MYTH: Detox involves an intensive bowel cleanse only.
REALITY: There are various ‘channels of elimination’ within the human body, that work together in a sophisticated manner, to safely neutralise and eliminate both internal and external toxins. If we were to only target one of these channels; being the gastrointestinal tract, via cleansing of the bowel, we would be supporting one aspect of an intricate and integrated detoxification system.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “DETOX”
Detoxification is the process by which our skin, lungs, bowel, liver and kidneys work together, to eradicate exogenous (external) and endogenous (internal) toxins from the body. These ‘toxins’ include environmental pollutants such as heavy metals, drugs, persistent organic pollutants, chemicals, xenoestrogens, pesticides, as well as nasty internal byproducts of our digestive and metabolic processes.
If our body has the proper nutrition in sufficient quantities to provide a healthy biochemistry, and if the organs of elimination and detoxification are safely, naturally and efficiently working, we can effectively eliminate what we are exposed to, through perspiration, bile, bowel motions, urination, respiration, nasal discharge and ear wax. However, if the body is producing and taking in more toxins than it can safely eliminate, a state of toxicity will occur.
WHY A BOWEL CLEANSE?
A major source of toxicity for most people is their digestive system, so it may seem logical to cleanse the bowel. The question is why is this channel such a source of toxicity, and is an intensive bowel cleanse appropriate?
Often, when food is not properly digested it becomes fuel for the growth of dysbiotic bacteria. These organisms produce toxic chemicals, which can affect our mental state, and when these organisms die, fragments of their cell membranes are absorbed into the bloodstream, triggering an inflammatory cascade. Moreover, the digestive tract is a major entry point for ingested environmental chemicals, pesticides and toxic metals to begin their ultimate neutralisation and detoxification.
WHAT DOES A BOWEL CLEANSE INVOLVE?
An intensive bowel cleanse is a means by which substances are moved out of the colon. The method varies from bentonite clay drinks to psyllium husk shakes to magnesium oxide flushes. More clinically advanced options are the well-known colonic irrigations or enema, those of which are also commonly conducted home with store-bought kits.
The aim is to effectively remove waste from the large intestine, by softening and breaking up impacted or dehydrated fecal matter, mucus, parasites and other wastes layering the colon wall. This process enhances elimination via natural peristaltic functions and could be particularly useful for people with chronic constipation. The primary benefit is ultimately eliminating toxins and accumulated waste from the bowel and in turn, relieving stress on the liver. It is important to note here though, that intensive bowel cleanses also remove all of our healthy gut flora, which is the essential bacteria necessary for immune function, brain health and digestion of nutrients.
IS A BOWEL CLEANSE ONLY, SUFFICIENT?
Find out in part 2 of the article next week! Stay tuned.
Nutritional Therapist & Women’s Weight Loss Coach
Dip ION, FdSc, mBANT
That’s it for today, thank you for reading. Looking for a gentle home detox and all-natural bowel cleanse? Go check out our 7-day herbal programme Easy Detox Classic