Once again, it’s time for spring cleaning, in time to enjoy the warmer weather.  Again this year, I’m more interested in spring cleaning our bodies than our homes, although a good housecleaning certainly can’t hurt!  All our systems need occasional cleansing – it’s been a long winter!

   Quick Review of Our Exposure to Toxins

Toxins build up in our bodies, and there are many sources of exposure, including household cleaners, solvents, air fresheners and (hopefully not) cigarette smoke.  Air pollution is another major source, including automobile exhaust, industrial fumes, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals which can all result in smoggy air.  Our food can contain toxins in the form of additives and pesticides.  Eating refined carbohydrates like sugar and refined flour results in a build-up of waste that decays and produces bacteria. Emotional stress, an unbalanced diet, and consuming too much food can all contribute to toxic conditions. (See our April 2012 Newsletter.)

Health effects of toxins
Many symptoms can be the results of a build up of toxins in the body.  They include: constipation, stomach bloat, poor digestion, gas, fatigue, weight gain, excessive mucus, poor concentration, headaches, poor skin, poor memory, depression, body odour, and bad breath.

   The Body’s Detoxification System

The liver is our main cleansing organ, supported by our bowels, kidneys, lymphatic system and lungs. 

The liver (See our June 2009 Newsletter.)
The liver detoxifies many toxic substances.  It breaks down many harmful substances (including fat, alcohol, artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, airborne pollutants, and poisons in our water and food) and excretes them as harmless by-products into the bile or blood.  By-products in the bile enter the intestine and leave the body in the feces.  By-products in the blood are filtered out by the kidneys and leave the body in the urine.

The colon (See our July 2009 Newsletter)
The colon (or large intestine) is more than just a ‘garbage shoot’ or the final step in your digestive system.  It is essential to your good health.  It helps to remove water, salt and certain nutrients from indigestible food matter, and forms and eliminates solid waste matter from your body.  Colon health can be affected, not just by your contaminants in diet, but also by environmental toxins.

The kidneys
Each person normally has 2 bean-shaped kidneys located near the middle of their back; their primary function is to filter metabolic waste products and excess sodium (salt) and water from the blood and help eliminate them from the body. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure and red blood cell production.

The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system, consisting of a complex network of fluid-filled nodes, vessels, ducts and glands, including the spleen, thymus and tonsils.  Lymph is a clear fluid.  The lymphatic system helps the immune system by removing and destroying waste, and carrying it to the blood stream.  The lymphatic system also absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and delivers them to the cells of the body where they are needed.

The lungs
Your lungs supply large amounts of oxygen to your blood, to give you energy to work, play and live well.  They also remove carbon dioxide and other waste gases from your body.  The largest airway is the trachea (windpipe) which branches into 2 smaller airways, bronchi, to supply air to the 2 lungs.  The bronchi subdivide many times and eventually evolve into smaller airways, the bronchioles.  At the end of each bronchiole are dozens of bubble shaped, air-filled cavities called alveoli.  The walls of the alveoli are only 1 cell thick so oxygen can be passed to the blood in the surrounding capillaries, and carbon dioxide can be passed back.  With this delicate structure, it’s easy to see how smoke and other pollutants could disrupt this system.

   Cleansing Our Detoxification System

What does detoxification mean?
Sometimes people associate “detox” with extreme measures, but aside from periodic short fasts or detoxification diets, detox or cleansing just means removing as many toxins from our systems and from our lives as possible and replacing them with healthy alternatives.

Why should we cleanse?
Although we’ve been provided with a fantastic detoxifying system, these days, with all the pollution in our air, water and food, our bodies need our help.  Why should we cleanse?  Because it can greatly improve the quality of our lives.

How should we cleanse?
First, avoid toxins like junk food (e.g. refined carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners), cigarette smoke, and excessive amounts of alcohol.

  • Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are high in fibre
  • Drink plenty of fresh water every day
  • Breathe deeply
  • Eliminate stress as much as you can
  • Exercise
  • Sweat
  • Regular practice of yoga is very beneficial

All of the above are really just common sense, and not cleansing as you may think of it.  However, they are all excellent strategies.  There are additional measures you can take for each of the systems described above.  You will see that there is a lot of overlap – what is good for one part of the system is often good for other parts.

Liver cleansing
To cleanse the liver, avoid animal products and eat mainly high-fibre fruits, vegetable, seeds, nuts, and legumes.  Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered or healthy spring water per day to flush out toxins.  Avoid saturated fats, refined sugar and alcohol.  Vegetable juices are recommended, such as beet, celery and carrot.  A daily sauna also helps to remove toxins (add water accordingly!).

Digestive system supplements:

LIV-GD:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=6402590

Digestive Enzymes: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=6402586

Psyllium Hulls Combination: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=8221411

Protein Digestive Aid: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=6402593

Protease Plus:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=6402596

Catnip and Fennel Extract:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546916&id=6402599

Colon cleansing
To keep your colon healthy

  • Exercise:  Regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of developing precancerous colon polyps, and therefore may play an important role in colon cancer prevention. 
  • Eliminate processed meats, cut back on red meat and meats cooked at high temperatures:  Eating processed meat has been repeatedly linked to colon cancer.  Processed meats include any meat prepared by smoking, curing or salting, or adding chemical preservatives such as nitrates.  Red meats have also been linked to colon cancer.
  • Eat vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables: Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower and bok choy seem to be particularly effective cancer fighters because of their sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates.  They protect against other types of cancer too.
  • Consume friendly bacteria (probiotics):  You can optimize the bacteria, i.e. reduce the bad bacteria, in your colon by consuming probiotics.  Also limit your consumption of sugar which feeds any bad bacteria.
  • Be sure you have healthy levels of vitamin D:  Adequate vitamin D has been associated with healthy colon function.  I recommend 5000 IU per day of vitamin D.
  • Other colon health strategies:
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day
    • Consider supplements that support healthy colon function, such as glutamine and curcumin
    • Limit your consumption of sugar and refined grains, e.g. white flour
    • Limit alcohol (no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women)
    • Don’t smoke
    • Consider a natural cleanse to help your body rid itself of toxins while also giving your body a chance to rest, repair and regroup.

