Our bodies were designed many 1000’s of years ago. When ‘toxins’, as we know them today, didn’t even exist.
These days our lifestyles are full of chemical additives and preservatives which, in all honesty, our bodies do not recognize and do not know how to process. There are primarily three different types of toxins: Within (Endogenous toxins), Environment (Exogenous toxins) and Lifestyle.
The first are by-products from different internal body processes which give off substances such as: yeasts, fungus, bacteria, parasites, lactic acids, uric acids, fermentation and lymph. The second are refined chemicals which are used, generally, to prolong the shelf-life of many of the products we use today. The third can be recreational and over the counter drugs.
The bodies’ incredible processes of elimination are indeed designed to rid the host of these “naturally occurring” toxic waste materials. This occurs naturally in your body every moment of every day in the cells of our bodies. With the added toxic burden on our bodies in the 20th Century, detoxing just might be what the doctor ordered to support our over burdened detoxing organs.
Supplementation with anti-oxidant vitamins may be helpful when exposure to some environmental pollutants is unavoidable. The most important lifestyle factor is diet. It is best to avoid heavily processed foods that contain chemical additives and toxic residues from pesticides, herbicides and related substances. A diet that will contribute the least to toxicity (and the most to detoxification) is one that emphasizes certified organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Of particular importance are raw fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. An Alkalizing diet will also be beneficial, hot water and lemon is one of my favourites! (also alkalizing: grapefruits, cherries and apples) Probiotic bacterial supplements containing L. acidophilus and L. bifidus will help to prevent absorption of toxicity through the bowel. For best results they should be used in powder form. Other factors that should be avoided as much as possible are the use of both therapeutic and recreational drugs. A regular exercise program is advisable both as an aid to stress management and as a means of facilitating the elimination of toxins through the skin (via sweating).
What to Expect
- When you detox, you wake up feeling vital, vibrant, alive, joyful, and full of energy. Even if you are thin but have symptoms of being toxic like fatigue, brain fog, achiness, digestive issues, allergies, and headaches, the detox can help heal you quickly. Most of us don’t connect what we’re eating to how we feel.
- Some individuals can lose some extra weight.
- Stop those cravings. Sugar and flour are biologically addictive. The science behind it is clear and conclusive. In fact, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. A detox allows you to unhook yourself from the addictive power of sugar, flour, and hyper-processed, hyper-palatable food-like substances.
- Eliminate food sensitivities. (Eliminate foods that your body might be reacting to, causing inflammation and many other symptoms. The two most common and harmful food sensitivities are gluten and dairy)
- My favourite, you get a chance to reboot! All of us stray from living in a way that supports our health: too little sleep, too little exercise, too much bad food, too much stress, not enough time for ourselves. The best way to reset your life is with a detox.
Detoxing and Allergies
Detoxing and allergies often go hand and hand. Traditionally we are taught that seasonal allergies can be alleviated by using local honey and stinging nettle, and I say why not give it a try! The only thing you have to lose is puffy eyes, stuffed up nose and hives 😊 The Detox tea (recipe below) happens to contain Nettle but you can simply drink Nettle tea or use Nettle tincture. For more information on Spring Allergies click here , to find our Materia Medica on Stinging Nettle here
The Ginkgo Tree Detox Tea
4 Tablespoons Dandelion leaf (kidneys)
3 Tablespoons Dandelion root (liver, gallbladder)
2 Tablespoons Burdock root (blood, liver, gallbladder)
3 Tablespoons Milk thistle seed, crushed (liver, gallbladder)
3 Tablespoons Cleavers (lymph, kidneys)
4 Tablespoons Lemon balm (digestive tonic, nervine)
4 Tablespoons Pau d’arco (blood, parasites)
4 Tablespoons Horsetail (kidneys, skin)
5 Tablespoons Red clover (blood)
2 Tablespoons Chickweed (lymph, colon)
2 Tablespoons Angelica root (liver, digestive tonic)
3 Tablespoons Yarrow herb (liver, gallbladder, blood, gen. tonic)
5 Tablespoons Nettle leaf (kidneys, blood, general tonic, nutritive)
4 Tablespoons Plantain (skin, lungs, gastric system, internal healer, antiseptic)
Simply combine all herbs in proportions listed above or any equal part you choose. Store in a tightly covered glass jar; in a cool, dry place, away from direct light.
To make tea: It would be ideal to decoct this tea, as there are roots and herbs in this tea blend. Bring one and a half cups of water to light simmer on stove (water should be moving but not bubbling). Add two teaspoons of tea blend and let simmer for about 10 minutes, keeping lid on pot. Strain into your favourite cup.
