Welcome back to More Than Healthy. We are kicking off 2023 and continuing to share some of our favorite health tips. This is week 55, and we’re talking about the health benefits of a quarterly cleanse. Some people refer to this as a detox. Whatever you call it, there are some important health benefits you can get from doing this once a quarter.
What is a cleanse?
A cleanse, or detox, is a diet, regimen, or therapy used to remove toxins from the body and promote health. Sometimes cleanses are used as part of a weight loss program.
Have you ever tried a cleanse? There are probably as many cleanses and detoxes out there as there are diets. There are a variety of ways to do a cleanse. Some protocols include fasting, drinking only juices or green drinks, eating only certain foods, using herbs, and/or using a supplement or another commercial product. Even sauna use can be part of a cleanse, as a way to sweat out toxins.
Some of you have tried our More Than Healthy 7-Day Detox, which is very effective at removing inflammation and reducing pain. Our clients have had great success with it, and we highly recommend it.
But, if your hair analysis shows you’ve got a fungus, parasite, virus, toxins or mold/spores, then that detox won’t be enough. You might be surprised to learn that 80% of the clients Carla sees have at least one of these environmental stressors, so they are more common than you might think.
We’re exposed to many of these things through chemicals in our personal hygiene products, the foods we eat, the water we drink, the pans we cook in, etc. They’re everywhere! This means we need to take a stronger approach to rid ourselves of them.
A targeted cleanse through hair analysis
When I did my first hair analysis, I was shocked to learn I had a parasite. After all the things I’d done for my health, and with all the years of bloodwork and labs I’d had done, it wasn’t until the hair analysis that I had any idea about this. No matter how hard I was working on my health, until I got rid of that parasite, I couldn’t fully heal my gut. Luckily, Carla helped find the right cleanse for me, and my subsequent hair analysis showed that I was parasite-free.
This is one of many reasons that hair analysis is so beneficial. You can find out exactly what is really “going on in there,” and then take targeted action to clean it up.
For most clients, we recommend a cleanse that helps the body’s peristaltic action by loosening embedded and impacted matter, helping your body to release toxins and build up. It gently works to remove the fungus, parasites, mold/spores, and anything else that shouldn’t be residing in your colon. We currently recommend a product called Super CleansR.
This cleanse has worked really well for me and many of Carla’s clients. Plus, we really like the list of ingredients. It has black walnut hull, marshmallow root, clove, wormwood, Amalaki, cascara sagrada bark, and senna leaf.
Let’s break down each of these ingredients and talk about the benefits you get from them as you do this cleanse.
Black Walnut Hulls
The main benefit of black walnut hulls is the ability to expel various kinds of worms and parasites that live in your intestines. It might surprise you to learn that millions of Americans have parasites but don’t know it. The CDC has identified five parasites they call “neglected parasitic infections,” neglected because so few of us even realize we’re hosting these microsized freeloaders.
Black walnut hull helps eliminate parasites because it contains juglone, which is a natural herbicide that exerts an inhibitory effect on certain enzymes needed for metabolic function. Since black walnut hull has a high tannin content, it is thought that working together with the juglone they oxygenate the blood, killing the parasites. It then works as a laxative and expels the parasites.
Additional functions of black walnut
This ingredient has other potent properties. The hulls of the black walnut are also anti-fungal, making them a potential Candida killer. Candida is a fungal infection caused by yeast. Additionally, studies have shown that juglone, mentioned above, is also anti-fungal and effective at preventing Candida from growing and spreading. It works because of its inhibitory effect on enzymes in the yeast that are needed for metabolic function. Carla was surprised when her hair analysis showed that she was dealing with a fungus. After doing this cleanse, her next hair analysis 90 days later showed that the fungus was gone. She plans to do this cleanse every quarter, because she doesn’t want this fungus to come back.
It gives me great peace of mind to know that black walnut hulls also promote healthy digestion and gastrointestinal health. If you’ve followed us, you know I suffer from a leaky gut. We even wrote a book about it! So we’re very interested in anything that naturally helps tone and heal inflamed intestinal tissue, improves bowel regularity, and promotes healthy bile flow. This ingredient does all of the above! Black walnut is also effective against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which is the bacteria responsible for most ulcers that occur in the stomach.
Marshmallow root is a perennial herb that has been medicinally for thousands of years to treat digestive, respiratory, and skin conditions. Studies show that polysaccharides from the marshmallow root can be used to treat mucous membranes. It stimulates the cells which creates a protective layer of tissue on the lining of the digestive tract. Marshmallow root also has the potential to act as a diuretic. Diuretics help the body to flush out excess fluid. This helps to cleanse the kidneys and the bladder.
In addition, research suggests the soothing effect of marshmallow root can relieve internal irritation and inflammation in the urinary tract. With my history of bladder cancer, we’re always looking for natural ways to help heal the bladder and urinary tract.
The next ingredient is cloves, another great ingredient for digestion. We talk a lot about the health benefits of cloves in Tip #49. We encourage you to go check out that post if you want to learn more about the benefits of cloves.
Ugly name, effective ingredient! But it wasn’t until we researched this particular cleanse that we learned just how beneficial this ingredient really is. Wormwood is a perennial shrub that has been used for centuries to treat a long list of ailments. It became famous in the 19th century as an ingredient in absinthe, a French liqueur that caused hallucinations and was potentially poisonous. But, when used correctly and at the right dosage, wormwood has powerful benefits.
