Natural spring detox

Designed to remove internal toxins

Winter-induced tummy rolls may be a fashion foe, but more importantly, that extra padding could be posing a serious health hazard. Eliminate metals and allergens ingested over the cooler months with a natural spring detox designed to remove internal toxins. Shannon Dunn explains how.

The sun’s out and winter is a distant, chilly memory. There’s a spring in your step and a sudden desire to pass on the caramel latte that became your winter frenemy. It’s common to gain weight during the hibernation months, but how your weight was gained – and how much – can be the difference between being healthy and experiencing a toxin overload. Are your love handles shaped by double helpings of homemade vegetable soup with a side of fermented sourdough, or microwaved choc chip muffins from your local café?

We regularly ingest and absorb toxins from a variety of sources, which then need a helping hand to be removed. Spring is the perfect time to undertake a gentle detoxification program to help eliminate heavy metals and allergens from our food, as well as internal toxins such as bacteria, fungus and yeast that can inhabit the blood, internal organs and excess fat.

“A detox isn’t supposed to be a violent, can’t-leave-the-toilet, painful or depleting experience that means taking 20 different tablets a day...some detox programs contain high dose tablets that may contain synthetic binders and fillers that cause diarrhoea and discomfort in some,” says Lifestream naturopath Shelley Atkin. “Some also contain really high caffeine doses to provide the weight loss people expect from a detox.” Atkin says resting the digestive system, nourishing the body, and increasing wholefoods and greens is a much better way to assist the body to cleanse. “We want to give gentle support for what our body, specifically our liver, naturally does every day.”

Get sweating
Sweat is one elimination tactic the body employs to rid itself of unwanted toxins. Exercise-induced sweat and far infrared sauna (FIR) sessions can work wonders for assisting this process.
Director of Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, 
Dr Brian Clement, is a long-time advocate of far infrared sauna use to help push toxins out via the skin. While traditional steam saunas heat the body from the outside in, far infrared saunas heat from the inside out, pushing out toxins at a cellular level. Dr Clement says steam baths, with the addition of essential oils, are also an effective method of cleansing.

Herbs and juicing
Fresh, organic and raw cold-pressed juices are a daily-must come spring. They directly assist in cleansing the blood and internal organs, particularly the colon.

Herbs, including herbal teas, may also assist this process, but as with juicing, this is just one element of a gentle, well-planned cleanse. The late master herbalist and former director of The School of Natural Healing, David Christopher, was quoted as saying herbs are the safest, most effective tool available for health care: “Unlike drugs, which have a myriad of side effects that can and do cause harm, herbs can be used with confidence. Many people are aware of the wonderful tonic effect of herbs, that when taken in small quantities over a long period of time, they can miraculously correct old chronic conditions.”

Sharyn Johnston, of leading tea training and education organisation Australian Tea Masters, says herbals are a great way to detox and can be blended with white or green tea for greater health benefits. “Japanese matcha is a great example of a health-boosting tea as it is shade grown and contains up to five times more L-theanine, an amino acid, that helps with brain function,” she says.

Vitamin D for detox
Sunshine and its well-documented vitamin D benefits are a must for a well-rounded new season detox, with regular exposure at 20-to-30 minute intervals. “Vitamin D can inhibit the synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting a role for the hormone of brain detoxification,” says holistic health advocate Dr Joseph Mercola.

Cleansing side effects and benefits
Atkin says experiencing side effects during a cleanse is common, particularly for those who are detoxing for the first time. Symptoms can include headaches, lethargy, nausea, irritability, skin breakouts, gas, bloating and cravings. “These are usually attributed to the release of built-up toxins; however, for the most part, they are the result of the change in diet during the detox,” Atkin says. “Remove coffee or sugar and after a day or two, there will be a headache and cravings. Digestive symptoms are mostly due to a sudden increase in plant fibre that goes with a good detox meal plan.” NH

Shannon Dunn is a wellness writer and eco beauty editor. Find out 
more at

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