The practice of cleansing has entered a period of resurgence in recent years. The methods, ingredients, and formulas might reflect some modernity, but in reality, cleansing is nothing new. I remember a time when my mother was hooked on a cleansing diet; one which required a preparation of boiled leaves from seven different herbs and vegetables and must be consumed as tea instead of a full meal. That was more than 35 years ago.
Trying to look back at all that now, it is unclear to me whether the cleanse did what it was supposed to do. I do remember a time when my mother did lose some weight. However, I didn’t notice whether or not the weight loss relates directly to her cleansing diet escapes. What is clear to me is that she stopped doing her cleanse after a time; perhaps several weeks or maybe a month or two at the most.
Nowadays, a plethora of cleanses and detox diets abound. One click on your Internet browser and chances are, you would be bombarded with advertisements for the best cleanse for weight loss, or perhaps a detox to clear up your skin issues, or other similar offers. Despite what experts insist on the shoddy science behind it all, it is highly unlikely that the practice of detoxification and cleansing would cease anytime soon.
The Universal Practice of Cleansing
The fact is, some forms of cleansing already existed and were performed since ancient times all around the world. The idea of ridding the body of poisons and pollutants, be it physical or spiritual, using only resources from nature, is a common theme across many cultures. For instance, most religions have a tradition of fasting that is intended to prepare the body, mind, and spirit for renewal. According to the Christian Bible, Jesus himself fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to be cleansed and fit to confront the devil.
As another example, the ancient Chinese is known for its practice of using powders, boluses, and teas made from various herbs and animal parts, to address a person’s imbalance or sickness and restore the normal functioning of the internal organs. How much of it is real and how much is just placebo, is up for debate. Nevertheless, this tradition persists even in this advanced age of Wi-Fi and space stations.
One could argue that taking a pill for a pain as prescribed by a doctor is not so different from taking a regimen of juices or tea as prevention, or in response, to an ailment. In the same manner, when physicians advise against the intake of certain foods to offset the buildup of harmful substances to the body (bad cholesterol for example), it is hardly dissimilar conceptually to cleansing the body of toxins. The latter just does not carry the brand of being as “scientific” compared to the former.
Your Cleanse Should Make Sense
That said, the practice of cleansing – whether it is for weight loss, or flushing out pollutants, or revitalizing the skin – should be done with utmost care. Detox diets and cleansing systems have suffered much criticism because most people who have tried them are just riding on the wave of popularity. You wouldn’t take antibiotics without being prescribed by a doctor for a specific infection. It won’t do you any good and may even do you more harm.
The same reasoning holds true for a cleanse. Why bother to do it, if you do not need to do it? You must have a clear purpose for your cleanse.
To illustrate, most folks take on cleansing programs to lose a couple of pounds. While cleanses may indeed help in reducing weight to some degree, it is not the complete answer to weight loss.
The healthy way to weight reduction, as advised by most experts, is to have a proper diet and exercise.
People whose bodies respond well to this route have no reason to undergo cleansing. Only those weight watchers, whose weight plateaus or whose bodies become unresponsive to exercise and a healthy diet to lose weight, may benefit the most from a cleanse.
Do Due Diligence
There are so many detox methods and formulas out there that it could be challenging to select the right one. Still, before engaging in a cleanse or detox system, you have to make sure that it is something well suited for you. Take the time to research on its benefits and efficacy.
Do you have a preexisting condition or allergy that would prevent you from ingesting a particular ingredient in your cleanse recipe? How much would the cleanse product cost and do you have the budget for it? Can you last through the time frame required by the program? Are those vegan juice fat burners certified safe? For that matter, can you stand its taste? And then, of course, you have to ensure you have the proportions, serving amounts and timing right. A little diligence would go along way to ensure that you would indeed benefit from your cleanse.
Bury Your Bad Habits
The objective of cleansing or detoxification is to assist and enhance the normal detoxifying processes of the human body. At its prime, our bodies are fairly efficient in removing toxins and pollutants through the proper functioning of the liver and kidneys. But as we age, and because of bad habits like smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages excessively, having too much sugar in our food, too much makeup or improper hygiene, and so on – our internal cleansing mechanisms can be overwhelmed and as a result, diseases can set in. A good cleanse program is designed to aid in our bodies’ processes so that we can expel much of the toxins efficiently.
In light of all that, undergoing a cleanse or detoxification without changing your old toxic ways is not going to help one bit. The logic of going through a cleanse is to help your body get rid of the old so you can start fresh with a new and healthier lifestyle. Reverting back to booze and smoking or to a diet of unhealthy foods runs counter to what the purpose of cleansing is. You would just be wasting effort and resources that you might as well not undergo a cleanse at all. Detox and cleanse programs are meant to reboot your system in the short term but will also require a change in attitude and overall behavior for the long term, in order to be truly beneficial.
About The Author
Jessica Kelley is the founder of CareHappiness.com. She and her editor work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic health information
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Also published on Medium.