Detox products like detoxing water, detoxing supplements; colon cleansers and detox baths have become phenomenal craze… They work!
While you can gain immense health benefits by simply drinking water, one thing you should remember is that detox is an ongoing process. It will never be an instant fix for problems.
Why do we need Detoxification?
Breath, feces, urine and sweat are the four main pathways that help remove environmental and internalized toxins from the human body. Most of these toxins are removed from the body by these natural elimination processes BUT a small percentage of these toxins (can) remain stuck in the body system and don’t get eliminated.
“We are what we drink, eat, breathe, touch and can’t eliminate”
Liver helps detox most of the body toxins.
Phase 1– Transform toxins into chemical form that can be metabolized by enzymes.
Phase 2 – Water solubility of toxins are increased by conjugation of toxins with other water soluble compounds.
Phase 3 – Transport of inert water-soluble toxins via bile into intestines.
Phase 1 reaction takes place under the influence of cytochrome 450. If it becomes overactive (by ingesting excessive amounts of toxic chemicals, it can produce extremely toxic free radicals, which is usually checked by antioxidants like glutathione.
Bile containing toxins are picked up by dietary fiber and are excreted out of our body in the form of feces. Water acts as a natural lubricant and promotes easy evacuation of the bowels.
Some of the toxins get transported back into blood stream for further processing in kidneys.
Our kidneys filter 400 gallons of blood each day. It filters toxins from the blood and excretes them out as urine. Adequate water hydration is required to optimize kidney function.
Other than this, water also acts as an electronegative enhancer as it allows lipid cells to dump toxins into blood stream for elimination. Drinking large amount of water increases electro negativity of blood and through osmosis lipid cells release toxins into blood stream, wherefrom these toxins are flushed out through urine and feces.
So in short water act as a solvent, transporter, lubricant and an electronegative enhancer, aiding in detoxification.
Besides drinking plain water at room temperature hot/warm water, infused water or lemon water has also shown some health benefits.
Hot Water Detox
Drinking hot water slowly right after waking up in the morning recovers fluid loss occurred while sleeping and kick start your metabolism. You can also drink hot water before meals and also before and after taking bath
- It helps to detox gut’s immune system
- Facilitates drainage of toxins into gut
- Relieves constipation and augments function of lymphatic system by increasing fluid circulation
- Pins down your appetite and you tend to eat less which aids in weight loss
- Fix dry skin- simply by increasing temperature of water to 50oc you can improve hydration of your skin
- Boost digestion- drinking hot water before meals is said to be an aid in digestion
- This type of detox doesn’t require any kind of fasting or diet check, which makes it easier to follow.
Note: Avoid consuming too much of hot water. You should limit your daily intake to 5 glasses max for better results.
Lemon Water Detox
Drink a cup of warm lemon water every morning before breakfast, to gain following health benefits
- Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C which helps body to produce glutathione – a powerful antioxidant
- It improves digestion. American cancer society recommends lemon water for stimulation of bowel movement in cancer patients.
- Vitamin c in lemon boosts absorption of other minerals and iron from diet
- Lemon contains an antioxidant d-limonene, which activates liver enzymes and facilitates phase1 and 2 detoxification processes.
- Lemon helps to loose ama, or toxin into digestive tract.
- It acts as a diuretic-by increasing frequency of urination it helps to flush toxins at a faster rate.
- Citric acid present in lemon also aids functioning of liver enzymes
- It boost immune system
- It contains potassium which stimulates nervous system and helps to control blood pressure
- It also contains saponins, which has antimicrobial properties
- It balances blood PH
- It Stimulates gall bladder contraction and allows bile to be secreted out of liver
- It contains pectin fiber, which helps to chain down your appetite.
- It enhances mood, promote healing and freshen breath
Although there is no evidence in support to efficacy of lemon water with regards to its property of countering toxic substances, howbeit addition of lemon to water helps you to consume more water, which is also of great importance.
Infused Water Detox
Water infused with fruits, vegetables or herbs can be an easy way to increase your water intake
You can make your own detox recipes by infusing lemon, apple cinnamon, mango, ginger etc with cold water, besides these infused water recipes are inexpensive, having zero calories and are of your favorite taste too
The most important thing of infused water detox is that you can make any recipe of your choice as long as it allows you to drink more water.
Steam Bath Detox
It is an effective way to flush out toxins and diseases through sweating. As we know that skin is the largest organ of our body with numerous pores present on its surface.
- Toxins are carried out with sweat in a heated room and disposed off through pores.
- Steam baths by increasing blood circulation helps in fast disposal of toxins and fats
- It aids in skin cleansing and provides relaxation to mind and body
It is based on the techniques described by Louis kuhne of Leipzig. Toxins that does not eliminate via urine or stools can be eliminated through skin via sweat
Mixing salts in hot water, which allows you to sweat more, can make detox baths. When you soak yourself in detox bath, hot water helps to open up skin pores and draws toxins to the surface of the skin. As the water cools down gradually toxins gets eliminated from the body by the principle of osmosis.
Typically detox bath should be taken for 2-3 days /week. Some examples of salts used in detox bath are:
- Sea salt- known for its healing properties
- Epsom salt- decreases inflammation and helps to draw toxins from skin
- Apple cider vinegar- soften skin, helps to relieve infection
- Ginger/hydrogen peroxide- alleviates congestion, body aches, allergies
- Mustard powder- reduces infection and ache
Note: It is wise not to mix two different bath ingredients. Consult a physician before commencing detox bath if you are pregnant, have low blood pressure or altered sensation.