The human body is subjected to a highly polluted environment on a daily basis. No matter how many precautions a person takes to protect oneself from pollution, various sources of entry like food, water, and air make way for the accumulation of toxins in the body. Presence of toxins in the body have an adverse effect and cause harm to the normal balance (1). Since exposure to the environment was inevitable, there is no way of escaping toxic substances present in the atmosphere. Removal of such toxins is the function of the liver, which is known as the detoxification organ.
The word ‘detoxification’ itself suggests its meaning- freeing of toxins. It is a widely used treatment concept, which is based on the principle that ailments of the human body are a result of accumulated toxins. Removal of these accumulated toxins frees the body from the diseases caused by them. It is considered as an effective treatment protocol in alternative medicine. The primary aim of a detoxification therapy is the elimination of the existing toxins from the body and preventing new accumulation.
The human body works to continuously flush out toxins and eliminate waste products through various mechanisms. However, since the amount of toxic substances present in the environment has invariably increased, a variety of techniques are now included in the detoxification process. Specific home remedies have proved very useful in the detoxification of the body, aiding the liver to function more efficiently.
Detoxification acts by decreasing the toxic load on the body. Certain modifications in the diet and regular lifestyle can further enhance the process. It is an effective alternative treatment for various chronic (long-term) illnesses like allergic reactions, long-term infections, cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypoglycemia, chronic headaches, arthritis, depression, digestive problems, and obesity. Some allergies or chronic infections that do not respond to conventional allopathic drug therapy have been observed to be treated by detoxification.
Symptoms found in a person suffering from an accumulation of toxins are hormonal disturbances, irregular menstrual cycle, low-grade fever, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, and decreased immunity, rashes on the skin, acne vulgaris, constipation and other digestive problems. Detoxification stimulates the immune system which in turn boosts the hormonal system, thus relieving the body of various symptoms. The process helps to increase overall energy levels in the body, reduce allergic reactions, maintain proper circulation of blood, clear acne vulgaris, improve digestion and provide total nourishment to the body.
Various home remedies that are used for the detoxification process are as follows:
It is one of the oldest and highly recommended methods of detoxification. Researchers on ancient texts of medicine and Ayurveda have suggested that fasting is the best method of detoxification, only second to the natural process carried out by the liver. It is well-established means of improving the general health of the body. Complete abstinence from food consumption provides relaxation to the body. Another variant of fasting that has been widely used in recent time is the juice fasting, where a person consumes juices at regular intervals in a day. A fruit fast includes eating only fruits, preferably the ones with a low glycemic index (2). On completion of the fast, which can be done for a day or two, a person feels rejuvenated and re-energized.
Detoxifying Green Smoothies
The detoxification smoothie helps to flush out toxins from the body and increase the store of phytonutrients and minerals in the body. Increasing the amount of chlorophyll in the body is known to aid in removal of toxic products from the body. The green smoothie that rejuvenates the system and boosts energy levels can be made as follows- Take any one dominant green leafy vegetable, e.g., spinach, fenugreek leaves, kale and any two minor greens like basil, coriander, curry leaves or mint leaves.
Add one fruit like banana, apple, cherry, pear or papaya. For patients with Diabetes add fruit with a low glycemic index. Put all the ingredients together in a blender with around 500 ml of water and blend for 2-3 minutes. Add juice of half a lemon, sprinkle some cinnamon powder, crushed black pepper and rock salt. Mix all the ingredients well and drink without straining. Replacing one of the meals with these nutrients and the fiber-rich smoothie is the best way to detoxify the body without feeling too hungry. It promotes digestion and naturally cleanses the body.
Increase Water Intake
The simplest method to get rid of the unwanted toxins from the body is to increase regular water intake. Drinking water is not only a necessity but also has a high medicinal value. It cleanses the digestive system naturally and boosts immunity. It improves the regular functioning of body organs, particularly of the respiratory and digestive system. An insight on how much water should be a person ideally intake can be received from the physician, who will check the person’s body weight and advise total liters of water required per day.
Fruit and vegetable juices provide a right amount of nutrients to the body and also help in removal of harmful toxins. Not only vitamins and minerals, but these raw juices are also an excellent source of biologically active compounds. Juices of fruits and vegetables like green leafy vegetables, carrots, apples, cucumbers, bottle gourd, beetroot, bitter gourd, grapefruits have high nourishment values. During a juice fasting, these raw juices ensure complete nutrition and feeling of fullness in the stomach thus curbing the urge for eating.
A cup of green tea in the morning in place of the regular tea is an excellent way to provide antioxidants to the body. These antioxidants detoxify free radicals. Green tea helps to protect the liver from damage due to toxins. It also helps in the regulation of metabolism and reducing inflammation. Nowadays, green tea has become a favorite amongst weight watchers and people on a weight loss regimen.
A potent alkalize, lemon juice (3) acts by stimulating the production of bile juices from the liver. Bile juices mix with the food that enters the small intestine and helps in its digestion. Lemon juice also helps in increasing the intake and absorption of minerals in the body. Lemon detox helps in reduction of body fat levels.
Epsom Bath Salts
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is why the use of these salts increase magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium aids in detoxification of body cells. It helps in clearing metal toxins from the body. It also relieves body ache and other pains.
Exfoliation of Skin
Removal of the dead skin by exfoliating rejuvenates the skin. Massage and scrubbing of the skin also improve the blood flow to the layers of skin.
The flowers of dandelion are rich in antioxidants (4) and help to detoxify the free radicals in the body. They also contain a high amount of flavonoids which help in keeping the liver healthy. Dandelion leaves have a high diuretic action and are an excellent source of vitamins and zinc. Dandelion acts by stimulation of liver and gallbladder to release bile juices and thus aid in digestion.
Neem leaves have great anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties (5). It helps in the process of blood purification and clears the metabolic waste accumulated in the body.
Use of probiotics help in increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Probiotics (6) are essential to maintaining proper functioning of the digestive system. A clean digestive system helps the liver in performing the functions of detoxification more efficiently.
Along with all the sources mentioned above of detoxification, it is essential to maintain a physically fit and mentally active body to facilitate the detoxification process. Exercise helps in removing toxins through sweat and hydrating after a good workout flushes out the residual toxins. Regular exercise, performing Yoga asanas, deep breathing exercises and meditating to maintain a calm and sound mind are all beneficial to keep the body to the best of its health and toxin-free.