Detoxing doesn't have to be scary or uncomfortable, even children can benefit. Learn how to improve your health by these simple, effective, and gentle detox strategies.
Detox? What does that mean?
Detoxing is the process of removing excess toxins 💀and unwanted substances from our bodies. To a certain extent, we naturally detox on a daily basis (think sweat, urine, pooping, and even exhaling).
Your kidneys, skin, liver, lungs, and blood are constantly working to keep your body balanced and running at its best.
So, why detox?
Because our bodies get overloaded with toxic substances and this causes inflammation and a myriad of side effects such as headaches, low energy, chronic pain, etc, and down the line disease.
Our bodies need help taking out the trash!
Think about what would happen if you didn't take the garbage out on a consistent basis. Then imagine having party after party in your house and no one helps you clean up! Yuk!
You get the picture.
This is what's happening inside of our bodies! We get sluggish, overwhelmed, treat our bodies a little too rough, and then our body cannot take put the trash fast enough.
And for some of us, our detox pathways aren't working as they should for various reasons (be it genetic or disease).
Remember our last article The Best Health Tip Ever? If you didn't get a chance to read it please do so! In that article, we outlined that if you want good health you must have a PREVENTION mindset. Detoxing is an important part of that mindset!
Do I really need to worry about toxins?
If you live on planet earth 🌎 (heck even space 🚀 is polluted) you're being exposed to thousands of chemicals and toxins on a daily basis. Even the bacteria in your body produce toxins and waste!
Processed (convenient) food like chips, french fries, candy, and baked goods all contain harmful substances and additives. Even your fruit and vegetables are polluted with pesticides (organic produce isn't perfect either but definitely better than conventionally grown).
You cannot escape pollution! Toxins are everywhere and in everything you taste, touch, smell and breathe.
But DETOXING sounds SCARY!
It doesn't have to be! Detoxing can be easy, inexpensive, and gentle. While it does require extra time and effort, it doesn't have to be scary or uncomfortable.
The key is to start slow and go at the pace your body can handle. Everyone is different. If you detox too fast or too intensely, you WILL be uncomfortable but it won't kill you.
The following strategies sound deceptively simple but don't take them for granted. They've been around a long time and are well known for their effectiveness.
11 Detox Strategies Even Children Should Do
1. Drink plenty of water
This is the EASIEST, CHEAPEST, and most IMPORTANT strategy ever! It's so easy to do we really have no excuse. Water hydrates and cleanses our bodies.
Our blood is 90% water! Without proper hydration our skin dries up like a prune, our colon dries out and constipation causes us to hold toxins in our intestines. Also, our kidneys rely on water to filter and cleanse our blood.
How much water should you drink? The easiest formula I've learned is to convert your weight into ounces and cut that number in half.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, convert that number to 150 ounces and then divide it in half. So a 150-pound person should drink roughly 75 ounces of water a day.
Expert tip: Figure out a strategy to get enough water into you! I keep a 16oz bottle with me at all times so I remember to drink throughout the day and this allows me to keep track of how many times I've filled the bottle.
Expert tip: To beat dehydration drink at least half of your required amount before noontime!
Even children benefit from drinking more water!!!
2. Take plenty of Vitamin C
The benefits of Vitamin C are so well researched and documented I'm not going to spend time talking about it. If you've never done research on this critical vitamin, I highly recommend it.
For the sake of our argument, Vitamin C oxygenates the blood and helps the body flush out toxins.
Expert tip: Higher doses of Vitamin C taken in divided doses throughout the day will give you the most benefit. You'll have to play around with the dose to see what is comfortable for you. Generally, a maintenance dose of 1,000 mg or 2,000 mg a day is ok, you can divide the dose however you want. (When you're sick take double that every hour!)
Benefits: Your whole body and immune system will be grateful. Vitamin C can also detox the body from heavy metals.
Children also benefit from increasing Vitamin C!
Did you know that kiwi, bell peppers, and strawberries have more Vitamin C than oranges?
3. Take Epsom Salt Baths
Taking a hot relaxing bath is not only therapeutic for the mind it also detoxes the body, if you add Epsom Salt.
Expert tip: Add 3-4 cups or more of Epsom Salt to a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes. Step it up a notch and add 1 cup of baking soda as well.
Expert tip: If you don't have a bathtub, you can also do this as a foot soak.
See this article from Healthline for more benefits about baking soda baths.
Benefits: Flushes out toxins and heavy metals. Magnesium in the Epsom salt relaxes your muscles and the minerals draw out toxins.
Once again, children can do this too!!!
