With the start of a new year, and a new decade at that, many folks may be starting new or focusing back on healthy habits. During the holidays, and frankly throughout our lives, it is completely normal and healthy to enjoy the emotional nourishment of comfort foods and focusing on quality time with our family and friends. If you're feeling your body asking for some assistance and nourishment, whether it's a New Years Resolution, or some support after a few weeks of holiday treats and cocktails, Milk Thistle Seed can be can an excellent ally for supporting and tonifying your liver, and aiding your body's natural ability to detox.
When it comes to "detoxing" our bodies, there can be a lot of misleading information out there, and products that can ultimately do more harm than good. Many "detox" formulas contain high levels of caffeine, acting as a powerful diuretic, or even laxatives. These trigger the body to expel water through urine and bowel movements, and you'll end up making excessive trips to the bathroom and losing mostly water — not toxins. This isn’t a safe or effective way to aid your bodies natural processes, and can leave you dehydrated or with other serious health complications.
Simply put, there is no magic pill or tea that will detoxify your body. The organs responsible for processing and moving toxins in our body are our gut, liver, lungs, kidney, lymph and skin. The best thing we can do to naturally detox our bodies is to gently support and encourage the health of these organs so that they can function optimally, while keeping up habits that support overall wellness.
Here are some helpful tips if you're looking to gently bring your body back into a healthy rhythm and support your body's detox processes:
Drink plenty of filtered water. Keeping hydrated keeps your liver and kidneys working optimally, and is the means by which toxins are removed through our sweat, urine and breath. If possible, filtered water is best.
Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol can put extra stress on our liver and limit our liver's ability to do its job filtering our blood and metabolizing harmful chemicals for excretion. While having a glass of red wine from time to time is okay, you can support your liver by limiting your alcohol intake on a regular basis.
Get adequate sleep.This one might go without saying, and can be challenging in our fast-paced world, but if your New Year's Resolution includes detoxing, getting enough quality sleep is key. Even if you're checking off every other item on this list, it can all come undone from inadequate sleep.
Eat more fiber-rich and fermented foods. Our gut removes wastes through our large intestine so that it's not recirculated into the bloodstream. You can support your gut in doing this by eating more foods high in fiber, such as beans and root vegetables, as well as fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and miso.
Try dry brushing. Using a natural bristle brush, gently brush your skin in circular motions, moving from your outer extremities towards your heart. Doing so can promote lymph movement, while exfoliating and brushing away toxins on the surface of the skin.
Sweat it out. Our skin is our largest living organ, exchanging oxygen and waste from its surface. Sweating is one way to aid our body in detoxing through the skin, be it through exercise or a trip to the sauna. Remember to drink plenty of water to promote a healthy sweat, and make sure you're getting enough electrolytes.
Swap out your personal care products. Just as our skin excretes toxins, it can also absorb toxins directly from the skin and hair care products we use. Consider taking a peak at the ingredients in your products, and switch over to products made with natural ingredients. Interested in learning to make your own? Get signed up for THS Make Your Own: Herbal Product Series, Beginning in Feb 2020. In this 4 month, hands-on program we will dive into making an assortment of products for your hair, skin, body and home. Space is limited. Secure your spot today! Early Bird Special $100 off till Jan 31st.
Support your liver with herbs, such as Milk Thistle Seed. Milk Thistle Seed has been shown to improve liver function, and has been used for years to support those with chronic liver conditions, from hepatitis to cirrhosis. It may also improve the body’s ability to regulate hormones, since the liver is heavily involved in this. In addition to Milk Thistle Seed, our other favorite herbs for supporting your liver and your body’s innate detox processes are Dandelion Root and Burdock Root.