13 Herbs For Detoxing

Mixed Salad © by the Italian voice

My cat, Kelly, loves to eat my asparagus fern.

She is detoxing.

I learned from Dr. John Douillard of Lifespa in Colorado that new greens which emerge from the ground in the spring are meant to help us cleanse our intestinal tract after a winter of eating heavy insulating foods. There are specific steps in an effective detox:  Which Detoxing Steps Are You Missing?

In order to detox well, you need the right diet and practices that will support the cleansing of your system.  In addition, there are herbs that are especially effective for removing the toxins that make you sluggish and create disease.

These are 13 Ayurvedic herbs for an effective detox and rejuvenation program (1)(2):

  1. for cleaning the lymphatic system, where our immune system is located: manjistha. According to the Ayurvedic Encyclopedia, manjistha is one of the best herbs for blood purification and for detoxing the liver of environmental toxins which are increasingly a reason for poor health. It also cleans and regulates the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys, all organs which are important parts of the digestive system, and is anti-cancer and anti-tumor.
  2. for repairing the mucus membrane of the gut, which becomes dysfunctional when clogged by heavy foods: turmeric. Turmeric helps relieve the mucus buildup that comes from eating heavy foods, regulates the metabolism, is a natural antibiotic that improves intestinal flora and purifies the blood.  It improves IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease and all inflammatory conditions.
  3. thinning the bile so that toxins do not get backed up in the liver forcing them into the body where they will be stored in fat cells: beets, fenugreek, cinnamon.
    • Beets improve lymph, liver and gall bladder functioning and act as a laxative as well.
    • Fenugreek is a rejuvenating herb that improves liver function and diabetic symptoms.
    • Cinnamon is a strengthener: it strengthens the metabolism, one’s constitution and the individual organs of digestion: the liver, spleen pancreas and kidneys.
  4. cleansing the liver  for proper processing of fat soluble toxins: amalaki, guduchi, barberry.
    • Amalaki cleans the intestines, stops stomach and intestinal inflammation, and improves the symptoms of diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions.
    • Guduchi is a blood purifier that improves digestion. It supports the immune system.
    • Barberry is a kind of decongestant in that it reduces fat, reduces congestion in the stomach, regulates liver functioning and destroys toxins in the body.
  5. cell regeneration: shilajit. Shilajit restores oxygen and nutrition to depleted cells and strengthens the immune system.
  6. balancing blood sugar: gymnema sylvestre removes sugar from the pancreas and restores pancreatic function and making it one of the most important  Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes.
  7. restoring digestion: ginger, black pepper, long pepper. These three herbs all act on digestion to stimulate and restore the digestive fire.

These are all important and useful herbs for anyone seeking a strong digestive detox. I have personally used then and have been very pleased with the improvement to my well-being. They are worth considering as part of a detoxification plan.

(1) Some herbal information obtained from the Ayurvedic Encyclopedia.

(2)These herbs are part of Dr. John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse.

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Which Detoxification Steps Are You Missing?

secret summer herb garden © by woodleywonderworks

Are you aware that detoxification is only part of the process of rejuvenating yourself?

Detoxification is necessary when toxins build up in our bodies to a point where the pathways of the body become clogged so that nourishment and detoxification are not able to occur naturally.

Getting rid of toxins and restoring balance consists of 2 objectives:

  1. clean up the digestive and immune systems
  2. restoring cell and digestive functioning.

One of the best detoxification experts is Dr. John Douillard of Lifespa in Colorado. He is also the author of Colorado Cleanse which details in a very readable way why you need to detox and the steps necessary to remove toxins from the body and restore optimal functioning. Dr. Douillard’s excellent detoxification program that both detoxes and rejuvenates the body.

These are the steps for an effective detox and rejuvenation program:

  1. cleaning the lymphatic system, home to most of our immune system. The lymphatic system is found in the inside of our intestinal wall and extends to all the lymph channels of the body including the lymphatic systems the drain the skin and membranes of the body of toxins. When the lymphatic system is compromised, our immune systems cannot do their jobs.
  2. repairing the mucus membrane of the gut. Part of the lymph system is the mucus membrane of the gut which is very responsive to digestive imbalances. The imbalances show up either as constipation or diarrhea depending on whether the imbalances are drying or creating congestion. These imbalances then damage our immune functioning.
  3. thinning the bile.  When there is congestion in the mucus membranes of the intestine, toxins do not get processed by the intestines. Instead they back up to the liver which thickens the bile which in turn congests the bile and pancreatic ducts. The result is that fats cannot be digested, fat soluble toxins cannot be processed and digestive enzymes are not as available to do their job. This compromises both the immune system and digestion.
  4. cleansing the liver for proper processing of fat soluble toxins and digestion of fats so that they of not end up stored in fat cells throughout the body.
  5. cell regeneration. When you have a build up of toxicity in the body, nutrition and oxygen do not reach the cells causing them to starve. Cell regeneration helps restore nutrition and energy to the cells of the body.
  6. balancing blood sugar. With all the concerns about diabetes, most of us worry about blood sugar levels which when stabilized make it easier it use fat stores as fuel for the body, in addition to preventing a long-term chronic diseases.
  7. restoring digestion. It is necessary to restore the necessary digestive enzymes for proper digestion to support the health of the body. They can become damaged when your system is our of balance.  

So often we think that taking a pill will detox us. And it may help somewhat. However we need to engage the larger problem of getting out of balance and restoring ourselves to be really healthy.

Unfortunately, all the environmental toxins we have now makes detoxification a must for good health.

