I Asked a Naturopathic Doctor How to Detox + Cleanse My Liver, and Here’s What She Said.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night? Every night? Specifically, between 1am and 3am?
Well I do, and amongst a few other less-than-desirable symptoms, I’ve come to terms with the sure sign that my liver is due for some Spring cleaning.
So, how exactly do you “detox” - without breaking the bank and/or your emotional stability?
After being exposed to one too many ridiculous Facebook and other forums I found Googling - I decided to turn to my all-time trusted expert in the field of Holistic Medicine: Dr. Salna Smith, Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Calgary Alberta (but who works with patients virtually - hallelujah Skype!).
Dr. Salna knows just about everything about everything - from the basics like “Wait, does flaxseed have gluten?!” to “Can you please dumb-down what adaptogens are and exactly how they work as they relate to medicinal mushrooms and maca?!”.
Yes, I text this woman A LOT. And her fun-loving and enthusiastic replies are not only just delightful - they are science-driven with a healthy dose of holistic mindfulness.
Needless to say, she’s the perfect person to help me devise the perfect cleanse regime - on a budget, and without the possibility of doing more harm than good.
(A coffee enema?! Um, no thanks).
So if you’d like to join me on a supportive and gentle cleanse where the key is to get your bowels moving, and focus on cleansing of the gut, kidney, liver and skin, here’s the ‘feel-better from the inside-out’ action plan:
Duration: 21 days.
Clean “elimination” diet (no extremes - just the basics): No gluten, dairy, or refined sugar.
Yes, you can have eggs as long as you don’t have an intolerance.
Yes, you can have natural sweeteners and fruit sugars - just in moderation (as with all things!).
Yes, eat what you enjoy, don’t eat what you don’t.
Start the day with...you guessed it! Warm water and lemon. There’s a reason everyone does it. It gets the digestive tract going and helps to flush the body upon waking up.
I am lucky enough to treat myself to Conscious Water each morning as I have a Berkey Filter - alkaline filters and mineral stones included of course! This sort of water helps the body restore a healthy acid-base balance and reduces acidity in the blood.
To keep things “moving”, Salna suggests an add-on of 2 Tbsp of a fibre each day ideally taken in the morning to start the day off right! Caveat: be sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day - Dr. Salna suggests 2 litres (on average) - as too much fibre can constipate if not consumed with enough water.
A deliciously-doable way to enjoy this step is to mix ground flaxseed with unsweetened organic applesauce with a sprinkling of cinnamon!
Bonus tip: I use the sprouted flaxseed variety + top it all off with a dollop of naturally sweet cherry apple butter (because cleanses are meant to be luxurious - right?!).
*Supplements* → everyone’s favourite part! [It just feels like an easy health-hack when you combine actual work with popping (natural!) pills...let’s be real, ha!]
Hepato DR by St. Francis: “HepatoDR® is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to support liver function and as an alternative to help remove accumulated waste products via the kidneys, skin, and mucous membranes. HepatoDR® is useful in treating chronic degenerative or inflammatory disorders of the liver, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty degeneration.”
LYMPHDIARAL drops by Pascoe: “Homeopathic remedy used to relieve symptoms of swelling, inflammation and infection.” In other words, as Salna describes it and the name suggests: LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE PEOPLE!!! THE HOTTEST THING IN SELF-CARE (CUE: DRY-BRUSHING) SINCE CUCUMBER EYE PADS! Side note: you can/should dry brush too. I chatted about dry brushing your face with Julie from Province Apothecary here, and here’s a good tutorial I found on goop to explain how the dry brush the rest of you ;)
Bonus tip: COLD SHOWERS! Except not just cold, as Dr. Salna (thankfully!) advises…
10 seconds on (cold), 30 seconds off (hot) → repeat this set 3 times and be ready to be flushed in all of the best ways possible.
My bonus-bonus regime: Milk thistle + dandelion tea → both are great for liver detoxing and I quite enjoy the taste of them, so I’ll often end off the evening (post yoga + dry brushing + May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver warming correcting masque) with a warm tea and a touch of honey. Just kidding - obviously I’ve levelled up and stir in BEE POWERED by the fine folks at BEEKEEPER’S NATURALS to my warm (but not HOT - as heat will kill the benefits of this potent magic mix!) tea. Why have honey when you can have honey WITH royal jelly, bee pollen and bee propolis extract?! All in medicinal quantities per teaspoon. That’s what I call a level-up. This is what I call a cleanse.
P.S. don’t worry if you’d rather skip this step if grassy herby water doesn’t float your boat - both of those powerful herbs are already in the Hepato DR tincture.
Okay, so who’s with me?!
If you're up for some deliciously-doable spring cleaning from the inside-out, and want a step-by-step guide for each and every day for the full 3 weeks, I've put blood, sweat, and tears into THIS COMPLETE PACKAGE -->
Think of it as your liver-cleanse bible, complete with interactive meal plans (for ALL 3 weeks), hand-picked recipes thoughtfully curated into easy-to-use collections, and of course: lifestyle & supplement protocol is also reviewed. Oh, and it's less than a tenner.
A huge thanks again to Dr. Salna Smith, ND from Kale & Coffee, for being the ultimate guide to a “cleanse” that doesn’t make your life miserable, but is just as effective! While she’s my friend and I don’t want you to steal her...it’s worth mentioning that she’s currently offering 30 minute Complimentary Health Strategy Sessions and thus you too have the chance to snag a piece of this fab woman’s wisdom for yourself here!