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I am an enthusiast of cleansing the body, but only because we do not (and maybe cannot) fully follow the natural cleansing rhythms of nature. For example, if we grew and ate all of our own foods, our diet would change dramatically with each season. Changes in soil microbes from one season to the next would become our new seasonal microbiome, and literally keep us healthy.
While most of us try to eat organic, avoid processed foods and eat seasonal foods, it is difficult to eat enough of the foods nature would dictate if you were living off the land. I remember one summer when I lived off the grid on a small farm and we ate solely from the garden. We ate swiss chard every day for weeks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, because that was what nature was delivering. We drank either dandelion or burdock root tea with each meal to wash down the swiss chard.
I am way more food conscious now than I was in the summer of 1979 when I learned about swiss chard, and there is no way I eat as many greens or drink as many root teas today as I did that summer. So yes, if we could eat as nature dictates – eating medicinal dosages of each seasons bounty, I doubt we would need to regularly do a cleanse or detox.
Fast forward to the modern industrial age, where we are exposed to levels of toxins never seen by a human before now. A new EPA analysis reports that almost 4 billion pounds of chemicals – 62 million of which are classified as carcinogenic – are released into the environment each year in the United States alone. (1)
So while we do have the internal ability to detoxify heavy metals and toxins from the environment, a very strong digestive system is required to accomplish that. Stress, toxins, processed foods, and the fact that we eat way more food than we need, can overwhelm and break down the digestive and detox pathways.
This is the reason why so many folks have food intolerances, wheat and dairy issues, chemical sensitivities and hypersensitivity concerns that lead to fatigue, mood issues, pain, indigestion, brain fog, skin concerns, hormonal issues and so much more. Ground zero is the intestinal skin.
When the intestinal skin breaks down, it dumps toxins directly into the lymphatic system, where it clogs all of the body’s cellular drains. When it comes to concepts like the “grain brain,” the problem is not the grain, but the lymphatic drains. (2,3)
Congestion of the lymph will default the toxins back to the liver, which can easily become overwhelmed and dump toxins back into the bloodstream, where are they are dumped into fat cells and brain cells to be stored. Through lymph vessels, the brain detoxifies 3 pounds of waste each year, which is close to the entire weight of the brain. When the lymph and liver are both congested, these toxins put the body at great risk for unnecessary health concerns and accelerated aging. (4,5)