Detox your body

Detox your body

Detoxifying TreatmentsHave you ever been curious about this longstanding detox aid, but not quite sure how to use it? This article is for you. Today we are talking about Epsom Salts. 

 

I have used Epsom salt on and off for many years. But this autumn I have decided to declutter my home, mind, and body on a deeper level and Epsom salts are definitely part of my armoury. For this, I have started to drink each morning a large glass of lemon water where I add half a teaspoon of Epsom salts to make them more palatable. The way to prepare it: Put half a teaspoon of Epsom salt into the glass and add a tiny bit of water, then leave the mixture overnight to dissolve. In the morning add the rest of the water (the dash of lemon juice is optional). I have one with added cinnamon flavour and it has improved my digestion. Additionally, I take some Epsom Salt baths in the evenings, 2-3 times per week. And overall it has benefitted my digestion, my skin, and my mood.

What exactly are Epsom salts and how often and how much should you use? 

Chemically speaking, Epsom salt is very different from the general sea salt. It is a magnesium sulfate and is named after a bitter saline spring near Epsom, a small town in Surrey, England. Epsom salt dissolves well in water and is therefore ideal for drinking, bathing and even watering your plants.

Bathing with epsom saltBathing: One common method is to add Epsom salts to a bath. Magnesium can be absorbed through the skin and helps to reduce inflammation, is beneficial for muscle and nerve function, and helps to prevent the hardening of arteries (a cause of stroke and heart disease). It will leave your skin very soft but dry and it is therefore important to finish your bath off with a good body lotion or body oil to lock in these salts. You should not use it every day, but best once a week or 2-3 times per week during a fast/detox. And as mentioned before a good body oil or moisturiser after the bath is a must!  If you have access to a sauna/steam room use these in-between baths.

‘Drawing cream’: Make an Epsom salt cream by mixing 1 teaspoon with oil or cold cream.  It acts like a drawing paste to get rid of infections, spots, and splinters. In the UK you can get a cream in the pharmacy that is already mixed with phenol called Magnesium Sulfate paste.

Relaxation: Epsom salt baths are also popular for relaxation and stress relief. The warm water and magnesium can potentially help soothe sore muscles and promote a sense of well-being. It has been shown to help with depression and migraines caused by stress and work overload. I suspect a lack of magnesium may play a part here, too. And Epsom salt will replenish depleted magnesium levels.

Digestive Health: Taken internally, Epsom salt is used as a laxative to help with constipation. It works by drawing water into the intestines, which can help soften stools and promote bowel movements. However, using Epsom salt as a laxative should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as it can have side effects and is not recommended for everyone. You should also avoid it when you have heart and kidney problems. If in doubt please stay safe and consult a doctor first.

But if you are healthy, you can go ahead and drink a glass a day for a fortnight (say during the Waning Moon) it will help with bowel movements and extra elimination. In this case, only use half a teaspoon in a glass of 250ml water (half a pint – dissolve the salt in a small amount of water and leave it to stand overnight. The next morning add the rest of the water and drink it!) Always drink it first thing in the morning. I always notice when I have a lack of magnesium as I easily have cramps in my leg muscles after a run or during the night. Epsom Salt taken over a few days will replenish the magnesium level in your body. For more symptoms add a magnesium 7 product (it contains 7 forms of magnesium and is easily absorbed by the body).

Low magnesium levels can lead to migraines, muscle cramps, irritability, and low levels of concentration. It also plays a part in carbohydrate metabolism and a lack of magnesium over time can worsen insulin resistance. But once you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, please ask a health professional first when thinking of taking it, especially internally.

Foot Soaks: Some suggest soaking feet in Epsom salt as a way to relax and potentially draw out toxins. I find it helpful to soften rough skin. You could make an Epsom salt footbath before a pedicure.  In a more concentrated form, it helps with athlete’s foot and fungal infections.  I read that regular Epsom salt baths also help with varicose veins, but have not found any science on this.

