Toxin Reduction Tips and Tools

by | May 2, 2022 | Nutrition

We are exposed to environmental toxins all the time. Even the simplest of daily routines can expose one to several common pollutants found in the water we drink, food we eat, and air we breathe.

While our liver, kidneys and lymphatic system play a major role in removing biologically harmful compounds, our bodies have not evolved to deal with the growing number of toxins we unknowingly interact with every day. 

The number of toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis is staggering…almost unbelievable. A modest estimate says we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxins each day. These toxins contribute to what is called our “toxic load” and can have serious affects on our health.

Signs you are “toxic” include: 

  •         headaches
  •         digestive issues like constipation, gas, heartburn, indigestion, bloating
  •         insomnia and foggy thinking, trouble concentrating and fatigue
  •         inability to lose weight (toxins are stored in fat cells, making the body reluctant to burn excess fat)
  •         anxiety, depression
  •         joint pain, inflammation and endocrine disruption

Women especially are susceptible to the effects of toxins because of our more sensitive endocrine systems.

Reduction Tips:


Be sure the number of ounces of water you drink per day is equal to at least half of your body weight. (i.e. 150 lbs. body weight = 75 oz. water per day).  In the autumn and winter, it can be especially helpful and cleansing to drink warm water.

Lemon Water

This is a gentle yet effective way to support and cleanse the liver, kidneys, and colon, and helps alkalize the body. It assists in breaking up mucus and provides energy via enzymes, vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals.  Please use fresh, ripe lemons, not prepared lemon juice. Make lemon water simply by squeezing the juice of ½ a lemon into a glass of water.

Body Brushing

This is one of the best ways to stimulate the lymphatic system. This is beneficial because it assists the lymph nodes in keeping blood and other vital tissues detoxified.  It is energizing, assists in breaking up cellulite, removes dead skin, stimulates circulation, and strengthens the immune system.  To do this, you will need a natural bristle brush, which can be purchased at most health food stores or pharmacies.  Start at your feet and work up the body in long strokes towards your heart.  Be sure to cover the whole body, but skip the face and the breasts.  Do not feel like you need to spend a tremendous amount of time on this, 2–3 minutes prior to your shower is fine.

Toxin Elimination Bath

Each evening, place 2 cups of Epsom salts and one cup of baking soda in the tub, run the hottest water you can stand, and add 8 drops of lavender oil. Soak for 20 minutes and allow yourself to sweat.  When you are finished bathing, wrap yourself up in towels, go under the covers, and sweat some more.  You should feel very relaxed and sleep soundly.


Moving will be a key component to your program. Tune into what kind of exercise feels appropriate, rather than just doing what you usually do or what you think you should do.  Walking, yoga, swimming, tai chi, hiking, biking, and strength training are all great ways to get moving.  A powerful exercise for removing toxins is using a mini-trampoline or rebounder to help enhance your lymphatic system.  This is called Lymphasizing; see the end of this document for more details.


Getting additional fibre as we cleanse is vital to supporting the colon in its role of toxin elimination. In addition to lots of fresh vegetables, ground flax seeds and chia seeds are recommended. You should be eliminating at least 2 times per day.  

Castor oil packs

This can be a self-administered and inexpensive way to nurture and support the liver while you cleanse. It is incredibly healing and relaxing. Castor oil is said to be able to penetrate deeply – as much as 4 inches – into the body. These packs can be used to stimulate and detox the liver and gallbladder.


You will need 100% pure, cold-pressed castor oil, an old T-shirt, and a hot water bottle (or heating pad).

  1. Put on an old T-shirt, so you don’t get the oil on your nice clothing.
  2. Rub castor oil on your abdomen, being sure to cover the area where your liver is. 

Lie down on your back, and place the hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen, on top of your shirt, for one hour.

Alternatively, you can rub the castor oil on your back, being sure to cover the area where your liver is.  Then with your T-shirt on, lay on top of the heating pad or hot water bottle. 

This is a safe regimen to continue throughout the spring season, especially if you suffer from liver-based symptoms like eye problems, PMS, premenopausal symptoms and menopausal irritability, mood swings, bloating, tender breasts, hot flashes, anxiety, migraines, skin rashes and breakouts, angry outbursts, or tension between the shoulders.

Many people report a remarkable sense of well-being and tranquility while applying the castor oil pack. Because the emotion of anger is closely tied to the liver, you may experience angry feelings resurfacing. Stay with your feelings and try to channel them constructively. You may try to transform this anger into forgiveness – first for yourself and then for others.

