Cellular Rejuvenation: How to Cleanse Your Body of Harmful Toxins
BY CAROLINE MARIE DUPONT
when you learn how to cleanse your body deeply of toxins and other harmful wastes, you become empowered to take your health and wellness to new levels of vibrancy.
Editors Note: The following practices for deeply cleansing your body are described as part of a larger fasting protocol outlined by the author in her book Deep Healing: Cleansing and Nourishment for Health and
Here I list many practices that you can incorporate into a seven-day juice fast to cleanse your body of harmful toxins. As you read, note which ones you’re drawn to; the attraction to certain practices is intuitive. Your body knows what it needs right now. During subsequent fasts, you may feel comfortable adding more practices as the first ones you try become familiar.
In addition to performing some of the following practices, try to get out in the sun and fresh air every day during the fast or any body cleansing protocol. This is also a good time to take saunas, soak in sea salt or Epsom salt baths, and use essential oils. If possible, promote detoxification and cellular rejuvenation by visiting your favorite body or energy worker.
Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil is a vegetable oil that should not be taken internally. A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation, promote elimination, and heal the tissues and organs underneath the skin, all of which work to cleanse your body of harmful toxins. Castor oil packs are used for many conditions, including arthritis; constipation; eczema; female reproductive imbalances; gallbladder, kidney, and liver problems; psoriasis; and warts and other growths.
Castor oil has an extremely high content of ricinoleic acid, which prevents the growth of bacteria, molds, viruses, and yeasts, which is an important property for assisting the body in cleansing and detoxification. It also increases lymphocyte production and the activity level of T-cell lymphocytes that originate in the bone marrow and thymus gland. These lymphocytes identify and kill invaders, such as bacteria, cancer, fungi, and viruses. Castor oil strengthens the immune system and increases the flow of lymph throughout the body, speeding the removal of toxins from cells and the body. It also appears to balance the autonomic nervous system, improve digestion, and increase liver activity.
During a fast and at other times, a castor oil pack can be placed over abnormal skin growths or skin conditions, areas affected by bursitis, inflamed and swollen joints, and muscle strains. A castor oil pack also can be placed on the right side of the abdomen to stimulate the liver to cleanse the body, in the middle of the abdomen to relieve constipation and other digestive disorders, and on the lower abdomen to relieve menstrual irregularities and ovarian and uterine cysts. Castor oil should not be applied to broken skin or used during menstruation, pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
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+ A piece of cotton or wool flannel large enough to cover the affected area when folded into two to four layers
+ Castor oil (try to find the Palma Christi brand, which is sold at many natural food stores)
+ Sheets of plastic wrap (another option is to use a plastic shopping bag; if the bag is printed, turn it inside-out so that the castor oil can’t come into contact with the ink)
+ A hot water bottle or heating pad
+ Old pajamas and towels or sheets (castor oil will stain clothing and bedding)
+ A container with a lid (so you can store and reuse the pack) To administer the castor oil pack, follow these general guidelines: l Fold the flannel so that it is two to four layers thick and large enough to cover the affected area. Put the flannel on a sheet of plastic cut 1 to 2 inches larger than the folded flannel or simply use an insideout plastic shopping bag. Pour castor oil onto the flannel until it is saturated but not dripping.
+ Place an old towel or sheet on the bed where you’ll be resting. Lie down.
+ Flip the pack so that the soaked cloth is directly on the skin of the affected area with the plastic on top.
+ Place the hot water bottle or heating pad (set on medium) over the pack. Leave it on for 40 to 60 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place, meditating and envisioning the affected areas functioning perfectly. Along with your vision, concentrate on the associated feelings of empowerment, gratitude, and trust. You could also play relaxing music and light a candle while you’re using the pack.
+ After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda if desired. To make the solution, stir 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 2 cups of water.
+ Store the pack in a covered jar or plastic container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused 25 to 30 times if stored properly. Add a little fresh oil each time you use the pack, and use castor oil packs on alternating days rather than every day.
Dry Skin Brushing
The skin is the largest organ of elimination and hence plays a crucial role in bodily detoxification. It releases great amounts of body waste, but its function can be inhibited by dead skin cells, excreted toxins, external pollution, and skin care products. If your skin cannot efficiently release toxins, you may experience acne, body odor, eczema, hives, itchiness, rashes, and psoriasis. If toxins are unable to escape through the skin, they’ll either be stored in fat cells, which contributes to cellulite and other fatty deposits, or they’ll be recirculated back into the bloodstream, which overworks the kidneys, liver, and other organs. Dry skin brushing removes dead skin cells and stimulates the flow of lymph, the fluid that surrounds cells, which greatly helps to cleanse the body of harmful toxins and wastes. It also increases blood flow to the skin and improves overall skin health.
