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“If you don't take care of this the most magnificent machine that you will ever be given…where are you going to live?”
~ Karyn Calabrese
When healing autoimmune disease, we focus a lot on diet and the power of food as medicine. While that's essential, detoxification is another important (and often overlooked) part of healing. We live in a world where we are assaulted daily by pollution in our air and water, chemicals in everything from food to furniture, and plastic so abundant it now shows up in our bloodstream. Our bodies have natural detoxification pathways, but they are overwhelmed by modern life. More than 80,000 new chemicals have been released into the world since the industrial revolution 150 years ago, and most of them within the past 50 years. These chemicals have never been fully tested for their effects on our bodies or the environment. We are asking our bodies to detoxify far more than they were designed to handle.
So, how can we boost our detox capability? The first step is to limit the amount of toxins entering our bodies, by looking closely at the products we buy. The second step is to gently increase our bodies' ability to clear itself of the toxins we've already accumulated. Today, I'm doing a roundup of links that will help us do exactly that.
5 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
- Detox Baths from 20 Something Allergies
- Castor Oil Packs from The Tao of Dana
- Oil Pulling from Real Food Forager
- Dry Skin Brushing from Natural Living Mamma
- Bentonite Clay Masks or Foot Baths. Recommended in The Wahls Protocol, follow the directions on the jar for facial masks. For foot baths, add 1 tablespoon clay per gallon of water.
5 Ways to Detoxify Your Beauty Products
- The Oil Cleansing Method from Mommypotamus.
- Go No (Sham)Poo from Alt-Ternative Universe
- Make Your Own Deodorant. Kellee makes it look easy.
- Make Your Toothpaste from Hollywood Homestead
- Make Your Own Lotion/Body Butter from Tasty Alternative
5 Ways to Detoxify Your Home
- Clean Your Entire Home With Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Baking Soda from About.com
- Use This Simple Homemade Wood Polish from Whole You
- Treat Mold & Mildew Naturally from Frugally Sustainable
- Purify the Air with Plants from Organic Gardening
- Stop Cooking In Plastic from Dare You To. Or if you're up for a real challenge, Transition to a Plastic-Free Life from Plastic Free Guide.
- Extra Resource: Here's a great ebook called A Clean Space, filled with “recipes” for non-toxic cleaning.
When you have autoimmune disease, it's important to detoxify gently. Our bodies are already challenged, and many of us have slow phase two liver detox. What does this mean? The first phase liberates the toxin, and the second phase deactivates it. If toxins are liberated but not deactivated and excreted, they’re actually more dangerous than when they were stored inertly in your body. If you feel sick on a detox protocol, there’s a reason. You are essentially getting poisoned with your own released toxins. For this reason, you want to be very cautious of any supplement-based forced detox programs. They often do more harm than good. And when it comes to chelation, Dr. Datis Kharrazian advises against it. He has seen chelation cause autoimmune disease in susceptible individuals, and worsen it in people already diagnosed. The good news is that a nutrient-dense paleo diet is naturally detoxifying, and if you combine that with the steps above, you can support your body's detox pathways safely.
Photo credit: Doreen Dotto via Wikimedia (creative commons).