I debated about adding this to my easy list because by itself Chlorophyll tastes nasty.
Benefits: The benefits are too numerous to mention!!! Essentially you are giving your body dark green liquid gold or more accurately, oxygen. Chlorophyll is another great way to oxygenate the blood (think anti-cancer).
Expert tip: Add 1 tablespoon to your favorite juice and I don't mean junk juice. Try to buy a healthier organic juice with less sugar. I put the chlorophyll in a very small amount of juice and to make it palatable I add Vitamin C powder and any other liquid vitamins I need to take. Gulp it down!
Another tip: Nature's Sunshine makes chlorophyll with mint that tastes pretty good all on its own.
Children can take Chlorophyll too. My son initially fought me, but once I sweetened it with Vitamin C he actually started liking it. SUCCESS!!!
5. Dry Skin Brushing
We brush our hair and can even brush our scalp (ohhh that feels good) but did you know you can brush your entire body for a stimulating lymphatic massage?
A quick Amazon search brought me to this wet and dry brush: Heeta Body Brush. (Any dry skin brush will do, this brand is just an inexpensive example. Feel free to shop around).
Expert tip: Always move towards the heart. You can start at the feet, move up the legs, and go all the way to the face. Using gentle long or round strokes, cover everywhere it feels comfortable. For more info on dry brushing click here.
Benefits: Increases blood flow and promotes lymph drainage (lymph is the fluid that carries toxins out of our body and helps fight infection).
6. Deep breathing
Take a deep breath right now. Ahhhh...oxygen seems to be a common denominator for detoxing! It's crucial to our survival.
Stress and worry can cause us to hold our breath or take shallow breaths. We need to get that oxygen deeper into the lungs.
Make deep breathing a daily practice. You can do this anywhere at any time. Feel free to google breathing exercises to find one you like.
Don't forget to remind your children to take deep breaths too! Hey, it can calm the whole family! I've even had my son deep breathe through his tantrums and it works!
7. Castor Oil Packs
This is something I've been recently researching and practicing. There is a ton of information about it because it's been around for a while.
I'm surprised more people aren't using castor oil packs. It's incredibly easy and relaxing! And the benefits are numerous!
You need 4 things.
Hexane-free organic castor oil in a glass bottle
Unbleached wool or flannel
An old towel
Soak flannel in oil or you can rub the oil on your skin and place flannel over it. Then place an old towel (it will get stained) over the flannel. Place your hot water bottle or other heating pad over the towel and relax for an hour.
This is great to do before bedtime or while sitting at the computer. It can be done every day.
Benefits: Lymph drainage, liver detoxing, gut inflammation, and hormone balancing.
Here are several informative articles on castor oil packs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-ga-p4vz7U (10-minute video explaining the easiest way to do it)
And finally, this website says that castor oil packs are safe for children!
8. Intermittent Fasting
Here's another strategy I debated on including in the EASY list. For those who have never tried intermittent fasting, it sounds difficult. Skip breakfast? No way...didn't mother tell you skipping breakfast was bad for you? Mine did!
Apparently, as a child, I skipped breakfast a lot. Interestingly, so does my son. There are days that he doesn't ask for food until late morning. What do children know instinctively that we don't?
There's a bit of controversy over who should and should not skip breakfast. As with anything, it's not for everybody. However, since I've incorporated intermittent fasting I've seen immediate benefits!
Better control over cravings
Better control over blood sugar
In the beginning, it was a little scary but once I started doing it on a regular basis it got easier and easier.
Expert tip: You don't have to skip breakfast every day. I might skip Monday through Friday but Saturday and Sunday eat whenever I want. Or I might randomly pick a day during the week to eat breakfast.
Expert tip: If breakfast is important to you then skip dinner. The important thing to remember with intermittent fasting is to go 14-16 hours without food. So if you stop eating at 5pm then your next meal would be at 9am. This actually works better for weight loss!
Benefits: Detoxing at a cellular level.
You knew this would be here, didn't you? I highly encourage gentle stretches and pilates. But if you want to detox, get your blood pumping, and your lymph moving, you need to do aerobic exercise!
Expert tip: Find an exercise that you like. My son and I love jumping on the rebounder aka trampoline.
Be a kid with your kid!
10. Fresh air
Oxygen seems to be a recurring theme here. There's nothing like good old-fashioned fresh air!
Why is this so critical? We spend too much time indoors, locked up with furniture and other items in our house that give off noxious gases. We don't even realize our household items are hurting us.
Go outside! Preferably where there are trees and do your deep breathing out there!