14 Tips on How to Open Detox Pathways

Usually when you hear the word “detox” you probably think of a very restrictive diet or cleanse. But that’s not the type of detox we’re talking about in this post. This post covers everything you need to know about toxin buildup in your body and how to clear your detox pathways. If you’re struggling with any symptoms ranging from headaches to PMS, bloating to fatigue, insomnia, acne & more, your blocked detox pathways could be the issue. In this post, I’ll cover the best way to support your body through the detoxification process. I’ll share my top tips on how to open detox pathways and some amazing products that will boost your overall health. 

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Symptoms of Poor Detox Pathways 

When your body’s toxin exposure reaches its breaking point, your body gives you signs that its detox pathways aren’t working properly. These are some most common warning signs of toxin buildup (there are more symptoms but this list should be enough to get you started):

  • Weight gain
  • Acne or skin issues
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Achy muscles & joints
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Bloating/gas
  • Always feeling exhausted
  • Depression
  • Poor immune function
  • Feeling awful after 1 alcoholic beverage

If left untreated, toxin buildup can lead to chronic disease, obesitycardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes to name a few.

Symptoms of poor drainage
I follow Paolaxhuxi on Instagram and she shares a lot of great information about drainage pathways

What is Toxic Overload?

We’ve all heard this term but what does it mean? Today’s world has a ton of toxins and our body is always fighting to clear them from our system. Everything from air pollution to harmful chemicals in our daily products has toxins. Our built-in detoxification system (our organs) filters and eliminates these toxins easily in a fully functioning body. But, when our body becomes overburdened by these toxins, our detox pathways slow down. This is where the toxic overload happens. 

A good way to look at toxin buildup is to think of if your toilet is clogged up for a few days. It’s not pretty. The very same thing happens in your body if your detoxing system isn’t properly removing these harmful substances. 

Another alarming fact, our toxic load doesn’t just affect us. A study of 10 infants done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found 287 toxic substances in the umbilical cable blood before they even took their first breath!! Their umbilical cords had lots of chemicals, DDT, PCBs, phthalates, parabens, flame retardants, BPA, mercury, lead, and more. Isn’t that awful? 

How to Open Detox Pathways

Here are some reasons why your natural detoxification pathways might be blocked:

Anything from a lack of nutrients, chronic constipation, the Standard American Diet (aka SAD- how fitting, right?), pharmaceuticals, recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking can all slow down our detoxification pathways. 

Exposure to toxins

The average person is exposed to over 100 toxins each day. These toxic chemicals are in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, your home, your office, and even in your beauty and personal care products.

You would be surprised what horrible chemicals are in your skincare, makeup, and home products. Fragrance is a major one- everything has added fragrance! It’s important to learn where your toxins are hiding and filter them out. It’s also important to buy non-toxic alternatives. The EWG’s website or the Yuka app are both great places to review all of the products you use. They have detailed reviews of many of the products in the market and explain which ingredients are bad and why. 

This is my coffee enema setup

Constantly feeling stressed or sad 

If you are often stressed and experiencing negative emotions and thoughts this is impacting your body more than you think. Negativity can slow down your detox pathways, contributing to the accumulation of toxins that damage cells and cause poor health. 

Poor lifestyle habits

Lack of sleep, exercise, or general self-care can have a major impact on your health. When you aren’t getting enough sleep you will lack the energy your body needs and your body goes into fight or flight mode, which slows your detox pathways.  

Another lifestyle habit that plays a major role in your drainage pathways is a poor diet. Eating processed foods is a major culprit. 

How to Open Detox Pathways

Not drinking enough water

If you want your body to detox properly, you need to ensure that your body is well-hydrated. Water transports toxic waste out of your body through urine, breath, or sweat. If you don’t have enough water, those pathways become sluggish and don’t detox efficiently, allowing toxins to build up.

*It’s also vital to load your body with filtered water versus plastic bottles or tap. If not, you could be adding more toxins to your body! See my review of the filter I use in my house HERE.

How to Open Detox Pathways
This is the Ionic Foot Detox

How to Open Your Detox Pathways

The good news is there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to help your body’s detoxification system without some intense detox program. 

  1. Choose whole + organic foods, and especially be sure to go organic for foods high on the EWG’s dirty dozen list. Whole foods give your body more antioxidants which can help protect your body in the detox process
  • Eat high-quality protein, your liver needs amino acids. This is why juice cleanses alone aren’t the best — they don’t include enough protein to support this phase of detox. Include organic chicken, grass-fed meat, eggs, and wild-caught fish like salmon.  
  • Consume cruciferous vegetables every day, which provide organs and detox processes with vital nutrients that act as cofactors to help metabolize carcinogens. (cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, collard greens, and broccoli)
  • Having adequate phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is also important for adequate detoxification. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables—the more vibrant the color the greater the antioxidant load. Find ways to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow into your diet to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients and antioxidants. 

2. Take Milk Thistle– Milk thistle improves liver function and reduces inflammation and damage. It’s regularly used as a complementary therapy by people who have liver damage due to conditions like alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and even liver cancer. I drink Milk Thistle tea every day. 

