There are many natural and healthy ways to support the body through an effective detoxification and weight loss programme. Unfortunately, the use of laxative based products, including those from a natural origin, are often used as a tool for losing weight. Strong laxatives artificially stimulate the large intestine to ‘empty’ its contents giving the illusion of weight loss. The problem is that we are losing vital minerals, electrolytes, fibre and fluids at the same time and the weight we have apparently lost will return as soon as we start to rehydrate our body. One of the key issues with these kinds of laxatives is that they can become addictive and can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. The way to successfully detox your body is to support the body’s natural detoxification processes occurring in the liver which will not only help us detox, but also boost our digestive metabolism and feel truly healthy.
Sebastian Pole, Master Herbsmith at Pukka Herbs discusses the importance of plants and herbs in our diet and just how powerful they can be at cleansing our bodies. He says in his new book, Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea (which you can buy here!)
“Plants have been at the centre of human health forever and it feels like we are only just discovering how important they are to living well today. Helping to nourish, cleanse, rejuvenate and restore your whole system, herbs can be used for both optimising health as well as getting you better when you are unwell: in other words, they can be food as well as medicine. Their life-enhancing properties are simple to bring into your everyday life, and one of my favourite ways is to do this by making herbal blends and drinking their delicious infusions.”
While we wash away and eliminate waste daily, modern life throws so much at us that not all of it goes down the plughole. If we don’t take time to cleanse the inside of our bodies, then we run the risk of a range of symptoms from bad breath to sluggish digestion.”
“Feeling clogged up can also affect our emotional state – we might hold onto negative issues (the run-in at work last month, the break-up last year), instead of letting them go. Cleansing on all levels is central to being healthy. Toxins have damp, sticky and stagnant qualities. Ayurveda calls toxins ama, which refers to any undigested and unutilised wastes inside you. Toxins can cause inflammation and infection, and can lead to mucus congestion, poor immunity, loss of strength, water retention, tense muscles, bloating, itchiness, a thick tongue coating and depression, amongst other things. Remember the last time last time you had a cold and that ‘heavy’ feeling that you can’t get away from? Or the last time you were feeling depressed and stuck-in-the-mud? That’s a sure sign you need a cleanse.”
So how can one detox and cleanse in a healthy, safe way?
Below, Sebastian outlines some of Sebastian’s favourite super-herbs to use to help support the cleansing process.
Nettle is more than just a weed with a nasty sting! It’s filled with nutrients and active compounds, and has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. One of its traditional uses is purifying and cleansing the blood – it’s known as a ‘blood tonic’. It’s rich in chlorophyll, which is traditionally thought to help cleanse and build the blood, and it has diuretic properties too, which may help flush out toxins from the body. Nettle is also rich in nutrients that support liver function and detoxification, including magnesium, iron and vitamin C.
Dandelion is a classic herb for supporting cleansing and detox. Both the root and leaves can be beneficial, but dandelion root is traditionally used for supporting the liver. One of its actions is to increase the flow of bile, which is the liver’s way of getting rid of fat-soluble toxins and wastes into the gut, to be excreted. Bile flow into the gut also helps digestion and supports normal bowel movements, and so dandelion root can also act as a digestive tonic, and can help if you’re a bit ‘bunged up’. This is vital, as we need good bowel movements when cleansing to properly excrete wastes and toxins from our body.
Fennel seeds are another ‘everyday’ herb with many hidden powers. They’re perhaps best known as a digestive tonic: in India, the seeds are chewed after a meal to aid digestion, and they can specifically help to relieve digestive symptoms such as wind and bloating. This makes fennel a fantastic addition to your cleansing regime if you’re suffering the consequences of overindulgence during the festive season.
And that’s not all. Like dandelion and nettle, fennel has also been found to have diuretic properties, helping to flush out toxins via the urine. And it has antibacterial and anti-fungal activity too, potentially helping to improve the balance of healthy flora in the gut – and get rid of any ‘nasties’!
Complementing the activity of all the other herbs is the amazing aloe vera. Aloe vera gel – from the inner leaf – has a cooling and soothing action, which can help calm the heat and inflammation associated with overindulgence. Aloe gel is used as a digestive tonic too, and may help to gently increase bowel movements (although it doesn’t have the strong laxative effect of aloe latex from the outer leaf). And it may also have a stimulating and cleansing effect on the liver. A great all-rounder.
Pukka Herbs’ Clean Me Green wellbeing kit brings together the power of organic plants in one easy-to-follow, two-week programme. The kit includes Pukka’s Detox tea and Clean Matcha Green tea. Clean Greens powder, which contributes to healthy skin and supports both thyroid function and thyroid hormone production. The Clean Me Green kit offers much- needed nourishment to start the New Year.
The Clean Me Green wellbeing kit is made with the highest quality organic herbs and botanicals that support the digestive system and organs -enabling them to operate at an optimum level – ridding the body of unwanted toxins and inflammation.
Clean Me Green comes with a wellbeing guide, packed full of helpful tips and recipes to help you get your glow back.
Made using the highest quality organic herbs and spices.
Pukka’s new wellbeing kit is available now and can be purchased from www.pukkaherbs.com for an RRP of £19.99