Detox protocols have become something of a fad in recent years, but that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the power of detoxification if you want to reach a state of full, vibrant health.
Thousands of toxins hit your body everyday and can quickly accumulate, piling up faster than your body can get rid of them. They come from the air, water, food, skincare products, etc. and are impossible to avoid entirely- which means eliminating them from within your body is key.
However, many of the so-called detox protocols that are popular today are not the best way to get rid of toxins. Sometimes they will even cause more harm than good.
As usual, you need look no further than the tools nature has already given us for safe and effective detox without harsh side effects.
Why Detox? An Ancient Practice for Longevity & Health
With all the buzz detoxing has gotten in the media- including celebrities and their favorite detox protocols, the latest expensive regimen, etc.- you might think it’s a new health trend that has suddenly gathered momentum.
The truth of the matter is this: Detoxification is an ancient practice that has been used for thousands of years to maintain peak health and boost longevity.
Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine both have specific herbs and practices to promote detoxification. Many western herbal traditions also have had a special focus on cleansing in the spring, using specific herbs and fresh foods.
And although the habit of it disappeared for a while, regular detoxification is just as important today.
We are surrounded by toxins like heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and radioactive materials. They enter your body by mouth, through your skin, and by way of the air you breathe in everyday.
If too many accumulate, you’ll start experiencing symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, disrupted sleep, and even weight gain. Research indicates that toxin overload also likely plays a role in the development of chronic diseases.
Now, your body already has systems in place that are working to clear out toxins all the time. But with the high level of exposure most people have on daily basis, your body just can’t keep up. It needs extra support to clear detox pathways and get toxins completely out.
How Detoxification Works
Both traditional and modern approaches to detoxification focus on the primary body systems involved in the natural detox process: your liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin.
All of these systems need to be working together for effective cleansing to happen. If your digestion is sluggish, for example, toxins may be getting flushed out of other areas of your body only to get stuck in your GI tract.
Today, we have also come to realize the importance of cellular detoxification.
While many toxins can be cleansed simply by getting the detox pathways open and working again, some toxins accumulate in tissues and cells (particularly fat cells) and can be very difficult to get rid of. This is especially true of heavy metals.
Truly effective detoxing will go right down to the cells of your body.
Why Harsh Protocols Aren’t the Answer
Many of the most popular detox methods involve harsh protocols like extreme fasting, diuretics, laxatives, etc. and are often promoted as being hard-hitting to get the job done. But…
Not only are these protocols extremely depleting to your body, they are often ineffective because they are short-term “fixes”. Laxatives, for example, have a one time effect of clearing out your colon but won’t make it function better long-term. Also, none of these methods address cellular detox.
To add to this, many people experience harmful side effects like headaches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and skin rashes from these extreme protocols.
Now, you may experience a few temporary “detox symptoms” even with the best detoxifiers, but you don’t need to feel like you’re dying to effectively cleanse toxins from your body.
Best Natural Ways to Detox (While Being Kind to Your Body)
#12- Clean Diet
Eating a clean diet comes in at #12 because it can be thought of as a foundation for detoxification. Overloading your body with highly processed foods, sugar, artificial additives, and so on will make any detox program very short-lived as far as effectiveness goes.
While you do want to be eating healthy, nutrient-dense food regularly, focusing on some specific food groups for a period of time can really help to kickstart the detox process.
At the top of the list are antioxidant-rich plant foods because antioxidants are key to clearing free radicals and other toxins out of your body. They also help your body at a cellular level, which is needed for true detox.
Sulfur-rich foods are another group to focus on because sulfur can help rid your body of heavy metals, particularly cadmium. Sulfur also enhances the action of glutathione, a major antioxidant involved in detoxification.
Foods with sulfur include garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
Be sure to also add in high fiber foods, leafy greens, and lots of herbs and spices, and choose organic to avoid pesticides.
#11- Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a natural substance that has been used for many years to remove harmful toxins from the body. Charcoal is so powerful that it’s even used in specific emergency poisoning situations and overdoses.
It works because of its porous nature and negative electrical charge that allows it to bind to positively charged toxins and heavy metals, carrying them out of your body. Activated charcoal can be especially helpful for cleansing your digestive tract and won’t harm beneficial bacteria in your system.
The downside to charcoal is that it can upset your digestion in large amounts and can also interfere with drug and supplement absorption. It’s best used in small amounts away from meals or medication doses.
Shilajit is a natural substance that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years but is just showing up in western parts of the world. It’s made from the slow decomposition of plants over centuries and is mainly found in the Himalayas.
Rich in fulvic acid, shilajit can bind to toxins, has antioxidant power, and has also been shown to operate at a cellular level for a deeper detox. On average, shilajit contains around 84 minerals, so it won’t be depleting your body while it works.
One important caution is that many shilajit supplements are impure and may actually contain toxins. The purest form is typically shilajit resin. Look for a brand that does third party testing on their products.
#9- Pure Water
The importance of water for detoxification cannot be overstated. It’s needed in every step of the process, from flushing out your kidneys to ensuring that your digestion is moving properly. Water is also needed by every cell in your body and helps to carry toxins out.
Unfortunately, many people are drinking toxic water that is adding to their toxic load.
It’s not uncommon in the U.S. and other western countries to find lead, perchlorate, PFAS, pesticide residue, and even radioactive materials (to name a few) in supposedly safe drinking water.
