Surely you have seen or heard the word detox on several occasions, especially about juices with the word detox.

But do you know what it really means?

Detox refers to detoxify the body in a broad sense, for popular culture focuses on purifying the liver and kidney / lymphatic system and often proposed methods not very consistent or insignificant in relation to the intake of toxic foods or excess food, mainly I mean the attractions or abuse of processed products, rich in saturated fats, sugars, … during holidays.
Although if we make a good detox plan knowing what we are really doing we can get very good results.

In this article I will try to detoxify the body but I will specify the different organs or excretory systems involved. I think it is important to clarify what we are detoxifying and why.

What can I get by making a detox plan?

It will depend a lot on your current state and what you need, but in general:

You will eliminate toxins.
Yo’ll reduce your weight.
You will reduce fluid retention.
You will improve your hepatic (liver), renal (kidneys), intestinal and lymphatic health.

Some of the signs that indicate you may need a detox plan
Fluid retention, lowering of defenses, tiredness, headaches, lack of energy, …

How does our body get intoxicated and detoxified?

The body’s routes of entry for toxins are through the digestive system (especially stomach and intestines), the respiratory system (lungs), and epithelial system (skin).

What enters our body may not be the toxin itself, but rather due to metabolic transformations or organic imbalances may end up generating toxicity within us.

Our body is wise and has a procedure to eliminate these compounds through the organs called emuntories, these are: skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and intestines.

But when they do not work properly or an excess of intake or accumulation of toxins has occurred, they can start generating problems sometimes symptomatic, but most of the time asymptomatic.
In this way our organs degenerate very slowly, almost imperceptibly, or remain damaged for a long time, and finally diseases appear.

The most common early effects of toxic accumulation are: headaches, lack of energy, decrease of the immune system (defenses), fatigue (tiredness), inflammation, intestinal discomfort.

How can we help the body to detoxify itself?

By acting on the main organs and depurative systems: liver, intestines, lymph.
That is why a good detox plan should NOT focus only on the liver (unless it is justified), but it has to cover the whole.

Below I propose some methods for the general healthy population to cleanse the body.

Drink water!

Through urine we eliminate toxins and purify the body. It is one of our best allies when it comes to making a Detox plan. The amount depends a lot on the person, although in this case I would recommend 2 L; keep in mind that smoothies, broths, … also contain a lot of water. [1], [2]

Detox water and lemon

Get some exercise!

Again, it depends on each person. So to make it easy:
Low intensity exercise, long time.
Moderate intensity exercise, moderate time.
High intensity exercise, short time.

Other compatible exercises can be: pilates, stretching, tai chi, chi kung, yoga, …

The ideal in this case would be to get sweat, because through the skin we eliminate toxins. Although the exercise also helps us mobilize the toxins of the body especially the lymphatic system, ie, facilitates movement towards evacuation. [3], [4], [5], [6]


Detox Liver

Recommended foods: artichokes, bitter vegetables, celery, endive, purple lettuce, arugula, lamb’s lettuce, onions, garlic, endive, oak leaf lettuce, asparagus, brown rice, green beans, spinach, lemons, pomegranate, ginger, mustard, bone broth, liver infused agar-agar gelatin, extra virgin olive oil (EVO), turmeric, chlorella, thistle. [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [16], [19], [20], [21], [22], [24], [25], [26], [31], [32], [36], [38], [40]

Plants: Chicory, Artichoke, Astragalus, Burdock, Boldo, Marian Thistle, Centaura Minor, Centaura Aspera, Turmeric, Desmodium, Dandelion, Schisandra, Gentian, Nettle, Orthosiphon, White Pennyroyal, Rosemary, Golden Sun, Thyme.

Example of infusion: Artichoke, Boldo, Marian thistle, Mint, Rosemary.

Detox Gallbladder

Recommended foods: Eggplant, lemons, avocados, bitter vegetables, rocket, endives, lamb’s lettuce, endive, oak leaf lettuce, asparagus, turmeric, lemon (e.g., food marinade). [40]

Plants: Chicory, Agrimony, Artichoke, Fenugreek, Sagebrush, Burdock, Marian Thistle, Centaura Aspera, Centaura Minor, Turmeric, Dandelion, Gentian, Mint, Oregano, Stinging Nettle, Orthosiphon, White Pennyroyal, Rosemary, Thyme

One tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice on an empty stomach stimulates the production and secretion of bile.

