Feeling sluggish and a lack of energy? Do you find you’re getting bugs easily, and they’re getting ever harder to shift? Do you find your body struggling during and in recovering from exercise? If you’re answering yes to any of these, it could be that the toxins in your blood have built up to harmful levels.
This article explores blood detoxification (or blood cleansing), and how it could help return you to your energetic, happy and healthy self. The term ‘blood detoxification’ is the term given to specific diets and regimes that help purify our bodies of harmful toxins.
Our respiratory and digestive systems are like sponges; soaking up bits and pieces of just about everything we consume. And it’s not just our organs that are soaking up everything we throw at them; almost our entire body will be absorbing chemicals, both the ones we want; and the ones that are causing us harm.
No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead, you’ll be accumulating toxins; albeit that healthier people will have accumulated less through their less-toxic diets, and through not smoking/consumption of alcohol. From air pollution to pollutants in our drinking water, cleaning and cosmetic products; in this modern world, we’re surrounded by toxins.
How is blood cleansing beneficial?
The process has been practiced for centuries all across the globe, possibly most famously— detoxification in ancient Chinese medicine. Our ancestors discovered that, by removing and eliminating toxins and switching to a healthy diet, they could help their bodies remove toxins and protect themselves against disease.
Our bodies naturally remove impurities from the blood in the liver and kidneys, and to a lesser extent in many of our other organs including those in our respiratory and digestive system. When you’re ill or your body has been bombarded with toxins, this natural process becomes overloaded and the toxins build up, making you feel ill or symptoms worse.
There are simple lifestyle changes you can implement to lower the quantities of toxins your body has to handle. Many of these are common sense, but using natural rather than artificial products and processed foods helps heaps; as does removing or minimising alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, refined sugars and saturated fats from your diet.
However, if you’re already feeling the effects of excess toxins in your body: you may need to give your body a detoxification. There are three broad approaches to blood cleansing:
- Restricting your diet to ease the work your liver or other blood cleansing organs have to do
- Altering your diet to increase the capacity of your body’s detoxification processes
- Increasing blood circulation and volume through either changes to diet or exercise
How gout can be cured through blood detoxification
Gout is one of the more serious and common outcomes of having too many toxins in your body. It’s caused by a build-up of uric acid; when your kidneys are overloaded or not functioning properly. If this build-up continues, the excess uric acid creates crystals in your joints and other bodily tissue. Whilst this may sound pretty, the sharp shooting pains and swelling they cause is far from pleasant
More often than not, these sharp crystals migrate down your body – settling in your big toe. The symptoms of pain, continual discomfort and inflamed joints will therefore typically hit your big toe hardest.
Detoxifying the blood helps remove uric acid build-up and thereby relieving the pain and swelling, and give your kidneys the rest they need to recuperate. As a start, you’ll want to give up consuming toxic substances and, where possible, remove unnecessary stress from your life. There are also a whole load of herbs, supplements and natural approaches that can help detoxify the uric acid build-up.
Home remedies for blood detoxification
Lemon juice helps clear your blood and digestive tract by triggering your body to create an alkaline environment to handle the lemon’s acidity. By altering your pH balance, most bacteria will be eradicated, and the lemon juice helps flush your blood of harmful toxins. Try adding the juice of half a lemon to warm-water and a little honey if you’d like it sweeter, for an immune-boosting and detoxifying drink. Apple Cider Vinegar work wonders too.
When detoxing, it’s highly important you drink enough fluids. As a major part of the detox process is to flush the toxins out of your body, you’ll want to increase the clean and natural fluids running through your body. This is especially important if you’re taking diuretics, which will increase your water and electrolyte loss. Try to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, instead opting for lots of water; home-made unsweetened juices and herbal teas.
Most importantly is a change in diet: try to ensure your diet is rich in fiber and essential fatty acids. Berries help neutralize uric acid if you’re suffering gout or a build-up of acids, and fish provides essential fatty acids to help reduce the risk of inflammation (learn the list of anti-inflammatory foods here).
Herbal supplements to improve your body’s detoxification processing
Alfalfa, also called lucerne, is a perennial pea plant that’s had use as a blood detoxifying herb for over a thousand years in Chinese medicine and is used in treating digestive disorders and healing kidneys.
Harpagophytum, often known as Devil’s Claw due to its hooked fruit, has roots which naturally reduce pain and fevers, and stimulate digestion, meaning it has a double-barrelled approach to detoxification and treating gout.
Uva Ursi, also known as Bearberry, contains the chemical glycoside arbutin that antimicrobial properties and acts as a mild diuretic; helping flush-out and heal urinary infections.
Buchu, a subspecies of the genus Agathosma , has diuretic and antiseptic properties thanks to its various phenolic compounds – helping treat infections and clear your body of toxins.
Cornsilk is harvested from the inner shiny fibre hair-like part of corn (maize) prior to pollination. It contains chemicals that help treat bladder infections, kidney stones and infections, inflamed urinary tracts, reducing blood pressure and other blood-related ailments.
Juniper Berries aren’t actually berries, but berry-like pine cones infamous for flavouring gin. They are a diuretic, helping flush your body of toxins, and also increases insulin production; helping act as an appetite suppressor, helpful if you’re fasting as well as flushing.
The leaf of the mullein plant (Verbascum) has been used by Austrians in healing herbal teas for for treating disorders of the respiratory system, skin, blood circulatory system and gastrointestinal tract,
The resin, roots and bark of the sassafras tree has been used by numerous native American tribes for centuries. Scientists have found they had good reason to: it has analgesic and antiseptic properties, helping to treat infections and detoxify our bodies.
Dried burdock root or the oil extracted from it is rich in phytosterols and helps purify your blood through its diuretic and diaphoretic properties.
Another detoxifying root is from the dandelion, used from Europe, North America and China. It is used in treating infections, especially of the liver, and acts as a diuretic.
Cerasee, or to give it its common name, bitter lemon, is a traditional healing herb used from Europe, Asia and Africa. It can act as a natural laxative, helping flush your body of harmful toxins.
The common stinging nettle has long been used in treating inflammations, with the Germans taking it for their arthritis and other (mainly European) cultures have used nettles in treating ailments of the kidneys and urinary tract, the digestive (in particular intestinal) system, the cardio-vascular and blood network system and in treating rheumatism and gout.