I’ve nicknamed wormwood the ‘anti’ ingredient, because check out all the helpful ways it is ‘anti’…
Anti-pain (or, in other words, a pain reliever)
It also helps stimulate digestion and appetite, helps prevent liver damage, stabilizes cell membranes, and has the ability to damage cancer cells. That’s a pretty good list!
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of those important benefits. Wormwood has been used for centuries to treat intestinal worms. The parasite-fighting property is attributed to thujone, a bitter compound that can stimulate gastric juices and bile and improve blood flow in the digestive system. This, in turn, forces out parasitic organisms and acts against several pathogens.
The anti-inflammatory effects of wormwood
I love that wormwood is an anti-inflammatory. I know from personal experience of the damage that inflammation can do to the body, especially to the intestinal tract. Artemisinin, a plant compound found in wormwood, is thought to inhibit cytokines, which are proteins secreted by your immune system that promote inflammation. This is an important and helpful function when you have an injury, but when you have chronic inflammation like I did, it plays havoc on your body.
One study looked at 40 adults who had Crohn’s disease, an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, who took wormwood for their symptoms. The study confirmed that those who took wormwood experienced fewer symptoms than the placebo group. As a person who has suffered with Crohn’s disease in the past, I want to do all I can now to avoid that terrible disease.
Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry)
The next ingredient is Amalaki, more commonly known as Indian Gooseberry. This ingredient has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diarrhea and inflammation. Its potent sour taste is known to activate and support digestion, helping the body to easily digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients. It also cleanses and protects the liver, which plays a critical role in transforming food into nourishment.
Thanks to its high antioxidant content and cleansing nature, Amalaki supports natural detoxification in the GI tract and throughout the body. It soothes, tones and rejuvenates the bowels, supporting proper and regular elimination of toxins. In one study participants given Amalaki had less constipation, abdominal pain, stomach acid, and gas. They also had stools with better frequency, consistency, and size. (Sorry, I know, we’re talking about bowel movements again. But in the case of a cleanse, it really is important to use the body’s natural elimination vehicle to get any offending particles out.)
Cascara Sagrada Bark
Speaking of eliminating offending particles through bowel movements, this next ingredient is extra important to the cleanse we recommend. Cascara sagrada bark is classed as a stimulant laxative. It’s rich in phytochemicals which react with bacteria in the intestines to stimulate the bowels. It causes muscle contractions in the intestines, which enable stools to move more smoothly through the bowels. Cascara sagrada is sometimes used to help empty the colon before a colonoscopy.
This ingredient also inhibits reabsorption of electrolytes and water from the colon, producing a softer, quicker bowel movement. Because of this laxative effect, It’s very important to stay hydrated while doing any cleanse.
The bark is also rich in the compound emodin, which is known to be anti-fungal and anti-microbial. This is one of the ingredients that help expel parasites and fungi. It’s also been found to be effective against a range of bad bacteria including helicobacter pylori, E. coli, and several strains of Staphylococcus aureus. The active components of cascara sagrada stimulate the intestinal lining and relieve a sluggish colon. That’s why it’s an effective ingredient in this cleanse we use.
The last ingredient that is in the cleanse is senna leaf. Senna leaf is an herbal medicine made from leaves, flowers, and fruit of a group of flowering plants in the legume family. It has long been used as a laxative and stimulant. Originally from Egypt, senna is now grown worldwide.
The primary active compounds in senna leaves are known as senna glycosides or sennosides. Sennosides cannot be absorbed in your digestive tract, but they can be broken down by your gut bacteria. The breakdown of sennosides mildly irritates the cells in your colon, an effect that stimulates intestinal movement and produces a laxative effect.
Senna is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter laxatives, such as Ex-Lax. It usually helps produce a bowel movement within 6-12 hours.
A cleanse that works
These high-quality ingredients work together to help your body get rid of those detrimental environmental stressors. Carla and I know from personal experience. After we discovered that I had a parasite and she had a fungus, we took this cleanse for 10 days (2 pills in the morning and two at night). And, it worked – with little to no side effects. I had some mild diarrhea for a couple of days, but Carla didn’t have any adverse effects.
How do we know that it worked? We did our next hair analysis after 90 days, and the parasite and fungus were both gone. In addition to this cleanse, we removed the foods that our hair analysis reports recommended, and we added a few supplements that we were each deficient in. Our hair analysis scores both improved (more information on this in future videos). We call that a resounding health success!
Additional health benefits of a quarterly cleanse
Some additional health benefits of a cleanse that many people report is a clearer mind, an energy boost, and healthier skin and nails (sometimes an anti-aging effect). Many people report that a cleanse helps them jump start a weight loss goal. Whatever your motivation, just be sure to check with your doctor before doing any drastic detoxes or cleanses. Remember, we’re health coaches, not doctors. We’re here to assist you in figuring out what will make you healthier.
An extremely healthy and safe cleanse we heartily recommend to everyone is our More Than Healthy 7-Day Detox. We created this plan to help our clients kick start their journey to optimal health. We offer this program at no cost. Just go to our website and click on Get the 7-Day Detox, and we’ll send it to you, absolutely free.
As always, we enjoy hearing from you. Have you ever done a cleanse? If you have any questions about cleanses, or any other health issue, you can go to our social media pages on Facebook or Instagram (@morethanhealthyliving) and ask them there. We try to respond to all questions.
We’d love to be your health coaches on your journey to optimal health. Thanks for joining us – see you next week!