Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cleansing and Detoxifi cation

  Cleansing and Detoxifi cation

You would not own a car and assume that simply by giving it oil, water, and gas it would keep functioning effi ciently. You would realize that, at some time, it would need a complete oil change and a service. Interestingly, however, many people do not take similar steps to ensure that their bodies get the correct fuel and care. Yet they expect them to run effi ciently. Detoxifying is like home servicing an engine, a self-help program to keep your body functioning well. A new breed of people are emerging who are prepared to give it a try and fi nding the results worthwhile

     Decreased immunity because of an increase in toxicity is evidently the key health issue of our time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. But detoxifying and cleansing programs can help redress this problem. Cleansing the body of toxins by excreting, transforming, or neutralizing them frees the body. Every organ and system can sigh with relief as burdens are lifted, excess toxic baggage is towed away, and the effort of digestion is reduced to a minimum while nourishment is still provided.

     What exactly are these toxins? They can be excessive mucus, abundant free radicals, fungal and other microbial infestations, parasites, and worms — in fact, anything that blocks tissues and suffocates cells, causing stagnation and the diseases that often arise out of an immunally or digestively compromised body. Free-radical damage is a common factor in chronic disease. Free radicals are irritants that cause tissue to infl ame, blocking normal, free-fl owing function at every level. Whatever the toxicity, and whatever its cause, the effects can manifest themselves in many ways. Cancer, diabetes, diverticulitis, obesity, fatigue, immunesystem weakness, sexual disorders, swollen joints, headaches, candidiasis, and depression are just a few examples.

      Good health relies entirely on a correctly functioning gastrointestinal tract that assimilates nutrients from food and swiftly removes toxic substances. Because this system creates harmony and balance, it stands to reason that appropriate foods or the lack of them can be the major mechanisms through which the body is healed or remains sick. Exercise, massage, hydro therapy, and herbs have a supportive role in healing and should be used alongside healing food programs and other supportive therapies, such as acupuncture, radionics, and kinesiology. Exercise will always speed up the detoxifi cation process because it helps to remove toxins by increasing circulation. Massage and skin brushing work similarly by stimulating the skin and are very valuable aids to health. Simple hydrotherapy should include alternating hot and cold showers, sitz baths, and saunas. It encourages circulation, promoting the movement of toxins and the delivery of nourishment to all cells, organs, and systems. For more on these therapies, see chapter 5.

     General examples of herbs that may be chosen for various detoxifi cation purposes include the following:

  • Blood cleansers: 

burdock root, red clover fl ower, plantain leaf, and lemon

  • Diuretics (water movers): 

corn silk, dandelion root and leaf, and celery seed

  • Laxatives (colon movers): 

barberry root bark, cascara sagrada bark, and Chinese rhubarb root

  • Liver supportives and cleansers:

 milk thistle seed, Bupleurum root, and dandelion root and leaf

  • Immune enhancers:

 echinacea root, arborvitae leaf, garlic clove, chamomile fl ower, olive leaf, and oregano leaf

  • Immune enhancers: 

echinacea root, arborvitae leaf, garlic clove, chamomile fl ower, olive leaf, and oregano leaf

Food and Cleanses to Suit the Individual

    Before you undertake a cleansing and detoxifi cation program, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration in order to determine what kind of program is most suitable for you. In all cases, however, the body will require building and toning and then maintaining. Every program should include the use of water, juices, superfood, herbs, and specifi c foods.

      Very often, only a selective grouping of foods should be eaten during this type of program. Foods should be specifi cally chosen to clean and detoxify the system that needs initial attention. It is important to remember that it is not the variety of food types that is important but, in this case, the quantity of the food type you are consuming. Often vegetables are chosen for these programs because they clean out the bloodstream, lymph system, kidneys, and colon while putting as little strain as possible on the digestive system and pancreas.

       Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems look at body types and then advise on the duration of, and methods used for, a detoxifi cation or fasting program that is appropriate to the individual. For instance, thin people with hypermetabolic constitutions burn up material quickly, and 82 then the metabolism slows down. As this pattern decreases the likelihood of excessive detoxifi cation, this type of person should be given a shorter program. People who have a slower metabolism and greater body weight can cleanse and fast more frequently and with increased intensity. People who are of medium height with red tones to the skin and hair and who maintain good levels of body warmth will fi nd fasting and detoxifying programs an easy and productive process. If you wish to clarify your body type, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner. You can also simply start a cleanse and then stop if you are too overwhelmed physically and emotionally, returning to it at a later date

     For many relatively healthy people it is simply pleasant and rejuvenating to perform a cleanse at the onset of each season. Choose cleanses to fi t the weather and your mood. The consumption of lots of juiced root vegetables, raw chiles, and ginger, accompanied by plenty of potassium broth (see under “Kitchen Basics” in chapter 4) and warming herbal teas, should be used in autumn and winter, while for the spring and summer, watery vegetables and fruits like melon and cucumber, along with an abundance of green salads, would be ideal.

         For those wishing to cleanse only twice a year, the fi rst cleanse should take place in spring. This is traditionally the best time of year to cleanse. It helps you to replenish your energy and shrug off the excesses of winter. Spring itself gives us the fresh ingredients for cleansing, such as spring greens (the sour varieties), dandelion leaves, young nettles, and new hawthorn shoots. Such plants can be used to thin the blood before the onset of summer heat. There are striking similarities between spring and autumn; for example, the damp nights and the golden days that give us green grass of such piercing vernal freshness. During the transitional season of autumn; you will again be able to fi nd young dandelion leaves shooting up everywhere, and the nettles that have been cut down all summer will also begin to produce green, tender growth. Therefore autumn is a good time of year to cleanse the liver in preparation for the work it will have to do throughout the winter months, when the body and immune system are called on to endure the cold and the possible increase of infections.
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