Nat­u­ral ways to DETOX

Feel­ing tired? Su er­ing headaches? Have a lin­ger­ing low mood you just can’t shake? It may be a sign of liver strain. In to­day’s stress­ful world, this hard­work­ing or­gan has its work cut out, clear­ing tox­ins and play­ing a part in more than 500 pro­cesses in

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Q Why does the liver be­come over­loaded, and how com­mon is it? A One of the liver’s ma­jor tasks in the body is detox­i­fi­ca­tion, and typ­i­cally, it can carry out this process with ease. How­ever, our modern life­styles put our body un­der im­mense pres­sure. Our en­vi­ron­ment has been in­creas­ingly ex­posed to thou­sands of man­made chem­i­cals that weren’t here 150 or even 50 years ago. Add to this the ex­cess tox­ins that come from in­creased adrenalin and cor­ti­sol lev­els from to­day’s hec­tic liv­ing and you have a recipe for an over­worked, un­der­per­form­ing liver.

Q Are there any key signs and symp­toms that the liver may be un­der strain? A Toxic over­load, which oc­curs when the liver can­not prop­erly detox­ify, is linked to many health is­sues. Signs that your liver may need some sup­port in­clude: low en­ergy, ir­ri­tabil­ity, headaches, ‘brain fog’, al­ler­gies or food in­tol­er­ances, nau­sea, high choles­terol, con­sti­pa­tion, and sleep dis­tur­bances, par­tic­u­larly wak­ing be­tween 12am and 3am.

Q There’s a bit of con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion about detox­ing out there – does the body re­ally need ex­tra help to do this?

A Detox­i­fi­ca­tion is a nat­u­ral process that the body un­der­takes every

day – it refers to the meta­bolic process where the body elim­i­nates what is metabolised, un­nec­es­sary or harm­ful to its func­tion­ing. There is only so much your liver can ef­fec­tively detox­ify, and any left­over waste will build up, caus­ing un­wanted symp­toms. Detox­i­fi­ca­tion has been part of var­i­ous cul­tures for cen­turies, with cleans­ing rit­u­als in­clud­ing saunas, speci c fast­ing pro­to­cols and herbal medicine. Now, science has be­gun to catch up with tra­di­tional wis­dom, and the bene ts th­ese rit­u­als have on over­all well­be­ing have re­sulted in the in­creased aware­ness of detox­i­fi­ca­tion in main­stream so­ci­ety.

Q What are some of the most com­mon myths around detox­ing? A Detox­ing shouldn’t be con­sid­ered a ‘diet’. It’s a way of life, a self-care prac­tice you can do every day to look after your health. There is a lot of con­fus­ing mar­ket­ing around detox­ing, along with prod­ucts and fad di­ets that are nei­ther suc­cess­ful nor sus­tain­able. Of­ten, they can do more harm than good due to their harsh com­po­si­tion. Some­times they’re made of pro­cessed in­gre­di­ents that can de­prive the body of es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents.

Q What are some nat­u­ral ways to sup­port your liver? Are there any foods that have liver health bene ts? A The eas­i­est way to sup­port your body’s daily detox­i­fi­ca­tion is to

take a medic­i­nal tea with bit­ter liver herbs be­fore break­fast, as cer­tain plants con­tain spe­cific phy­to­chem­i­cals which en­hance the detox­i­fi­ca­tion process. Many of th­ese phy­to­chem­i­cals are unique to plant medicine, and not found in ev­ery­day foods, so a nour­ish­ing diet alone isn’t enough. Bit­ter medic­i­nal herbs stim­u­late di­ges­tive en­zymes in the body, ac­ti­vate the gut and cleanse the liver from wastes and tox­ins that may have metabolised overnight. St Mary’s this­tle, globe ar­ti­choke, dan­de­lion root and cal­en­dula pro­vide speci c ac­tive con­stituents that sup­port the liver in clear­ing sub­stances such as al­co­hol, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and recre­ational drugs, food ad­di­tives and en­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins. A diet rich in greens helps to im­prove liver per­for­mance. Veg­eta­bles in the bras­sica fam­ily in­clud­ing broc­coli, cauli ower, cab­bage and Brus­sels sprouts are par­tic­u­larly bene cial due to the pres­ence of sul­foraphane, a sub­stance that en­hances detox­i­fi­ca­tion. Opt for or­ganic or spray-free pro­duce to re­duce ex­po­sure to toxic chem­i­cals, and try to re­duce your con­sump­tion of pro­cessed foods that con­tain ad­di­tives, preser­va­tives and trans fats. When it comes to other prod­ucts, look for brands that don’t in­clude harm­ful chem­i­cals such as parabens, arti cial preser­va­tives or syn­thetic scent.

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