Natural Health: Detoxing

Q. I was planning to do a detox to start off the new year. Is there any detox method or pre-made kit that you would recommend?

A. Most of us tend to take the concept of eat, drink, and be merry a little too far over Christmas holidays, and feel as if we need a good cleanse to start the new year with a bounce in our step.

But first a word of caution. It’s important to first check with a health professional before doing any sort of heavy cleansing or detoxification process if you are on medication, have a pre-existing condition, or simply have any concerns about your health.

The short but very effective juice cleanse formulated by Dr Christopher involves three days of drinking half a litre of prune juice on arising, followed by a cup of freshly pressed juice alternated with a cup of pure (preferably distilled) water every half hour throughout the day. You also take a tablespoon of olive oil three times a day to help cleanse the gallbladder. Exact details of this cleanse can be found on www.herballegacy.com.

This is an effective cleanse and will help shed unwanted pounds. There is the option of an extended herbal cleanse, which is also outlined on the Herbal Legacy website.

Next, there is Patrick Holford’s nine-day liver detox pack. The pack contains supplements to support a liver cleansing diet, and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Holford, pictured here, has also written The 9-Day Liver Detox, which gives information, recipes, and advice on how to optimise your detox experience. The Detox pack is available from health stores or visit www.hereshealth.ie.

Finally, you could opt for a user-friendly detox — eating plenty of clean foods, while gradually getting rid of the not-so-healthy foods and habits. You might take weeks or even months to make each change, this approach can help you live a much healthier lifestyle.

The beauty of this plan is that you can tweak it to suit your needs and go at a pace you feel comfortable with.

Water is a crucial tool in any detox plan, helping to reduce any unwanted side-effects while working to flush out toxins. Rest is also essential for optimal results so get plenty of relaxing time-out.

If your regular diet frequently consists of processed, fried, and sugar-laden food products, then you might want to consider some long-term changes rather than being stuck in a detox/re-tox cycle.

Q. I have trouble with my circulation in the colder weather. Can you recommend something natural to help? My hands and feet get particularly cold.

A. There are a number of herbal supplements that can help with this, but the most effective solution I have come across is a simple brew you can make in your kitchen.

Simply add a tablespoon (15ml) of apple cider vinegar to a cup of near-boiling water, add a heaped teaspoon of local raw honey, and a slice of fresh ginger root. A pinch of cayenne really gets the blood moving too, so if you can tolerate a slight kick to your drink then this would be a beneficial addition. Drink this three times a day.

It is always best to invest in organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) — it will usually state on the bottle that it contains the ‘mother’. The filtered version of ACV doesn’t come with the same healing properties.

To truly improve your circulation you will want to drink this brew year round. In warmer weather you can make it up in advance, let it cool down as a refreshing beverage to sip throughout the day.


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