New Moon detox weekends

When you have a few stress-free days coming up, ideally a weekend or 3 days in a row around the New Moon, use this regime.

  • Put 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts into a 250ml glass, add a tiny bit of water to dissolve the salt, and leave to stand overnight.  Add the rest of the water in the morning before drinking it first thing in the morning.   It tastes bitter, so drink it as quickly as you can or you can.
  • Stay at home and stay warm. Put socks and a jumper on. It is normal to feel a bit colder during a detox program and more importantly – stay near a toilet as you will need it soon! In the morning don’t eat, but instead prepare a big thermos flask full of your favorite herbal tea. This is how you prepare it: put 1 teaspoon of dried herbs into a sieve on top of a thermos flask, add boiling water, and remove the sieve immediately. You only want a very weak tea for this morning. Sip this tea throughout the morning and it will get the Epsom salts working and provoke a bowel movement.
  • Make a big pot of hearty vegetable soup and stick to just eating this! Additionally have as much weak herb teas and water as you like.  Fennel, peppermint, and nettle are detox favorites. Add some lemon juice or drink a lot of water. Stay off tea, coffee, any fizzy drinks, and of course alcohol. The only time you should not drink is half an hour before eating your soup and an hour afterward. This will help to digest your soup.
  • Enjoy the rest of the day watching some good TV shows, reading a good book, meditating, relaxing, and sleeping a lot.
  • In the evening have a hot bath with 2 handfuls of Epsom Salts. Before you jump into the tub, brush your body with a body brush or peeling hand glove. Then glide into the water and enjoy it by listening to music or an uplifting podcast episode.
  • Coming out of the bath, gently dab off the moisture with a bath towel, but make sure to keep some of the salt on your body. When dry, finish with an organic body oil/good moisturizer.
  • Liverpack:  This is optional but is said to be good for the liver. Soak a flannel in warm water and apply it to your liver (right side just under the rib cage).  Then place a medium-hot (but not boiling) water bottle and a big towel over the wet towel (Please prepare all this before you lie down) and finally wrap a large dry towel over both. Tuck the towel under your body to keep the hot water bottle and wet cloth in place.  Leave the hot water bottle on your liver for a good 20 minutes until it gets cold.  It is important to use this method up to 2 pm at the latest, ideally just before lunch as you don’t want to activate the liver too late in the day. 
  • You can repeat this on the following day. For the next few days take some olive oil or body oil and massage your intestines in a clockwise movement (important – always go clockwise, up on your right-hand side, across on the top and down on the left, and across at the bottom – never switch the direction! You need to massage in the same way the bowel moves naturally. 

For constipation: Please note, that this is only suitable on an occasional basis. If you suffer from chronic constipation, please consult your doctor.

Add 1.5 level teaspoons of Epsom salts to a glass of warm water (250ml/half a pint – again dissolve as mentioned above) and drink in large sips. This dosage is for teenagers and adults. For children 6 to 12 years old use half a level teaspoon with 250ml (half a pint) of lukewarm water.

Always start with the lowest dose and see if you need to increase it. Follow up with a liver wrap (see above).

Home and Garden:  Dissolve 1 level teaspoon of Epsom salt in a medium-sized watering can and water your plants.  Dissolve again the night before. Please use unperfumed Epsom salts here and not your bathing salts. Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, lemons, and roses are particularly susceptible to extra magnesium. It helps with the production of flowers and stronger growth. Use this especially in spring and during the flowering season. However, using too much can be harmful to the soil. As with everything in life – it always is a happy balance. You can also sprinkle some salts directly onto the soil, ideally in spring at the time of the Waning and New Moon. The rain will dissolve it.

It also works for houseplants, especially when they have yellowing leaves and poor soil. You can always add a bit of compost to your pots and a few watering with Epsom Salt will benefit them, too.

 

Disclaimer: These are tips for healthy adults. If you suffer from health problems, particularly diabetes, heart or kidney disease or you are pregnant, then please consult a doctor first. With all these measures, start with a small dosage and see how you feel, and increase only if needed. I hope this is beneficial to you!

