A gentle detox is one that is least likely to cause pain and discomfort, and some of the detox steps listed here are downright pleasurable! Because they are gentle, the measures highlighted in this page can become part of your life routine which can help you to achieve "sustainable health." We suggest you think about the detox options listed on this page and how they can best fit into your lifestyle, and then tailor your own approach to incorporate as many of these steps as possible. Feel free to experiment and add to the detox habits you develop.
One of the most important ways to gently detox is by making sure you're getting the essential nutritional supplements that drive the chemical detoxification processes of your body.
Lifestyle Improvement Plan
A gentle detox can be an ongoing lifestyle improvement plan such as a change in diet away from packaged and fast foods that are high in sugar and fat, toward fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. (See Dietary Considerations, Healthy Diet, and Healthy Eating on the Road.)
A systematic approach to saunas which many people find to be quite enjoyable is a detox method discussed in Drs. Bennett and Barrie's 7-Day Detox Miracle.
In conjunction with improvements in diet and nutritional supplementation, you should consider an intensification of your exercise program (though without going overboard because this can cause oxidative stress). (See Oxidative Stress Explained and Exercise and Oxidative Stress.)
Another way to gently and gradually detox again in conjunction with dietary and supplementary improvements is to begin dry skin brushing, which is an excellent way to stimulate the lymph system. A systematic series of epsom salts baths, as described in Dr. Krohn's Natural Detoxification: The Complete Guide to Clearing Your Body of Toxins, will draw toxins out through the skin. These are both luxurious ways to detox!
Yoga is a wonderful way to gently detox. It stimulates all the bodily systems, and organized classes generally bring an individual into contact with other information on how to live a less toxic life.
Making a Clean Break from Past Habits
For those who feel they need to make a clean break from their past with a somewhat more regimented detox program, we recommend two excellent guides.
One is Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D's 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program. If you're too busy to maintain someone else's dietary suggestions for 20 days, we recommend Kathryn Marsden's The Food Combining 2-Day Detox, which can rather obviously be done on weekends.
One other gentle way to ease yourself into a detox program is to designate a low-stress weekend to eating only fruits and vegetables. If you feel you're getting too jittery, headachy or otherwise uncomfortable, eat some brown rice (preferably organic). (See how to cook brown rice.) If the idea of plain brown rice is too austere for you, try seasoning it with Bragg's Amino Acids, a very healthy, unfermented seasoning that tastes a lot like soy sauce, but is more healthy. You can find it in most health food stores.
Drs. Bennett and Barry, co-authors of 7-Day Detox Miracle, say it's okay to drink green tea if you're a caffeine addict. (Green tea contains only a fraction of the caffeine of black tea and coffee). Also, try peppermint tea for a delicious energy and mood booster! If you don't like green tea, plan to taper off your daily dose of caffeine. Otherwise, if you stop suddenly, you're likely to end up with a major headache.
Finally, and very importantly, don't forget that there are many steps you can take to reduce the amount of toxins you absorb from your home, work, and community environment as well as from the personal care products you use. Debra Lynn Dadd's book, Home Safe Home: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Everyday Toxics and Harmful Household Products is a veritable treasure trove of advice about this. To paraphrase an old expression, "An ounce of toxic avoidance is worth a pound of detoxing."
If you're willing (and medically able) to move more quickly to detoxify your body, consider some of the steps contained in Moderate Detox or Aggressive Detox but don't forget to read the "warning labels" before trying these.