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9 Simple, Frugal, At-Home Detox Strategies

There’s plenty we can do from the comfort of our own homes to help our body detox. These at-home detoxes are easy to implement into our regular routines. Try picking one to start with and go from there. 

It is important to keep your body healthy and if you’re reading this you probably already prioritize healthy and non-toxic choices at home. However, none of us are perfect and we don’t live in bubbles.

You aren’t able to control the food that is served to you at a friend’s house, the air you’re breathing in the grocery store or the perfume your co-worker is wearing so I want to share some ways to flush your body of toxins and keep it as tuned up as possible: detoxification, also known as “detox.”

When I say detox, I don’t mean kicking back at a super-expensive spa where you sit in a sauna (even though saunas are great for you) and drink celery juice for days on end. Not quite. Instead, I am talking about ways that anyone can gently remove the harmful toxins that are slowing down their bodies to restore their health. All from the comfort of your own home!

RELATED: Gentle Movement Exercises

Please note: I am not a medical professional. Nothing in this article should be construed as medical consultation or instruction. Be sure to consult a health professional about any concerns regarding your health before following any of these suggestions. While the information found in this article is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects.

At home detox

Why You Should Detox: Benefits of Detox

Detoxification occurs through the liver. The liver is the powerhouse of the body because it performs so many vital functions for the body to work well. It is the second largest organ in the body (after the skin) and performs more than 500 functions! Obviously, I don’t have space to write about all of them (nor would you want to read such a lengthy post), but I will give you the highlights:

  • It produces bile for digestion and absorption of vitamins, proteins, cholesterol, immune factors, and hormones.
  • It regulates blood sugar.
  • It is vital in blood clotting.
  • It is a conversion machine: glucose to glycogen (stored energy), hemoglobin to iron, and dangerous ammonia to urea (i.e., waste).
  • It synthesizes, stores, and processes fat.

One of the most important functions that the liver performs (and the one we are going to focus on today) is cleansing the blood. Through first metabolizing and then expelling drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins, the liver detoxifies the blood all day every day (and you don’t even know it!).1

Because of all of the functions this amazing organ performs, it makes sense that we want to support it as much as possible and help with the detoxification process after our liver has been under high amounts of stress.

RELATED: While this post deals predominantly with at-home detox methods, there are also supplements you can take for liver support.

These are just a few of the many ways to gently detox and support your liver year-round:

Bath for Detox

1. At-Home Detox Baths

This is my favorite way to detox! I try to indulge in a detox bath at least once or twice per month, although it is safe to do this three times per week. Your skin acts like a sponge, soaking up everything it comes in contact with.

This can be helpful when wanting to remove nasty environmental toxins as quickly and efficiently as possible, and immersing the body in a warm bath is a very effective way to do it.

Epsom Salt Detox Bath

Here is a bath mixture that is super easy and economical, and contains only three ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup epsom salt (for magnesium and to flush toxins and heavy metals from cells)
  • 1 cup baking soda (cleanses, alkalinizes, and is a natural anti-fungal)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (to soothe and soften the skin)

Add the ingredients to a warm bath and soak for 10-20 minutes.

(Note: you may experience lightheadedness and nausea during the bath, as your body is ridding itself of toxins. I found that the first few times I did this I could only stay in the bath for 10 minutes, but I have now gradually built up to the full 20 minutes). You might also want to allow for 15-20 minutes of rest once you get out of the bathtub.)

Herbal Detox Baths

If you want to take your detox baths up a notch, you should try one of Earthley’s herbal detox bath mixes. The herbs have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that can help your body return to a state of true wellness.

By steeping in a bath of warm water, the properties of the herbs are absorbed by the skin and help to heal your body inside and out. Earthley says this blend can help with joint and muscle pain, headaches, lymphatic congestion, and rashes.

RELATED: Make your own herbal baths with these recipes!

Bentonite Clay Detox Baths

Another detox bath option is to use bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is a powerful binder.2 It is messy though. Be sure to give yourself time to wipe it out of the tub afterward.

