Today’s guest post is all about detoxification, by Marisol Teijeiro, ND.
Toxins can be found everywhere in our environment and are a threat to our health. We are surrounded by thousands of man-made chemicals in our food, water and the air. Our bodies work continuously removing these toxins from our system. Over time, they become overwhelmed and are unable to keep up. The overload of toxin build up in our system is either stored in fat cells or travels throughout our system disrupting various functions. This can lead to symptoms such as chronic fatigue, headaches, bloating, constipation, bad breath, and other health issues.
Toxins are harmful to our health. Toxins cause both stress and systemic inflammation to our system that disrupts the delicate balance of our body. To make matters worse the more stressed we are the less our body detoxifies as the energy required for these processes are shunted towards the physiological stress response.
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is a natural therapeutic intervention that is used to rid the body of toxins as it can be the root of our many health issues. Many people think of detoxification as either fasting or living purely on liquids or drinking green gooey juice for a specific period of time. Although some people swear by these detox methods, a variety of other different methods do exist.
A person simply needs to find a few practices that resonate with them and fit them into their daily schedule. It is no longer a matter of whether we need to detox, everyone should follow some sort of regular detoxification practice. Many detoxification programs do not address this very important physiological truth – that toxins continuously cause stress and disrupt our system and we should be incorporating a regular detoxification practice on a daily basis.
How to detox gently
The first step in adopting detoxification practices in our daily schedule is to select and consume only organic foods. Most people require a minimum of 2-3L of water and/or herbal teas per day to naturally flush toxins from the body. Wherever possible avoid the use of plastic containers; this will decrease your overall toxic load. Stainless steel or glass containers are preferable.
The second step is a regular detoxification practice such as a Castor Oil Pack that consists of organic castor oil and an organic cotton flannel compress applied topically to the liver. This castor oil pack is frequently recommended by naturopathic doctors as a well known health promoting therapy that works on a variety of different levels, such as an anti-inflammatory (1), a balancer of the immune system (2), inducing relaxation, reducing stress, enhancing liver function, and improving bowel movements (3); therefore providing a holistic detox therapy.
An effective detoxification practice should take an approach that balances the entire body’s system; the nervous system – the reduction of stress, the Immune/Lymphatic system – the reduction of inflammation and finally the organs responsible for processing and elimination of toxins: the liver, kidney, gut, lungs and skin. The above strategy will help to bring back the quality of life we deserve and this spring is the best time to start!
- Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.
- Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9
- An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Arslan GG, Eşer I.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. Epub 2010 May 18.
Guest post by Dr. Marisol Teijeiro, ND
Marisol is the creator of the president of Ecoqol and the creator of the OJA Compress that can be used for castor oil packs. She is also an expert in the properties of castor oil and its use for naturopathic treatment of inflammation, constipation, immune modulation, and detoxification.