Best Time to Detox Cleanse
Detox cleanses are best done during transitional seasons, like fall and spring. Toxins tend to build up over time and increase during these particular seasons. They can leave your immune system depleted and your gastrointestinal tract out of whack.
Your body has its own detoxification process in which the liver plays a major role. Your liver is constantly churning and filtering what we’re eating and drinking and processing what enters our bloodstream. The key to detoxing is to strengthen the liver so that it is working at its peak.
Oftentimes, detoxing is the first step to addressing an underlying health concern. We recommend to many of our patients who come in experiencing pain, weight gain, and seasonal allergies, to start with a detox. By detoxing first, treatment is more effective afterward, and commonly requires less intervention (i.e., fewer acupuncture treatments) and quicker results.
Take this to find out if you’re due for a detox:
1) Is ketchup, agave nectar syrup, or artificial sweeteners a part of your diet?
2) Do you drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages in a week?
3) Do you regularly eat meals from plastic containers?
4) Do you have trouble digesting vitamins, supplements or Chinese herbs?
If you answered yes to at least two, or if it’s been over 2 years since your last detox cleanse, it’s time.
Best Detox Cleanse Plan
Many detox plans and supplements are on the market and it can be confusing. We never recommend to patients fasting or starving themselves to detox cleanse. During a detox, it is vital to keep up your energy and strength, and not tax your body.
We also recommend staying away from detoxes that contain the Chinese herb mang xiao commonly referred to as senna. You may recognize it as the ingredient in the popular herbal tea called Smooth Move. This herb can overstimulate the bowels and deplete the body. By taking senna habitually, your body may rely on the herb too much and as a result, may decrease peristalsis in the bowels. This can lead to constipation.
The detox plan we recommend to our patients is one using acupuncture and Chinese herbs. This type of detox is done under the supervision of our practitioners. It is a gentle detox and does not involve huge dietary changes (simply, abstain from alcohol and artificial sweeteners/fructose). We typically recommend 1-2 acupuncture treatments along with 2-4 weeks of Chinese herbs for detox patients. This may vary by individual based upon the level of toxins in the body.
3 Foods to Eat During Detox Cleanse
Also, we recommend incorporating certain foods into your diet which benefit the health of your liver as you detox. Here are a few options:
- Water with lemon. Your liver loves lemon because it helps strengthen its detoxifying powers. Lemon is also very cleansing for your body overall.
- Ginger. This Chinese herb sheng jiang is a powerful antioxidant and helps boost your immunity and strengthen your digestion.
- Mint tea. This type of tea is cooling for the liver and can help soothe anger (which in Chinese medicine is related to the liver). It is also a Chinese herb bo he and is great for detoxing.
We encourage adding these foods/drinks to your diet 1-2 times/day while you are detoxing. They are a gentle way to help your liver detox more effectively. To learn more information about detoxes, ask Lynn here.
Lynn Palmgren is the founder and co-owner of Palmgren Acupuncture in Oak Park, Illinois. She is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist and loves helping people increase the quality of their lives and feel good again. You can find Lynn at Google+ and Twitter.