Performing a cleanse or detox is a way to clean out the debris in your body and revitalize your systems and organs. Toxic waste from heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals in our food and environment can have your body working at suboptimal levels and cause some serious health conditions. Cleansing and detoxing will allow your immune system to take a break, flush the toxins out and get your organs and systems working as they should. The first cleanse that I will focus on in this series is a colon cleanse. If you plan to do a series of cleanses, this is the place to start.
Function of the Colon
The colon performs a few important functions. It extracts water, salt, vitamins and nutrients from food and eliminates solid waste from the body. It also drains waste from metabolic functions and drains toxic substances that are absorbed by our lungs and skin.
Signs and Symptoms that you Need a Colon Cleanse
If you are experiencing any of the below, it would be helpful to do a colon cleanse:
Goal of the Colon Cleanse
When doing a colon cleanse, the goal is to eliminate toxic waste, improve digestion, replenish friendly bacteria cultures, draw mucoid plaque off the walls of the colon and increase the flow of bile. You may lose weight when performing a colon cleanse.
Things to Eliminate from your Diet
While performing the cleanse work to eliminate cooked foods for the first few days while cleansing and processed food for the length of the cleanse.
Things to Add to your Diet
Be mindful to add many of the following to your diet:
General: fermented food, fiber
Fruits: apple, avocado, cherry, fennel, juice (apple, lemon)
Vegetables: barley grass, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, garlic, ginger, horseradish, hot pepper/chili, juice, kale, mustard green, parsley, pumpkin, radish (daikon), seaweed (kombu), turnip, watercress, wheatgrass, winter squash
Nuts/seeds: chia, fennel, flax
Other: apple cider vinegar, cayenne, fenugreek, sea salt, water (10-12 glasses per day), white peppercorn
Herbs and Supplemental Support
The below herbs and supplements may help cleanse your colon:
Barberry root bark
Slippery elm bark
Lifestyle Support and Other Therapies
Other therapies that may help with a colon cleanse are:
Epsom salt bath
I once read that for every ounce of fiber that you take into your body, two ounces comes out through digestion. Fiber encourages healthy bacteria growth, which helps the digestive system absorb nutrients from the food eaten. Fiber increases the speed and bulk of the food moving through your intestines, which then doesn’t allow for harmful substances to build up in the colon. The key to keeping a healthy colon is to eat fibrous food and drink generous amounts of water. A colon cleanse/detox is a way to reset and get on track if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms listed above. I recommend following this cleanse/detox for three to five days.