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Who hasn't felt the temptation...
To put in the shopping cart, that bag of potato chips, loaded with processed fats, more radioactive than a nuclear power plant!
Who has never felt, cast the first stone...
And after hearing the crackling of potatoes as they hit the metal of the cart, thinking - what the heck!
Canned beans, powdered white sugar cakes, artificial sodas and a package of pre-made hamburgers…
Today I'm tired and I don't have the patience to cook!
May God Almighty forgive me, but I lost my mind...
So it is!
It's modern times!
Sometimes, the hectic life makes us drop discipline, and we end up making unwise decisions for our health.
Once in a while it doesn't hurt.
But if it starts to be frequent, sooner or later there will be a bill to pay...
And very high!
Fast food and processed foods are options with long-term health risks.
"Detox" is a buzzword spoken by TV stars.
Beautiful people with a slender body, who invade us through the LCD screen in our house.
Adepts of natural food, with a toned body after many hours in the gym.
So, if I had their time...
Those who live in the spotlight need to be 100%, even if only in appearances.
And that takes time, a lot of sweat, but essentially discipline.
Food and exercise are key, and if there's still time for a yoga class, then that's a great extra.
We all want to be like this, above the stars, but unfortunately...
Our occupations take us all the time.
And when it finally, sometimes arises...
We froze and let what little time we had left to take care of ourselves slip away.
Lack of time is a common problem.
And that's why Detox could be one of the few things you'll be able to incorporate, in that little free space, that you can strive to find.
Although it's not everything, it's always something good you can do for your body, the one you love so much.
We have to start somewhere!
There is no formally recognized definition, but the term Detox comes from the English abbreviation “Detoxification”.
Detoxification means cleaning the toxics that contaminate our body, as if it were a polluted river.
This "cleaning" can be carried out through different natural ways, and it is precisely on this theme that the article will focus.
First of all, I want to let you know the advantages of a Herbal Detox!
The liver is an extremely important organ in the human body, being considered as the main responsible for the detoxification of our organism.
This is because it has the ability to transform toxic substances that circulate in our body into more easily eliminated compounds.
Scientifically speaking, liver detoxification consists of 2 stages of toxic transformation.
Many toxic compounds are poorly soluble in water, and this makes their elimination difficult.
For those who don't know, certain harmful substances have a chemical structure that causes them to be deposited in our body's fats.
So they stay there "stuck" if necessary for years, as in pesticides and heavy metals.
And when they sometimes come off, they go directly into the blood, causing toxicity.
That is why..
In a first phase, a group of enzymes known as cytochrome P450, transform these poorly soluble toxic substances into more easily eliminated substances.
However, these created substances can be even more toxic, because they cause free radicals.
Free radicals are very aggressive compounds that tend to attack various cellular structures, including our DNA.
And that's where the second phase of detoxification comes in, the neutralization of these reactive molecules, which is done through the use of different natural chemicals.
Ever heard of glutathione, sulfur compounds like methionine and cysteine, folic acid (folate), and choline?
These are some of the important compounds used in this 2nd phase.
After metabolizing these poisons we ingest, and that even our own naturally produces. These are mainly eliminated by 2 routes, through urine and feces.
The toxics that are removed by the urine, after being transformed, are transferred from the liver to the bloodstream, being later filtered by the kidneys, in order to be retained in the urine.
But the mechanism that interests us most at this point is elimination through bile.
One of the many other functions of the liver is to produce bile, a greenish substance, which helps to dissolve the fats that we ingest in food, so that they are absorbed by our body.
After all, fats are important to us.
It is through this bile that our body concentrates the metabolized toxics, storing it in the gallbladder, before expelling it in the feces, during the normal procedure of digestion.
Of course, the feces are later eliminated and these toxic compounds are expelled with them.
And so the poisons end up in the toilet!
After this long explanation...
We can easily understand that any herb that helps to produce and release bile is contributing to detoxification.
The liver is the most important organ in detoxification.
Medicinal plants that increase bile production are called choleretics, and those that stimulate the gallbladder to empty bile into the intestines are called cholagogues.
Some herbs are stronger, and have these 2 actions, for example: Artichoke, Boldo, Dandelion Root, Peppermint, among others.
There are also other herbs that stand out mainly in protecting the liver, such as Milk Thistle, Beetroot and Schisandra. But in the end, they end up also helping with detoxification.
After the "discharge" of the toxics in the intestine, through the bile stored in the gallbladder. These must be eliminated when the person goes to the bathroom.
However, when digestions are slow, as in cases of constipation, these toxins, now contained in the feces, can be reabsorbed.
In addition, because they are in contact with the intestinal wall for a long time, they can, in the long term, contribute to the emergence of serious problems, such as colon cancer.
Thus, the fibers present in many foods and in medicinal herbs are a great way to help detoxify.
This is due to two main reasons:
- Due to its ability to capture, fibers help to retain toxic substances in the feces, preventing their re-absorption;
- They promote a faster intestinal transit, reducing the contact of toxic substances with the intestine, and thus also reducing their reabsorption potential.