Detox Intestines

Foods indicated: with fiber, rice, garlic, parsley, spinach, cooked turnip, watercress, raw broccoli, sweet potato, onion, kale, cauliflower, flax, chia, zaragatona, aloe vera, buckwheat, bone broth. [15], [29], [30]

Plants: Aloe, Ispagula, Flax, Mallow, Marshmallow, Zaragatona (they help, I propose it as part of the detox plan, not as the only option of choice in the treatment of chronic constipation).

The moisturizing seeds of chia and zaragatona flax generate a gel. Soaking them, leaving them to rest for a few hours and ingesting them on an empty stomach will help clean out the intestinal tract.

Detox Kidneys and Lymph

Recommended foods: rich in vitamin C (lemon juice or shakes), celery, leek, parsley, chlorella, pomegranate, green tea, black garlic, green coffee. [17], [18], [23], [27], [28], [33], [34], [35]

Plants: Artichoke, Burdock, Thistle, Horsetail, Dandelion, Ash, Grass, Apothecary’s Grass, Helene, Orthosiphon, Villous.

Example of diuretic preparation: cut roots of leek celery and parsley and boil in 1 L of water for 5 minutes. It can be seasoned and eaten directly, mashed, used as a base for other recipes, …

And there are many other ways to make and complement the detox plan! Massages, specific exercises, other plants and foods, extracts, supplements, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, …
But I am not going to extend myself further, I hope you find the information useful.

What should we avoid?

Processed foods, sugar, dairy products, gluten, soy, corn, meat products, alcohol, coffee, excitement, excess salt, excess saturated fat, fried foods, moderating animal protein, foods that cause intolerance or poor digestion.

Fast food

Watch out!

Diuretic plants and foods should not be taken lightly, below I leave you a series of side effects that may indicate that we are not doing a correct use: cramps, rash, cramps, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, joint pain, abnormal heart rhythm.

Details and curiosities

The tongue is an important part that also collaborates in the detoxification of the body: remember to clean it from time to time during the week.

It is important to take the microbiota into account in a detoxification plan: an unbalanced microbiome can generate toxic metabolites.

Complementing with Magnesium supplements can be interesting, obviously always under the supervision of a specialist. [37]

According to the traditional Chinese medicine the organs have a period of greater hourly activation, it is advisable to have dinner around 9 pm so that then the gallbladder and liver have enough energy to perform their functions better.

There are various phytotherapeutic supplements: milk thistle extract, boldo, desmodium capsules, lavender essential oil, …

Inflammation, premenstrual syndrome, medicines, thyroid problems… They can also produce accumulation of toxicity in the body.

The use of cosmetic products can cause us to absorb toxins through the skin. Let’s opt for those without petroleum derivatives or silicones.

Fasting can be a great alternative! But you have to learn how to do it, you would need a whole post to explain fasting. Having an early dinner and fasting for 12 hours is a good option.

For Chinese medicine the best time to do detox is in the spring and early fall.

Organic products are more in line with this plan, as they do not encourage the accumulation of toxins.

Mental state influences the detoxification of the body. Stress, anxiety, and depression generate toxins.

Getting the necessary sleep helps detoxify the body. When we sleep, many metabolic processes of toxin elimination occur. [39]

Marian Thistle contains Silymarin which protects the liver cell from infection, reduces inflammation and promotes the regeneration of liver cells.

If you want to help change the fat profile of your cells to improve purification, I recommend reading my article about omega 3: https://felixmora.com/laverdadacercadelos-omega-3/

Links of interest
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5307334/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314616/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5920010/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5352601/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5148013/
  6. https://www.researchgate.net
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622760/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6088407/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4935245/
  10. https://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/885-891.pdf
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834197/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264765/
  13. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb/66/1/66_1_92/_pdf/-char/en
  14. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5704331/
  16. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jmi/61/3.4/61_345/_pdf/-char/en
  17. http://www.ijkd.org/index.php/ijkd/article/view/3161/965
  18. https://www.researchgate.net/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014250/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856001/
  21. https://www.researchgate.net/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5766456/
  23. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0886022X.2018.1561375
  24. https://eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2115/63938/1/Miyashita-Lipids.pdf 
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999804/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082798/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549484/
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452227/
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499070/
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3801188/
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4122038/
  32. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb/71/4/71_60566/_pdf/-char/en
  33. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/443447
  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070083/
  35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070088/
  36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027041/
  37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054837/
  38. http://www.eurekaselect.com/157143/article
  39. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/2/322/htm
  40. http://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/hepato/ah-2017/ah176e.pdf
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