1. Detox your mouth
I’m starting with something a lot of people overlook when they hear the word “detox”. Did you know that what’s going on inside your mouth is directly related to your overall health? That’s because the mouth can act as a portal of entry for disease. Poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and other issues throughout the body such as diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and heart disease. That’s why it’s so important we don’t overlook our oral care. Here are my favorite ways to help care for and detox my mouth:
- Tongue scraping
Sound strange? I thought so at first, too, but now this Ayurvedic practice is the first thing I do every morning upon waking, and I love the way it feels. When we sleep, our digestive system is still at work, removing toxins from our body that get deposited right on our tongue. This is the reason for bad morning breath, and if we don’t get rid of this bacteria, they can get reabsorbed into the body and affect our immune, digestive, and respiratory health. Research shows that scraping is more effective than brushing and flossing at removing the toxins, since almost half of our oral bacteria live deep within the crevices of our tongues. It really is as simple as it sounds—just scrape your tongue from back to front several times (rinsing the scraper each time), until the scraper comes out clean. You can purchase a stainless steel scraper for under $10—I like this one from Amazon.
- Oil pulling
Another ancient Ayurvedic health ritual that keeps oral hygiene in check. I’ll admit, this one’s a little tougher to commit to than tongue scraping since it’s more of a time commitment, but once it becomes a regular part of your routine you won’t think twice about it. This technique is most effective when you can commit to it every day for about three weeks at a time. Put about a tablespoon of cold-pressed, unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth in the morning before consuming anything, including water. For about 15 minutes, pull the oil through your teeth and around your mouth, so that the oil captures the bad bacteria. You can continue on with your morning routine to make the time go by faster. Sometimes I will make my breakfast or even take a shower while I’m oil pulling. When the time is up, spit it out into the toilet, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. This can help tremendously with any type of gum or oral disease or digestive issues. It also doesn’t hurt that it naturally whitens your teeth!
- Use activated charcoal
Activated charcoal has so many effective uses, including cases of acute toxic poisoning, and even pulling poison out of spider bites. It literally binds to toxins and escorts them out of your body. So it should be no surprise that it is extremely effective at ridding your mouth of toxins and bad bacteria. The first time you use it it may seem a little daunting to put black powder into your mouth, but don’t worry, it doesn’t stain your teeth at all. In fact, the opposite is true; it can help pull stains and toxins out of your teeth and mouth, and is a very effective teeth whitener. I use it 1-2 times a week. I simply get a toothbrush wet, dip it in some charcoal (I keep a shot glass of it by my bathroom sink), and brush my teeth with it. When I’m done brushing, I add a little water to my mouth and swish it around like a mouthwash before spitting it out and rinsing my mouth thoroughly. Be careful, it can be very messy if you’re not careful, and can stain clothes and even countertops. You’ll instantly notice how much cleaner your teeth look and feel.
55% to 78% of our bodies are composed of water, so it should be no surprise that drinking an adequate amount of water daily is one of the best ways to flush out toxins and waste and keep our internal organs hydrated so they can function optimally. The amount of water you should be drinking daily depends on your weight and activity level. Ideally, you want to be drinking 1 liter for every 50 pounds of body weight, and more if you are an athlete or are very physically active.
- Adding some lemon or lime juice to your water first thing in the morning is also a great for detox, as it will help remove excess acid that the body pulled from your joints during the first 4 hours of sleep.
- Warm water is even better, since it help to flush the lymphatic system.
- Make sure the water you’re drinking is good quality, purified water.
- Carrying a glass or stainless steel water bottle with you whenever you leave the house is a good way to remember to drink enough throughout your busy day.
- Try to drink between meals instead of during meals. This will prevent diluting your body’s natural digestive enzymes so you can absorb the most nutrients from your food.
3. Detox bath
Taking a warm detox bath once a week is not only an excellent way to de-stress, but a good way to draw toxins out of the skin that have built up. There are several effective recipes out there, but one of my favorites is ½ cup pure Epsom salt, ½ cup bentonite clay, and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still benefit from a foot bath, as the bottom of the feet is one of the ways the body can release toxins
2. Detox bath or foot bath
4. Whole food
5. Dry skin brushing
7. Toxic people and thoughts/emotions
8. Nontoxic products/skincare
9. Infrared sauna