Choose a dry skin brush that has natural fiber bristles and a long handle so you can reach your back. Follow these guidelines:
+ Brush your dry body before you shower or bathe, preferably in the morning to help remove toxins released overnight.
+ Start at your feet and always brush toward your heart. Use long strokes on the legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, arms, and shoulders and circular motions on the joints. Use a figure eight motion around the breasts, avoiding the nipples. You might find yourself using a combination of circular and long movements on some areas of the body, which is fine. Just remember to brush in the general direction of the heart in order to cleanse your body of toxins.
+ Adjust the pressure according to the sensitivity of the skin and the area of the body.
+ Avoid brushing anywhere the skin is broken or where you have a cut, infection, rash, or wound.
+ Finish by taking a shower. If you choose, use hot-and-cold water therapy (see opposite page) to further stimulate the lymphatic system, improve circulation and cleanse the body of toxins.
+ Dry off vigorously and massage pure plant oils—such as almond, coconut, jojoba, or sesame oil—into your skin.
The colon is the drain of the human body and is crucial to cleanse for general health and detoxification. When elimination is impeded, the whole system becomes backed up with metabolic waste and toxins. Over the course of your lifetime, debris from animal-based foods and refined foods accumulates on the walls of the colon and should ideally be cleansed from your body regularly for optimal health. Over time, the debris forms into tar-like plaque that can prevent absorption and elimination, which creates an environment ripe for infection, inflammation, and abnormal growths, including cancer. Colon cancer is currently one of the most common forms of cancer.
A juice fast can be an ideal time to not only rest the colon but also help it to slough off accumulated plaque by using enemas to cleanse the body of toxins. Because no fiber is being taken in during the fast, the colon will be empty of food after a couple of days. That’s when an enema can work on removing debris from the colon walls. Most people are quite surprised to see how much fecal matter is still being eliminated even after one week of fasting and daily enemas, which goes to show you just how powerful these detoxification methods are. This fecal matter can range from silt-like liquid to rubbery stools to parasites. It may not be pleasant to read about such things, but I always say better cleansed out of the body than in!
Enema bags can be purchased at some drugstores, natural food stores, and online. An enema bag is a rubber hot water bottle with a long tube and nozzle attached, and it can be reused many times. Follow these guidelines:
+ Warm 4 cups of purified water to body temperature.
+ Pour the water into the enema bag.
+ Release the clamp and let the water run through the tube into a sink or tub to clear the air in the tube. Clamp the tube shut.
+ Hang the enema bag on a shower rod or door knob.
+ Lightly coat the nozzle at the end of the tube with coconut oil or olive oil.
+ Kneel on all fours (elbows and knees) and insert the nozzle into your anus.
+ Release the clamp and let the water flow into the colon; breathe and relax.
+ Clamp the tube to stop the water flow when you feel full. Wait, relax, and continue.
+ When the bag is empty, clamp the tube and remove the nozzle from your anus.
+ To distribute the water throughout the colon and facilitate the cleansing of toxins and wastes from the body, lie on your back and massage your abdomen, starting on the lower left side and moving left to right across the abdomen to just below the ribs, and then returning down the right side. Alternatively, lie on your left side to start and then turn on your back, raising your hips, and then lie on your right side. Try to retain the enema from 5 to 12 minutes.
+ Sit on the toilet and empty the bowels completely. This may take a few minutes.
Hot-and-Cold Water Therapy
You can stimulate lymphatic and blood circulation when showering by alternating hot and cold water after you’ve completed your regular shower routine. This greatly facilitates detoxification and the cleansing of wastes from the body. Use hot water for 1 to 2 minutes, then follow with cold water for 30 seconds, directing the cold water to all areas of your body. Repeat the sequence three times, finishing with cold water. This therapy will close your pores, bring blood to the surface, increase circulation, tighten the skin, and leave you feeling invigorated.
Nasal and Sinus Rinse
The yogic practice of using a neti pot can be included in your morning regimen to irrigate and clear the sinuses, which indirectly helps to clear the lungs. This practice is excellent for people with allergies, mucus buildup in the lungs and sinuses, or postnasal drip. It’s also a useful bodily cleansing method for people who live in cities and regularly breathe in polluted air.
