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Ask the Experts

Cleansing for spring

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Ask the Experts
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Q: I’m nervous about doing a spring cleanse. Why do cleanses cause intestinal cramping and diarrhea?

A: No need to be nervous! There are plenty of cleanses that don’t cause intestinal cramping and diarrhea.

If you’re worried about potential discomfort during a cleanse, avoid powerful formulations that may lead to reactions. Cleanses that don’t contain harsh ingredients such as senna and cascara sacrada may be gentler on your digestive system and less likely to cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects.

Consider less invasive detox regimens that target more than just the colon and are meant to help with the elimination of toxins from other pathways such as the liver, kidneys, skin, blood, lymphatic system, and lungs.

Milk thistle and dandelion root remain two of the most popular botanicals for enhancing the body’s natural detoxification pathways. Known as cholagogues, these herbs support healthy bile flow, improve digestion, and promote gastrointestinal health.

Bile plays a key role in detox-ification as it carries fat-soluble toxins to be removed from the body. Herbs like milk thistle and dandelion root have traditionally been used to resist bile stagnation and recirculation of toxins back to the liver.

Proper cleansing is largely dependent on adequate fibre in the diet. For optimal health, aim for 30 to 40 grams of daily fibre intake. Fibre is found in a variety of foods such as avocados (7 g/100 g); mung beans (16 g/100 g); and oats (11 g/100 g).

This spring, ask your naturopathic doctor about total body cleanses with no side effects. Regardless of the cleanse you choose, remember that fibre helps prevent enterohepatic recirculation. In other words, fibre supports digestive health and prevents toxins from being recycled back into the bloodstream. A gentle spring cleanse can keep your body feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

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