Detoxification – It’s More Than Skin Deep!
Skin is an external reflection of how your body is functioning internally. A key consideration to ensure healthy, radiant skin is minimising the build up of toxins and wastes within the body by supporting their removal. There are various organs within the body that are responsible for eliminating waste including the skin. However, if any of these channels of elimination are not functioning optimally, skin problems may occur as toxins and waste products accumulate within the body and place additional stress on the skin. The good news is that your Practitioner can recommend natural products to improve the way in which these elimination channels work, improving the appearance of your skin from the inside out.
What are the Channels of Elimination?
Your body has five major channels of elimination which are responsible for clearing waste products out of the body:
• The skin
• The digestive system
• The lymphatic system
• The kidneys
• The lungs
Congestion in any of these channels can result in other channels having to work harder to ensure adequate elimination of waste from the body. Embarrassing skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis may occur as a result of the skin being over burdened by metabolic waste, and can be difficult to treat if this underlying issue isn’t addressed.
Cleaning Out the Gutters and Pipes
Traditionally, various herbal medicines have been used to support waste and toxin removal by improving the function of various channels of elimination. For instance, cleavers (Galium aparine), burdock (Arctium lappa), nettle (Urtica dioica), red sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza), and blue flag (Iris versicolour) have been used traditionally to support healthy lymphatic function.
The lymphatic system is a network of small, thin vessels that are primarily responsible for transporting immune cells around the body and draining fluid and wastes from the body tissues. Supporting healthy lymphatic function decreases the toxic burden and can result in healthier, more vibrant skin.
In addition to healthy lymphatic drainage, having a properly functioning digestive system and moving your bowels regularly is an integral part of achieving healthy skin. Ginger (Zingiber officinale), German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), cascara (Rhamnus purshianus), cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) and rhubarb (Rheum officinale) are herbs that have been traditionally used to support healthy digestive function and can assist with clearance of waste from the bowel. Without regular bowel movements, waste and toxins can recirculate within the body and negatively affect skin health.
How Can Diet and Lifestyle Help?
Whilst herbal prescriptions from your Practitioner may support eliminatory function, there are some simple dietary and lifestyle changes you can implement, to help you on your way to better skin.
1. Adequate intake of plant-based fibre and water is essential for the channels of elimination to function properly.
• Enjoy a minimum of three cups of fresh vegetables daily: Choose from a variety of vegetables and aim to have a rainbow of colours on your dinner plate.
• Enjoy a minimum of two pieces or one cup of fresh fruit daily: Berries are an excellent choice as they are rich in antioxidants.
• Limit starchy carbohydrates to two small serves daily: Aim for only 1 to 2 serves of bread, rice, pasta, cereal or potatoes.
• Drink a minimum of eight glasses of pure water daily: To add flavour, opt for natural flavourings such as fresh lemon, lime and mint in water instead of soft drinks and cordials.
2. Be active – exercise helps increase blood flow to the skin, and encourages the removal of toxins through sweat; so make daily exercise a part of your skin health program today!
3. Brush your skin – dry skin brushing prior to your morning shower is a simple technique to stimulate lymphatic circulation, helping your body to clear the build up of waste products that can aggravate skin conditions.
Clear Your Body for Clear Skin
Uncomfortable skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis are more than skin deep. Many skin conditions can be fuelled by poorly functioning channels of elimination and accumulation of waste within the body.
Fortunately, with the help of specific herbal medicines, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, you can naturally support internal processes to improve your external appearance. Your Practitioner can tailor these strategies to suit your individual needs, to help promote radiant skin from the inside-out.