Herbs that help with intestinal detoxification can be divided into these 2 main categories: stimulant laxatives and physiological laxatives.
Stimulant laxatives are those that have a quick and aggressive effect, such as the well-known Senna, Cascara sagrada, Castor oil, etc.
They are commonly used in intense purges, in which the person strongly "empties" the intestine, being accompanied by cramps, and with the risk of dehydration with loss of water and important mineral salts.
They can be dangerous, especially in people who suffer from serious heart conditions, in which the loss of mineral salts can cause serious imbalances, even death.
In addition, due to their irritating effect on the walls of the intestine, in the long term, they cause an insensitivity of the intestine, causing problems of habituation and loss of effect.
Don't you know someone who doesn't go to the bathroom without their laxative tea, which they drink every single night?
Physiological laxatives, as the name implies, are herbs that act in a more gentle and natural way.
They consist especially of soluble or insoluble fibers. Fibers are undigested compounds in the intestine, which allow water absorption and consequent increase in stool size.
This hydration and greater volume, allows stools to be softer and easier to evacuate. And as we have already mentioned, the fibers also allow for a greater retention of toxic substances in the feces, contributing to their elimination.
As a rule, they are well tolerated and contribute to the improvement of other parameters, such as blood sugar balance and a lower cholesterol level.
Among the physiological laxatives, we can consider the soluble fibers of Apple, Flaxseed, Altea, Psyllium, Konjac, among many others.
As for insoluble fibers, these can be found mainly in bran and whole grains.
For reasons of efficacy and safety, the intake of these foods or products must always be accompanied by an abundant amount of water.
The other major route of natural elimination of toxics is through urine.
Toxic substances, after being metabolized in the liver, return to the bloodstream in a more water-soluble form, and this allows them to be transferred to the urine, after the blood is filtered by the kidneys.
Diuretic herbs, also known as draining herbs, promote the production of urine, and consequently a greater opportunity to eliminate these metabolized toxics. Of course, for this effect to occur, you must drink a sufficient amount of water, at least 1.5 liters of water a day.
Among the natural diuretics, we highlight the leaves of dandelion, which in addition to its diuretic effect, has the important potassium that in alternative medicines, also has a fundamental role in detoxification and in the proper functioning of the liver and gallbladder.
That's why certain therapists recommend frequent consumption of dark green leafy vegetables, which are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and folic acid.
Artichoke is also of great interest, because in addition to being a diuretic, it is also excellent in liver cleansing.
Herbs such as celery, nettle and sarsaparilla, in addition to being strong purifiers, are also reputed to improve inflammation such as rheumatism.
Horsetail and Nettle, more than the diuretic effect, have in their composition, high concentrations of silicon, which makes them very interesting in the beauty of the skin, hair and nails.
The skin is the largest human organ, it is about 2 m2 in area and this makes it another detox organ, a little less known.
In holistic approaches, the skin also works as a mirror of what is going on inside our body. In addition to diagnosis, certain skin conditions are even considered to be a result of the accumulation of toxins in the body.
In older times, it was the doctors themselves who recommended depuratives to those who suffered from acne and psoriasis.
But despite the use of Detox, in the treatment of skin diseases and also its effects on the beauty, brightness and vitality of the skin, we just want to focus on the skin, as another way to eliminate toxics.
It is through sweat that the skin allows the exit of toxins, and thus methods that stimulate sweating, such as physical exercise and sauna, allow greater elimination of accumulated toxics.
Diaphoretic herbs such as Ginger, Elderflower, Cayenne pepper stimulate the production of sweat and with that the release of toxins in the skin.
We highlight the burdock root, which in addition to promoting Detox in the lymphatic system and skin, is also an excellent diuretic.
Since sweat is 99% water, it's important to drink plenty of water, of course.
Breathing, like sweating, is another lesser-known body detox method. But that doesn't stop it from being true.
A simple test is the elimination of alcohol when it is ingested, resulting in that breath that many people have experienced or felt.
Despite having a more limited overall effect, some herbs can stimulate the breathing mechanism to eliminate toxins. Since they also have a cleaning effect at the local level, especially in the case of smoking, and for those who live in polluted environments, such as in large cities.
The mechanisms used to intensify this respiratory detoxification are: slightly dilating the bronchi, promoting greater fluidity of secretions, and neutralizing chemicals with natural antioxidants.
Green tea is an excellent option because in addition to having a mild bronchodilator effect, it works very well as a source of antioxidants. Turmeric also has a fantastic antioxidant effect, in addition to promoting strong liver detoxification.
Eucalyptus is an excellent medicinal plant at the respiratory level due to its mucolytic and expectorant effects.
Respiratory detox, despite being less used and more limited, should be considered by those people, who do not want to leave anything undone.
Detox can be an important tool for those who want to improve their health, in addition to helping to start a weight loss regime.
No publication on this page constitutes medical practice and as such does not replace medical advice and follow-up.