Disclosure: the author has an affiliate relationship with Lifespa and is also a customer.

What Are You Doing About Toxins In Your Brain: 10 Reasons To Detox Now

Herb Garden © by OakleyOriginals

Have you ever felt really sluggish after winter?

Have you ever noticed how when the seasons change you feel a need to restore and rejuvenate your body?

The balance in our bodies changes with seasons. Our agricultural system provides many foods year round regardless of the season, which is why we often act as if nutritionally there is only one season.

That thinking can get us in trouble because our bodies naturally want heavier, insulating food during the winter which creates congestion in our bodies and creates the need to restore our constitutional balance.

It is very important that we understand the detoxification process because otherwise we may think we are detoxing when in fact our approach skims the surface.

My favorite book about detoxification is Dr. John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse. He has a very accessible way of writing which makes it easy to understand detoxing and a very specific but flexible system to do so.

You may already understand some of the reasons why you need to detox but there are others that you probably do not. This book was an eye opener.

Here are some of the insights I gained from reading his book:

  1. detoxing is now a necessity because of the severe pollution in all areas of our environment with chemicals, plastics, carcinogens of various types, heavy metals and carbon emissions.
  2. pollutants build up in the body causing impaired functioning and damage to our immune systems, weakening us over time. They can lead to chronic as well as severe diseases and premature aging.
  3. toxins can damage the pathways of the body. This means that oxygen and nourishment are blocked from  reaching our cells and therefore, our cells can become undernourished. To be truly healthy, our entire system needs abundant oxygen and nourishment.
  4. during the winter months, we eat heavier foods because they are warming and insulating. Those foods can build us and interfere with our digestive systems. It is no different that accumulation in your house.  At some point it becomes disabling.
  5. the liver can become overwhelmed and when it does it does not process the toxins. It send the toxins back in to the system to be stored in fat cells.
  6. fat cells in the brain can store toxins just like fat elsewhere in the body.
  7. the digestive system can handle a variety of foods including those that are hard to digest. If digesting food is a problem then a detoxification and restoration process would be helpful.
  8. Research shows that 95% of the body’s serotonin production comes from the digestive system. This New York Times article discusses the second brain and serotonin.
  9. Toxins trapped in our cells can include mental and emotional toxins weighed down by a sluggish and overloaded body. Processing emotions is an important part of health and if affected by our health regimen.
  10. stress is processed in our digestive system. So if our digestive system is compromised we may develop stress related diseases and have reduced resilience to life’s challenges.

Taking care of your health involves regular detoxification and restoration of your  body especially the digestive system.  When you do your body and emotions should feel lighter and you will be a lot happier.

I highly recommend Dr. Douillard work as a great way to learn about your body’s needs for higher quality of life.

Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with Dr. Douillard’s Lifespa.

Triphala: Super Herb for Super Health

Fruits of Phyllanthus emblica L. © by lalithamba

If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would consider triphala one of the few essentials to have with me.

What is triphala? Triphala is one of the most important herbal preparations in existence.

I have been using it for over a decade. I have not had the conditions that it helps with.  It helps with premature graying of the hair because premature graying and balding occur in my family but fortunately not on my head.  I am happy to give triphala the credit.

It is such a well-rounded source of healing that I use it every day, and it helps me a lot. Triphala offers healing benefits to the entire human system. It is a special herb used extensively in the ancient healing system of Ayurveda which is over 5000 years old.

According to the Ayurveda Encyclopedia, triphala is an herbal mixture of three herbs, amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. The combination of the three herbs in triphala provides an herbal formula that works as a mild laxative that has the ability to rejuvenate the human system.

These are the specific conditions that each of the herbs can help heal:

Amalaki: it is used for:

  1. anemia
  2. arthritis
  3. asthma
  4. bronchitis
  5. colitis
  6. constipation
  7. diabetes
  8. duodenal and gastric ulcers
  9. eczema
  10. eye disorders
  11. chronic fever
  12. gout
  13. premature graying and balding
  14. heart attack prevention
  15. hepatitis
  16. hemorrhoids
  17. high blood pressure
  18. insomnia
  19. jaundice
  20. mental disorders
  21. menorraghia
  22. osteoporosis
  23. rebuilds blood
  24. bones, cells and tissues
  25. rheumatism
  26. liver and spleen weakness
  27. tuberculaosis
  28. urinary disorders and difficulties
  29. vertigo
  30. vomiting

Bibhitaki

  1. colds, coughs and bronchitis
  2. chronic diarrhea
  3. dysentery
  4. eye disorders
  5. headache
  6. hemorrhoids
  7. gastro-intestinal diseases
  8. digestive disorders leading to obesity
  9. laryngitis
  10. liver disorders
  11. mucus
  12. nausea
  13. stones including urinary tract stones
  14. vomiting
  15. sore throat and voice problems

Haritaki

  1. anemia
  2. cough
  3. hemorrhoids
  4. diarrhea
  5. gas
  6. fevers
  7. malabsorption of nutrients
  8. urinary diseases
  9. tumors
  10. blood purification
  11. spleen and liver disorders
  12. ulcerated gums
  13. muscular rheumatism
  14. heart
  15. skin conditions including itching
  16. edema
  17. nervous disorders

I consider triphala a natural balancer for the body.  It is gentle and inexpensive and a great preventative.

It is unrealistic to expect that we can prevent all imbalances in the body. Triphala is a great way to help yourself with the damage from stress, toxins in our food, water and air that we cannot control. It can help you feel more secure about your current and future health.

Triphala is one of my great finds in life. It would definitely get my vote on what to take with me on a deserted island.