Types of Cleanses
Using the various internal detox methods can yield fascinating results. I'm going to go briefly into some of my own experiences with various detox tools.
Water – Water is one of the best detoxifiers in the world. I guarantee that you most likely do not drink enough water to keep your physical body flushed and working at maximum efficiency. I find it interesting that many businesses do not mind you taking frequent smoke breaks, but go take a whiz every 15 minutes and your boss will probably think there's something wrong with you.
Be sure to use filtered water. I still remember the time my sister got a letter from the water company telling her that her tap water had acceptable levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. It's hard to detox using straight tap water.
Distilled Water – Made by boiling pure water and allowing the steam to fill a clean container, so removing the majority of the impurities, distilled water is a controversial detoxifier.
There are claims that it helps with heavy metal chelation and helps balance the body's PH. I go through a gallon or so a week because I use it in my cayenne pepper lemonade energy drink, which you'll learn more about shortly.
Sea Salt – Of all the methods I've experienced with, Seal Salt is probably the most brutal. A sea salt detox is not recommended for people with ulcers, cancer or digestive illnesses. See what your doctor says about your particular condition.
Most sea salt detox recipes call for two teaspoons of seal salt in 32 ounces of warm water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Trying to drink that much salt water was about the most gag-inducing experience I've ever had. Instead I mix the salt in a couple ounces of water and shoot it, then drink a bunch of filtered water to chase it (and top it off with a lime wedge) (like tequila, but your clothes do not fall off).
You'll be doing the Tijuana Two-Step very quickly with this cleanse, so be near the restroom. If you only have one bathroom then get up before the kids or it'll give new meaning to 'fun for the whole family'. Sea salt is supposed to extract toxins from your bowels as it goes through. It must do it really very quickly then. Every time I use sea salt I always swear it's going to be the last time.
Psyllium – Psyllium is a bulk forming laxative made from the hulls of the Psyllium seed. Psyllium is used in high fiber cereals and even as a thickener for ice cream.
For detox Psyllium is a great bowel cleanser. A couple of doses per day for a couple of weeks will help cleanse the built up partially digested food that clings to the bowel walls. It's also used with a variety of other detoxes and you'll see it mentioned often.
Detox Kits – Health food stores sell a variety of 14, 21 and 30 day detox kits. These kits usually contain an herbal detox pill and some form of fiber. I've tried several and each time I've ended up feeling better than when I started.
The Master Cleanse – The controversial Master Cleanse has huge numbers of fans and detractors. Most people feel strongly about it one way or the other, so it's hard to get an unbiased opinion. My buddies Dan Nichols and Brad Feaster have both used the Master Cleanse and liked it. Dan lost about 28 pounds and really recommended it.
My experience was not bad, but I did not go to any extreme lengths with it. Rather than using it as a cleanse, I use the lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixture as an energy drink. It has drastically boosted the effectiveness of my elliptical workouts at the gym and I find that when I drink it I do not get hungry, which means I eat better. As with most methods I recommend trying it for yourself and listening to your body's feedback.
My one recommendation with the Master Cleanse is to team up with some friends and split the cost of the syrup and other ingredient to try it out. That way no one gets stuck with the entire cost if they do not like the program.
Bentonite Clay – I love this nasty stuff! A big bottle goes for about $ 15 but it'll last awhile. Bentonite Clay is an oral detox that attracts things like heavy metals, pesticide residue and just about anything else in your system. Take a spoonful every morning on an empty stomach for the rest of your life. Drink a lot of water with it and wait hour or so before eating anything.
For a more intense detox take a spoonful every two hours for a few days. I had some pretty amazing results with Bentonite and recommend it heartily.
Other Herbs – There are a huge number of detoxifying and healing herbs, many of which grow in your yard. Dandelion, for instance, was imported by the pilgrims (even Puritans are not wrong all the time) and was used as an all around cleanser and medicine.
Milk Thistle, Fennel, Marshmallow Root, Gentian, Cayenne. The list goes on and on. Check Meetup.com for some local Herbalist Meetups and your local health food store for recipes and ingredients as this subject goes far beyond the space I have for it in this manual.
Detox Healing Crisis
An unpleasant detox side effect that I've experienced a few times is the detox healing crisis. When you start a detox you are going to be releasing toxins out of your organs that have built up incrementally for years and maybe decades. In order to pass these toxins out of your system they have to circulate back through your blood and digestive systems. Sometimes this is quite a shock to your system so you get sick.
You can not drink too much filtered water during a detox. The more you can flush and sweat the more you can get rid of. You may find it necessary to take some time off to let your body recover as a detox can really put a lot of physical stress on you.
Some of the detox kits contain a fiber supplement to use, and some health food stores sell a special 'detox fiber' that helps to trap toxins and move them out of your system more easily.
How to Make Detox Easier
Taking the time to plan your detox program can pay off. Take a few days before you start and begin drinking all the water you can. A diet of soups and soft foods for a day or two can help your body adjust to the shock if you're doing an extreme program like the Master Cleanse.
No matter what program you use, be sure to make a real commitment to it, especially if this is one of the first times you've done a detox. Be sure to let friends and family know what you're doing so they will not accidently tempt you with a favorite food or restaurant.
When you plan a detox be sure to check the calendar. It can be a real pain to prepare and buy ingredients and make the commitment only to discover that you forgot about Uncle Bob's birthday party or some other event. A detox program does not have to be overly hard or upset your life too much as long as you plan it properly.
Once you complete your program ease back out of it just like you eased into it. You really do not want to do a 10 or 14 day Master Cleanse and then go to the Indian Buffet to celebrate. Take it easy on your system.
At this point I've probably done 7 or 8 different detox plans, and after each one I felt energized and revitalized. The Bentonite Clay detox I did last summer literally made me feel 10 years younger. It's amazing how much stuff can pile up in your system incrementally.
Once you've done a program you can do some occasional cleansings with Psyllium and Bentonite and the Cayenne Lemonade, as well as keeping some regular and consistent herbal supplements. It's all about trying enough different resources to find out which ones work for you.