Here’s the extensive history and modern reasons why people practice detoxification and cleansing for optimal health

Here’s the extensive history and modern reasons why people practice detoxification and cleansing for optimal health

Detox is a term that has come to be associated with modern fad diets that claim to clean the blood and eliminate toxins from the body. These diets usually involve a period of fasting followed by a strict diet of fruits and vegetables, fruit juices and water. Detox diets may also involve the use of herbs, teas, herbal or nutritional supplements and enemas that can help cleanse the body from within. [1]

Despite detox diets rising in popularity in recent times, detoxification isn’t a new concept. In fact, your body has complex machinery of its own that works 24/7 to get rid of harmful substances. This detoxification system is made up of six hard-working organs and organ systems, namely, your lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, digestive system and lymphatic system. [2]

The idea of helping this natural process along to support optimal health also isn’t a new thing. Research shows that as early as 2,000 B.C.E. – that’s over 4,000 years ago! – people in ancient Egypt, China, India and the Roman Empire practiced detoxification using various methods, some of which are still employed today. [3]

Here are some interesting facts about ancient detoxification practices and how modern methods are used today in clinical practice. 

Detoxification in ancient times 

The ancient Egyptians were one of the first advocates of colon and bowel cleansing – a form of detoxifying the body. Egyptian healers believed that old intestinal waste could poison the blood and cause illness if not eliminated, so they exalted the benefits of using enemas. One of the simplest methods they used for clearing out the colon involved using a hollow reed to allow water to flow into the rectum. [4]

The ancient Egyptians also used various medicinal plants for their enemas. According to studies, the bioactive compounds present in these plants helped “cool the anus” and encouraged the removal of toxins from the body. Some of the plants the ancient Egyptians used for detoxifying were the marshmallow herb, hemp, cumin, musk melon, black-eyed peas and a Moringa species known as wild drumstick. [5]

In ancient China, physicians believed that stress and a poor diet can block the flow of qi, or life force, and hinder the elimination of toxins, allowing them to accumulate. These events were said to be the cause of fatigue as well as a general feeling of unwellness. To address the root of the problem, ancient Chinese healers developed a one-of-a-kind technique known as acupuncture. [6]

Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterilized needles into strategic points along the body. Doing so not only stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, it also helps unblock the flow of qi. [7] Acupuncture also has a diuretic effect that helps the body flush out toxins through urine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the accumulation of toxins inside the body is said to be behind recurring pains, headaches, nausea, fatigue and poor-quality sleep. [8]

Today, acupuncture is still used to support the body’s natural detoxification process. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, acupuncture is a great adjunct therapy for people being treated for drug or alcohol addiction as it helps speed up the removal of those unwanted substances from the body. [9]

Another detoxification method used by the ancient Chinese is cupping therapy. This treatment involves placing cups over the skin to create negative pressure through suction. Cupping is said to promote detoxification through various means, such as by helping increase the flow of lymph, a collection of extra fluid that drains from cells and tissues. [10]

According to research, a disruption in the flow of lymph leads to fluid buildup which can prevent the body from properly eliminating toxic elements. [11] A 2019 study also suggests that the increase in blood flow brought about by cupping helps break up obstructions, creating an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. The increase in blood flow also promotes the release of waste. [12] Like acupuncture, cupping therapy is still used for detoxifying today.

In ancient India, detoxification was considered an important step toward healing. This is why the oldest medical system practiced by ancient Indian healers, known as Ayurveda, placed a lot of emphasis on purging the body of toxins. Ayurveda recommends a five-method cleansing program for detoxifying the body. Known as panchakarma, this program includes vamana, virechan, basti, nasya and rakta moksha.

Vamana, or emesis (vomiting) therapy, helps clear away congestion in the lungs, while virechan, or purgation therapy, helps cleanse the gall bladder, liver and small intestine. Basti, or enema therapy, is focused solely on clearing out the colon, while nasya, or nasal administration of medication, helps clear the throat, nose and sinuses. Rakta moksha, or blood purification, purges the blood of unwanted substances, usually through bloodletting or with the help of herbs, leeches or other therapies. [13]  

People in ancient India also detoxified their digestive systems by changing up their diets. Ayurvedic healers prescribed a mono-diet that limits the diversity of food eaten for several days to clear up the digestive tract. Known as the kitachri cleanse, this diet is named after a porridge-like comfort food made with basmati rice, lentils (usually mung beans), various vegetables and spices. [14]

While on the kitchari cleanse, people adhere to a simple diet of just this nourishing food and nothing else, often supplemented with fasting in-between meals. This mono-diet gives the digestive system, one of the body’s detoxification organs, a well-deserved break by lessening the demand to produce digestive enzymes in order to break down food. Ayurveda recommends combining the kitchari cleanse with the panchakarma for a thorough body cleanse. [15]

