Everything You Need to Know About Doing a Cleanse
It probably doesn’t surprise you that every year, one of the top New Year’s Resolutions is to get healthier. It’s on everyone’s mind because we all want to have more energy, lose a few extra pounds and generally feel our best. Unfortunately, getting healthy isn’t always as easy as we would like. It takes slow & steady commitment for lasting results; however, there is a way to kick start your results into high gear: a cleanse!
What is a Cleanse?
This word gets used a lot when it comes to health & wellness. But if done correctly, it can be a great way to reset your body after a holiday season of indulgences. Typically, a cleanse is a series of botanical herbs that help to stimulate the main organs of detoxification: the liver, kidney, digestive & lymphatic system. Simply put, these organs are responsible for clearing waste, toxins and any unnecessary compounds out of the body–where they don’t belong! Unfortunately, with our modern lifestyle of processed foods, alcohol, excess caffeine and pharmaceutical drugs, our bodies can get sluggish and inefficient over time. In essence, a cleanse is like a much-needed flush for our entire system.
The Difference Between a Cleanse and a Detox
Now that we know what a cleanse is, let’s talk about detoxes. A detox, though similar to a cleanse in some ways, does not overstimulate and ‘clean out’ your digestive tract, kidneys or lymphatic system. But it DOES work on the liver. Focusing on the liver is a great way to clear out any excess hormones or medications from the body, as well as give the body a break from processing caffeine & alcohol. A cleanse can be a bit more intense than a detox traditionally, but there are simple ways to get started regardless of the path you choose.
Common Health Complaints That a Cleanse Can Help
Cleanses are a great full body reset. They can help shed extra weight, nix bloating, boost your energy levels and clear your skin. I recommend a simple cleanse for most people annually (and January is a great time to do it!).
Is a Cleanse Safe For Everyone?
Keep in mind, stimulating (even using natural herbs) the bowels, kidneys, and liver can require extra caution if you have inflammatory bowel disease, gallbladder stones or obstructions, or are on prescription medication. In these cases, always speak with your naturopathic doctor first so that you know what product and intensity are best for you.
Excited yet? If you’re committed to taking a step towards a healthier you this year, I recommend a starting out with a relatively short cleanse made with quality herbs that won’t be too stimulating, like this one from the Canadian brand Wild Rose.
However, if you think a cleanse won’t be the right fit at first, why not try a simple detox by making a breakfast shake with an all-in-one protein powder that is made to clean and reset your liver (and tastes yummy too!)?
If you’re an experienced cleanser and want a more advanced, thorough product, try a 30 day kit like this one from Renew Life.
There you have it! Now all you have to do is pick a product, set a date, and commit to a healthier you.
Dr. Laura Belus is a Naturopathic Doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices in Mississauga and Toronto.