Intestinal system supplements:

LBS II:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402604

*Tiao He Pak:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402606

Bowel Build: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402607

Bifidophilus Flora Force:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402609

LBS II:!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402604

*Tiao He Pak:!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402606

Bowel Build:!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402607

Bifidophilus Flora Force:!/~/product/category=1546917&id=6402609

Kidney cleansing
The most important aspect of cleansing the kidneys is drinking adequate amounts of filtered or healthy spring water (at least 8 glasses per day).  Follow a low protein diet.  Avoid all animal protein including dairy products, as these foods are high in phosphorus and encourage calcium deposition.  Also avoid rhubarb, chocolate and all caffeinated products, because these foods increase calcium oxalate or uric acid in the kidneys and could result in kidney stones in susceptible people. Do enjoy cranberry, pomegranate and blueberry juices which enhance kidney function and provide essential nutrients.

Urinary tract supplements:

Cranberry & Buchu Concentrate: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546922&id=6402686

K Combination: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546922&id=6402687

KB-C: /store/#!/~/product/category=1546922&id=6402688

K-C:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546922&id=6402689

Lymphatic system cleansing
Eating well is probably the best way to ensure that you have a clean lymph system.  This includes

  • avoiding foods that are difficult to digest or otherwise unhealthy, such as fatty foods, excessive animal protein, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates
  • drinking plenty of water
  • eating raw fruits to take advantage of the enzymes they provide
  • drinking pure cranberry juice which can be diluted with water and sweetened with pure apple juice.  Cranberry juice contains a number of substances that help to deal with stubborn fat in the lymphatic system.
  • eating plenty of green vegetables to provide chlorophyll as well as many vitamins and minerals to assist in lymph cleansing
  • eating foods high in essential fatty acids is critical to ensure an optimally functioning lymph system.  Some of these foods include flaxseeds, cold-pressed flax oil, fresh, raw nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocados.

Several herbs help to cleanse the lymph system, including echinacea, astralagus, and goldenseal.
Regular exercise is, as always, essential.

Lymphatic system supplement:

LYM-MX is designed to provide nutrients essential for optimum lymphatic system function.  Since a healthy lymph system is closely tied to healthy immune function, many of the herbs in LYM-MX, such as Echinacea, parthenium and yarrow, are also known to be immune system stimulants.

Lung cleansing
Exercise:  The better your cardiorespiratory fitness, the easier it is for your lungs to keep you heart and muscles supplied with oxygen.
Don’t smoke – anything.  There’s no safe amount to smoke.  The more you smoke, the higher your risk of lung cancer, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Avoid second hand smoke.  It’s even more dangerous than filtered cigarette smoke.
Beware of outdoor pollution.  Avoid it as much as you can.
Improve indoor air quality.  There are a number of indoor sources of pollution including wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, mold, construction materials, pet dander, dust, and even air fresheners and some candles.
Eat right.  Foods high in antioxidants are good for your lungs – that includes most fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lung cleansing herbs may be used in teas, cooking, pasted as a plaster on your lung area or breathed in from a steam infusion.  Some of these herbs include:

  • Black peppercorns – stimulate circulation
  • Comfrey – detoxifies the lungs and soothes dry coughs
  • Fenugreek – dissolves mucous and kills any lung infection
  • Ginger root – helps loosen and expel phlegm from the lungs
  • Horehound – helps dilate lung arteries and relieve congestion
  • Lobelia – relaxes the lungs
  • Ginseng root – soothes, moistens and cools the lungs

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Spring cleaning. Partners – The AIM Newsmagazine. May 1997;8-10.
  2. The Merck Manual of Medical Information Home Edition. Berkow R, Beers MH, Fletcher AJ eds. New York: Pocket Books, 1997.
  3. Hayashi Y. How to keep your colon healthy. Best Health Accessed April 4, 2013.
  4. Tips to keep your colon healthy and optimize digestion. CNCA Health.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  5. Wong, C. Kidney cleanse: What should I know about it? Alternative Medicine.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  6. The lymphatic system. Accessed April 4, 2013.
  7. Lymphatic system. Wikipedia.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  8. Schoffro Cook M. Love your lymph. Mother Earth Living.  Accessed April 9, 2013.
  9. How can I keep my lungs healthy? Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  10. Schneider R. Why should I detox? Natural Therapy Pages, September 25, 2012.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  11. Rona Z. Liver and kidney cleansing. Alive.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  12. Harding A. 12 ways to keep your lungs strong and healthy. Huffington Post, May 22, 2011  Accessed April 4, 2013.
  13. How to cleanse your lungs. Natural Therapy Pages.  Accessed April 4, 2013.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic