live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wellness A-Z: C = Cleanse and Detox

C = Cleanse and Detox
It's not exactly a subject to be discussed over the dinner table, but there are filters in our bodies that need cleaned out from time to time.  The process is referred to as either a cleanse or a detox.  We've all heard the comparison between the human body and an automobile.  I would add, however, that an auto seems simple by comparison to be honest.  The human body - and particularly a body with Type 2 Diabetes - seems to be very complex indeed.  I feel as though I am a bit fragile with this disease.  It effects absolutely every aspect of my being - from head to toe.

If you are as little as 20 pounds overweight, you are more than likely carrying around at least 10 pounds of fecal matter - packed in your colon.  While that is not the best news you will hear today, there is a positive note to add.  There is a way to cleanse/detox and rid yourself of this extra - um...  "baggage".  If you also struggle with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you are probably carrying extra fluid in your cells and tissues as well.  Again - there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and no it is not a train!  

There are all sorts of fancy kits sold everywhere that make claims that you will be fit as a fiddle before you know it.  Unfortunately, most of those fancy cleansing products come with equally fancy price tags.  We've all seen them.  There is a much more economical way to achieve the same result and spend less of your hard earned money.  It's possible to cleanse with products you can buy at your local grocery store.  So let's get started!

Kidney Cleansing
I have a history of UTI's (urinary tract infections) so have found an occasional kidney cleanse to be quite beneficial.  I've also noticed that my blood pressure is better controlled and I have less overall fatigue.  I also used to suffer from arthritis in my shoulders, elbows and wrists.  There were literally calcium crystals formed in my joints, as shown by old X-rays.  These crystals caused a great deal of pain and a diminished range of motion.  These simple cleanses have made my quality of life so much better!
  • Filtered Water:  This will always be at the top of my list.  It helps to keep the urinary tract free of bacteria and dilute the concentrated toxins in the bladder.  Water also increases urine flow to reduce the exposure time of the toxins in your bladder and prevent bladder infections.  It's inexpensive and simple.  
  • Raw vegetable juices:  I don't usually promote juicing as I like to include the fiber in vegetables.  For cleansing purposes, however, I make an exception.  A combination of celery, cucumbers, parsley, lemons, limes and cranberries is great for kidneys and the urinary tract.
  • Parsley:  I tell people I eat my garnish at a restaurant and they think I'm joking.  This simple little green miracle holds properties that amaze most people.  It reverses high blood pressure by preventing salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues.  There are no signs of high blood pressure either such as edema and general water retention.  It supports eliminating wastes from the blood and tissues.  It helps those pesky symptoms of UTI's such as fatigue, scanty or painful urination.  It also aids in dissolving of kidney stones and gall stones.  And this is the stuff we put on a plate to make food look pretty???  Really???
  • Cranberries:  Full of Vitamin C, they inhibit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine.  They contain concentrated tannins known as proanthocyanidins that prevent Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria from adhering to walls of the urinary tract.  
  • Organic apple cider vinegar:  dilutes toxins in the bladder and helps to remove acid crystals that collect in soft tissues and joints (causing arthritis).  Mix 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon raw honey and 1 cup of filtered water.  Drink 4 times daily during a weekend so that the crystals can be flushed out of the body by the kidneys and other organs.   
 Liver Cleansing
The last thing I want to do is take one more prescription medication for high cholesterol or any other condition that may crop up.  Liver cleansing provides relief from ailments like this.  Because I'm a Type 2 Diabetic and my blood tends to be thick and sticky, it's a particularly good idea to cleanse.  I have a history of "Liverish Migraines"  I get the most awful migraine headache on the right side of my head.  Along with this is nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and noise.  When these hit, it's time to find a very dark, quiet room and begin the cleanse!  Let's get started!
  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA):  Assists in flushing toxins (bile) from the body and protects the liver from potentially harmful cell changes.  Food sources include spinach, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts.
  • Aloe vera:  Help support the immune system and detoxify the digestive system.
  • Organic apple juice:  Has mallic acid, which weakens adhesions between solid globules and dissolves gallstones. 
  • Artichoke:  Provides antioxidant protection while it releases accumulated toxins.  Increases the production of bile in the liver to aid in the digestion of fats, which can relieve bloating, gas and other uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion.  Excellent source of fiber, contains magnesium, folate and Vitamin C.
  • Cilantro:  Known as Chinese parsley (which I find comical since I use it so much in Mexican dishes).  It puts out excess flames in the stomach and generally enhances digestion.  It's also a natural chelation agent that is very helpful in removing heavy metals from the body.
  • Extra virgin olive oil:  Stimulates the liver, the gallbladder and the production of bile.  Specifically stimulates the gallbladder and bile duct to contract and expel its contents.
  • Garlic:  Kills bacteria, fungi, and other harmful pathogens and helps to increase intestinal microflora.  It binds with cadmium, mercury, and lead and removes these metals from the body to prevent cancer.  Aged garlic has shown to provide even better health benefits.
  • Tumeric:  Contains essential oils and the active ingredient curcumin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that protects the liver.  It stimulates the bile duct and increases the secretion of bile.  It protects the liver by scavenging free radicals.  It helps break down fats and reduce cholesterol. 
  • And finally, my miracle cure for my "liverish migraine":
chelidonium majusChelidonium Majus (greater celandine; in Europe tetterwort, although in America the same name refers to bloodroot) is an herbaceous perennial plant, the only species in the genus Chelidonium. It is native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America. The lesser celandine belongs to the same order (Ranunculales) as the greater celandine, but belongs to the buttercup family, whereas the greater celandine belongs to the poppy family. Greater celandine has an erect habit, and may reach 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are lobed and crenate, 30 cm long. The sap is yellow to orange.

