Cleansing and Detoxing: A Few Simple Ways to Do It

Cleansing and Detoxing: A Few Simple Ways to Do It

One of the things about living in a polluted world, full of toxic chemicals in the water, air, food supply, etc. is that they don’t just stay on the outside but many of them end up on the inside, too. Our bodies can become burdened by these toxins over time, and this can affect a whole host of bodily functions, sometimes seen through illness and symptoms and sometimes just silently wearing our bodies down and causing gradual and subtle effects.

Either way, they are a hindrance to living in good health. Of course, we seek to eat clean foods and keep our homes as toxin free as possible, but it just isn’t possible to avoid toxins completely. Over time, we all need to do a bit of “housecleaning” and help to rid our bodies of these built up chemicals and foreign substances.

I mentioned recently that I was going to do a little bit of detoxifying while taking a short break from nursing my baby (due to being on medications that I didn’t feel were safe for her to receive through breastfeeding). Many of you asked how I was going to do this cleansing, and so I thought I’d share just a few ideas and ways that I chose to detoxify my body.

I’ll let you know straight up that this is not an area of expertise for me. Though I have studied some about detoxifying and different methods of doing so, my knowledge in this area is not as strong as some other areas. I present this as the ways that I haven chosen to aid my body in cleaning itself out, not as the ultimate guide for how you ought to choose to do your own detoxing regime. I am still learning much in this area! 🙂

Perfect Cleanse Kit

Perfect Cleanse 03This kit is through Garden of Life (you can read more about the product through this link) , a supplement company whose products I believe are of a very high quality. This is Dr. Jordan Rubin’s company and he is the author of The Maker’s Diet, an excellent book that I highly recommend (very much in line with a traditional, whole foods diet like Nourishing Traditions, and includes much other useful information for health especially in regards to having a healthy digestive system). I like this kit because it does not require a special diet or fasting, although of course it is always best to be eating well if you expect to get the most benefits out of any cleanse (ie. no junk while you’re doing it!).

Knowing that I only had about one week that I would not be breastfeeding, I had little time to prepare myself to do anything more elaborate, and even less time and energy to actually think about preparing special foods, juices, etc. I had previously bought this kit, intending to do it the day I actually found out I was pregnant (so there went that idea!). I wasn’t able to do it for the full 10 days, but did do it for 6 days which is certainly better than nothing. I appreciated that I could use it while eating normally, because I did not want to restrict my calories while trying to maintain my milk supply. I found the cleanse very easy to use, gentle on my system, but it still felt as though it was being effective and making a difference.


chloressence bottleChlorella is a type of green algae. Aside from boasting many nutrients, including powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, DNA and RNA (for cell growth and repair), it is also widely known as an powerful detoxifier. Most particularly, chlorella is known for binding to heavy metals, removing them from the body and purifying the blood.

It’s important to use a high quality source of chlorella for the best results. I used ChlorEssence by Sequel, a local Canadian company. Dr. Mercola also carries a chlorella tablet that looks to be superior in quality, and this page on his site includes a bit more information about the benefits of using chlorella. I was taking between 4-6 tablets a day, in addition to using the above kit.

Flora Diulaxa Tea

diulaxa teaThis is an herbal tea that combines many herbs known to have detoxifying and blood purifying properties. I couldn’t find many websites with a good description of it, but here is what one said about it: “Effectively cleans the blood and helps remove body wastes by stimulating excretion through bowels, kidneys and skin.”

This tea can be taken 1-3 cups a day, and is recommended for a 6 week period. I didn’t have that kind of time, but just decided to add a cup of it every day to what I was already doing. Using a prepared tea like this isn’t necessary, as there are plenty of herbs out there that aid the body in detoxification, but this is an easier and safer way to do it if you aren’t knowledgeable about herbs or don’t care to source out the individual ingredients yourself. Most health food stores will carry either this tea or something similar.

Why not just cleanse by fasting or using a specific diet?

Great question! You can definitely do a cleanse or detoxification through diet alone. In fact, fasting is a very effective way of cleaning out the body, whether it is a brief water fast, or a longer juice fast or mono-diet (only one food is consumed- for instance, brown rice or apples).