Traditionally it is suggested to drink one cup of detox tea per day for 3 days, then 2 cups per day for one week, then 2 -3 cups per day until mixture is finished. The tea should be taken between meals.
Where to purchase these herbs:
Many students simply pick up herbs during class, but herbs can also be shipped right to your door by ordering from Richter’s Herbs If you cannot find everything on this list, simply use the ones available to you, keeping them in the amounts suggested in Detox Tea blend.
Use the Detox Tea in combination with a One-week Cleanse
This one-week cleanse can really help with the detoxing process. Strictly following the organic brown rice and steamed vegetable diet – no fat, minimal protein, not even salt or pepper. The pros seem to outweigh the cons: extremely clear-headed, calm, grounded, and have a surprising amount of energy for someone who is consuming less than 500 calories a day. Not to say that it is at all a sustainable way of living. It would be impossible to obtain all the nutrients that the body requires in so few calories, but once in a while the body does miraculous things when it gets a break from digesting the regular amount of food, we consume every day. Remember, our bodies are accustomed to living through feast and famine times.
In addition to this simple diet, a few herbs in to compliment and assist organs in clearing out the sludgy cobwebs. The wide variety of herbs in the Detox Tea blend have a beneficial effect on our major detoxification organs: the liver and the gastrointestinal tract. The liver plays a key role in detoxification because it neutralizes chemicals from the external environment, filters the blood, manufactures bile, and goes through a variety of enzymatic processes to both break down, and create, compounds necessary for human life — cholesterol (the “good” kind), glutathione, and various hormones. The digestive system, to a large extent, controls what is absorbed from the food we eat and what is excreted once our food has been broken down and utilized, respectively. Keeping our digestive system happy and functioning as it should, improves our ability to push the garbage out of our systems – critical at all times to our health, but especially when cleansing!
Detox Plus Tonic
Thank you to Faunus Herbs for sending everyone home with a bottle of Detox Plus Tonic, much appreciated!
Echinacea angustifolia/purpurea (Echinacea Root)
Calendula officinalis (Calendula Flowers)
Juglans nigra (Black Walnut Hulls)
Rumex crispus (Yellow Dock Root)
Arctium lappa (Burdock Root)
Taraxacum officinale radix (Dandelion Root)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset Herb)
Scrophularia nodosa/marilandica (Figwort Herb)
Properties: This formulation is designed to aid the detoxification and elimination processes. Many of these herbs are traditionally known as depuratives or “blood purifiers.” They facilitate detoxification via a number of important physiological mechanisms including removal of toxins from the body tissues, detoxification by the liver, and elimination of toxins through the colon, urinary tract, and skin. A number of these herbs also provide useful secondary support to the detoxification processes by stimulating the immune response and discouraging the proliferation of microorganisms and parasites. This formulation is an effective aid in the treatment of any condition that is related to, or aggravated by, some level of internal toxicity. This includes: chronic skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis; rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout; inflammatory bowel conditions such as colitis; and auto-immune conditions such as allergies.
Suggested Use: 5-30 drops taken in 1-2 ounces of pure water on an empty stomach. This tincture should be taken 2-4 times per day, 15-30 minutes before meals and/or before bed for periods of 6-8 weeks followed by a 1-2-week break. In the case of long-term chronic conditions where there is considerable toxicity, it is best to start with a dose of 5-10 drops and build up slowly until a maximum dose (30 drops) is reached. It should be noted that in the early stages of detoxification a slight aggravation of the symptoms might occur.
Garden Weed Tincture
This weedy blend is from Hedgerow Medicine, authors Bruton-Seal & Matthew Seal. This tincture is described as ‘a whole-body tonic to improve your health generally. Sounds good to me! It includes a full medley of our easy spring pickings: cleavers, dandelion leaves and root, nettle tops, curled dock and burdock roots. All in equal parts.
Make a tincture: chop the herbs and put them in a large mason jar. Cover herbs with vodka. Leave in a cool, dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks. Gently shaking each day if you need to use at the 4-week mark. Strain herbs from liquid using a cheese cloth, squeezing out every drop of liquid. Then filter liquid through an un bleached coffee filter. Voila! Your tincture is ready for use.
Dosage: 1 tsp twice per day
One of my main goals with The Ginkgo Tree Herbal Course is to teach students to take care of their bodies while they are healthy! Take the time to nurture and care for the systems of your body and to be more aware what time of the year those systems might need a little extra help, like right now! I love to hear back, please share your stories of cleansing and supporting your selves this spring:)
Hey did you know Cilantro tincture clears heavy metals from the brain? Plants never cease to amaze me!