In the early 1900s, German physicians accidentally discovered the power of a coffee enema for cleansing the colon. This natural remedy is believed to stimulate the flow of bile, a fluid released by the liver that helps break down fats, and encourage the production of the master antioxidant, glutathione. [16][17] Bile plays a crucial role in the removal of toxins from your body, while glutathione neutralizes oxidative chemicals and facilitates the excretion of toxins from your cells. [18][19]

Coffee enemas are an integral part of the Gerson therapy, a detox program named after German-American doctor Max Gerson that aims to boost immunity, improve the body’s salt balance and eliminate toxins. The therapy combines coffee enemas with a strict vegetarian diet and dietary supplements to encourage your body’s natural detoxification and healing. [20][21] 

Modern detoxification methods and uses 

Modern detoxification treatments were developed to help people deal with toxicity resulting from the use or overuse of harsh pharmaceutical drugs, substance abuse or exposure to toxic environmental or industrial chemicals. Examples of these modern detox therapies include liposomes (lipid-based colloids) and lipid nanoparticles, microemulsions and antibody fragments. [22]

Liposomes are artificial spherical vesicles often created using phospholipids, which are natural components of cell membranes. Liposomes are often used as carriers of drugs and other therapeutic agents because they allow easy integration into target cells. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine reported that liposomes and lipid nanoparticles can be engineered to remove waste products and excess metabolites or drugs from the blood. Besides having a high extraction efficiency, they can easily be withdrawn from the body at the end of treatment. [23]

Microemulsions refer to oil droplets suspended in aqueous solutions or aqueous droplets suspended in oil. Like liposomes and lipid nanoparticles, microemulsions made with triglycerides can be used to scavenge drugs and facilitate their removal from the body. A study published in the Journal of Controlled Release reported that microemulsions could help reverse damage to heart muscles caused by certain drugs. [24] 

Antibody fragments are small pieces of protein that form part of an antibody’s antigen recognition site (ARS). [25] Detox therapy involving antibody fragments harness the ability of ARS to recognize and bind specific molecules or toxins, such as those produced by bacterial pathogens. [26] Because they can easily be manipulated, antibody fragments can also be developed to help remove animal venom from the bloodstream. [27]

While these modern treatments are crucial for sudden emergencies, they aren’t available for people looking for a consistent and effective way to support your body’s natural ability to get rid of toxins. Luckily, apart from cleansing diets and natural supplements, there’s another simple way to support the healthy functions of your detoxification organs.

Detox foot pads offer an easy and convenient means of encouraging your body’s natural elimination of toxic elements, and you can use them right in the comfort of your own home. Groovy Bee® Detox Foot Pads are made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients carefully chosen to support your body’s natural ability to detox through your sweat while you sleep.

Experts say that when your liver, kidneys, lungs and digestive system are overburdened with toxins, your body gets a little help from your skin. [28] Aside from helping protect your body from external threats, your skin – the largest organ of your body – also helps you get rid of toxic compounds through your sweat.

A clinical study published in the Scientific World Journal analyzed blood, sweat and urine samples from healthy individuals as well as those with various health issues. The researchers found that perspiration helped the participants eliminate toxic phthalate compounds from their systems. What’s more, higher concentrations of the toxic chemicals were detected in the sweat samples compared to the urine samples, suggesting that sweating also plays a huge role in your body’s natural detoxification process. [29]  

One of the main ingredients in Groovy Bee® Detox Foot Pads that enables it to support your body’s natural ability to remove toxins is negative ion powder. Despite their name, negative ions are good for your health and are widely distributed in Nature, especially around waterfalls, at the beach and in mountains and forests – places that inspire positive feelings. [30]

Thanks to the unpaired electrons that give them their negative charge, negative ions can attract and bind molecules with a positive electrical charge. Because environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals carry a positive charge, the negative ions in Groovy Bee® Detox Foot Pads can support your body’s natural ability to detox them out. [31] Our detox pads were specifically designed to be placed on the soles of your feet because of the abundance of pores and sweat glands in that area!

The ability of our detox foot pads to draw toxins out is further enhanced by the presence of zeolite, a porous mineral that also bears a negative charge. Another helpful ingredient in our product is tourmaline, a crystalline mineral that is said to generate negative ions, courtesy of its pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties. [32][33]

Other useful natural ingredients found in Groovy Bee® Detox Foot Pads include dextrin, a natural binding agent that holds all the active ingredients together; chitin and chitosan, fibrous natural polymers that help entrap the toxins eliminated through your sweat; loquat leaves, which are natural detoxifying agents; bamboo vinegar, which helps eliminate foot odor and softens the skin; vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals; and vegetable fiber, a natural preservative that prevents the ingredients in our detox foot pads from degrading easily.

Thanks to the natural ingredients in Groovy Bee® Detox Foot Pads and their beneficial properties, they can:*

  • Support your body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins
  • Support healthy immune and organ functions
  • Help soothe and relax your body
  • Support a positive mood

All the ingredients in our high-quality detox foot pads are non-GMO, ethically sourced and lab verified for cleanliness and purity. They are also gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan and lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

Support the healthy functions of your detoxification organs with our specially formulated detox foot pads! 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.