Posted on June 12, 2013
Detoxing can be hard on your body and cause a wide variety of unsettling side effects. After all, the substances being removed are usually pretty horrible, consisting of toxic chemicals from pesticide residues, by-products of GMO foods, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives, and heavy metals, just to name a few.
There are numerous detoxifying agents and methods available — some more costly than others — and some producing very intense experiences with potentially dangerous side effects. I advise choosing a more natural method.
There are several ways to remove some of these noxious substances gently, with kindness to your system. These techniques may take a bit longer to achieve completion that some the harsher cleansing programs; however, if you take your time one or more of these natural methods should work for you.
Chlorella is a single cell algae sea vegetable that grows in fresh water, not salt water so it is not related to seaweed. Some of the best chlorella reserves have come from Japan; however, use caution when buying Japanese chlorella due to possible exposure to radiation from Fukushima. Chlorella is an easy-to-digest super food best known for being able to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the cells. Too much chlorella can produce side effects — mostly in the digestive tract — where it works best to bind to mercury, eliminating it. Let me note here that mercury that has crossed the blood brain barrier cannot be removed with this type of detoxification method. Start with the lowest quantity and work up slowly for a gentle cleanse.
The delicious culinary herb cilantro happens to be one of the most effective and gentle detoxifiers of mercury, heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. You can buy cilantro juice at health food stores or simply include the fresh herb in your diet as pesto or seasoning to control the amount consumed and limit unwanted side effects. It’s inexpensive and works without the addition of man-made chemicals. Cilantro also possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, quickly reducing infection and inflammation as it works to clear your system.
Fruit pectin is probably the gentlest method of detoxifying contaminants. Pectin comes from the fibrous portion of the fruit and is most commonly found in the pith of limes, lemons and other citrus fruit as well as in apples. Other sources of pectin are bananas, grapes, carrots, and cabbage. Pectin helps to release heavy metals, chemicals and other substances into the blood stream, where it binds to them and flushes them from the body. Simply eating fruit high in pectin will help to cleanse your system, or you can add a pectin product to a glass of water, organic grape juice or fresh veggie juice to speed the detoxification process. Beware of pectin sold in grocery stores, as some brands may contain MSG. Check health food stores for the best products.
Juicing fresh produce and grasses such as wheat or barley grass provides an excellent way to remove toxins from the system. Wheatgrass is high in nutritional content, and provides vitamins, minerals and all nine essential amino acids. Because it is sprouted, it’s a grass, not a grain, so no gluten. Wheatgrass can be a powerful cleanse, so start slowly with only a small amount of juice to keep it gentle — 1/2 ounce a day — and work up to avoid symptoms.
Using gentle detoxifying products requires that you repeat treatments over a period of time until all symptoms have cleared. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, dizziness and fatigue. Additionally, cleansing can cause a flare-up in your condition temporarily. It’s just the toxins leaving your system and should pass shortly. If side effects are severe, reduce the quantity of whatever you’re using to cleanse with. If the symptoms continue, stop and consult your naturopathic physician (that would be me!) for further instructions.