I personally chose not to do a fast of this sort for two main reasons: 1) I was still overcoming a sickness and felt that I needed the nutrients from eating a wholesome diet, since I had been struggling to take in enough food and fluids during the previous week of being ill. 2) I was pumping to maintain my milk supply for my young baby and was worried that restricting my calories would compromise that milk supply.

For those who are certain they are not pregnant, and are not breastfeeding, using some type of fasting to clean out the body is definitely a worthwhile option to consider. I would suggest consulting with an experienced practitioner (like a Naturopath) who is skilled in leading people through this type of cleansing as it should be done carefully in order to reap the most benefits from it and to avoid doing anything that may actually cause your body more harm than good. At the very least, read up on the subject very thoroughly before attempting to do any fasting yourself to ensure that you know how to do it safely.

Cleansing and Detoxing: A Few Simple Ways to Do ItAnother way to use diet to clean out the body is to go on a more restrictive diet (only eating certain foods), but without restricting caloric intake. One of the best diets of this sort that I know of and have personally used is The Maker’s Diet. Here are a few of my own thoughts on doing this diet.

Note that if you are in a season of breastfeeding or pregnancy, the Maker’s Diet could be used in a more modified way, starting with Stage 2 or 3 only, to avoid letting the body do any heavy detoxing. It’s fine to cut out harmful things from your diet during breastfeeding and pregnancy, but it’s not fine to alter the diet to such an extreme that your body begins to rapidly release toxins, as these will make their way to your baby through the placenta or through breastmilk. I’m sorry to say that those who are already in these seasons of life (as I have been for most of the past 5 years, so I understand!) will have to wait it out before choosing to do any sort of heavier detox.

Have you ever done any sort of a cleanse or detox? How did you do it? Did you notice the positive effects of having done it?

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  1. I’m about to start GAPS. My baby is 11 months now, so I’m going to see how it goes. It looks like you can sorta control the ‘die off’ associated with detoxing with the GAPS intro, based on what foods you cut out, the probiotics you take, or what foods you introduce and how fast. I tried The Maker’s Diet when I was nursing a newborn, that wasn’t a good idea. I only made it 3 days 🙂 I do love that book, though, but we just stick to ‘stage 3’.

    What a good mom you are! I’m so impressed that you are doing a cleanse during this opportunity.

  2. Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much for this information. I think I will look into this and read “The Maker’s Diet”. We hope you are feeling better!

  3. I really like this idea! I have never been good at fasting. I think I have low blood sugar or something. This is something I could do. Thanks.

  4. Cara, even sticking with Stage 3 is excellent. 🙂 That’s great that you’re doing GAPS!

    Cynthia, thanks! I am feeling much better!

    Jena, I really prefer something like this over fasting, too, even though I know that it can be so effective. Hopefully this could work for you!

  5. Dr. Natura has a wonderful program too! I cured my IBS using both Dr.Natura’s cleanse and doing The Maker’s Diet. And I do a one month Dr. Natura cleanse every year. I LOVE them both and they work wonders on my very sensitive digestive system. I had to skip my cleanse this year since I am 14 weeks pregnant…my body is definitely feeling it! I’ll have to give the Garden of life one a try next time…I’ve been eying it for awhile! Thank you so much for the tips!! 🙂

  6. I detox through fasting and I use Apple Cider Vinegar(or Kombucha) in conjunction with a cranberry / pomegranate juice to flush my system.

  7. I am interested in Detoxing. But are you saying that if you are nursing there’s no way you should consider it? I have done the Maker’s Diet, have the book. Would you say that is my best bet at this point in my life? My baby is 6 mo old.
    Also, I have heard that if you have surgery, that it’s a good idea to detox from all the drugs that are put in your body, and tend to not fully leave, evaporate, etc. Have you heard this to be true, too? Granted my lil one is only 6 mo, but the one before that is 4 yr. Haven’t seemed to be able to shed lbs from then either. Probably being 44 doesn’t help, but could you please share your suggestion/opinion?

  8. I read this months ago and was so impressed! Wow, to think of something like this during a short break from breastfeeding (and to feed your baby doner milk!)– I was just blown away.

