Detoxification Through Natural Means
Today the word most discussed in patient circles is "toxins". We are regularly bombarded with toxins from every sphere, whether it be the chemicals and poisons in the environment, the pesticide infested food we eat, the plastic containers we use, the toxic elements in the workplace, the toxins we consume in the name of medicines, the list is endless.
The liver, kidneys, the skin, the digestive system and the lymphatic system regularly fight these toxins and tries to eliminate them. But as a naturopathic doctor has recently pointed out, our elimination system is capable of fighting hundreds of toxins, not thousands of them. Therefore external help is today essential to keep ourselves free from the scourge of toxins.
First, the prevention part. We should be careful to avoid these toxins. As we go out into the busy streets of the cities, I would certainly advise wearing a filter. The filters made of gauge cotton and charcoal, keep out most harmful elements, if not all. Next we should curb the tendency to guzzle soft drinks and the various fast food items. These are literally poisons, infested with various harmful chemicals, used as ingredients or preservatives. We should try our best to eat organic food that is grown naturally even if it costs a little more. If we do not have access to organic food then we should try to wash the vegetables in a light potassium permanganate solution to at least reduce the toxic load.
We should try to store food items and water in glass bottles instead of plastic containers, as per recent research on the subject. The food we consume should preferably be fresh, instead of being refridgerated or pre-processed, ready to cook items.
If we are unable to stop medication, we should discuss the dosage and after effects with our doctor. Doctors usually prescribe a one-size-fit-all dosage instead of considering the body mass index and body type. We can also persuade the doctor to give us safer alternatives. We should resist from taking medications like antibiotics for viral problems, as they are useless in such conditions.
Next the detoxification. Keeping fit and lean makes our body capable of better resistance to the toxins as well as better elimination. Taking plenty of water throughout the day (not at meal times) helps substantially. We should take 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. This is a must. Those who do not feel thirsty as a rule or hate water can get themselves treated homeopathically for the condition.
Dr Leo Rebello, in his book "Nature Cure & Yoga Therapy", advises four glasses of lemon water enriched with a spoonful of honey and a pinch of pepper powder, prepared fresh everytime, throughout the day, for a period of 10 to 15 days as a detoxification method. After this,a glass of the same every morning will not only help eradicate toxins but also help in maintaining the alkalinity of the body. It also helps reduce fat.
The water therapy should be accompanied by increasing ones intake of raw foods and fruits, salads and fruit juices. The food should contain enough roughage to facilitate elimination and prevent constipation. Constipation is supposed to be the root cause of disease as the waste accumulated in the colon does not find a way out and is recycled back into the body. The food should be 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. The intake of non vegetarian food should preferably be reduced, specially if one is not too active physically. A well known naturopath has advised me to avoid non vegetarian food, including milk, like the plague considering the hormones, medication and unnatural food given to the animals to fatten them and increase milk production. All non-vegetarian foods, excluding milk, is acidic in content. Milk is neutral. Curd and buttermilk can be included in the diet to facilitate digestion and keep the guts healthy.
The white poisons, sugar, salt, white flour, and also deep fries, microwave cooked food, are best avoided. Refined sugar and salt tax the body as a lot of effort is needed to assimilate them. They rob the body of vital nutrients and minerals. One should also reduce and eliminate smoking, alchohol intake and the desire to sip endless cups of tea or coffee. Herbal tea is a good alternative. Another option would be to sip a cup of warm water slowly everytime you get the urge for consuming tea or other hot beverages. This will also help in curbing acidity. In India herbal cigarettes are available for helping people kick the habit of smoking.
Various yoga asanas that compress and twist the stomach will nourish the alimentary canal, liver and kidneys by both squeezing them as well as increasing the blood flow to these vital organs. One should exercise so that one sweats a little so as to keep the pores of the skin open. After exercising one should vigorously rub or massage the body, rest for some time and then take a bath, caring again to massage the skin during the bath and while drying it later with the towel. The massage not only helps the skin but also squeezes the cells helping them eliminate the toxins. It also increases the blood flow to the skin.
Taking deep breaths while on a morning walk in natural surroundings will fill the lungs with fresh air, thus ensuring that enough oxygen is supplied to the lungs and body. A majority never breathe deep enough to supply the body with the oxygen it needs. A few pranayama exercises, done slowly and taking care not to overstrain oneself, may be included in ones exercise routine.
Remember always, your health is in your own hands. If you want to stay healthy you must make a conscious effort. There is no pill which can take the place of the above. Often the body automatically goes into the detoxification mode taking the form of a cold, dysentery, diarrhoea or a skin rash. We should not immediately try to stop those discharges. Rest, and taking plenty of fluids, is the answer. However if the symptoms persist or are very violent, one should consult a holistic healer.
The mainstream doctors do not recognise that the skin too is an excretory organ. They do extreme harm by treating skin problems as external infections and prescribing steroidal ointments to suppress them. We must remember that the skin is the strongest organ of the body and the toxins that the other excretory organs are unable to handle are excreted through the skin. The stronger the toxin, the more the itch, inflammation and secretion. It is often noticed that after the skin excretions are suppressed, other organs are affected. Today it is recognised through scientific studies that treating eczema and psoriasis through external means severely compromises the immune system and may lead to cancer.
You can also take the help of natural methods like accupressure and accupuncture for detoxification. Reiki and Pranic Healing are very good for eliminating emotional as well as physical toxins. A regular practice of self appraisal and meditation will help rid oneself of negative thought patterns and the resultant toxins they can create in the body. Emotional toxins are a hidden danger that few guard against.
If you feel you need a full scale detox, please do it under the care of a naturopathic doctor, or an ayurved or homeopath, as one can be inconvinienced by the body's efforts at detoxification, especially if the toxic overload is huge. Being under the care of a doctor reduces the anxiety as well as the discomfort. One can also avail specialist treatments like steam baths, mud baths, enemas etc.
Try the above and feel physically and mentally fit and fresh. And also save the money you would pay to the doctor if you did not pay attention to detoxification. Toxin accumulation within the body is the prime cause of disease according to all holistic modes of treatment.
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Jagannath Chatterjee, ,firstname.lastname@example.org