The Gut, Liver and Mouth Detox

Dandelions greens and flowers

You don’t have to take a week off from work or spend hours in the bathroom to detox your body. There are ways to remove impurities on a daily basis, preventing them from accumulating. Small, healthy habits that you follow on a daily basis are even more powerful over time than doing exaggerated cleanses for 2 to 3 weeks. If you feel daunted about how you’re going to keep all those New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy, try to include one or more of these three detoxes into your daily routine. They are fast, simple and can begin working immediately.

Detox: Gut flush for digestion
The gut flush is a combination of three key ingredients that work together to help break down toxins in your gut. According to Ayurvedic tradition, these ingredients increase the digestive fire, or agni, in your gut. The heat helps to break down toxins. This can improve digestion and make you more efficient at breaking down toxins that accumulate in the gut. You can usually feel the increased heat in your gut within seconds of starting the gut flush.

All you need is fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger and sea salt.

  • Squeeze 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice into a cup, jar or pitcher
  • Cut up a knob of fresh ginger into thin one inch strips
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt then stir

Don’t drink this solution, but rather eat 1-2 pieces of the soaked fresh ginger before each meal. You can make enough at the beginning of the week to last you seven days. Keep the gut flush solution refrigerated. The best way to really detox your gut is to eat this soaked ginger before each meal. But if you want to simplify it even more, just eat it before dinner. Dinner is typically most Americans’ heaviest meal, but at night your digestion is usually the slowest. Use the gut flush to help increase your digestive fire before dinner so you accumulate fewer toxins. 

Keep in mind that people with bleeding disorders or who use anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs should avoid ginger. People with inflammatory bowel disease or a history of intestinal obstruction and people with an allergy to ginger should also avoid ginger.

Detox: Dandelion greens for your liver
Dandelion leaves and roots can be used to cleanse the liver. Dandelion is a natural diuretic that helps remove excess toxins and water from your blood and supports your liver function. In today’s world many people’s livers are overworked because of our diet and eating and drinking patterns. As a result, the liver desperately needs to be detoxed so that it can better break down the medications we take and help process the alcohol and fatty foods we consume.

I recommend you have dandelion as part of your dinner, since many people eat their fattiest meal at night and tend to drink alcoholic drinks in the evening. To get the benefits, all you need is a loose handful of dandelion, sauté them or use them as the base of a salad just as you would with spinach.

Anyone with an allergy to dandelion, honey, chamomile, chrysanthemums, yarrow, feverfew or other similar plants like ragweed, sunflower or daisies should avoid dandelions.

Detox: Oil pulling for your mouth
The body has several mechanisms to “dump” toxic particles into the salivary glands. According to Ayurvedic tradition, oil pulling helps to increase the secretion of saliva and trap the toxins within the oil particles. By oil pulling, you can use the salivary glands in your mouth as a detoxifying organ. Instead of always putting junk in your mouth, you can use your mouth to pull out some of the junk and toxins out of your body. One study has shown that this technique may reduce plaque, remove bacteria, naturally clean teeth/gums, and help prevent gingivitis and bad breath.

Sip 1-2 tablespoon of sesame oil first thing in the morning and swish the oil around your mouth (don’t swallow it). Sesame oil is the most common oil used and is believed to have the effect of being a ‘carrier’ for toxins. You can try sunflower oil if you don’t or can’t have sesame oil. The best technique is to suck the oil or pull the oil in between your teeth. All it takes is 10-15 minutes in the morning when you first get up to start pulling away the toxins. When I do it, I go about my morning routine while I am swishing the oil around in my mouth for about 15 minutes and then brush my teeth after I’ve spit it out.

If the spit is white and frothy it means you did it correctly. If the spit is yellow it means you need to swish for longer. When you’re finished you want to look at the coating of your tongue. Ayurvedic tradition says that the more toxins in an organ, the thicker and darker the coating will be on the corresponding area of the tongue.

As always, you should talk to your doctor before trying new remedies or supplements.