Do You Need to Detox?

7 Habits that Safely Detox Your Body

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Diet & Detox Lifestyle

Many people these days are trying detoxes and cleanses. It’s a fad that has taken hold and continues to grow. In fact, even the word “detox” is so widely (and loosely) used now that the concept can be confusing. But, in my experience, most people don’t need to go to extremes when it comes to detoxing or cleansing your body.

That said, most of us are constantly exposed to low-grade environmental toxins that can build up in our bodies. Plus, there are times – such as when you’ve had too much sugar or alcohol, or when you’ve taken antibiotics — when you may feel the need to cleanse your body. In this case, good, sensible, healthy habits can certainly go a long way.

8 Habits that Safely Detox Your Body

Your liver is your major detox organ. It is constantly working to clear toxins from your body. Your kidneys, lungs, and gut also play a role in detoxification.

Instead of doing a fad detox or crash cleanse, there are many ways you can get your liver and the rest of your body functioning optimally every day. And, you do not need to purchase any expensive products.

Here are some ways you can detox your body safely any time:

  1. Give up sugar. Sugar in any form is one of the worst toxins. And, the more you eat, the more you crave. Getting off sugar and eating a healthy diet can be one of the easiest ways to detox your body. Be sure to remove all white foods, processed foods, alcohol, and foods containing artificial sweeteners, such as diet sodas, and high fructose corn syrup. Also, while juice cleanses help your liver rest, they can be too sugary for some people, especially if you are trying to lose weight. So, I recommend eating whole foods and skipping the juice fast.
  2. Stay hydrated. Staying optimally hydrated is crucial to the health of every organ and system in your body. In addition to drinking pure water with a little added Celtic or Himalayan salt, be sure to eat plants that contain water in a gel-like state so that your fasciae stay hydrated. Finally, be sure to watch your caffeine and alcohol intake.
  3. Try an elimination diet. If you regularly experience digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, nausea, or abdominal pain, or if you often have a runny nose, headache, or feel fatigued regularly, you may have food sensitivities. Foods we are sensitive to can act as toxins in our bodies. Try eliminating dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, legumes, shellfish, and corn for a few weeks. Then add them back to your diet one at a time. Be sure to keep a journal to help you determine if you are sensitive to any of these foods. You may also want to take B vitamins and folic acid to support liver function and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are rich in Inole-3-Carbinol, which supports liver function. Be sure to get healthy fats from fish, seeds, and nuts, and enough fiber to help with elimination.
  4. Support your gut. Fully 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut microbiome.  You can improve your microbiome by making healthy choices at every meal and including lots of low-sugar fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods, which contain pre-biotics. You should also take a high-quality probiotic. Finally, be sure to get into a relaxed state before eating.
  5. Exercise. People who exercise regularly enjoy better health than people who are sedentary. Exercise keeps your immune system functioning and increases levels of immunoglobulins. Exercise may also help with the detoxification process. When you exercise, blood circulates more efficiently through your body. This helps nutrients to reach your organs more easily. Finally, a lack of exercise makes you more susceptible to the effects of stress, which over time can make you more susceptible to toxins you are exposed to.
  6. Practice yoga. Yoga postures, called asanas, help to move energy through your body. Certain postures may help with detox by moving energy through particular organs. For example, twisting poses, such as revolved chair pose or sage twist pose, may help stimulate the liver, spleen, and digestive system, and improve elimination. Inversions, such as shoulder-stands and headstands, may help drain accumulated lymph and strengthen the immune system. You can practice yoga every day without any side effects.
  7. Take infrared saunas. For thousands of years, people have used saunas to cleanse and heal the body and increase vitality. While most sweat is comprised of water and little salt, 15-20% of infrared sauna-induced sweat is composed of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals, sulfuric acid, and ammonia (as well as sodium and uric acid). In addition, infrared saunas may improve immunity by increasing white blood cells and antibodies. Be sure to start slowly and work your way to sessions of no longer than 15 – 40 minutes.
  8. Soak in a detox bath. Taking a detox bath can be a great way to relax and restore your body on a regular basis. Try Epsom salts, baking soda, magnesium flakes, and Celtic sea salt. Be sure to rest for 10-15 minutes after you get out of a hot bath and stay hydrated.

How to Detox After a Vaccine

If there’s one time when you really need to detox your body and brain, it’s after having a vaccine. No matter where you stand on vaccines, there is one truth that cannot be denied: When you are vaccinated, your immune system is disrupted. This is often due to the adjuvants in vaccines, such as aluminum phosphate or hydroxide, mercury-containing thimerosal, formaldehyde, antibiotics, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

I am not here to tell you that you should never receive a flu shot or other vaccine. While I prefer to support my health in natural ways, including the ways I describe above, I know that it’s our beliefs that create our health. And, if you believe a vaccine will improve your health, then most likely it will.

That said, if you have received a flu shot, shingles vaccine, or other vaccine by choice, you’ll want to be sure to support your immune system afterwards through a good detox.

