It's spring which is a great time to think about detoxing the body. We get energized in the spring by the sunlight and longer days and suddenly there is an urge to clean things up. "You can detox any time of the year but the best time is spring and fall," says Dr. Terry Willard director of Wild Rose College and owner of Wild Rose Clinic in Calgary, Alberta. "There's many reasons to do a detox but the most common one is that people feel bloated. The other real common reason is that they need to lose a few pounds. It's a great way to jumpstart a weight loss program so they reset their diet. It makes a person conscious of what they're doing and eating. "
There are various ways to detox; a herbal cleanse is one of the most common methods and the Master Cleanse program is another method. The Master Cleanse is more of a fasting type of detox and it involves drinking water with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup every day. "The understanding of a detox is different than a fast," says Dr. Willard. "The Master Cleanse is one of our favorites (at the clinic) but it can be problematic for people. A lot of people can't handle fasts – people with a sugar problem, a yeast problem or any kind of metabolic imbalance." The reason for this is that the detoxing makes symptoms worse for a short period of time, what's known as a healing crisis. Fasting in particular can bring on a stronger healing crisis than detoxing with a herbal cleanse.
The healing crisis (also known as the Herxheimer Effect) can sometimes scare people away from doing a detox program. But it shouldn't. The healing crisis occurs when the toxins enter the bloodstream faster than the body can get rid of them.
Done correctly the detox symptoms shouldn't be that intense and it should only last for 3 days. These symptoms can include skin rashes or eruptions, headaches, bad breath (sometimes, very bad breath!), Unusual body odors, dizziness, nausea, feelings of fatigue or even slight depression, gas, diarrhea, colds, ear infection, insomnia, boils , itching, temporary confusion.etc. These detoxing symptoms are an indication that the detox is working and the body is working towards balance. For all these reasons, a detox program is often started on a Friday so the detoxer can rest as much as needed. To minimize the healing crisis, the detoxer should drink as much water as needed and avoid food and beverages that interrupt the cleansing; alcohol, coffee, white flour products, meat, dairy, anything fried.
Married to the Toilet
This is another fear that many people have when it comes to a detox program. "Some people dn't feel like they want to marry the throne," says Dr. Willard. He says people on a detox program shouldn't experience any more than 3-4 bowel movements a day., Usually it's 2-3 times. Again, it's why people should start the detox on a Friday (or whatever day works best for them). A good detox program will keep the elimination channels open and this will work to lessen the healing crisis. So see that toilet as your friend.
Many detox programs have a number of herbs that can be bewildering to the person taking them. The herbs have several functions; some work on the bowel, others on the liver, others clean the blood and the kidneys. Cascara sagrada is a herb that helps clean out the colon and as it's a strong herb, it is often used in combination with other herbs like Burdock root. Herbs that affect the liver are typically dandelion, burdock root and black radish. Milk thistle also impacts the liver and helps strengthen it. These herbs stimulate the liver to work harder and tone it up. "A lot of people have overloaded livers," says Dr. Willard. "The bigger the city, the more overloaded the liver is."
That's because those who live in the city are more likely to be affected by toxins in their environment as well as in the food they eat. Another formula that is part of the detox program works on the kidneys. This formula contains licorice, yarrow, parsley and uva ursi. These herbs clean out the lymphatic system and kidneys. "By doing that, it helps pull toxins out of the body," says Dr. Willard. After completing a detox program, people may wish to use probiotics like acidophilus as well as digestive enzymes to strengthen the digestive system.