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Avenues of Detoxification

Ready to meet your new year’s resolutions?

Start your year off right by understanding how the body detoxifies. Take control of your health with a few simple ways to encourage whole body cleansing.

There are many avenues of elimination throughout the body including the urine, stool, breath, and skin. In order to facilitate waste/ toxin elimination through these avenues, the health of the liver, skin, kidneys, lymph, lungs, and colon need to be considered. Let’s explore these systems and how they play vital roles in detoxification.


There are 2 phases of liver detoxification. Phase 1 is the breakdown of the toxin via cytochrome P450 enzymes. Phase 2 is conjugation where the toxins are turned from fat-soluble into water-soluble in preparation for elimination. It is important that these phases are both working and are in balance with one another because the products that come out of phase 1 can be more toxic than the original substance. Foods that support liver detox include cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, high quality meats/ fish, milk thistle, berries, and sprouted pumpkin seeds. Methylated B vitamins are also crucial here. Methyl B12 and folate can be taken as supplements for an additional boost.


The skin is the largest organ and contributes to the body's detoxification process. Through sweat, and skin erruptions like acne, the skin expells unwanted wastes. Sweating is the best form of cleansing when it comes to the skin. Engaging in intense, sweat-inducing exercises is important. You can also sweat by using the sauna or taking a hot bath. The skin is also closely linked to the gut. When gut health is compromised, so will the health of the skin. Healing the gut with good quality bone broth, colostrum, probiotics, and a low wheat and sugar diet is priority.


The kidneys are in charge of filtering out toxins from the blood and producing urine. Keeping the kidneys healthy ensures that wastes products are being removed. Support your kidneys with proper hydration and foods such as dandelion greens, berries, apples, lemons/limes, cucumbers, celery, beets, onions, parsley, marshmallow root, and cilantro.


The health of the lymphatic system is crucial for overall wellbeing and detoxification. The job of the lymphatic system is all about transportation. The lymph fluid carries cellular wastes, toxins, and inflammatory markers out of the tissues to be eliminated from the body. If this fluid is stagnant, toxins can accumulate and cause a variety of symptoms. It is important to get this fluid moving to ensure whole body cleaning and detoxification. Ways to encourage lymphatic movement include exercise, stretching/yoga, hydration, and manual techniques like dry brushing, gua sha, and professional whole body drainage treatments.


Proper breathing is essential for a healthy body. Not only do we need to take in oxygen for optimal cellular function, but the breath is also an avenue of toxin elimination. Deep breathing exercises help to fully expand the lungs and increase oxygen intake. Steam inhalation is great for opening airways, removing mucous, and fighting infection. Steam saunas, showers, or placing your face over a bowl of hot water are great options. You can add a few drops of thyme or eucalyptus essential oils to boost lung health as well. Exercise is also great for increasing oxygen intake and waste output. Of course, the best thing you can do is keep the air around you clean and get regular fresh air from outside. If you are interested in a good quality air filter, check out AirDoctor. Nutrients for lung health include vitamin C, vitamin D, NAC, turmeric, and betaine.


The colon is responsible for forming stool and removing it from the body. Colon motility dictates how well the stool passes through and, if motility is low, wastes will sit inside the colon longer and toxins will be reabsorbed. Thus, facilitating regular bowel movements is important for detoxification. To encourage healthy bowel movements, regular exercise, adequate hydration, and sufficient fiber intake are all necessary. Fiber is best from whole food sources like carrots, apples, squash, kale, artichoke, and lentils.

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