The neti pot looks like a small teapot and can be found at most natural food stores and online. To use a neti pot, fill it with a saline solution and pour the solution into one nostril, tilting your head so the water flows through the sinuses and comes out the other nostril. Follow this general procedure:
+ Put 8 ounces of purified water into a small saucepan and warm it to body temperature. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt or ½ teaspoon of coarse salt until it dissolves. The solution should taste about as salty as tears.
+ Stand in front of the sink and pour half of the solution into the neti pot.
+ Bend over the sink and breathe with your mouth open. Put the neti pot’s spout into your right nostril. Gently bend your head forward and turn it to the left so that the left nostril is lower than the right nostril.
+ Hold your head still and pour the solution into your right nostril by tilting the neti pot upward. Continue to keep your head still as the solution pours out of your left nostril or mouth; either is fine.
+ When finished with the right side, gently blow your nose.
+ Fill the neti pot with the remaining solution and repeat the procedure on the left side, finishing once again by gently blowing your nose.
Oil pulling is another practice taken from the Ayurvedic tradition that works wonders for cleansing your body of toxins. It has been praised for having endless benefits, including improving the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. This practice simply involves swishing one tablespoon of oil in your mouth for twenty minutes in the morning.
The oil draws toxins out of the mouth and also from the blood as it circulates through, which assists in the healing, detoxification and cleansing of the whole body. For the best results, oil pulling can be done every morning or several times a week. Follow these guidelines:
+ After you’ve brushed your teeth and scraped your tongue in the morning, put 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed sesame oil or coconut oil into your mouth.
+ Swish the oil around in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing it. The oil will start to get watery as your saliva mixes with it.
+ Continue to swish the oil around for twenty minutes. During this time, you can do household chores, prepare food, or even take a shower. You should feel relaxed and comfortable.
+ The process is complete when the oil is thin and milky.
+ Spit out the oil (it’s full of toxins!) and rinse out your mouth with water. It’s preferable to spit the oil into the earth outside or into a paper towel which you can then throw into the garbage or compost. The oil could clog the pipes in your home over time.
While you sleep at night, your body is busy clearing out toxins. Some of these toxins are deposited on your tongue. During a juice fast, your tongue might develop a thick coating or possibly taste strange when you wake up—a sign that you need to cleanse your body. By gently scraping this coating off first thing in the morning, you avoid reabsorbing toxins and help your breath smell better.
In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, tongue scraping is recommended for the health of the teeth, gums, sinuses, and digestive system and for generally cleansing your body of harmful toxins.
When the tongue is clean, the taste buds function optimally and are able to communicate more clearly with the rest of the body. For example, you’ll get digestive secretions when you need them, and you’ll also get the message that your stomach is full earlier.
A tongue scraper is generally U-shaped and can be purchased at most drugstores or natural food stores. Using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with your toothbrush, which tends to stir up bacteria and plaque but not remove them from your mouth. Choose a metal tongue scraper over a plastic version. Here’s how to use it:
+ Brush your teeth.
+ Hold an end of the tongue scraper with each hand and position the rounded middle section as far back on your tongue as possible. This may cause a gag reflex, but this will decrease over time.
+ Scrape forward several times, rinsing the white film off the scraper between each scraping. Be gentle but firm as you scrape, and reach as far back on the tongue as possible with each scrape.
+ Rinse your mouth with water.
Suggested Body Cleansing and Detoxifying Morning Routine
When incorporating multiple practices into a juice fast or to cleanse your body of toxins in general, the most important consideration is choosing activities that you like and have time for. Following is a suggested morning regimen that includes many detoxifying bodily cleansing practices. This particular routine takes a couple of hours to complete.
If you find you’re rushing through it, adjust accordingly. You may not be able to do the full body cleansing routine every morning, so shorten it when needed.
+ Wake up naturally.
+ Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue.
+ Drink two mugs of tea infusion or two glasses of purified water.
+ Use a neti pot.
+ Try oil pulling.
+ Have an enema.
+ Dry brush your skin.
+ Shower using hot-and-cold water therapy.
+ Drink wheatgrass juice.
+ Prepare and drink fresh juice.
This article on how to cleanse your body of toxins is excerpted with permission from Deep Healing: Cleansing and Nourishment for Health and Peace by Caroline Marie Dupont, Book Publishing Co., 2014.
About The Author
Caroline Marie Dupont is a holistic health practitioner, nutritionist, energy worker, and spiritual director and has a master’s degree in exercise physiology. She has been exploring, living, and teaching an integrated approach to health for more than 20 years, using her knowledge of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit to help others access the source of their own healing within. A talented teacher and presenter, Caroline has created several meditation CDs and developed the ClearBeing Holistic Home Fitness Program DVD. She is also a senior instructor at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.