Cleansing Meditations

Chewing Meditation

As you enjoy a meal, take the time to chew each bite fully, 30–50 chews per bite. The objective is to liquefy your food. Focus on the taste and texture and how they might change and sweeten the longer you chew. Go slowly and really savor the experience. The added benefit of this meditation is improved digestion.  Don’t forget to chew your soups and smoothies!

Savouring Simplicity

This is a bit more general, but focuses on tuning into a single food or a simple dish. Enjoy the sweet crunch of a carrot, the juicy delight of a strawberry. Tune into the complexity of these seemingly simple foods. Spend at least a full five minutes with each simple food.

Breathing Meditation

This is a wonderful one that will calm and centre you in any situation. It can also be used when you feel overwhelmed by a craving. Very often the craving will pass by the end of 10–20 breaths. 

To practice: Close your eyes, place your hands on your belly and just tune into the sensations around the inhale and the exhale. Gradually begin to deepen the breath, taking 10–20 slow deep conscious breaths deeply into and out of the belly. Do this meditation often.


Now is a wonderful time to put attention on what you would like to bring into your life and one of the most powerful tools you can use is images.  By creating images in your mind and connecting emotionally with these images, you begin to send the message to the universe that this is what you want. If creating images in your mind is difficult, cut pictures out of magazines or other media that represent your goals and dreams. This is a powerful tool, so really take the time to work on what you DO want. When visualising, stay with your image and the feelings it evokes for a good 3-5 minutes.

Gratitude Meditation

So simple yet immensely powerful, the gratitude meditation is highly recommended. It is especially important if you often find yourself spiralling down the hole of negative thinking and negative manifestations in your life. 

This can be done anytime, but it can be particularly good first thing in the morning or before going to bed.  Sit quietly with your eyes closed and meditate on all that is good in your life. If you are having trouble finding something good, simply feel gratitude for the gift of breath and a healthy body. Your objects of gratitude can be as big or as small as you want. You may choose to write down these items after or before meditating on them. Do this for as long as you want.  You can also do this while walking in nature.

Walking Meditation

With walking meditation, the intention is on fully taking in the smells, the sights, the sounds and the sensations of your walking experience. Try to put your attention on only one thing or one sensory organ at a time. Take the time to drop in and just allow any thoughts outside your present experience to fall by the wayside. This can be a great meditation if you have trouble sitting still.


Two wonderful breathing techniques for cleansing: 

Sounding Breath

Sounding breathing is done lying on the ground in the corpse pose, letting all your limbs relax. Exhale completely and then slowly draw in your breath through the nose. As you inhale, feel how your lungs and abdomen fill up. As you exhale, contract your throat to make a slight hissing sound and completely exhale and empty your lungs. Let your breath be long and slow.

Sitting Breath

Sitting breathing is done while sitting, so it can be done at any point. Exhale with a deep sigh in order to reset your diaphragm. Then breathe slowly through your nose for a count of 7, and hold your breath for a count of 7. Then for another count of 7, exhale through your nose.  Repeat this three times, and this will help calm your spirit and relax your nerves.

The benefits of doing Pranayama (breathing exercises) every morning (or evening) for 20 to 25 minutes include:

  • Increases lung capacity and improves breathing efficiency
  • Improves circulation, normalises blood pressure and improves cardiovascular efficiency
  • Boosts the immune system and enhances immunity
  • Increases energy levels and gives lots of positive energy
  • Strengthens and tones the nervous system
  • Combats anxiety and depression and improves sleep
  • Improves digestion and excretory functions
  • Provides massage to the internal organs, stimulates the glands and enhances endocrine functions
  • Normalises body weight and provides great conditioning for weight loss

Power of Breathing 

Undoubtedly, the most important component to human health and vitality is oxygen. In fact, human life would not be possible without it. Oxygen produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and without ATP, our bodies would immediately shut down. When a person breathes, there is an exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. The oxygen, which is taken in by the body from the atmosphere around us, is picked up by the hemoglobin in the blood and distributed to all of the body’s trillions of cells where it is then used to fuel the cells and release energy (ATP).

In addition, the makeup of the human body is largely composed of the element oxygen, especially factoring in that water is composed of 33% oxygen.

It’s clear that optimal oxygenation of your cells through proper nutrition, fluid intake, exercise, and stress management is absolutely necessary in order to maintain your health and create a vital life.

“Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. There is no single more powerful – or more simple – daily practice to further your health and well being than breathwork.” Andrew Weil, M.D.


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