Chelidonium is a prominent liver remedy which covers many of the symptoms of diseased conditions of that organ. This remedy is used for liver and bile disorders such as gallstones, indigestion, jaundice, and hepatitis. People needed this remedy may feel heaviness, with pain symptoms tending to be right-sided. When ill, people who need this remedy feel generally "liverish" or nauseous, and depressed with a dull headache. They have a sallow, yellowish complexion. One foot may feel hot and the other cold. Cravings for hot drinks or cheese make them feel better.

Chelidonium helps heal the liver organ naturally. It helps get all of the liver functions back on track.

There are other ways to do a great liver cleanse.  Drinking warm water with freshly squeezed lemon in it before breakfast every morning helps some folks.  Also, if you feel a sick headache coming on, take a teaspoon of horseradish and chase it with a glass of ice water.  This stops the symptoms in their tracks!

Colon Cleansing
If the colon is constipated and the liver empties its toxins into the colon for removal, the liver deposits the toxins into fat cells, and the toxins are retained in the body.  Consequently, colon cleansing can be beneficial in preventing illnesses such as colds, flu, constipation, diarrhea, breath and body odors, fatigue, headaches, sinusitis, allergies, hemorrhoids, weight problems, digestive difficulties, back and muscle aches, knee pain, poor eyesight, poor memory, stress - and the list goes on.  There are mental benefits as well, including overwhelming joy and incredible insight.  You think better when you feel better!

Proper colon cleansing can promote improved assimilation of food and nutrients leading to improved health.  Ready to feel better? 

  • Organic Whole Food:  Green, leafy vegetables, dark-colored fruits, and organic whole grains contain fiber to help eliminate toxins and other waste products.  A diet rich in these foods will also hydrate cells, decrease inflammation, lower cholesterol, lower glucose levels, aid in weight loss.
  • Senna and Ginger:  Help to strengthen the colon muscle. 
  • Peppermint leaf:  Helps to reduce and move gas that is created during a deep intestinal cleanse and reduces spasms.  Now you know why my favorite tea is peppermint.
  • Herbs:  Effective in killing parasites are the following:  garlic, black walnut hulls, clove stems, cranberry extract, grape seed extract, fennel, goldenseal, pumpkin seeds, sage, thyme and wormwood.
  • Garlic:  Provides microflora balance to the gastrointestinal tract and strengthens the immune system.
  • Flaxseed, psyllium seed, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root:  Reduce inflammation and irritation of intestinal walls to facilitate healing.  Ground flaxseed has been found to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
I watched my mother die a slow, agonizing painful death due to stage 4 colon/liver cancer.  If there is anything I can do to avoid the same fate, I'm going to do it.  Obviously, the decision whether to cleanse is intensely personal, but I know that I always feel so much better afterwards.  There are so many highly processed foods in easy reach and I think it's a very good idea to try to counteract the affects of it with a good cleanse on occasion.

This is an excellent green smoothie recipe.  You will be surprised how good it tastes, and how good it is for you.

1 bundle of kale (10-15 leaves)
5 granny smith apples
5 cucumbers
... 5 lemons
1 small handful fresh parley
about 1/2 a ginger root

Add to blender.  Blend and drink.

Colon cleanse.



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