We are the living, breathing and feeling result of everything we ingest. This includes foods, liquids, herbs, medicine, cosmetics, aromas, sounds, air, thoughts, experiences and energies. What we ingest, what we absorb, and what we subsequently eliminate determines the quality of life that we have. Undergoing a detox program means dedication to the proactive elimination of toxicity stored within the body: the undigested, the useless and the damaging. Therefore, understanding our pathways of elimination is a necessary step towards a successful detox process.

We eliminate in two ways: egestion, and excretion.

Egestion refers to the expulsion of undigested material from the colon, commonly referred to as “number 2”. Excretion is the release of waste that has been formed through a chemical reaction in the body referred to as metabolism. This is handled by a group of organs working together called the excretory system. One of the objectives of the excretory system is to remove metabolic waste (the by-products of metabolism) from the body. This process is never ending in our bodies and is happening every second we are alive, and really kicks in when we are asleep.

The excretory system and the 4 major detox organs

The Lungs
With every breath, we detox: clean (hopefully) oxygen in, and waste-product carbon dioxide out. Toxicity collects in different places in different people for different reasons. Some people suffer more from accumulated toxicity in the lungs and need to spend more time eliminating in this area. Spending 20 minutes or so in a steam room or (wet sauna) is a fabulous way to loosen up toxicity stuck in the lungs. Salt inhalers or salt caves are also excellent ways of detoxifying and nourishing the lungs. Bringing large amounts of fresh oxygen into the lungs is extremely beneficial during a detox program. Spend time in nature; hike or just hang out in parks with trees. Breathe deeply and feel the toxic air move out of you. If being outside is seasonally challenging, the next best thing is daily Pranayama, the yogic practice and art of using the breath work. Combining all of these things is ideal of course.

The Liver
This large and important organ cannot be neglected. Its heavy workload must be acknowledged and supported. An unhealthy liver can result in: digestive problems, compromised immune system, lack of mental clarity/emotional stability, blocked blood flow to the heart plus a myriad of other grim issues. The state of our liver is vital to our wellbeing. A well-administered detox program can do wonders for liver repair and renewal. An unhealthy liver will lower your quality of life. The liver loves bitter herbs and many common weeds all over the world are liver tonics. The liver also loves dark leafy greens, especially in liquid form. During the detoxification process make your liver is getting plenty of greens in your raw juices. Antioxidant rich green tea (or coca leaf tea in Peru) are also highly beneficial. Mint tea, which can stimulate bile flow, is another nice addition. Turmeric root is a massive assistance to the liver, (and the entire organism) go for the fresh grated root if you can find it. While you detox the liver, you must support the kidneys with plenty of water. For post detox and everyday support, some good additions are avocados, grapefruits, green tea, garlic, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, especially bitter greens.

The Kidneys
These two little vital organs cleanse our blood and keep our blood chemically balanced. Keeping properly hydrated during a detox program is essential in assisting the kidneys to work it all out for us. Drinking mild diuretic teas are helpful in keeping things flowing. The best diuretic of all is water. Chanca Piedra is a revered Peruvian herb that assist in breaking up calcification in the body such as kidney stones but also soothes the liver and increases bile production. Kidney’s can hurt if they are stressed or passing stones bringing our attention to them. Stressed kidney’s can feel like lower back pain, which is good to be aware of. Post and pre-detox diets should include kidney beans, funny enough as well as asparagus, fennel, parsley and watermelon.

The Skin
The skin is our largest organ or elimination. All our detox organs work together so making sure we attend to our skin can ease the pressure off the other organs. Any successful detox program will produce an improvement of skin tone because our skin is a great representation of our overall state of health. It is not uncommon for breakouts to occur during the process, which is generally a good sign things are moving! A good detox will be evident by softer, clearer skin and a more radiant completion. Some of the things that assist the skin to eliminate built-up toxicity in the body are: therapeutic sweating, drinking plenty of clean water, dry brushing and salt or mineral baths. The state of the colon is often represented by the state of the skin, therefore utilising therapeutic water enemas or colonic irrigation is an easy way to keep the skin clear and glowing.

The Extra Mile
During a detox if you were to go the extra mile, you would go toxin free; literally, avoiding commercial cleaning products and toiletries and going 100% au natural. This would relieve all of our detox organs from the begrudging daily task of dealing with these toxins that are still in so many of our bathrooms and kitchens.