This page may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Why we NEED to Support Detox Pathways
Oh boy! For the most part, I have learned my lesson when it comes to arguing with those that cannot/will not see the truth about detoxification but when I come across articles like this one that completely deny the fact that we are bombarded on a daily basis with thousands of environmental toxins, well then my Sassy side starts to come out! So many people want to convince us that we do not need to support detox pathways and that it’s a “myth” that we need to detox.
Conventional medicine tends to make us believe that we are either 100% healthy or horribly ill- there is no in-between! They claim that we are always detoxing, there is nothing we need to do to facilitate the process, and that we don’t store toxins in our bodies. Oh and the best one I’ve heard is that if you have a liver, you’re healthy. That’s it: just have a liver! HA! In a perfect world, sure! A few hundred years ago this might have been the case because there were far less toxins in our world and the food was a lot more nutritious. So we have to do our best to limit toxin exposure, replenish nutrients, and gently support the body to detox more effectively.
Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of people out there giving bad and even dangerous advice when it comes to detox. True detox isn’t going to happen with a 1-month cleanse, intense fasting, or even from a little box labeled “whole body cleanse” from the vitamin store. We’ll get more into this below on how to truly support detox.
Where are these toxins coming from?
In a recent post, I found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers and other illnesses can be linked to environmental issues. These things BUILD UP in the body and slowly start to mess with things. Illness doesn’t usually happen with a one time exposure; these toxins get stored until the body can handle getting rid of them. How can they claim that we don’t need to detox when we have proof like this?!
A majority of the toxins that we come into contact with on a daily basis are products that we use ourselves: deodorant, makeup, perfume, hair dye, shampoo, dish soap, shaving cream, and more. The average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals daily – and most of that is just in the morning! These include GMOs, parabens, propylene glycol, ethoxylated compounds,aluminum, SLS, fragrance, artificial colors, micas, oxides, and more. There are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens.
These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health.
Other common ways we become overloaded with toxins:
- Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and the B vitamins.)
- Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; again, there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
- Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
- BPA (and other plastics)
- Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
- Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
- Parasites which are easily picked up on unwashed produce, pets,
- Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.
- Inactivity/lack of exercise
- Tobacco and its second hand smoke
- UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
- Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses that can stay dormant in the body and be aquired in utero. If you’ve had mono or strep throat, you likely have EBV lurking! Read more about EBV here.)
- Bacterial infections (think h. pylori and Lyme and Co.)
- Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
- PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
- Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
- Medical drugs
- Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
- Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more
That is an AWFUL lot of junk that we are exposed to through our lives. So if you went into reading this as a skeptic, do you see now the “why” behind detox support?! We are bombarded! Period! We all have a threshold for dealing with these toxins. Those of us that have already met that threshold know the truth behind all of this, and we try to help others realize it. However, most people never change their habits until they already get a diagnosis of some sort. And unfortunately this is harming children even more these days because we are passing along these toxins to them during pregnancy!
How to really support detoxification:
I am a huge believer in food based nutrition. Nutrient dense foods, herbal infusions, and smart use of herbs and spices can help the body rebuild the nutrients it needs to aid in detoxification. Strengthen, nourish and rebuild the body- don’t aim to detox, cleanse, or rip metals/toxins out!
- Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it!
- Herbal Infusions– Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals. Oatstraw infusions help quite a bit as well with liver and overall detox support.
- Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
- Stay Hydrated! Try to drink as much filtered or spring water as you want, as well as herbal infusions. Depending on your personal needs you may be able to use Salt water Sole and coconut water as well, to help sodium and potassium balance.
- Love your Livers!! The liver has over 500 functions! We can function with as little as 1/6th of our livers- this is why it can take years, even decades, before we even notice any apparent liver dysfunction. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out toxins and convert them into less toxic substances so they can be excreted. However, when the liver gets bombarded by toxins, and coupled with a poor diet, it cannot do its job correctly. This seems to be the reason for this obesity epidemic, as well as a SAD lifestyle. Toxins get stored in fat when the liver cannot handle the constant influx of toxins. All of these things factor into illness! My favorite remedies include Bone broth, gelatin, Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decoctions or tea, garlic, turmeric, coffee enemas and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!). Or you can even try the amazing BioRay Liver life tincture! Whey protein is also an amazing helper for the liver since it helps the body create more glutathione.
- Don’t forget your lymph system too! Dry skin brushing, rebounding, yoga, walks, and even castor oil packs can be helpful to keep the lymph moving.
- Use hair tissue mineral analysis to determine metabolism, mineral status, and possible heavy metal toxicity. We need to be in balance in order to detox properly!
- New to all of this about reducing environmental toxins and not sure where to start? Environmental Working Group has a ton of good information on their website about what chemicals to avoid. They even have a database that rates beauty products according to their safety! There are plenty of good companies out there dedicated to selling quality products but it is important to become a good label reader.
Whew! Well I wasn’t expecting to make such a huge post about this, but like I mentioned at first, posts that spread misinformation make me sassy (and angry!). We need to start PREVENTING illnesses instead of waiting for a diagnosis and then managing them. There are many things in our environment that we can’t control, but there are even more than we can control. I’ve been saying this often and it is so true: it is our responsibility to change now so we can ensure a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.