To really fill your body with the pure water needed for detox, consider having your water source tested and using something like a reverse osmosis counter filter if needed.
#8- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and can aid the natural detoxification process of your body. It can also increase the amount of glutathione- the major antioxidant involved in detoxification- in your blood.
Vitamin C is not a total detoxifier on its own, but it is one of the best nutrients to fill up on while you’re focused on cleansing.
While some advocate doing a “vitamin C flush” by taking very high amounts of the vitamin, there’s no need to go overboard. Fill your diet with foods high in vitamin C (citrus, berries, bell peppers, etc.) or take moderate amounts of a quality supplement to support the detox process.
Love it or hate it, cilantro is a great herb to consume for detox. Not only is it rich in antioxidants to protect your body from free radicals, it can also accelerate the removal of both heavy metals and chemicals (like insecticides) from your body.
Fuel up on the fresh green herb or try adding it to green juice/smoothies to promote detoxification. Also, add in other antioxidants herbs and spices as much as you can: turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, parsley, etc.
There are many benefits to exercise, and detoxification is one of them. Exercising gets your whole body- including all the systems involved in detox- moving, which encourages toxins to exit your body.
It stimulates digestion, gets your lungs working, promotes sweating, and helps get oxygen to all your cells. Exercise also promotes lymphatic flow and drainage, which is critical for getting waste, toxins, bacteria, and viruses out of your body.
In fact, your lymphatic system is key to proper detoxification, although it often gets overlooked as people focus on the colon and liver. Lymph fluid relies on movement in order for it to flow, making exercise critical for the detox process for this reason alone.
#5- Bentonite Clay
Natural clays have been used for thousands of years as cleansers for skin, hair, and body.
Bentonite is a particular type of clay that is especially helpful for detox because its negative electrical charge can bind to positively charged toxins and metals in your body. Because the clay is not digested, it carries these toxins and chemicals along with it when it exits your body.
Most often used to help clean out the digestive tract, bentonite clay has the added bonus of being a rich source of minerals. It will help to replenish, rather than deplete, your body as it cleanses.
Look for calcium bentonite clay that is safe for internal use. A general dosage is 1/2-1 teaspoon a day mixed with a full glass of water for up to 4 weeks.
Triphala is a staple herbal formula in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s consumed in powdered form and consists of three different dried fruits: amla, bibhitaki, and haritake.
Triphala is traditionally used as a digestive tonic to cleanse and regulate the digestive system. It does have mild laxative properties that can help to get things moving but is used more for its normalizing and cleansing effect. This herbal formula also has antioxidant properties to fight free radicals.
You can take the powder mixed with water or honey or in capsules, preferably on an empty stomach.
#3- Milk Thistle
Having a healthy, well-functioning liver is extremely important for full-body detoxification. Your liver is largely responsible for processing toxins in such a way that they can be quickly carried out of your body, and it also produces key enzymes for digestion and detoxification.
Milk thistle is one of the most powerful and well-researched herbs for liver cleansing. It contains a powerful compound know as silymarin that has liver-protective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Silymarin is so powerful it may even be able to reverse certain types of liver damage and is one of the main reasons milk thistle has long been used to detoxify the liver.
Chlorella is a type of green algae that is highly nutritious and antioxidant-rich. It can also help your body to detoxify heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. One study even indicates that regularly consuming chlorella may help to prevent heavy metals from accumulating in body tissues in the first place.
The nutrients packed into chlorella will feed your body even as it works its cleansing power. This powerful algae is most frequently taken as a powder or tablets and can be consumed daily.
For a full-body, cellular detox, zeolite may just be the best known substance for the job. Zeolites are technically known as hydrated aluminosilicate minerals. They form from natural lava deposits and have a unique honeycomb structure.
Like activated charcoal and bentonite clay, zeolite also has a negative charge that allows it to attract positively charged toxins, particularly heavy metals. This, combined with the porous honeycomb structure, allows zeolite to very effectively trap toxins and carry them out of your body.
Along with its binding power, zeolite also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Whenever it binds to a toxin, it actually gives your body a mineral ion in exchange, ensuring that it doesn’t deplete any good nutrients.
Another critical aspect of zeolite is that it can detoxify at a cellular level (depending on the form)- not just in your digestive system like charcoal and clay. It also binds to a very wide range of toxins, including heavy metals, radioactive materials, fungal toxins, and more.
While there are many types of zeolite, only a few are safe for human consumption with clinoptilolite widely considered the best. Low-quality supplements are often contaminated, so look for third-party tested options.
The Best Zeolite Supplement for Detoxifying Your Whole Body
To quickly, effectively, and gently detox your entire body, nothing compares to Pure Body Extra from Touchstone Essentials. It’s a zeolite supplement like no other that contains pure, activated clinoptilolite zeolite.
If you search the Internet, you’ll mostly find powdered zeolite supplements that only cleanse the colon. Pure Body Extra is the world’s first hydrated zeolite that uses nanotechnology to ensure it reaches and cleanses your cells of heavy metals and other toxins.
It comes as a tasteless spray that takes only seconds to consume and works quickly to reduce your toxic burden. This quality zeolite supplement is also third party tested for contaminants and goes through a proprietary cleansing process to rid it of impurities.
There is truly no easier way to start the detoxification process in your body and experience renewed health.
Learn more about the Pure Body Extra supplement here and start getting rid of health-harming toxins!