    I am currently in a spot where I am looking for answers. I have been nursing my 19 month old since birth (Praise God!). My husband and I are ready for more (especially my husband!) and I am pretty sure I could get pregnant, but in the past year I have discovered hypothyroidism linked to hashimotos linked to food allergies and have been on several weird diets this summer. Currently I am avoiding all dairy and most grains (gluten). I am pretty sure that If I could clease what needs cleansing, these issues may significantly lessen or go away, but I am not willing to wean or post-pone pregnancy for a very long time (I have read that you should wait several months after cleansing before concieivng). Argh! Do you think the GAPS diet would help me? What would YOU do? Thank you!

    1. @Andrea, Oh, tricky question! Well, I can understand not wanting to wean, but since your baby is already 19 months, I would consider doing it since it is for fairly important health reasons. Having been nursed for that long, your little one has already received sooo much benefit, so I certainly wouldn’t feel badly about moving towards weaning.

      I wouldn’t do a cleanse too close to conceiving. I think that the GAPS diet is pretty intense also. What you could do is begin to slowly wean, while preparing to do the GAPS diet (getting the books, preparing some menu plans and finding recipes, etc.). Once you wean, do the intense GAPS intro for a little while (which could be as little as a few days to a few weeks), then move yourself onto the full GAPS diet. Once you feel like the die-off symptoms from the toxins are gone, then I would just really pump up your diet to include tons of nutrient dense foods (you can absolutely do this while still on full GAPS- think cultured foods, liver, fish, greens, etc.).

      So long as you aren’t struggling with losing weight at that point (because I did lose weight on GAPs, even though I ate like crazy), then I would consider trying to conceive. I think that you could go through pregnancy on the full GAPS diet, if you aren’t experiencing die-off symptoms (which would indicate that you are still detoxing). If you were struggling with not gaining enough weight, then just add some good sourdough or sprouted whole (gluten-free, if necessary) grains to your diet once or twice a day, or pump up your starchy carbs like sweet potatoes or even regular potatoes.

      But that’s just my quick thoughts, not really knowing you or hypothyroidism very well. 🙂

      1. @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Thank you so much for that quick and thoughtful reply! It has given me much to think about. I will be praying about this and talking to my husband for sure.

        Two other quick questions when you have a moment: do you have any good advice or sources for weaning a determined little nurser? & Did you buy the suppliments (enzymes and probiotics) recommended by the GAPS website or did you have another (cheaper) resource?

        Thanks again!

        1. @Andrea, For the supplements, we did use both enzymes and probiotics, but not the GAPS specific ones. They were just too expensive for us. We used Garden of Life probiotics, as well as some from our naturopath (his own brand).

          For weaning, the best way that I have done it is just to focus on removing one nursing session per day, usually by distraction and offering food or a cup to drink instead. I know there are lots of good books out there on the topic, but I honestly haven’t read any. 🙂

        2. for weaning, i did it very gradual.. but it seems you need to do it quicker, i agree with stephanie .. except for me i created a more specific schedule.. for the first year i nursed on demand approx every 2-3 hours.. but then at about 15 months i think i moved him more to a schedule. and worked my way to 3 times a day – morning, before nap, before bed.. then i cut out out the nap time, (i encouraged him to nap in his stroller so he was distracted from the regular routine and i think it made it easier for him) and when i weaned him off the morning one i would try and distract him with toys or books or a yummy breakfast… so yeah, i found that switching up the routine helped to wean him.. and then for the bedtimes i had to get my husband to put him down a few times a week.. and it would alternate where i would be nursing him every other night or 2 times a week.. until he just forgot about it. this was all in about a year.. so yeah, VERY gradual for us. and he was 25 months when done. at first i thought i would miss it or he would freak out.. but its like he just forgot about it. and it wasnt as difficult as i thought. and none of this was really planned all that much… it kind of all fell in place. good luck!

  9. my husband and I have found that strawberries are an amazing (and really yummy) blood purifier!!! most people assume they are allergic to them when they start to “break out” after eating very many strawberries. but when that happens, its actually a good sign that you should eat more! those “pimples” are actually toxins leaving your body,YAY!!! bon apetite!!

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