I’m also hesitant about letting it go down the drain because I don’t want to deal with an expensive fix. Better safe than sorry! If you don’t want it going down the drain, you could use a basin to do a foot soak and dump the water outside.

ginger and lemon

2. Herbal Ginger Tea

A cup of ginger tea a day would be a great addition to your real food diet. Consumption of ginger tea has been shown to improve blood flow, boost the immune system, and aid in carrying waste out of the body.3 To make ginger tea, peel and slice approximately one inch of ginger root and boil in two cups of filtered water. Drink warm or cold, and add honey or lemon if the taste is not palatable.

3. Kombucha Consumption for Detox

Fermented foods and drinks are wonderful for our bodies. I love Kombucha Kamp’s Starter Kits. They have multiple options for you to choose from so you can save money by making it yourself. Not to mention, they taste delicious!

yoga for detox, at-home detox

4. Yoga or Pilates for Detox

A great way to release toxins from your body is by sweating it out! Through stretching and compressing the muscles, along with deep breathing, both yoga and pilates use the entire body.

There are plenty of teachers who give samples of their work on YouTube. I love being able to stretch my body more and more each time. I found out that doing a “twist” of any sort is particularly beneficial, as it “wrings out” your organs, much like you would wring out a sponge, rag, etc. I like the visual of “wringing out the toxins,” as tough poses are more bearable when you know the benefits!

5. Coffee Enema Detox

Alright, I know it sounds scary, but it’s not and there’s plenty of help for you to do this detox method at-home and safely.

The best info I’ve seen on coffee enema detox is from Dr. Jay Davidson. Check out his posts on coffee enemas here.  He’ll help you learn how to pick out the right organic coffee and equipment.

My husband and I did coffee enemas as part of our experience doing the Gut Thrive in 5 cleanse. You can read about that here.

Coffee enemas are a great way to increase the liver’s bile production, and therefore, your detoxification.4 Even though elimination is important, it’s about more than going #2 regularly!

RELATED: Home Remedies for Constipation

coconut oil

6. Detox with Oiling Pulling

You probably have a big tub of coconut oil in your pantry, right? You can swish coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes to help pull out fat-soluble toxins from your bloodstream. Here are my tips for success for Oil Pulling.

7. Massage for Detox

Who’s excited that massage is on the list? I am! Seriously though, the intense, rhythmic pressures and strokes of massage on the muscles and tissue release toxins (again, think of the “wringing out” idea).

Massage also boosts circulation by pumping more oxygenated blood to your heart. An added benefit? Sometimes you can squeeze a little nap in during the massage!

woman being massaged

Note: A comment below suggests telling your massage therapist that you are detoxing! They may change their technique or focus on your lymph system to help you.

If seeing a professional is out of the question, you can ask your partner to give you a massage. I am a huge fan of this couple’s class for massage. Here’s my review of Melt Massage.

8. Dry Brushing to Aid Detox

Another way to get your lymphatic system moving is to dry brush. You can start with a loofah or whatever you have handy. If you like it, I’d consider getting one of these with a longer handle so you can reach your back. The important thing is to be sure to swipe towards the heart. Read more on dry brushing and its benefits.

drink water

9. Stay Hydrated

As all of these toxins are being released, they need to be carried away (and out!) by something. In addition to kombucha and ginger tea, drink plenty of water.

Be sure to drink from stainless steel or glass water bottles. Drinking out of plastic – especially single-use plastic – is not only terrible for the environment but bad for you because you’re drinking the very thing your body wants to detox.

Drinking water may actually be the most important factor on this list, so be sure to drink up!

RELATED: Hydration isn’t just about drinking lots of water!

The Importance of Rest During Detox

You may find that you are more tired than usual while engaging in some detox practices. While detoxing helps your body function easier once the toxins are removed, the detox process itself can be exhausting on your body.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep at night (aim for 7-8 hours) and schedule time for a 15-20 minute nap if needed. Here are my favorite tools to improve sleep and more on how I improved my sleep quality.

What’s your favorite at-home detox? Which one do you want to try next?

