Some people think of detoxification as something radical that they have to do once a year, or once a season, to clear out the gunk they’ve spent the last year accumulating. They detox and then they go and retox! There are so many simple things that can be done every day of your life to help keep the detox pathways well supported. Here are five simple ways to support detox every day:
1. Drinking lemon essential oil in water
Many people are familiar with drinking lemon juice in water, but the essential oil of lemon is a much more concentrated way to get the cleansing benefits of lemon. The essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind of the lemon, where the juice is from the pulp of the lemon, so they have slightly different constituents and benefits. I could never get consistent with the juice, but putting a few drops of lemon oil in water is the first thing I do now every day. It’s good for you, plus it tastes really yummy!!
2. Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing helps support detox by helping to move the lymphatic fluid through the body. The lymphatic system is like the waste collection system, it brings toxins and waste products from cells, back towards the heart and dumps them into larger veins so they can go through the detoxification process and be eliminated from the body. Skin brushing helps to physically “sweep” the toxins into the larger channels and towards the heart. Skin brushing needs to be done on dry skin – I suggest just before your shower, and a boar-head brush is going to be your best bet.
3. Epsom salts baths
Epsom salts are salts made up of magnesium sulfate. When added to a bath they can really assist the detoxification process. Epsom salts baths are also very relaxing – the magnesium soothes sore, tired muscles, calms the nervous system and promotes good sleep. Some people find very hot baths challenging, so it’s fine for the water to be tepid – so long as it’s hot enough to dissolve the salts, all will be well, and from there it’s personal preference. Epsom salts baths are ideal for after swimming in chlorinated pools too, to help the body detox the chlorine. Add 1-2 cups of epsom salts to your bath, grab a good book and have a good soak before bed.
4. Drink 2 liters of water per day
This one is well known, and yet still when we are busy rushing around at work, taking care of kids, trying to get all the chores and errands done, it can be hard to remember to drink water. 2 liters, or 8 glasses of clean, filtered water per day is a minimum. That’s almost 70 fluid ounces! This may seem like a lot, but the key to getting more water in is increasing in small increments, rather than trying to make a radical change in one step. Drinking herbal tea counts towards your allocation – coffee does not because it is inherently dehydrating. Another tip is to get flavored stevia, which comes in a host of different flavors from apricot to mint to vanilla, and add 1-2 drops in the water just to give it a bit of a lift. Essential oils in water are also amazing and can add to the energy-giving, detoxifying properties of it.
5. Adding ground flax or chia seeds to your protein smoothie, oatmeal or salad
The bowels are one of the major channels of toxin elimination from the body. The liver does the hefty detox work, but then dumps the end products into the bowel to get them out of the body (the kidneys also do some detox and rid toxins through the urine, but the bowels get the majority). So, it follows that if your bowels aren’t moving well, the toxins can stagnate, and potentially even reabsorb. We don’t want to give irritating or stimulant laxatives to the bowels more than necessary in acute situations, but we do want to be always “sweeping” the bowels and assisting the exit of toxins. I find that 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds, or the same amount of chia seeds, is an ideal way to add that dietary fiber and assist that detox.
If a 21-day detox program feels overwhelming to you, but you know that detox is important, you can start incorporating these simple steps every day and feel the benefits immediately!