 

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Keeping fit and healthy from head to toe – Stomach, gallbladder, breast, spleen and liver

Keeping fit and healthy from head to toe – Stomach, gallbladder, breast, spleen and liver

Today’s highlighted body region contains the stomach, gallbladder, spleen, breast, and liver. Pay today extra attention to this region, exercise it, and look after it! Below you find some tips and recipes. You can do these also on other days, but use this symbol as a reminder, and after all, today is the best day to do

Liquid Fast Weekends:

The idea behind Liquid Fast Weekends is to give your digestion a rest and speed up detoxification. I find it useful to add in 3 day fasting day at least every other New Moon. The idea is to drink as much water and herbal teas as you can. The best herbs for fasting are fennel, nettle, mint, and dandelion (to mention a few). Boil water and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Then take out a jug or even better a thermos flask and place a small sieve over the opening. Add 2 teaspoons of your dried herb into the sieve and slowly pour the almost boiling water through the sieve into the flask. This makes the best detox tea, flavoursome, but not too strong.

Cooked food is easier to digest than raw food. Therefore abstain from fruit juices and eat vegetable soups and compotes instead (cooked apple, pear, apricot). The way to make a good compote is to peel the fruit, cut it into cubes and just boil it with a tiny amount of water and a smitten of cinnamon. It takes only minutes to prepare. I always add a dash of lemon juice to keep it fresh and it helps to reduce the body’s acidity level.

Liquid Fast DayTry to add a  ‘Liquid Fast Weekend’ (always during a Waning Moon phase or the closer to the New Moon the better!) a few times a year.   Here is the symbol to look out for!
If you receive our monthly  LWTM newsletter, we usually send out detox and fasting guides in early spring. If you want to receive this newsletter, please click the link at the bottom –  it is free to join the LWTM community.

Overhaul your diet: 

This is of course something you hear every day. But it is true. Hippocrates already told us “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

But by ‘food’ he meant fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit, good oils, fresh fish and meat, and eggs (if you eat it).  Try to limit your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates.  Instead opt for complex carbohydrates, like wholesome bread, quinoa, organic cracked wheat with vegetables, etc. Limit your intake of fizzy, sugary drinks, commercial sweets, and bakery goods. If you like deserts and cookies, try to make them yourself with wholesome ingredients.

For the occasional ‘sweet craving, have a ripe banana, mango slices, or a piece of good-quality dark chocolate.

Liver detox

Once or twice a year, ideally, during the time of a Waning or New Moon, undertake a liver detox program. This can be combined with the fasting weekend.

Get a milk thistle extract (best in drop forms) and follow the instructions. Milk thistle can help rebuild healthy liver cells and help the liver repair itself, This could be a useful addition after a festive period with too much alcohol and unhealthy food. But even if you live and eat very healthily, opting for a preventative liver cleanse twice a year, is a good way to keep your liver in good shape.

If you are a coffee lover you will be pleased to know that 2 coffees per day help the liver detox, as will green tea and turmeric tea.

But what is definitely advisable when you do the Liquid Fast Weekend, rest 30 minutes before lunchtime and put a wet flannel on the right side of your belly (just under the ribcage). This is where you find the liver. Add a hot water bottle on top and wrap a big towel over you, so the water bottle stays in place and rest for 30 minutes until the hot water bottle gets cool. The liver loves a warm and damp environment. Tip: If you use this method use it up to 3 pm and not later as you may find it hard to go to sleep.

Dandelion

This yellow flowering plant is commonly viewed as a garden pest, particularly spoiling the lawn. But it has tons of health benefits taken as a tea or even using the blossom and leaves in a salad. Make a big flask of Dandelion tea (as instructed above) to help with your liver detox. It is also very useful for the bladder. The French call it  – pis en lie – (wet the bed). You can draw your own conclusions.

More information on this subject will be added in due course

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