Now, before I start this post, it is worthwhile me stating the obvious – I AM NOT A SCIENTIST! I AM however a big believer in trial and error and self-experimentation, when it comes to natural remedies that could make me feel good! As a Yoga teacher, I also talk a LOT about the subject of this Blog in class; and actually I think I used the “C” word over 10 times when teaching a charity class with the lovely Laura at BYC – we were focusing on the medical benefits of the postures and it turns out that almost EVERY Posture has some benefit on the digestive system! If you are a yoga teacher or student you will know what I am talking about!!!
I have written about the stress I put my body under as teenager, and young woman, and that, for me resulted in some uncomfortable digestive disorders, and also for a long time a really weird mottled “pattern” on my stomach. I searched high and low for an answer as to why I had this strange look of corned beef on my tummy and nothing really seemed to answer it for me. It did seem to appear more prominently in times of stress though. So, on my quest to heal myself from the inside out, I came across (through my lovely friend Vera) the Liver and Kidney Cleanses, both of which I strongly believe have had a massive impact on healing me, and keeping me healthy. I will be talking about both in more detail soon! The purpose of THIS blog is to talk about the digestive system, and some things you can do to keep things moving along nicely 🙂
There are loads of articles out there that promote the benefits of cleansing your colon, and loads that say they do absolutely nothing; my take on it is that I like to try these things for myself!! If I am feeling sluggish, or have got into a habit of eating loads of crap, then I do one of the below cleanses and can 100% say that I always feel so much better after: I have a sense of clarity, a clear mind, bright eyes, full of energy, generally really good. If you are going to try one of these then I would recommend trying to eat well for 1-2 days before hand (so, a vegan diet would work best) – otherwise, if you go from eating a heavy diet, with lots of processed and fried food and not much water (for example) to doing a cleanse you may feel nauseous, light headed, have a headache…all of these things are just signs of your body trying to get rid of the toxins in your system. For this reason it is also advisable to do a cleanse when you are at home for at least half a day!!! YOU NEED TO BE IN REACH OF THE LOO GUYS! If (like me!) you are the type of person who retains water then you may hold on to water after these from time to time, I have noticed that depending on the cycle of the moon I have tendency to hold on to water more…..
My absolute favourite (favourite?!?!?) is the Himalayan Salt Flush. However, I know that this is not for everyone, and if you are new to this you may feel you want to start with the Prune & Apple Juice Cleanse. It is all about trying and seeing what works for you……
The Himalayan Salt Flush: for Colon and intestines.
Not all salt is Equal. Use Pink Himalayan Salt for this. It contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements just like Mother Earth intended. It is an unrefined, unprocessed “raw” salt that’s hand-mined from abundant salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled in certain geologic pockets around the earth.
The beauty of this one if that it works to remove waste not only from your colon, but also your intestines (something that Enemas and Colonics do not do). I have read that the high quality salt used is also very healing, and helps to “normalize the PH throughout the entire digestive system” – if you have a healthy intestinal pH you will likely have less bad bacteria, pathogens and viruses that can create digestive issues. I am speaking from experience when I say that this does work! If you are close to coming “on” though I would advise not doing this, and waiting. At this time in your cycle you may retain water more than usual, in which case you could retain the salt water. This has happened to me once or twice and is uncomfortable but nothing to worry about – as with all things, it is really trial and error. If you have success with this then lucky you, you have found a cheap, effective and natural way of healing yourself! I always feel sooo good after doing this! Bright eyes, sense of extreme clarity of mind, and I just feel so SQUEAKY CLEAN! It is also a great way of re-setting, I rarely want to eat loads of sugar and rubbish after a salt flush, and actually it is a really good idea to eat lightly for the day or so after your flush, treat your new clean insides with respect 🙂
You need: 1.5 litres of bottled water and Pink Himalayan Salt – available from Holland and Barret, Wholefoods etc.
Prepare your salt water the night before, so that it has time to fully dissolve. Put 1 tablespoon of salt into a small cup of bottled water and stir.
Step 1: on waking, drink the dissolved salt water – note – it does not taste good! I hold my nose and try to drink it quickly, in one go.
Step 2: Lay down on your right side
Step 3: immediately start drinking your 1.5 litre bottle of water. Try to drink the entire bottle in 30 minutes
Step 4: after 30 minutes you can lay on your back, something massaging the tummy feels nice, or you can do some gentle stretching, try to move around as this will encourage the salt to start moving
Step 5: you will start eliminating anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes, and may need to go several times
and that’s it! After you have flushed go easy on eating and drinking, try not to drink anything dehydrating straight away, and be gentle to yourself.
The Prune and Apple Juice Cleanse: for Colon
I have found this to be a gentle and safe way of getting things moving! It is normal for you to experience some bloating and stomach gurgles with this one!! You need:
- 4.5 litres very cloudy, unfiltered, organic apple juice.
- 0.5 litres of unsweetened prune juice, if possible
Step 1: Drink 0.5 litres of prune juice upon waking. Naturopaths claim prune juice draws toxins from all over the body to the intestines to be eliminated!
Step 2: Consume 0.25 litres ounces of unfiltered apple juice within 30 minutes of drinking the first glass of prune juice. Swish the apple juice around in your mouth thoroughly, which is called “chewing.”
Step 3: Drink 0.25 litres of bottled water 30 minutes after the apple juice.
Step 4: Wait 30 minutes, then drink another 0.25 of apple juice.
Step 5: repeat steps 3 and 4 every 30 minutes throughout the day, alternating 0.25 litres of apple juice with 0.25 litres of water.
and, VOILA! You should start experiencing eliminations towards the evening and next morning. I have only tried this one once, I do prefer the salt flush, but again, it’s all about trial and error.
Finally, a little note on Enemas (YES I AM GOING HERE) Coffee Enemas are my new best friend. Again, they are cheap, natural, and very healing. I always experience that bright eyed, bushy tailed feeling after an enema! If you are someone who can retain water I would recommend an enema – there is no salt involved so it could work better for you. all you need it a travel enema kit (Amazon – £12), some high quality, organic coffee beans, a means to grind them (I use my Nutribullet) and some bottled water, saucepan and sieve. While drinking coffee can send our bodies into an adrenaline frenzy, I find taking it in a “different” way actually shifts me into a calm, relaxed state. Doing your first enema doesn’t have to be scary!! There are loads of detailed instructions out there, I use Mind Body Green:
So, this is it! I hope this is interesting and useful for you! I will be talking more about the Liver and Kidney Cleanse soon. Remember to buy your bits for whichever flush you plan to do this weekend. any questions, please let me know! I am looking forward to learning more of the theory behind these at the College of Naturopathic Medicine when I start in a few weeks 🙂