Cleansing: Why and How
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
See also about our Daily Internal Housekeeping!
Every day our body manufactures waste in the process of
metabolism. We also ingest substances through food, water
and air that are potentially harmful for our system. Fortunately, the body has the capacity to rid itself of metabolic
waste and chemical irritants through various eliminative
Although medical science tends to discredit the idea of
cleansing, natural healers have long stressed the importance of maintaining good elimination for better health. After all,
it makes sense that the body will be healthier if waste and
toxins are eliminated quickly. In fact, just about any system or machine needs some kind of regular cleaning to run
Plumbers know that pipes can get clogged and
need to be cleaned. Auto mechanics realize that oil and
other fluids need to be regularly changed to keep engines
running smoothly. Even electronic equipment needs to be
cleaned periodically to keep dust from damaging circuits. It
makes sense that this is also true for our bodies.
Most of us strive to keep the outside of the body clean,
but few pay much attention to keeping clean on the inside.
Most people who have done some internal cleansing, however, have noted numerous improvements in their general
Cleansing is about two things. One is minimizing your
exposure to toxins in the first place and the other is using
herbs, supplements, hydrotherapy, fasting or other natural
means to improve the function of eliminative organs.
Since cleansing is the process of getting rid of what is no
longer useful, doing a cleanse simply involves supporting the
body's natural detoxification systems to eliminate metabolic
waste and environmental toxins more efficiently. Generally,
this means using herbs that have been found historically or scientifically to improve liver and kidney function, bind
toxins, increase lymphatic flow, open the sweat glands and
encourage elimination from the bowels. It may also involve
destroying harmful organisms (yeast, bacteria or parasites);
Here are the basic elements of a good cleanse.
The most important tool for cleansing is water. Most people do not drink enough water. Experts suggest we should
drink about 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight
each day. On a cleanse, one might need a little more. Since
the quality of water is also important, drink the purest water
you can find.
The second most important tool for cleansing is fiber.
Dietary fiber binds toxins in the intestinal tract and bulks
the stool to promote normal and healthy elimination.
Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet, so a
fiber supplement like Psyllium Hulls Combination or
evrybody's Fiber is important for maintaining normal elimi
The third tool needed for a good cleanse is a blend of herbs
that support the liver, kidneys, colon and lymphatics.
The liver utilizes enzyme systems that neutralize toxins and prepare them to be flushed through the kidneys or colon (via
the gallbladder). Water and fiber then carry these toxins away.
Many good herbal formulas for supporting this process
are available. A few good examples are All Cell Detox, Chinese Liver Balance and Enviro-Detox.
For people with extremely sluggish elimination, an herbal
laxative may also be helpful. LBS II is a popular choice.
However, herbal laxatives should not be used long-term because people tend to become dependent on them. For long-term problems with sluggish elimination, consider using
Traditionally, a cleanse has involved fasting or at least
partially fasting. In fact, fasting for 24 hours consuming
only water one day per month is a good practice for general
A modified form of fasting is called a juice fast
a person consumes nothing but fresh, raw vegetable and/or fruit juices for three days. A popular version of this is
the master cleanse, promoted by Stanley Burroughs, where
a person drinks natural lemonade made with fresh lemons
and sweetened with real, grade B maple syrup.
However, since most cleansing programs last two weeks
or more, it is better to adopt a semi-fasting state during the
cleanse. Simply avoid all refined and processed foods during
the cleanse and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. This
aids the cleansing process by not burdening the body with
more cooked, processed foods and chemical additives.
The nice thing about making this a time to clean up your
diet is that cleaning out the body tends to reduce your craving for junk food. So, by the time you have finished the
cleansing program it will be easier to maintain a healthy
Depending on your specific needs, herbal and nutritional
formulas that help destroy yeast, parasites or bacteria may
also be used as part of a cleanse. Formulas are available to
assist the body in ridding itself pf more specific toxins such
as heavy metals.
Cleansing can also be aided by various forms of hydrotherapy. For instance, enemas and colonics can be helpful
as long as they are not overdone. Generally speaklng, enemas
and colonics should not be done more than once or twice
per week and never for a period longer than a few months
without taking a break. Sweat baths, steam baths or saunas are also useful as they encourage detoxification through
the skln. It may be done more frequently. Foot soaks or
foot spa baths are also helpful in the detoxification process.
Again, once or twice a week for a limited period of time is
more than enough.
Remember that cleansing takes the good out with the
bad, so you should alternate cleansing with a program of
rebuilding and good nutrition. When it comes to cleansing
more is not better.
Nature's Sunshine has several prepackaged cleansing programs. These programs meet a wide variety of needs. Here
are some of the options to choose from.
is a program that helps get rid of yeast and
fungal infections, but it can also be helpful for Small
Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
CleanStart Wild Berry
is NSP's most popular cleansing programs. It
contains a fiber packet as well as supplements to cleanse
the colon. It is based on a cleansing program called Ivy's
Recipe by NSP National Manager Ivy Bridge.
is a cleanse that was designed to use at
the start of a weight loss program
. Howewer, it can also
be used as a general cleansing program even if you are
not trying to lose weight. It not only contains herbs to
clean out the colon and liver, it also contains supplements to balance glandular function and metabolism.
is a parasite cleansing program, which is
also helpful for SIBO
Tiao He Cleanse
is particularly good for the liver and one
of the best all-around cleanses.
The therapy Cleansing Programs helps deal with Toxic
Overload, one of the root causes of disease.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Herbal Formulas: Cellular Detox
For details and ordering simply copy a product's name in the search box above or click on the bold name.
, Nature's Three
, Enviro-Detox, LB Extract, LB-X,
LBS II, Liver Balance, LOCLO and Senna Combination
Candida Clear, CleanStart Wild Berry
, Tiao He Cleanse
Nutraceuticals: Gentle Move
and Everybody's Fiber
MAIN CLEANSING PROGRAMS
CleanStart is NSP's most popular cleansing program.
contains a fiber packet as well as supplements to cleanse
Dieter's Cleanse is a cleanse that was designed to use at
the start of a weight loss program. However, it can also
be used as a general cleansing program even if you're
not trying to lose weight.
|Tiao He Cleanse
is a 15-day nutritional program designed to help the body achieve tiao he - balance and harmony
It combines Chinese nutritional and Western herbal experience.
The Tiao He Cleanse is designed to support the cleansing mechanisms of the body by targeting the intestinal and digestive systems.