Supporting your Detoxifcation Pathway

Friday, 25 August 2017 5:40:30 pm Pacific/Auckland

Each participant in our Reset and Restore Spring Cleanse Programme will be receiving an Artemis Kidney Cleanse Tea & a Liver Detox Tea. We reached out to Artemis to get some extra information on the teas and the team have such a wealth of information to share, we thought we would pass it on to everyone!

What is your detoxification pathway?

Detoxification is the body’s process of removing toxic substances. It’s not a food, or diet, or a pill - it is an ongoing, vital process that your body does (all on its own) in order to survive.

Your main detoxification organs are the liver and kidneys. The bowels and urinary tract are extensions of these organs as wastes exit your body.

The skin (via sweat) and the lungs (via breathing/expelling CO2) are also considered detoxification organs.

All together, these organs are often referred to as detoxification pathways. In layman's terms: the pathways that toxins take to move through and exit your body.

Want to know more about your main detox organs?

Your Liver

Your liver is one of the most amazing organs in the human body. It is a master multitasker - carrying out over 500 different roles. It is the only organ that can regenerate itself - that’s right, you heard us correctly! You can have more than half of your liver removed, not only will it grow back to its original size, it will KEEP FUNCTIONING during the regenerative process. How amazing!

Some of the major functions of the liver are:

  • Bile production: bile helps the body break down and absorb fats, cholesterol, and some vitamins.
  • Fat and carbohydrate metabolism: bile breaks down fats to make them easier to digest and carbohydrates are processed to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
  • Vitamin and mineral storage: the liver stores vitamins A, D, E, K and B12. It keeps significant amounts of these vitamins stored; in some cases, years-worth of vitamins are held as a back-up. 
  • Immune function: the liver contains high numbers of immune cells called Kupffer cells. These cells destroy any pathogens which enter the liver via the gut.
  • Detoxification: The liver filters and removes compounds from the body. This includes toxins that our body produces as part of normal metabolism; pathogens like viruses and bacteria, cholesterol, hormones that our body excretes once it's used them and external toxins.

Because the functions of your liver are so wide-reaching, it is easy to see how an under-par liver could affect you in many different ways.

Just some signs your liver needs extra support are allergies, constipation, diarrhoea after eating fatty foods, fatigue, low energy, difficulty getting out of bed, feeling bloated or sluggish, food intolerances, headaches, high cholesterol and irritable moods.

Your Kidneys

The kidneys are another set of amazing organs. Unfortunately, these organs don’t grow back! However, they are so important that we have two kidneys, effectively giving you a "spare" should the other ever fail. They are not large in size, yet their functions are mighty. The kidneys are master regulators and act as a massive filtration system.

Some of the major functions of the kidneys are:

  • Regulating proper fluid and electrolyte (mineral) balance in the body: this is vital for your cells to be able to perform their functions. Regulating fluid and mineral balance also means that they have a hand in controlling your blood pressure
  • Regulating the body’s pH, or acid-alkaline balance: even small variances in pH can result in death
  • Hormone secretion: the kidneys secrete a number of chemicals which initiates the release of hormones such as antidiuretic hormone and aldosterone
  • Blood filtration: hence why they are a major detoxification organ. In fact, the kidneys receive and filter about 1200ml of blood per minute - about a quarter of our total blood flow

They do this every day, for our entire lives. To put that into perspective; imagine a water filter system that ran 24/7, 365 days, for approximately 70 years - without ever being cleaned or replaced. It gives you some respect for those little bean-shaped organs in your back!

Due to this combination of tasks, the kidneys also help control excessive blood glucose and mineral imbalances. They excrete wastes from muscle metabolism and urea from protein breakdown. They flush out urinary irritants (eg: bacteria) and excess fluid.

Once the kidneys filter the blood, waste products are excreted in urine. Just like the liver, if the kidneys can’t do their job properly, waste can re-circulate in the blood or become stored in the body, leading to all sorts of nasty symptoms.

Just some of the signs your kidneys need extra support are arthritis and gout, blood in your urine, dark circles or puffiness under your eyes, dark, cloudy or smelly urine, fluid retention, oedema, high blood pressure and kidney infections.

Why does the pathway need daily support?

Your detoxification organs work hard, every day. 10,000 years ago; 2,000 years ago; even 300 years ago, this was enough to process everything. But then we had the industrial revolution. The advent of cars. Air travel. Pharmaceutical medication. Industrialised farming. Pesticides. Increased air and water pollution. Plastics. House paint. Endocrine disruptors. Fizzy drinks. Chemical skincare products. Processed food… The industrial revolution brought huge changes to our environment and therefore, huge demands on our body.

Artemis believe that our detox organs deserve all the support we can give them! This starts very typically - with a nutrient-dense diet full of (ideally organic) fruits, vegetables and clean water.

And plant medicine. Plant medicine shines when it comes to supporting detoxification. Certain plants contain specific phytochemicals which enhance the detoxification process. Many of these phytochemicals are unique to plant medicine, and not found in everyday foods. Therefore a nourishing diet alone isn't enough.