How to Open Detox Pathways
Milk Thistle tea is amazing for detoxing your liver

3. Remove items that impact your liver function, like alcohol and medications: By now we all know that alcohol harms our liver but a lot of medications also have a negative impact on it. I’ve stopped taking any painkillers like Aspirin or Aleve, and I don’t take any medication. Of course, if you’re on a medication please speak to your doctor before quitting cold turkey. 

4. Buy non-toxic products to reduce your daily toxic burden. I would start with cleaning products, laundry detergent and personal care products, and beauty products. Beware of “greenwashing” when brands seem like they are less toxic but have negative ingredients in them. Use the EWG and Yuka app to review your items in your beauty routine and home. Also, avoid plastic and nonstick pans. Choose glass, stainless steel, and cast iron when possible.

5. Drink more filtered water to support the actual excretion of toxins out of your body. Invest in a high-quality water filter. I have a detailed review of Berkey vs. AquaTru with discount codes HERE. Proper hydration will help flush your kidneys. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water a day. This means, a person who is 150 pounds requires roughly 75 ounces of water a day. In general, drink enough water so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow. Adding a few dashes of real sea salt can also help to rehydrate you. 
6. Sweat to help release toxins through your skin and encourage lymphatic flow to help get toxins out of your body. Workouts, sauna, and hot yoga are great for this! I love this affordable portable sauna. Many chemicals can be stored in our fat cells. Exercise is a great way to shrink and change our fat cells, thus removing content and potentially removing contaminants from them in the process. 

How to Open Detox Pathways
Sauna’s are a great way to sweat out toxins

7. Dry brush your skin to stimulate the lymphatic system, remove toxins, and increase circulation and energy. Dry brushing exfoliates your skin and allows heavy metals and BPA to be more easily released when you sweat. I love this dry brush with a handle.

8. Coffee enema- Coffee Enemas are a well-known, proven, and effective way to naturally detox the colon and liver of accumulated poisons and toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed, energetic, and calm.  It is a natural pain reliever as well and has been used by practitioners worldwide in reducing pain in patients, as well as creating renewed health overall in the body. Coffee enemas increase glutathione S-transferases, which is a major detoxification enzyme. They also help with bowel movements. Here is my post all about Coffee Enemas– I love them!

9. Castor oil packs help support optimized liver function, improve detoxification and hormonal balance, and reduce inflammation in the liver.  This is the brand I use.

10. Poop every day– Bowel movements play a very important role in your gut health. The bowels are critical in the detoxification process. A daily, formed bowel movement is important to promote healthy detoxification. Healthy bowel functioning also promotes the secretion and excretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder, which supports the detoxification process.
One way to maintain a healthy digestive tract is to increase dietary fiber, especially from fruits, vegetables, and ground flax seeds. If you’re feeling constipated a coffee enema always does the trick!

11. Air quality– Improve the air quality in your home with plants that clean the air and make sure to open the windows often (yes even in the winter!) to help improve indoor air quality. I also have THIS air filter and can tell a noticeable difference in the air quality when it’s running. 

12. Breathe & Journal– Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and exercise are great ways to promote healthy and normal breathing patterns. If you’re like me, you may often find yourself holding your breath or taking shallow “mini” breaths much of the day. Instead, we want to optimize the body’s ability to circulate oxygen to aid in the removal of unwanted contaminants. I love Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique that supports a deep breathing pattern. I also love to journal to get a handle on my stress or emotions.

13. Ionic Foot baths are great for eliminating built-up toxins. They reduce chronic pain and inflammation, prevent disease, increase energy and focus, enhance lymphatic drainage, improve circulation and heart health, boost the immune system, reduce headaches and migraines, and improve digestion and nutrient absorption. I purchased this one for at-home use and it’s great! It’s safe to use daily. I don’t really pay attention to the color of the water and what that means, I use it more for the internal benefits.

14. Detox bathsEpsom salt benefits include improving the body’s natural detoxification process, reducing stress, and promoting health and healing. Bentonite clay baths high absorbency draws bio-accumulated toxins from within the body, which then adhere to the surface of the clay.

How to Open Detox Pathways

More tips for your detox pathways

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet can help your detox pathways a lot! But if you’re looking for further help I recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor. They can run specific tests that will tell you exactly what’s going on in your body and how to work on fixing it. 

The human body is meant to detoxify naturally on a daily basis and has a sophisticated way of eliminating toxins, that involve the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs. Only when these organs are healthy, can they effectively eliminate unwanted substances.

Opening your detox pathways doesn’t have to be complicated but it does take a conscious effort to create those healthy habits. Stick with these tips and you’ll start to notice your symptoms start to fade away. You got this! Let’s get you back to optimal health!

I hope you found this post on how to open your detox pathways helpful! 

If you enjoyed this post you’ll love:

What Are The Benefits of Coffee Enemas & How-to Guide

How To Recognize And Treat Parasites

How To Heal Your Cold, Flu, or Sore Throat Holistically

The Differences Between Non-GMO and Organic Food




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