player in our protocol! The formula features traditional bitter herbs that stimulate bile production. This directly supports Phase 1 and 2 detoxification, where we are trying to break down fat-soluble toxins to make them easier to move out of the body. It features herbs like Milk Thistle, which is shown to protect liver cells from damage (4) during the metabolization process.
NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) - An antioxidant precursor that plays a large part in the body’s detoxification. It is a bioavailable amino acid and helps your body make its most abundant antioxidants: glutathione. Not only does glutathione work to neutralize the effects of free radicals during Phase 1 detoxification, it supports Phase 2 detoxification by binding to toxins and making them less harmful.
Probiotics - This is a fantastic way to regulate bowel movements and support healthy elimination! Gut health and liver health directly affect one another, so we want to make sure we are supporting both to the fullest. Our protocol features one of our favorite clinical probiotic formulas, Metagenics’ Ultra Flora Balance. If you are in need of extra support during this detox, however, you can try taking a mild herbal laxative like Aloe Latex.
Lastly, do not skimp on water while doing this protocol!! Water is very important for cleansing on all levels, and you need lots of it in order to properly eliminate toxins.
Meet your Detox Tea
When we designed this protocol, we wanted to have something that would nourish the body as well. Herbal formulas are fantastic to work with! They are complex and layered, with each herb offering tons of benefits that build on one another. Our Detox Tea is included in our Detox Kit, and available for individual purchase >>here<<. We are hitting various angles with this tea, all supporting total body detoxification:
Antioxidants - Rooibos, Gotu Kola
Trace Minerals - Dandelion leaf, Nettle, Red Clover
Liver and skin support - Dandelion, Gotu Kola
Digestive support - Peppermint, Dandelion Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Gotu Kola
Circulatory and Lymphatic movers - Peppermint, Red Clover
Not only does Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) taste delicious, it is an excellent antioxidant! During Phase 1 detoxification, we need lots of antioxidants to offset the inflammation and any free radical damage. Rooibos tea is actually made via a process of fermentation, which heightens its antioxidant properties (2).
Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale) is a classic liver-supportive herb, traditionally known among herbalists as a ‘blood purifier’ and alterative (1). It has been shown to reduce elevated liver enzymes after exposure to hepatotoxic agents (5). We included both Dandelion Leaf and Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica) for their diuretic properties. Both herbs are also high in minerals and chlorophyll, which support healthy gut-lining and thus reduce bloating and inflammation.
If you find that gas and bloating are worse after starting this protocol (which can happen temporarily as you start probiotics!), we included Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) as a warming digestive herb. Peppermint and Red Clover (Trifolium pratens) circulate fluids throughout the body and into the interstitial tissue, (1) which is very important for cellular detoxification. Lastly, proper blood circulation is very important, and Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is another herb we’ve included to support this. Gotu kola is an herb that has so many benefits, and it easily spans the actions of our tea– antioxidant, gut healing, and more!
Many of these herbs have been used for thousands of years. They offer benefits way beyond the scope of this detoxification protocol– brain health, blood building, collagen promoting, and so much more! To view our complete list of dried bulk herbs, click >>here<<.
If you are concerned that your specific health condition requires a more involved ‘cleanse’-- gut bacteria overgrowth, extreme inflammation, and the like– it is highly recommended you consult with a holistic health practitioner who can properly assess your needs. If you are curious about what sort of approach you might benefit from, book a free phone consultation with one of our Clinical Herbalists!
- 2008. Wood, Matthew. Earthwise Herbal Vol 1: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants. North Atlantic Books