IHerbal cleanses can be very beneficial
In comes the new year and with it New Year's Resolutions. One of the top resolutions people make every year is to lose weight but if as many as 85% of people are failing to see resolutions through, that also means as many as 85% of people who would like to lose weight are failing to do so. In the coming weeks, we'll be publishing helpful, healthful tips to help those who have resolved to lose weight actually succeed this year!
If you have been watching TV in the last year or so, you may have seen ads for a new type of diet product, internal cleansing programs. These programs are packages of supplements sometimes with powdered fibers that are supposed to rid your system of toxins, poisons, and impacted feces but are necessary, are they healthy for you and are they worth it?
The answer, with restrictions, is yes. The foods we eat today especially when combined with an inactive lifestyle do not promote proper elimination. They clog our livers, breed unhealthy bacteria and can contribute to weight gain. If you are not having a bowel movement 2-3 times a day or if your bowel movements are too small or too loose, if you have acne, body odor, yeast overgrowth (indicated by itchy ear canals, asthma or repeated yeast infections or respiratory issues among other things) or are overweight you might consider doing a cleanse. Like any herbal supplements, cleanses are not regulated by the FDA so be sure to check the ingredients and buy from a company with high quality standards. See my article on supplements for information on finding reputable companies.
Look for these ingredients:
Psyllium Hulls, apple pectin, oat bran, ground flax seed– for fiber, good for everyone but very important for bowel movements that are too loose due to irritable bowel syndrome or other issue.
Slippery Elm, Aloe Vera – laxative effects.
Cascara sagrada, capsicum, buckthorn – for colon stimulation, should be avoided in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, buckthorn is recommended for use when hemorrhoids are an issue.
Ginger, chamomille – to soothe
Bentonite, buckthorn – to absorb toxins must be taken with a laxative, fiber and lots of water
The following herbs are often found in cleanses but are actually diuretics which will help flush the kidneys but not the colon: dandelion root, parsley, uva ursi, juniper berries, buckthorn.
Sometimes herbs yarrow and fenugreek, or probiotics such as lactobacillus are included in the cleanse. These are better saved for after the cleanse is complete.
If the cleanse is working too well, causing cramping or diarrhea, don't quit, try scaling back. If you are taking 6 pills a day, take only 2, if you are mixing a scoop of fiber powder go to a quarter scoop. If the cleanse doesn't seem to be working at all, drink, drink, drink! Without plenty of water to wash things through the fiber can potentially clog things up more. Eventually the fiber will work overwhelming results.
Support and follow the cleanse with a healthy diet featuring lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and plenty of water and exersize.