Detox your life. Image via Adobe Stock

Overall health: Does it benefit your body to detoxify?

Nature’s Pharmacy: Qualified homeopath Hanli Rautenbach gives advice on detoxing your body.


Detox your life. Image via Adobe Stock

The debate on the value of detoxifying is an old one, and the simple answer is that in an ideal world, your body is able to detoxify itself without the need for diets and supplements.

In an ideal world, there would not be heavy metal poisoning or overindulgence in alcohol and fast foods; there will not be chronic stress or the need to treat it. Our bodies would work at their optimum; we would eat organic, naturally ripened, non-genetically modified food. In an ideal world.

So when living in our imperfect world, our detoxification processes can become compromised and that is when the need to support detoxification arises.

Physical detox

When looking at physical detox there are three steps.

Step one: The body recognises toxins and reacts to them by using Cytochrome P450 (a family of enzymes that plays a role in hormone synthesis and the breakdown of toxins). This turns the toxins into free radicals and starts the process of excreting toxins from the cells and body.

Step two: There are now toxins that are more reactive and these are then attached to other water-soluble substances to make them more soluble and thus easier to eliminate through urine (kidneys) and bile (liver). This process needs cofactors (non-protein helpers, for example metal ions like zinc and iron) and coenzymes (small non-protein molecules that hold an atom so that the enzyme can do its job, like B vitamins).

Step three: The water-soluble compounds are neutralised, bound to dietary fibre and excreted from the cells and body.

Pollutants in our environment

A study done by the National Resources of the US Defence Counsel in 2018 show that from 2002 in the USA  there have been over 80,000 different chemicals and an estimated 4 billion pounds of chemical pollutants which include plastics, solvents, pesticides and heavy metals in our environment — in our soil, air, water, food and ultimately in our bodies.

With the increase in toxic load in our environment, scientists estimate that United States residents carries at least 700 contaminants in their bodies.

Mental and emotional detox

Mental and emotional detox happens through restorative processes like sleeping, relaxing and moderate exercise.

When looking at only one factor that can impact on our ability to mentally and emotionally detoxify, like noise pollution which with urban living is on the increase, we see noise-induced hearing loss, high blood pressure and insomnia.

Pollution needs to be considered when it comes to detoxing. Image via Adobe Stock

Repetitive negative thoughts as a result of mental stress can also lead to sleep disturbances and decreased concentration levels.

When experiencing changes in your immune response, changes in how you react to food, exhaustion and constant joint and muscle pains, consider doing a detox after seeing your health care practitioner.

General changes like decreasing alcohol and coffee intake, eating a diet rich in plant fibre and vegetables like broccoli and beetroot, will support the detoxification process.

Plenty of water, regular moderate exercise and making a effort to get plenty of good quality sleep will also support the body to detoxify.

Allowing yourself to cry and face emotional issues will support emotional health and detox.

Become aware of your chemical exposure. Start using biodegradable or natural cleaning products. Become aware of what is in your beauty and body products and make healthier choices.

Treating yourself with supplements

Food supplements like sulforaphane, fulvic acid, chlorella, reishi mushrooms and zeolite can be considered to support the body’s natural detoxification process.

Activated charcoal can be used in the short term to absorb excess toxic load.

Healthy eating can help detox your body. Image via Adobe Stock

To support detoxification, your homeopath will look at the complete picture and support the organs in need and also address the emotional and mental symptoms.

Over the counter remedy formulations that support the liver and kidneys can be considered like Gallen (Natura), Febro 1 and 2 (Natura), Hepatodoron (Weleda), liver and gallbladder drops (Vogel) and Nieren (Natura), Nephrosolid (Vogel), Reneel (heel).

The B vitamins, magnesium and folic acid is also worth mentioning. Herbs that support the detoxifying process include milkthistle, taraxacum, sceletium, burdock root and turmeric. Also consider Bach flower remedies like impatiens and agrimony and elm to ease the detoxification process and adjust to new ways to look at situations.

If we can support our organs to eliminate toxins from our cells and bodies, it can allow us to feel more energised and with renewed enthusiasm to face our world.

Visit Hanli Rautenbach’s Facebook page here to suggest health-related topics.