More Resources on Detox & Self Care:

Sources:

  1. Liver: Anatomy and Functions. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions
  2. Moosavi, M. (2017, September). Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief Review. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 46(9), 1176–1183. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632318/
  3. Sultan, M.T. & Butt, M.S. & Qayyum, M.M & Suleria, H.A. (2014). Immunity: plants as effective mediators. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 54(10), 1298-308. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24564587
  4. Douglas, B.R., Jansen, J.B., Tham, R.T. & Lamers, C.B. (1990, September). Coffee stimulation of cholecystokinin release and gallbladder contraction in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 52(3), 553-6. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2393014

18 thoughts on “9 Simple, Frugal, At-Home Detox Strategies”

  1. http://www.ineedrenovations.ca/

    It is super easy, with only a few ingredients, and since I save our bacon fat, it was nearly free for us. If you are a little short on bacon fat, I bet the bacon-y flavor would still shine through if you used, say, half a cup of bacon fat, and half a cup of olive oil.

  2. Do you think the detox bath is safe for children? Could I/Should I cut the ingredients in half? Thanks!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Lindsey,
      I’m fairly certain (but not positive) that detox baths are just fine. At our house, we use Redmond Clay to do it, and they have a great free download ebooklet at their site with lots of questions (although it doesn’t specifically cover children and baths, bummer). You can get pretty much the same detox effect from a foot soak, too!
      🙂 Katie

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  4. Thanks for the bath “recipe”–that sounds like a great, easy thing to do when feeling toxified!

    My mother and uncle are professional storytellers, and they swear by ginger tea with honey as a soother for sore throat. Hold each mouthful in the back of your mouth for a moment before swallowing for best results. It works pretty well for me and also helps loosen sinus congestion and reduce the overall ill feeling. We usually shred the ginger (in blender or with mini grater) and then strain the tea, but that feels like a lot of work to a sick person, which often has stopped me from making it–so I am pleased to know that slices will work!

  5. Can I just add a little something? As an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), PLEASE PLEASE tell us if you are detoxing when you come in for a massage! Many of us are trained (if your MT is any good, that is. If not, find a new one! It hurts us all when one or two of us is not good at this profession!) in many modalities and we cannot know if you want to detox unless you tell us. We may know several modalities that can help you detox better, such as MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage), Deep Tissue, Visceral Manipulation (NOT for pregnant ladies), and can also sometimes, depending on the state and various ordinances, use various clays, scrubs, and oils that can help with detoxing.

    But we can’t do any of that unless you tell us specifically that you are detoxing. 🙂

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  7. Are you familiar with liquid zeolites for heavy metal detox? I am still unsure of them due to conflicting information. Any thoughts?

  8. Ginger tea is definitely fine during pregnancy. 🙂 It’s safe for all ages (even newborns, in a pinch) and good for so many things. I drink it all the time while pregnant. The baths are typically safe too, just don’t make them too hot and you may not want to stay in too long initially. Massage is great, but make sure that your provider is familiar with pregnant women. And of course water and rest are safe. 🙂

    If you are having trouble with pregnancy cravings, it *could* be related to a vitamin deficiency and you might want to ask your doctor or midwife if there’s something you should be doing. B vitamins and magnesium deficiencies are quite common in pregnancy.

  9. Jamie Reese – I’m pretty certain ginger tea is fine, and detox baths should be too. Most say don’t start kombucha if you didn’t already drink it before preg. Hopefully Jill will chime in on the post too!

  10. Jamie via Facebook

    Are any of these safe during pregnancy? It’s not the holiday splurges getting me this year, it’s the pregnancy cravings! I need help!

    1. Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen

      Hi Jamie!
      Yes, detox bath, ginger tea, and yoga/pilates are all safe during pregnancy. If you haven’t already been drinking kombucha BEFORE you get pregnant, it is not advised to start during pregnancy (kombucha can cause more intense detox effects during pregnancy and toxins can affect the baby). Also, massage is safe during pregnancy, just make sure your massage therapist is familiar with massaging pregnant women! Good luck!

      1. If safe for pregnancy, would it be safe to assume it’s alright during breastfeeding? How about kombucha during bf?

        1. I’m also curious about safety during nursing. I’ve always heard detoxes are bad while BFing.

          1. Suzanne,
            As far as I know, detoxes that would release toxins into your body that your body would then need to get rid of are bad during breastfeeding, like food detoxes. So you look at each one individually – the bath, for example, should be pulling toxins right out, having nothing to do with milk supply. Kombucha, I’d say if you haven’t used it before, don’t start while nursing, same for pregnancy. Yoga, no problem, and ginger tea, I’d look that one up! 🙂 Katie

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