With the season changing and our minds on the future, it is a great time to think about a seasonal detox. The change from season to season provides us a good reason to start thinking about boosting our immune before cold and flu season is upon us. Assisting your natural immune defense is an investment in your wellness and it begins with removing excess toxins from the body.
Your body has a sophisticated way of eliminating toxins that involves the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs. While this system is remarkably efficient, there are things you can do to assist your body and help it perform at its peak.
Nature has given us some powerful herbal allies to help
Many herbs have the ability to fortify our bodies and help them keep up with daily life. Certain herbs however, may help your detox plan as they specifically offer support to our natural immune system. We use many of these herbs in our Panacea product line, which is tailored to those looking for detoxification or immune support. Each of the following herbs grows naturally here in Oregon and can be sustainably harvested.
In our Panacea Detox Tincture we use:
DANDELION ROOT (Taraxacum officinale) - A tonic that may support the digestive and urinary systems. May also support the organs that help rid the body of toxins.*
BURDOCK ROOT (Arctium lappa) - Potentially ignites the body’s natural detoxification processes and assists in eliminating harmful toxins from the body.*
NETTLE LEAF (Urtica dioica) - Traditionally used by herbalists as a kidney tonic and to help to flush out waste through the urinary tract.*
RED CLOVER (Trifolium pratense) -May support the body in detoxification through the cardiovascular and lymphatic system, as well as the liver.*
In our Panacea Immune Defense Tincture we use:
LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) - May provide balance and support to the immune system, as well as the nervous system.*
HYSSOP (Hyssopus officinalis) - May help the body fight off infectious bacteria and viruses, as well as support the respiratory system.*
ECHINACEA HERB (Echinacea purpurea) - May provide support to the body’s immune system and may also support the body’s respiratory system.*
CALENDULA (Calendula officinalis) - May be supportive in clearing out the lymph nodes. It may be useful when an individual feels worse in damp, heavy, cloudy weather.*
Herbs offer us such a wealth of amazing properties and provide us with a solid foundation on which we can build a proper detox plan. We encourage you to try these herbs and see if they work well for your body.
Your diet matters more than you think
While herbs may be the foundation of your plan, you also must consider nutrition. Most detox regimens will require some dietary changes. The food we eat has a major role in how well all of our body’s systems perform. Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients all come into play as the body eliminates wastes and uses its various systems to keep us well. Giving your body the right fuel allows it to work efficiently. The following foods provide a natural path toward detoxification.
Full of the vitamin C, this antioxidant is great for fighting free-radicals which can have a negative impact on the body. Additionally, lemons have an alkaline effect, helping restore the body's pH balance. A slice of lemon in hot water is a simple way to start your detox.
Aside from settling your stomach, ginger can aid digestion, and may even reduce bloating and gas. It also contains a large number of antioxidants and provides a good boost to immunity.
Garlic, despite its strong sometimes off-putting odour, is great for a detox. Garlic contains allicin which aids in white blood cell production and can help protect the body against infections. For maximum benefit, garlic is best consumed raw, so try adding crushed garlic to a dressing for a salad.
Beetroot supports liver detoxification, making it a great detox food. It also provides a great shot of nutrients in one hit as it is full of magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. To enjoy the benefits of beetroot add some to a salad or drink some beetroot juice.
While not strictly a food, green tea contains active ingredients which help support detox and provide additional health benefits. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and can help rid the body of toxins. It has been found to boost the performance of the liver and can protect the liver from diseases. To get the max from green tea drinking, brew it from loose leaves, as this will allow more antioxidants to be released.
Like many cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, kale, cabbage contains sulforaphane, a chemical which aids the body in the fight against toxins. Cabbage also contains glutathione; an antioxidant that helps promote the live function.
Fresh fruits are fibre rich and can play a key role in a detox diet. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants they can help improve digestion as well as your appearance (including skin and hair). Include in your diet a wide variety of fruit, but especially some of the acid fruits such as grapefruit, pineapples, oranges, and even tomatoes as these are all especially detoxifying. It is easy to include fruit in your diet; you could start your day with fruit smoothie and then snack on fruit when hunger strikes throughout your day.
Watercress, perhaps surprisingly, is considered to be one of the healthiest food around and a great detox food. Containing antioxidants and several detoxifying nutrients, including B vitamins, zinc, and potassium.
Include the foods above in your detox plan and set your body up for success.
There are also six lifestyle choices which can hinder our body’s ability to cleanse itself
If you are serious about taking care of your immune and digestive systems, you may want to avoid these common things that prevent your body from performing as well. Falling prey to these common behaviors may hinder your detox efforts. Be aware of how these choices affect your body.
- Drinking too much alcohol reduces your liver’s ability to carry out its normal functions, such as detoxifying. Consider limiting your intake or stopping altogether
- Staying up too late and not getting enough rest can also tax your body’s abilities. Make getting good rest a priority by limiting caffeine before bed, and planning ahead to give yourself time to sleep. Adequate sleep allows your brain to reorganize, recharge, and eliminate toxins that accumulate throughout the day.
- Not drinking enough water causes your body serious challenges when it tries to flush out harmful toxins. In addition to its many roles in your body, water allows your body’s detoxification system to remove waste products from your blood.
- Eating too much salt can also have an impact on the body when it comes to eliminating waste. Too much salt increases water retention. This hinders the flushing of toxins and prevents the toxins in your retained water from flowing out of the body.
- Lack of exercise does more harm than you may think. One easy way your body rids itself of toxins is through sweat. Without exercise or some form of physical exertion, the body is unable to utilize perspiration as a way to flush itself out. Regular exercise causes the body to perspire, and thus helps the body to remove toxins.
Here at Sun God Medicinals, we love teaching people about the power of herbs and how they can benefit our lives. Each of the herbs we referenced above, are also available in single herb tinctures as part of our Ra Herbals line. They provide you the ability to try one herb at a time and see how it works with your body and your lifestyle needs.
Combining herbs, being mindful of your diet, and avoiding lifestyle decisions like the above will ensure your body has everything it needs to prepare for the seasonal change.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.