In addition to the habits I mention above, here are some more ways you can mitigate unwanted side effects that can occur after a vaccine:

  1. Take Vitamin C. In higher doses, vitamin C is an antipyretic (fever reducer). It is also an antibiotic, antiviral, and antitoxin. It’s best to take liposomal vitamin C or food-based vitamin C before you get a vaccine, and have it on board for a while after to support your immune system. You can take to bowel tolerance.
  2. Sleep. Sleep is your body’s way of repairing. Plus, when you sleep, your body releases cytokines. These proteins help your body fight off infection and inflammation.
  3. Don’t treat a fever. A fever is your body’s natural immune response and best way of fighting infection. If you have a low-grade fever after having a flu shot or other vaccine, don’t take fever reducers. However, if you spike a high fever after receiving a vaccine, you will need to treat it with vitamin C or other fever reducer and report it to your doctor.
  4. Re-mineralize your body. Dr. Carolyn Dean has created a re-mineralization protocol for supporting the body after a vaccine. She likes homemade bone broth and Celtic sea salt for re-mineralizing the body. She also uses her formulas called ReMag, ReMyte, and ReAline, plus colloidal silver to help with detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals, and she recommends taking ReMag, ReAline, and Vitamin C before and after a vaccine. Her ReAline formula contains lots of B vitamins to support neurological health and amino acids for the liver’s sulfation pathway. For more information check out Dr. Carolyn Dean’s blog and her RnA ReSet website.
  5. Increase glutathione levels. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that binds to toxins in your liver. Studies show that glutathione helps to remove toxic metals from your body and also increases immune function. Eating more high-protein foods, including chicken, turkey, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes, can increase your liver’s production of glutathione. But, taking NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is the easiest and best way to replenish glutathione.
  6. Try homeopathy. Homeopathy can clear the imprint of toxins, viruses, and vaccines. Homeopathic remedies work on the energetic level to help your body reach homeostasis. An experienced homeopath with take your full history and recommend remedies based on all the symptoms (emotional, physical, mental, behavioral, etc.), both current and historical, with an emphasis on the symptoms you are currently experiencing, then suggest a sequence of constitutional remedies and nosodes – highly diluted remedies made from disease matter. Even if you are taking allopathic medicines, as long as they are non-steroidal, you can still use homeopathic remedies.
  7. Get body work. In order to detox, your body needs to be functioning optimally. Chiropractic, cranial-sacral therapy, and massage can all help to optimize how your body, brain, and autonomic nervous systems function. Use your intuition to determine which therapies feel right. You may need to see a chiropractor for a few weeks, then switch to lymph drainage massage.
  8. Avoid chelation therapy. Chemical chelation and other harsh detox protocols for the liver, gall bladder, and bowel may be too harsh if you have recently had a vaccine, and especially if you’ve had a vaccine reaction. It’s best to support your body and get it functioning optimally first. Once your immune system is strong again, you may find that you don’t need to do chelation therapy. Use your intuition.

Have you ever tried a detox or cleanse? Please leave your comments below.

Last Updated: February 19, 2019

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. Dalzenia Sams
    5 months ago

    Thank you. for the information you. have provided.

  2. sucesschemistry
    1 year ago

    NEW LUNG is a perfect lung detox formula that supports clear lungs & easy breathing, decreases respiratory symptoms & nose discomfort from mucus & hay fever. Expand your bronchial capacity & take deeper breaths. Our Clinically proven ingredients with healing benefits increase the lung elasticity allowing more oxygen in your lungs. It’s time to get active again, breathe better & feel your best. Our goal is ensuring that your lungs are operating at their maximum peak performance.

  3. Susan
    2 years ago

    Hi there Dr Christiane
    Thank you for your information of energy vampires. I can certainly relate to the subject and it’s experiences
    in my own life. I have taken your advice and written the pledge Of Allegiance to Myself. I Have saved this to
    my phone screen 🙂

    1. Christiane Northrup
      1 year ago

      The Pledge of Allegiance to Myself on your home screen as BRILLIANT!!! Thanks for this!!

  4. Susan Tuggle
    2 years ago

    Dr Northrop. I love following your guidance and learning from your wisdom. I now have a big question. My husband was just diagnosed with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. Please will you offer any advice you can? Thank you. Susan

  5. Marlon Foot
    2 years ago

    have been on an eating plan for 2 months and with regular exercise have gone from 93.8kg to 89.2.

  6. Mariette
    2 years ago

    I’ve just completed a liver detox from the book Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

    2 years ago

    Thanks for the great info.

  8. Julie
    2 years ago

    I absolutely loved this blog! Thank you for the concrete ideas, supportive information and detailed research you did for this content. As a Wellness Coach I found this blog to contain many different ways I can support my clients.
    As always, your one of my favorite resources!

  9. jerri
    2 years ago

    Just recently did the 3;6;9 liver cleanse. Extremely powerful!

  10. Susan Barnes-Smith
    2 years ago

    I have followed you for several years now and the more I read your writings, the more I like you. I have lived a more natural life for the past 40 years and have found so much of the health fads mentally and physically distressing. Thank you for having a sensible way to live life. I absolutely love the way you have lived your own life and have enjoyed watching you tango. You are fabulous. If you ever come down to Belize, let me know. One of your fans – Susan Barnes-Smith, Traditional Naturopath

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