Think of it this way, good food and clean water are the foundations and wall of your house - without them, you have nothing. But to have a strong, functional, warm and dry house, you need a good roof, insulation, double-glazed windows, venting, plumbing, lights, heating etc. Plant medicine builds on your foundation for greatness.

How do Artemis detox teas nourish your detox organs?

The plants in these teas have been used for thousands of years to enhance detoxification and recent scientific research confirms their effectiveness and safety. Follow this simple morning ritual to provide specific nourishment to enhance liver and kidney function.

1 cup Liver Detox Tea before breakfast + 1 cup Kidney Cleanse Tea mid-morning. It's this simple!

Liver Detox Tea

St Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum): One of the most amazing plants in all of herbal medicine, St Mary’s Thistle has proven time and time again that it can directly protect the liver against a number of chemicals, such as ethanol, paracetamol, and carbon tetrachloride. It accelerates the regeneration of liver cells (remember how your liver can grow back?), and contains key antioxidants which promote liver detoxification. It supports healthy oestrogen metabolism, and is the only known antidote for poisoning with Death Cap Mushrooms. We don’t have pharmaceuticals that can do what St Mary’s Thistle can!

Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus): As well as directly protecting liver cells, Globe Artichoke’s bitter taste encourages better digestion all through the gastrointestinal tract. It helps promote bile flow, which is important because fat-soluble toxins are packaged up with bile for excretion. Bile is also a natural laxative, so you eliminate your toxins efficiently. Globe Artichoke is also the plant for improving blood lipid levels and high cholesterol.

Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale): Another bitter plant, Dandelion helps to increase the flow of digestive juices and break down food for better absorption. It has been used for centuries to treat issues associated with poor liver function, and recent research has confirmed that it directly increases the liver’s detoxifying capacity.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Calendula enhances the function of the liver as it is high in antioxidants needed for detoxification. It is also a bitter tonic.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) & Peppermint (Mentha piperita): These herbs work synergistically to help encourage the proper breakdown and absorption of food and nutrients, as well as calm bloating and gas. Peppermint was traditionally used to prevent gallstones, and recent research confirms this effect .

Kidney Cleanse Tea

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea): Goldenrod is to the kidneys as St Mary’s Thistle is to the liver. One of the best kidney and urinary tract remedies, Goldenrod helps your kidneys flush pathogens, urinary irritants, and water-soluble metabolic waste.

Birch (Betula pendula): An excellent diuretic, Birch increases urine volume, to relieve cystitis and oedema. Its high mineral content provides the nutrients needed to cleanse wastes and uric acid. Excess uric acid in the body causes gout, a painful form of arthritis. .

Nettle (Urtica dioica): In a world full of amazing plant medicine, Nettle is top of the heap! This plant helps strengthen many detoxification, digestion, and elimination organs- including the kidneys, bladder, liver, and pancreas. . It is one of the most nutrient-rich plants that you can eat, with an abundance of minerals and trace minerals. It has shown to help with everything from allergies to arthritis to diabetes. Yay for Nettle!

Horsetail (Equisitum arvense): Horsetail is a diuretic which doesn’t affect electrolyte balance – a major feat compared to many pharmaceutical diuretics which require electrolyte replacement. It is high in silica to strengthen connective tissue, including the highly important tissue of the kidneys, which filters over 1000ml of blood every minute!

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus): Raspberry leaves strengthen bladder function, kidneys and the uterus. It soothes mucous membranes of kidney and urinary tract. It is high in antioxidants and is antimicrobial - great to keep the kidneys clean and free of infections.

How will I feel when my body is detoxifying properly?

In case you aren’t convinced that your body needs ongoing support - just like it needs regular food and water to function at optimum level - these are the benefits of optimal detoxification and elimination:

  • you feel energised, balanced and "light"
  • you tend to sleep through the night (not waking around 1-2am which is typical with an overworked liver)
  • your mood often improves because you generally feel better 
  • menstrual cycles are 'easier' with fewer symptoms like cramps and moodiness
  • menopause is less challenging due to effective hormone clearance
  • weight management is easier - effective detox is imperative for weight loss, plus you have more energy so are more inclined to keep active
  • beautiful, clear skin - your skin is an exit organ for excess waste in the form of acne and impurities
  • improved digestion and absorption (read: less constipation or diarrhoea)
  • you're better equipped to fight off colds and flu due to a healthy immune system
  • you maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • your body can more easily repair and restore

If you’ve got to the end of this article, what an amazing job! Hopefully, you have a better idea of how your detoxification pathway works and why it’s important to support it! Here are some more links for extra reading & more…

Still not convinced about daily support and want to know more?

Have concerns about any of the above systems and want to talk to a naturopath?

Want to participate in our Spring Cleanse programme? It’s a nourishing, restorative 4-day programme to mindfully bring you into the new season.

Posted in Naturopath Advice By

Gemma Fitzpatrick

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