One of the best gifts we can give ourselves and our bodies, is a cleanse. But how much, how often, and just plain how? And what exactly are toxins? That word certainly gets bandied about a lot but what does that mean for you and your body?

First let’s start with what toxins are and why it’s important for us to cleanse them from our system. Toxins are potentially harmful substances we come into contact with everyday — pesticides like glyphosphate on your produce, pollutants in the air,  ingredients with names more difficult to read than hieroglyphics in processed food, and heavy metals like lead and arsenic, to name just a few. Anything can be toxic if taken in large amounts, even water.

But in our post-modern world our bodies are bombarded by toxins from our food, air, cleaning products, even our carpets and furniture on a day-to-day basis and it can build up.

For most of you what I am about to tell you is going to come as no surprise, the body does detox itself on a regular basis. So short of falling into the poop pool of the sewage plant (eww) or get covered in radioactive dust our bodies are fully capable of cleaning out the toxins we expose it to. There is a caveat to this, it does so if it’s getting proper nutrition, sleep, and hydration.

If we continue to fill it with junk, including too much sugar, coffee (yes I love it too, but our livers have trouble with it) and booze without proper hydration and sleep then we clog the drain.

So what can you do to help your body get rid of built up toxins? First, before starting any program you should check with your physician. Then there is a choice to be made, cleanse or a detox? Cleanse is where you eat healthy, nutritious food along with hydration, and take herbal supplements to prime and bolster your pathways of elimination. This is a slower process, but less grueling on your body. Detox programs are highly restrictive food wise and can be more difficult for people to follow. Who wants to drink lemon water with cayenne pepper or eat cabbage soup everyday for three weeks? Not me.

And while I am on a journey to an ideal me, I wasn’t trying to change my entire eating regimen in one fell swoop but I did want to clean out my system in a gentle way. Especially as the more fat I burned the more toxins were being released into my system after being stored there. I’m particularly worried about steroids still lingering in my system – I want them gone!

Herbal medicines have been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. I’ve made my own teas and tinctures. I learned when I took my herbal healing class that herbs work best with used in concert, as each increases the effectiveness of the other. More bang for your buck as the saying goes.  So if you are looking for a good herbal combo, or make yourself, consider looking for one with at least two or more of the herbs I have listed. I’ve also included what those herbs do.

The cleansing mixture I take has all of the ingredients below, which, if I were to brew on my own, would have taken a long time to put together and also cost prohibitive. The mixture is just right, doesn’t keep me housebound and close to the bathroom like other internal cleansing products I’ve taken, and, because it’s so comprehensive, it targets not just the colon (which is what most of us think of when “detoxing”), but six other modes of bodily waste elimination as well: Lungs, liver, lymphatic, blood, skin, kidneys

  • Cascara Sagrada bark cleanses the colon with a gentle laxative action.
  • Aloe Vera leaf cleanses the colon with a gentle laxative action.
  • Milk Thistle seed cleanses and detoxes the liver.
  • Cilantro rids the body of heavy metals.
  • Green Tea leaf is full of antioxidants to support
  • Black Walnut hull expels parasites.
  • Yellow Dock root is a blood and liver purifier.
  • Burdock root detoxifies the blood and lymphatic system.
  • Turmeric root balances the blood and supports the stomach.
  • Licorice root supports and heals the stomach.
  • Dandelion root & leaf increases bile and biles transports toxins out of the system.
  • Gentian root supports liver and kidneys, helps eliminate toxins and parasites.
  • Ginger root protects the digestive tract.
  • Red Clover herb is a blood purifier.
  • Slippery Elm bark helps in regulating bowel movements.
  • Uva Ursi leaf cleans out the kidneys and the body’s cells of uric acids and toxins.
  • Artichoke leaf detoxifies the  liver and digestive system.
  • Garlic bulb reduces heavy metal toxicity.
  • Astragalus root is a mild diuretic to clean kidneys and an immune booster.
  • Oregano oil rids the system of parasites.
  • Wasabi root detoxifies the liver and the body.
  • Clove bud protects the liver and rids the body of parasites.
  • Cayenne fruit detoxifies the colon.

To recap, if you decide to change your diet (cutting out booze, caffeine, sugar even carbs-cleanse) or restricting it completely to one thing (detox) or you want to do what I did, a gentle sort of clean out with a tincture, check with your doctor first. Do your research and decide what is best for you.