The elimination of toxins awakens the capacity of renewal. – Deepak Chopra
Elimination is usually a taboo topic, but to be honest, it is one of the most important processes in the body. Without proper elimination, our bodies would be a toxic waste dump. In fact, if one or more of your elimination channels is not working efficiently, your body will actually start to recirculate the waste and toxins. This is not a pretty situation. Recirculation of waste could potentially create uncomfortable symptoms like acne, constipation, bloating, yellow eyes (jaundice), respiratory issues, blood clots, nausea and fatigue, kidney issues and even sore muscles. If your body encounters a toxin, irritant or foreign particle, it uses one of the 7 channels of elimination to get rid of it. Therefore, by being mindful of ways we can support and encourage the optimal function of these channels, we not only keep these channels of elimination in tip-top shape, but also enjoy a much healthier life!
The liver is literally the most important detox organ in the body because it is responsible for so many bodily processes. Our liver is the “super cleaner” of our digestive system and even cleans our blood. On top of this, we only have one liver, so it is crucial to keep it happy and keep it clean by doing the following: not smoking, minimal or no alcohol consumption, eliminating prescription drugs (if possible) and toxic cosmetics, consuming liver supportive foods and herbs and eating clean foods (i.e. sans chemicals). Read more about the amazing functions of the liver here.
Our skin is considered the largest detox organ in the body and it’s apparent why…we are literally covered top to bottom in skin. If you are facing challenges like eczema, psoriasis, acne, redness, etc., there is usually an internal underlying issue, like inflammation from food intolerances, stress or digestive issues. On top of this, using toxic skincare and beauty products can clog pores, strip the skin of its natural oils and does not allow the skin to breath or maintain proper ph. Moreover, sweating from exercise and saunas is essential for your body to detox and release toxins.
What we breath or inhale also takes a toll on our amazing body. Ways to take care of your lungs include cardio exercise, avoiding pollution if possible (car exhaust, second hand smoke, toxic perfumes and cleaning products), avoiding smoking, ensuring proper iron levels, meditation or practicing deep breathing techniques for stress reduction. It is quite hard to eliminate air pollution, but taking this variable into consideration when putting down roots is definitely beneficial long term.
4. Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a nice way of saying our energy system or circulation. When we stress or sit for long periods of time, the lymph system can become stagnant or tense. It is important to keep the lymph (circulatory system) moving by making sure to exercise 20-30 minutes a day. Treating yourself to massage, jumping on a rebalancer, laughing, acupuncture or certain herbs help to increase circulation and support the lymph. It’s interesting to note, the lymph also supports proper immune function by pushing out viruses and bacteria, which is why we get sore glands when we come down with a virus.
You probably never considered blood to be an organ, but because our blood transports and transfers substances throughout the body, it is just that…a very important bodily organ. In fact, our blood delivers our essential vitamins and minerals to where they are needed in the body. How do we keep our blood in tip-top shape? Exercise, making sure iron levels are optimal, specific herbs and foods like red clover, burdock root, beets, leafy greens (chlorophyll) and drinking lots of water, all help to clean and purify the blood.
This is what we usually think of in terms of elimination, however most people do not eliminate enough. Proper elimination is at least 1-2 times per day. If you are eliminating less than this, you may want to increase your fiber, get a good probiotic with digestive enzymes and/or drink more water. The colon is responsible for putting out the trash for our body. What happens when you don’t put the trash out once a day? Well, it piles up and can even recirculate! Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, as well as colon hydrotherapy (colonics) will help to keep your colon functioning optimally.
Our kidney’s produce urine, yet another waste byproduct from our body. Usually kidney issues occur due to dehydration and drinking too much alcohol, without proper hydration. You are more at risk for kidney problems if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Back pain, frequent urination, swelling hands and feet and blood in the urine are all signs of kidney issues. Keep your kidneys healthy by drinking plenty of water, increasing leafy greens, reducing carbonated beverages, losing weight, taking a good probiotic and eating lots of fruits and veggies.
It is not only important to understand what our channels of elimination are, but also to know that we can support these channels by eating healthy, being mindful of our lifestyle and making sure to eliminate anything that could possibly be hindering these vital channels. Moreover, by ensuring that our channels of elimination are properly working, this ensures our body is renewing and regenerating itself. It’s also a good idea to work with a naturopath, functional medicine doctor, herbalist or certified nutritionist if you are facing specific issues with these channels or if you’d just like more information to support these amazing channels of detox.
<3 Eat Your Greens Out
Palmerson, C. A to Z of Health, Body and Fitness. “Detoxification and Your Health: The Body’s 7 Channels of Elimination.” retrieved at http://health.learninginfo.org/detoxification2.htm