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Lifestyles today expose people to airborne pollutants, environmental chemicals, long-term medication, and poor dietary choices. Over time, these toxins accumulate in the body and therefore periodically need to be cleaned out. Detoxification is a cornerstone practice of naturopathic doctors. It is vital in preserving health, preventing disease, and it universally improves the condition of any disease state.

There are many products on the shelves of health food stores that claim to be for cleansing or detoxifying. But which ones are good? Can some of them be harmful? The fact of the matter is that not all cleansing programs are the same and some can make you feel worse instead of better. A proper detoxification program should be done under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor. It should be tailored to your specific needs and health conditions.

Here are just a few common myths about detoxification:

  1. You must fast and only drink liquids – false!

  2. You must take supplements that will cause diarrhea – false!

  3. Cleansing is all about irrigating the colon – false!

How is detoxification done?

The organ in the body that acts as a filter is the liver. Over time, this filter needs to be cleaned so it can function properly. Also, roots of elimination such as the kidneys and the digestive tract must be working optimally. Multiple techniques are used by naturopathic doctors to achieve this goal. The cleansing program is a tailored treatment that metabolically supports the liver’s chemical detoxification pathways. Often a combination of herbal remedies, cleansing shakes, and detoxifying foods are prescribed. Fasting diets and harsh laxatives are not used.

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